Thursday, January 07, 2010

CCL evaluations -- countywide vacancies

For the complete report of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, follow this link (.pdf format).

Berland Vacancy

William H. Hooks – Well Qualified
William H. Hooks received his law degree from ITT Chicago-Kent in 1981 and was admitted to the Illinois bar in that year. An officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves, he resumed active duty as a Judge Advocate, and in that capacity prosecuted and defended criminal cases. He left active duty in 1985 (though remained in the Reserves for an additional 10 years) and until 1991 practiced civil litigation (mainly insurance defense) with Pretzel & Stouffer, Hinshaw & Culbertson, and Garland W. Watt and Associates. Since 1995, he has practiced on his own and in partnership with others, concentrating on criminal defense and a wide range of civil litigation. He has extensive jury and bench trial experience in both federal and state courts, and since 1992 has served as a hearing officer and hearing board chair for the ARDC. He has taught at the DePaul University College of Law and the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School. He lectures frequently in continuing legal education and public information seminars, and has published practice-related articles. Mr. Hooks is regarded as a knowledgeable, skillful, and aggressive advocate. His professional conduct and personal integrity are above reproach. He convincingly expresses his desire to take the bench as a wish to devote himself to public service. The Council finds him Well Qualified.

Deidre Baumann – Not Qualified
Deidre Baumann was admitted to practice in 1992. She has spent her career in private practice with a small firm or as a sole practitioner. She handles civil litigation primarily, in both state and federal courts. She reports acting as lead counsel in 12 civil and 8 criminal cases. She also reports having significant appellate experience. While many respondents had a favorable impression of her litigation experience, a significant number questioned whether she had been knowledgeable enough in the cases they had opposed her. Ms. Baumann has been the subject of unfavorable written opinions by two judges. Most respondents say that she has a good temperament. While Ms. Baumann appears to be a respected attorney by many, there are attorneys who question her level of knowledge in some of her cases. On balance, the Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

William B. Raines – Qualified
William B. Raines was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1993 after a number of years in law enforcement. The candidate worked as a Cook County State’s Attorney for a little over one year, from January 1994 through June 1995, in the Narcotics Division. He was Special Counsel to the Freemont Corporation Insurance Company from May 1995 through May 2001. He then became Special Counsel to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s criminal and civil fraud prosecution department. He remained in this last position until November 2001 when he opened his law practice. During the last few years, Mr. Raines has acquired substantial trial experience to go along with his substantial non-litigation experience. He is considered to have good legal ability
and temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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Bronstein Vacancy

Terry MacCarthy – Well Qualified
Terry MacCarthy has been a lawyer since 1990. Since 2003 he has been a Supervisor in the felony trial division of the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. He is a career Assistant Public Defender. Mr. MacCarthy is reported to have good legal ability and is praised for being thoughtful and respectful while being a zealous advocate. He reports substantial community involvement. He teaches in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School and has taught advanced trial advocacy at the DePaul law school since 2002. The Council finds him Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Diann K. Marsalek – Not Qualified
Diann Marsalek was admitted to practice in 1989. She spent 16 years in the Illinois Attorney General’s office doing litigation primarily for the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC). Her initial 13 years in practice were primarily spent defending Section 1983 cases against the DOC in federal court, though she did also have some limited litigation experience in state court during this period. Her final 3 years in the AG’s office were spent as a “facilitator” for litigation involving the DOC and as a policy advisor concerning litigation and legislation. Ms. Marsalek is
reported to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council is concerned, however, that most of her litigation experience was earlier in her career and was in federal court. The Council finds her Not Qualified to serve in the Circuit Court.

Sharon Finegan Patterson – Qualified
Sharon Finegan Patterson was admitted to the bar in 1980. She has been a solo practitioner handling employment and personal injury litigation since 1995. From 1982 to 1995, she was an associate at Lord, Bissell & Brook. From 1980 to 1982, she was law clerk to Hon. Daniel J. McNamara of the Illinois Appellate Court. Ms. Patterson is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. She is praised as being particularly hard-working with good analytical skills. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Thomas William Flannigan – Qualified
Thomas Flannigan has been a lawyer since 1983. He has a MA degree in International Relations. After clerking with Illinois Supreme Court Justice William Clark, he served as an attorney with the firms of Arvey Hodes and Freeborn & Peters, concentrating on international business transactions and litigation. He worked as an attorney in Japan in 1988 and between 1991 and 1992. Since 1990, he has been a sole practitioner focusing on civil litigation, intellectual property matters, and estate planning. He has had a limited number of cases go to trial but has been involved in other aspects of complex civil litigation matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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Dolan Vacancy

Susan Kennedy Sullivan -- Qualified
Susan Kennedy Sullivan was admitted to practice in 1994. She is a sole practitioner focusing on probate and estate planning. She has been a registered nurse since 1974. She reports serving as lead counsel in two civil jury trials and more than 100 civil bench trials. Many of her litigation matters involve lengthy trials. She has published articles and is active in pro bono matters. Ms. Sullivan is reported to have good legal ability and she is praised as being hard-working. She is respected as a zealous advocate with a professional demeanor. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Linda Pauel – Qualified
Linda Pauel was admitted to practice in 1991. She has been an Assistant Corporation Counsel with the Chicago Department of Law since 1994; she has served as a Senior Counsel since 1998. She started her career as a litigation associate with what was Sachnoff & Weaver. She reports acting as lead counsel in 4 civil jury trials and over 300 civil bench trials. She is active in community activities. Ms. Pauel is considered to be a very good lawyer with good legal ability and a professional demeanor. She has substantial trial and supervisory experience in more complex matters, having worked in municipal prosecutions, the torts division, and most recently as senior counsel responsible for the day to day supervision of attorneys handling administrative cases before the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Kevin J. Murphy – Not Qualified
Kevin J. Murphy was admitted to practice in 1981. He is currently a sole practitioner focusing on real estate, probate, and personal injury matters. Before becoming a sole practitioner, he worked for two years at Parillo Weiss & O’Halloran defending against auto cases for insurance companies. He is considered to be a diligent lawyer. He reports acting as lead counsel in 35 jury trials, 60 civil bench trials and 150 criminal law bench trials. However, many of these actions involve less complex matters such as traffic tickets or other types of misdemeanors. On balance the Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Ubi O’Neal – Not Qualified
Ubi O’Neal was admitted to practice in 1993. He is a sole practitioner focusing on personal injury and criminal defense matters. Mr. O’Neal has litigation experience, but the Council is concerned he has little experience in more complex matters. The Council is also concerned that Mr. O’Neal was censured by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in 1999. The Council finds Mr. O’Neal Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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Hayes Vacancy

Raymond William Mitchell – Qualified
Judge Raymond William Mitchell was admitted to practice in 1993. He was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in October 2008. From 1998 to 2008 he was an associate and then partner with the law firm of Winston & Strawn where he was involved in all aspects of more complex litigation matters. He served as an associate lawyer with Gardner, Carton & Douglas. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he reports being involved in numerous pro bono efforts. Judge Mitchell is considered to have good legal ability and was well-respected as an attorney in private practice. Lawyers appearing before him in Traffic Court, where he now sits, report that he has a very good temperament and demonstrates good legal ability. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Bonnie McGrath – Not Qualified
Bonnie McGrath was admitted to practice in 1993. She has been a sole practitioner since 1996 and served as a prosecutor with the Chicago Department of Law between 1992 and 1996. She has no jury trial experience, but reports acting as lead counsel in hundreds of civil bench trials. Ms. McGrath is a former journalist who now teaches at Columbia College. Her litigation experience does not include involvement with more complex matters. Ms. McGrath is praised for her temperament and is a prolific writer in legal journals. The Council, however, believes that Ms. McGrath has not demonstrated the ability to handle complex legal matters in the courtroom. The Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Carl B. Boyd – Not Recommended
Carl B. Boyd refused to be evaluated. He is Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.

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Kelley Vacancy

John Patrick Callahan, Jr. – Qualified
John Callahan was admitted to practice in 1988. From 1996 to the present he has been in private practice doing general civil litigation and criminal defense. He served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney between 1989 and 1996. He reports acting as lead counsel in 1 civil jury, 23 criminal jury trials, 4 civil bench trials, and more than 250 criminal bench trials. Mr. Callahan is considered to have good legal ability and trial experience. He has a reputation of being exceptionally fair while having a calm and professional demeanor. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Joanne F. Fehn – Not Qualified
Joanne F. Fehn was admitted to practice in 1993. She is currently General Counsel of Anchor Companies where she manages legal affairs and oversees outside counsel. Since 2003 she has served as the owner and founder of Mortgage Title Services. From 1998 to 2001, she worked at Chicago Title Insurance Company as an Attorney Technical Advisor. From 1994 to 1998, she was an Attorney Closing Officer with Urban Search Corporation. She has no jury trial experience and has never acted as lead counsel in bench trials. Ms. Fehn is praised as being smart and for having a good temperament. However, her practice has been limited to real estate matters and the Council is also concerned that she has very little litigation experience in more complex matters. The Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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McCarthy Vacancy*

Daniel J. Gallagher – Qualified
Daniel James Gallagher was admitted in 1994. He is currently an Assistant Public Defender (APD) in the Felony Trial Division, and has been in the office since 1996. He was in private practice before becoming an APD. As lead trial counsel he reports taking one civil case and 35 criminal cases to a jury verdict, as well as approximately 20 civil and 100 to criminal cases to a bench verdict. Mr. Gallagher is reported to be a diligent, fair, and zealous advocate. He is praised as being well prepared with a professional demeanor. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

* Gallagher is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Two Republicans filed in this race. They are:

Maureen H. Masterson Pulia – Not Qualified
Maureen Pulia was admitted to practice in 1984. From 2003 to present, she has been an Arbitrator with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. From 1997 to 2003 she was Senior Public Service Administrator and Staff Attorney for the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Ms. Pulia is reported to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council is concerned, however, that her practice has been narrow and that she lacks sufficient litigation experience as a practitioner in complex matters. The Council finds her Not Qualified to serve in the Circuit Court.

Michaela Nolan Ryan – Not Recommended
Michaela Nolan Ryan refused to be evaluated. She is Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.

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O'Malley Vacancy**

Thomas V. Lyons – Qualified (He was evaluated to fill a judicial vacancy in 2008. He was appointed to the Circuit Court by the Illinois Supreme Court in August 2008)
Judge Thomas V. Lyons II was admitted to practice in 1987. He serves as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. Lawyers report that he has good legal ability and temperament. He has substantial experience in both bench and jury trials involving criminal law matters. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

** Judge Lyons is unopposed in the Democratic primary and has no Republican opponent in November.


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Riley Vacancy

Sandra Ramos – Not Qualified
Sandra Ramos was admitted to practice in 1986. She has been a sole practitioner since 1993 doing mostly criminal defense work, and served for nine years as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney (1986 to 1995). She reports acting as lead counsel on about 30 criminal jury trials and numerous bench trials. The investigation of Ms. Ramos yielded decidedly mixed results. Some lawyers and judges say she has good legal ability and temperament. But many others question her diligence and temperament. In light of these criticisms and the narrowness of her practice, the Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Russell William Hartigan -- Qualified
Russell William Hartigan was admitted to practice in 1976. He has been in private practice throughout his career with extensive personal injury litigation experience. He reports acting as lead counsel in 45 civil jury trials and in numerous arbitrations. He has personally handled fifteen cases as principal appellate counsel and argued orally eight of these in the U.S Court of Appeals, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. He is active in bar association activities, and currently is on the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors. He has published articles on civil practice matters and is active in community affairs. Mr. Hartigan is reported to have good legal ability and a very good temperament. He is praised as a hard-working, conscientious, and knowledgeable practitioner. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

James M. Bailey, II – Qualified
James M. Bailey, II has been an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney since his admission to the bar in 1984. His practice currently involves appellate criminal and civil litigation. Mr. Bailey is a 1983 graduate of the John Marshall Law School. He has been a guest lecturer on Advanced Trial Practice at Chicago-Kent and on Drug Asset Forfeiture at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Bailey is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. He is praised as a solid prosecutor with experience in both criminal and civil law matters. The Council finds Mr. Bailey Qualified to serve in Circuit Court.

John Patrick Nyhan – Not Recommended
John Patrick Nyhan refused to be evaluated. He is Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.

Edmund Paul Michalowski – Not Recommended
Edmund Paul Michalowski refused to be evaluated. He is Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.

Marvin W. Gray – Qualified
Marvin W. Gray was admitted to practice in 1972. He has been a sole practitioner for most of his career, doing mostly civil litigation. He worked as an employee of the law department of the Chicago Transit Authority doing civil litigation defense between 1987 and 1991. He reports acting as lead counsel in 10 criminal and 75 civil jury trials, and 250 civil and 25 criminal bench trials. Mr. Gray is considered to be a good attorney with extensive litigation experience. While much of this experience involves cases that are short in duration and lesser value personal injury matters, he has had litigation matters throughout his long career involving more complex matters. Lawyers report that he has good legal ability and a good temperament. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Tracey Stokes – Qualified
Tracey Stokes was admitted to practice in 1985. She has been in private practice doing insurance defense work throughout her career. She reports acting as lead counsel in 22 civil juries and 8 civil bench trials. Ms. Stokes has substantial litigation and trial experience over the course of her career. She is considered to have good legal ability and temperament. She is respected by her peers as a good attorney who is knowledgeable and diligent. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

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