P. Scott Neville, Jr.: Candidate profile


Party: Democratic Party

City: Chicago

Office sought: Supreme Court Judge

Age: 71

Family: Sharon Neville (wife), two step daughters

Occupation: Judge

Education: Washington University School of Law

Civic involvement: President, Cook County Bar Association, Co-founder, Alliance of Bar Associations, Chairperson, Illinois Judicial Council, Life Member, Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church

Elected offices held: (1) 2000 elected Judge of the Circuit Court

(2) 2004 - 2012 appointed to the Appellate Court; elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2012

(3) June 15, 2018 appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court

Incumbent? If yes, when were first elected:


Twitter: neville4justice

Facebook: citizensforp.scott.neville.jr.

Questions and Answers

1. Why are you running for the Illinois Supreme Court? What skills, qualities or experiences set you apart from your opponents?

I am running for the Illinois Supreme Court because I was appointed to the court on June 15, 2018 and I am the best qualified candidate to sit on the Illinois Supreme Court because I began my legal career in 1974 as a law clerk for Justice Glenn T. Johnson. During my 45 year appellate career, I represented the Chicago Transit Authority in the Illinois Appellate Court and I represented private citizens in the Illinois Appellate Court and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Therefore, I can make the argument that I have 45 years of Appellate experience.

I spent approximately four years on the Circuit Court of Cook County where I presided over 100 jury trials. I spent 14 years on the Illinois Appellate Court where I filed over 1,400 opinions, Rule 23 orders and summary decisions. I am the only candidate who has spent eighteen months on the Illinois Supreme Court where I have

filed 15 opinions, 2 dissents (one dissent in the Van Dyke case), a special concurrence, a partial concurrence and a partial dissent.

I have also been a leader in the legal community. I am a past president of the Cook County Bar Association. I am also the co-founder of the Alliance of Bar Associations: I refer to the Alliance as the United Nations of Bar Associations. The Alliance was founded to make the judicial evaluation process fair and equitable. The Alliance also empowers Asians, Black, Gay and Lesbian, Jewish, Latino, Greek and other smaller bar associations with input and a voice in the judicial evaluation process. In my opinion, the Alliance is the model that should be used for federal judgeship evaluations.

I have also been a leader in the judicial community. I am a past chairperson of the Illinois Judicial Council. I am also a past chairperson of the First District's Executive Committee. It should be noted that while acting as the chairperson of the Executive Committee, I had the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts have its technicians write a program so judges could be randomly assigned when two judges from the same panel recused on a case. The program is another example of my attempt to make the judicial system fair to all litigants.

I also think I am best qualified for the Supreme Court because at least four Supreme Court justices voted for me to join the court and did not vote for the five Appellate Court justices running against me. I have received five highly qualified or recommended evaluations from five bar associations: (1) the Chicago Bar Association; (2) the Cook County Bar Association; (3) the Illinois State Bar Association; (4) the Hispanic Association of Lawyers; and (5) the Puerto Rican Bar Association. The other reporting bar associations have found me qualified or recommended. Finally, the Democratic Party found me most qualified and endorsed me for the office.

The final reason I think I am the most qualified is my body of work. During my fourteen years on the Appellate Court, I reversed numerous cases and I think I filed more dissents than any judge on the court. I believe in diversity: (1) I appointed four blacks and four whites, four women and four men, and one gay judge to the Circuit Court of Cook County; (2) my Supreme Court staff consists of two African American lawyers, two white lawyers, an African American secretary and a Latino Marshall. There is no judge on the Supreme Court or candidate running for the Supreme Court who was born in Bronzeville, educated in Bronzeville's segregated

public schools, and has an equal justice for all philosophy that was molded and tempered while living in Bronzeville.

In conclusion, I have 45 years of Appellate experience, I have been found highly qualified by five bar associations, and I have a body of work and judicial philosophy that is different from my colleagues. I have authored one landmark decision on the Supreme Court, People v. Buffer, 2019 IL 122327. In addition, I authored a dissent in People ex rel. Kwame Raoul v. Hon. Vincent M. Gaughan, 2019 IL 121452, which establishes my ability to stand alone when my colleagues abandoned the principle of stare decisis by refusing to follow People v. Lee, 213 Ill. 2d 218 (2004), the precedent that the trial judge should have followed when sentencing Van Dyke. I have leadership experience and a history of promoting diversity in the Illinois legal system. Finally, I am the candidate with a record of bringing about change in the Illinois legal system: (1) advisor to legislators who promulgated the subcircuit legislation; (2) co-founder of the Alliance of Bar Associations; (3) chairman of executive committee when program developed for random assignment of judges when there are two recusals from a panel; and (4) at my investiture, I recommended installing recording devices in civil courtrooms on June 15, 2008, and recording devices are now being used in Cook County's eviction courtrooms.

2. Please identify potential conflicts of interest that might arise if you are elected to the Illinois Supreme Court, including family members, former law partners, clients or companies or government agencies for which you have worked. How would you address such a conflict?

A. At this time, I do not have any potential conflicts of interest that would subject me to disqualification pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 63(c).

B. In the event a conflict arose, I would withdraw from the case.

3. If you are or have been a judge, have you ever recused yourself from a case? If so, was it in response to a motion or suggestion by a party to the case? In what circumstances should a Supreme Court justice recuse himself or herself?

A. During the time I have been a judge of the Supreme Court, I have recused from cases on the Supreme Court.

B. I did not recuse because of a motion or suggestion of a party.

C. A Supreme Court Justice should recuse, as I have, when a PLA has been filed in cases I participated in while sitting on the Appellate Court.

4. How important is racial and gender diversity on the Illinois Supreme Court and across the judiciary? How would it guide your actions when making appointments to the bench? Please explain your answer.

Racial and gender diversity are important on the Supreme Court and across the judiciary.

A. I have been working for judicial diversity for over 30 years.

First, in 1988, I was a lawyer advising the legislators (Judge Anthony Young, Representative Paul Williams, Senator Howard Brookins, Senator Miguel De Valle, and Senator Richard Keats) who drafted and passed the subcircuit legislation in 1991 that increased diversity on the bench and culminated in the election of Chief Judge Timothy Evans. Second, I co-founded the Alliance of Bar Associations: (A) that gave Asian, Black, Hispanic, Gays and Lesbians, Black Women Lawyers and White Women Lawyers a voice in who sits on the Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Court benches; and (B) that made the evaluation process diverse, fair and equitable for lawyers who were not white men. Third, during my first eighteen months on the Supreme Court, I have appointed four blacks and four whites, four women and four men and one gay judge to the Circuit Court. I think my past record and appointments to the Circuit Court demonstrate my commitment to diversity.

B. My commitment to diversity is demonstrated by the men and women of color and sexual orientation that I have appointed to the Circuit Court bench.

5. What measures do you support for enabling the public to monitor court activities in Illinois? Should courts in Illinois be required to allow electronic recording by news media?

A. I think Supreme Court Rule 63(A) prescribes the procedure for the news media to follow to televise or broadcast court proceedings.

B. As a Supreme Court Justice, I cannot render an advisory opinion on whether courts in Illinois should be required to allow electronic recording by the news media.

6. Do you support public financing of campaigns for Illinois Supreme Court? Do you support political party slating for candidates for Illinois Supreme Court?

I think that we have a problem in Illinois when a candidate's financial resources instead of the candidate's qualifications for the office he/she is seeking determine the candidate's electoral success. I defer to the Illinois legislature to decide how campaigns for public office in Illinois are financed. I along with the other Supreme Court candidates participated in party slating. Finally, I prefer Illinois' system, where any lawyers can run to be elected to the Circuit, Appellate or Supreme courts, to the federal system where the President appoints.

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