I do so herewith.
The sole Appellate Court justice seeking retention, Justice Joy V. Cunningham, was rated "Well Qualified" by the CCL, which stated of her:
Judge Joy V. Cunningham was elected to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2006. She was elected as an Associate Judge in 1997 and served for three years before leaving the bench. From 2000 to 2006 she was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare. She served as Associate General Counsel for Loyola University from 1986 to 1996. Her legal career also included private practice and she served as a judicial law clerk to Glen Johnson of the Illinois Appellate Court. She is a past president of the Chicago Bar Association. She was a guest lecturer at Loyola University School of Law in 2008 and 2009. She does a considerable amount of teaching which requires extensive preparation of written materials which she provides to others in the judiciary in the context of seminars, conferences or reference materials. She has won numerous awards from 2005 to 2011.Judge Charles Patrick Burns was one of 10 Circuit Court retention judges rated qualified by the CCL. Of Judge Burns, the Council stated:
Judge Cunningham was praised as a good practitioner and as a solid, hard-working jurist with good legal ability and temperament. As a trial judge she heard both civil and criminal law matters. As an Appellate Court Judge, she continues to be praised for her work ethic and temperament. She reportedly asks good questions during oral argument and writes well-reasoned opinions. The Council in 2006 found her Well Qualified for the Appellate Court, finds her Well Qualified for the Illinois Supreme Court, and finds her Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Burns was elected to the bench in 1998. He was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney before taking the bench. As of May 2007, Judge Burns has presided over a felony trial call as well as the R.A.P. Drug Court since July 2010.Judge Paula Marie Daleo was also rated "Well Qualified" by the CCL:
Judge Burns has taught Graduate and Undergraduate classes at Lewis University on Justice, Law, and Public Safety studies, and has authored a number of published works, including as a Topic Writer with the Illinois Judicial Benchbook, as well as articles in the Illinois Bar Journal, the Duke University Journal of Law and Technology, and the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.
Judge Burns is praised widely for his excellent grasp and application of the law. He is reported to handle both his regular felony call and the R.A.P. call with efficiency and he is praised for his devotion to the lives and rehabilitation of the defendants who come before him. The success of the RAP program is said by many to be the result of Judge Burns’ initiative and dedication. He has numerous published works dealing with his judicial role and he is praised for his work ethic as well as his courtroom management. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Daleo was elected to the Circuit Court in 2004 and presently serves in the Fourth Municipal District of the Circuit Court. Previously, she served in the First Municipal District. She was admitted to practice in 1978. Prior to her election to the bench, Judge Daleo was an Executive Assistant State’s Attorney and formerly Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, as well as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. She also has experience as a general practitioner.Also receiving a "Well Qualified" rating was Judge Vincent Michael Gaughan:
Judge Daleo came to the bench after having extensive trial experience in complex matters. As a judge, she is widely praised for her legal knowledge and often supports her rulings with explanations. She is reported to be fair to all parties before her and that she applies the law correctly and evenly. She is reported to be especially hardworking and conscientious. She is reported to have an excellent temperament and is praised for her courtroom management skills. The Council finds her Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Vincent Gaughan was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1991 and was elected in 1994. He presently serves in the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Gaughan was a supervising Assistant Cook County Public Defender.Judge John C. Griffin:
Judge Gaughn is widely praised for his legal ability and for being adept at handling some of the most complex cases in the criminal division. He is reported to have very good courtroom management skills. Many respondents say that he can be short tempered on the bench, but even those who complain about his temperament report that he is a very good trial judge. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Griffin was elected to the bench in 2010. He was in private practice before becoming a judge. He currently presides over a commercial calendar in the Law Division and also serves as Supervising Judge for the Commercial Section of the Law Division.Judge John Patrick Kirby:
Judge Griffin is widely praised for his legal ability and for being exceptionally hard working. He completes his cases but is reported to be very good at listening to all the parties. He has received equally high praise in a variety of assignments . He possesses a very good temperament. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Kirby was elected to the bench in 1998. He was an Assistant Cook CountyJudge Geary Wayne Kull:
State’s Attorney before becoming a judge. He has served in the Criminal Division and is now sitting in the Law Division. Judge Kirby is a lecturer at DePaul University in Trial Advocacy I as well as a substitute lecturer in other courses. He also lectures high school and college classes that observe court procedures in the Daley Center.
Judge Kirby is considered to be knowledgeable in a variety of areas of law with considerable judicial experience in both civil and criminal law matters. He is reported to have very good temperament and enjoys a reputation of being fair to all sides. He is praised for being well-prepared. In the criminal division, he received praise for his dedication to using alternative sentencing in cases where the defendants are nonviolent. He was personally involved in developing a cyber high school as an alternative sentence for youthful offenders. Upon the awarding of a high school diploma, Judge Kirby entered a motion to vacate the judgment. He implemented a special program for defendants who are veterans, and he has personally sought to find alternative treatment programs to become part of his sentencing. He earns high respect as a jurist in both civil and criminal divisions. The Council finds him Well Qualified for
Judge Kull was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2009 and was elected in 2010. Before becoming a judge he served as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender and was in private practice doing criminal defense work. He is assigned to the Fourth Municipal District hearing felony cases.Judge Bertina Lampkin is on the ballot twice this November. She is unopposed in her bid for election to the Appellate Court, where she presently sits pursuant to assignment by the Illinois Supreme Court. She is also on the retention ballot because every Circuit Court judge, even those assigned to the Appellate Court, must seek retention every six years. The Council found her "Well Qualified" in both races:
Judge Kull is widely praised for his knowledge of the law and for his courtroom management skills. He is described as being courteous and professional, although he presides over a heavy court call. He is praised for being well-prepared and he is reported to issue well-reasoned decisions in a timely fashion. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Hon. Bertina Lampkin was admitted to practice in 1974 and was elected to the Circuit Court in 1992. As a lawyer, she had extensive litigation experience in both complex trial and appellate court matters as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. She also has experience trying civil cases as an attorney with the Chicago Department of Law. Justice Lampkin was appointed to the Illinois Appellate Court in 2009.The Council also found Judge Thomas V. Lyons "Well Qualified" for retention:
As a trial judge, she heard criminal law matters at the Courthouse at 26th and California, and at that time was reported to be a very good, hardworking jurist who was praised for her writing skills. When the Council found her qualified for the Appellate Court in 2009, her written evaluation materials included approximately 100 opinions from cases she heard at 26th street, including findings on post-conviction petitions and motions to quash and suppress. She has served as the chair of the Supreme Court criminal pattern jury instructions committee. In that position, she was responsible for writing the new death penalty instructions and the instructions for specific specialized jury verdict required by the Apprendi case. She has taught in the area of death penalty litigation.
As an Appellate Court judge, Justice Lampkin has demonstrated that she meets – and exceeds the higher standards that the Council uses in evaluating candidates for the Appellate Court. In the 2013 judicial evaluation, lawyers report that Justice Lampkin has exceptional command of substantive law, as well as procedural rules. She is praised for being hardworking and her written opinions are considered to be well-reasoned. She is an active participant in oral arguments and is reported to have good temperament. The Council finds Judge Lampkin Well Qualified for the Appellate Court and Well Qualified for retention to the Circuit Court.
Judge Lyons was appointed to the bench in 2008 and was elected in 2010. He had served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. He is currently assigned to the Law Division where he presides over jury trials.Judge Raymond William Mitchell:
Attorneys praise Judge Lyons’ legal ability and his temperament. They describe him as having a good grasp on even complex issues and he is said to treat all parties with respect. He shows patience on the bench but maintains control of the courtroom. Lawyers report that he reads all relevant materials and demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively with the jury. Lawyers often describe him as an excellent judge. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Mitchell was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008 and was elected in 2010. He presides over an Individual Commercial Calendar for the Law Division. Judge Mitchell has co-authored a Traffic Court Bench Book.Judge Kathleen Mary Pantle:
Judge Mitchell is considered to have very good legal ability. He is reported to be knowledgeable and to issue well reasoned opinions in a timely fashion. He has a professional demeanor, and is reported to be fair to all parties. He enjoys a reputation of being well prepared and holding lawyers to a high standard. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Pantle was elected to the bench in 1998. She is a former Cook County Public Defender. She has been assigned to the Juvenile Justice Division and the Felony Trial Division. In January 2007, she was reassigned to the Chancery Division, where she has remained since, presiding over equitable matters, contract actions, class actions, administrative review actions, property disputes, partnership disputes, and general commercial litigation. Judge Pantle coached the DePaul University College of Law Trial Team through spring 2012, and is the author of an article entitled “Defending Illinois Criminal Cases” in Arrest, Search, and Seizure.Judge Edward Washington, II:
Judge Pantle is widely praised as a capable judge with very good legal ability. She is praised for well reasoned opinions issued in a timely fashion, for being well prepared, and for being knowledgeable. She is reported to be fair to all parties and has a professional demeanor. The Council finds her Well Qualified for retention.
Judge Washington was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2002 and was elected to the bench in 2004. He is currently hearing jury trials in the Law Division. Prior to becoming a judge, he was a partner with two law firms doing complex regulatory litigation and government relations work. He has also served as a division chief with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and as an administrative law judge with the Illinois Commerce Commission. He has also served as a senior attorney with MCI Telecommunications. He is currently hearing jury trials in the Law Division. Judge Washington has taught as Visiting Faculty at Harvard Law School since January of 2014.
Judge Washington is respected as a well prepared jurist who is fair to all parties. He is considered to have very good legal ability. He is praised for his temperament and his diligence. He brought to the trial bench a variety of experiences in complex litigation matters and is considered to have excellent court management skills. The Council finds him Well Qualified for retention.