Two of Illinois' largest bar associations released recommendations on judicial candidates running for the Illinois Appellate Court and the Circuit Court of Cook County in the March 18 primary.
The Illinois State Bar Association, the state's largest with about 30,000 members, and the Chicago Bar Association with 22,000 members, evaluate candidates' legal knowledge and ability, experience, temperament and integrity among other qualities. The associations then assign candidates ratings of "highly qualified," "qualified" or "not qualified" or, in the case of the CBA, "not recommended."
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Candidates who do not participate in the evaluation process receive a "not qualified" or "not recommended" rating.
For the Appellate Court, first judicial district vacancies incorporating Cook County, both the ISBA and the CBA found John B. Simon highly qualified and Shelly A. Harris and David Ellis qualified. The ISBA found Susan Kennedy Sullivan, Freddrenna M. Lyle and Sharon Oden Johnson not qualified. Regarding appellate court candidates, the CBA found Susan Kennedy Sullivan and Sharon Oden Johnson not recommended, however, the CBA found Freddrenna M. Lyle qualified.
For circuit court candidates running countywide, the ISBA found Patricia O'Brien Sheahan, Linda L. Mastandrea, Mary Alice Melchor, Diana Rosario and Kelly Maloney Kachmarik not qualified. All other countywide candidates the ISBA found qualified with Daniel J. Kubasiak rated as highly qualified.
For Cook judicial candidates running countywide, Maritza Martinez, Mary Alice Melchior, Stephen J. Feldman and Kelly Maloney Kachmarik were not recommended by the CBA, which found all other candidates qualified.
For the 11th Subcircuit, which includes parts of Des Plaines and Chicago, both bar associations found Gina A. Crumble, Joanne F. Rosado, Scott Michael Kozicki and Pamela McLean Meyerson qualified.
For the 12th Subcircuit, which includes parts of Wheeling, Elk Grove, Maine, New Trier and Northfield townships, both the ISBA and the CBA found Samuel Bae, Ralph Eugene Meczyk, James Edward Hanlon Jr. and James L. Kaplan qualified. Both associations found James Paul Piezconka not qualified or not recommended.
For the 13th Subcircuit comprising parts of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Schaumburg and Streamwood, both bar associations found both John Curry and Gary W. Seyring qualified.