Thursday, November 01, 2007

Martin D. Coghlan faces crowded field in 15th

Martin D. Coghlan was a solo practitioner in Homewood when he was tapped by the Illinois Supreme Court this February for the "A" vacancy in the 15th Subcircuit. A February 20 article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin noted that Coghlan founded the South Suburban Bar Association's Pro Bono Program in 1988. He's a 1964 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law.

Coghlan has filed to hold his seat. Eight challengers have so far filed to unseat him on the Democratic side; two Republicans have filed as well.

Assistant State's Attorney Anna Helen Demacopoulos has filed as Democrat. Ms. Demacopoulos was a candidate in the 15th Subcircuit in 2002 and 2004 primaries and was a finalist for Associate Judge in 2003 and 2005. In a September 27 Sun-Times article, Demacopoulos was mentioned as being involved in the corruption prosecution of accused Chicago policeman Jerome Finnigan.

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Beth Duffy (a/k/a Mary Beth Kent-Duffy) made a pitch to be slated countywide, but was passed over. Duffy ran for the Nowinski vacancy in the 15th Subcircuit in 2006, finishing second to Daniel P. Brennan. She also ran countywide in 2004 for the Siracusa vacancy, finishing fourth behind Timothy P. Murphy.

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Louise Ryan Norwell also ran for the Siracusa vacancy in 2004, finishing fifth. Norwell has been a lawyer since 1984.

Thomas R. Mahoney is a fourth Assistant State's Attorney in the race. A lawyer since 1992, Mahoney made the Tribune most recently on October 19 in connection with his successful prosecution of Edward Leak, a Chicago policeman who "mastermind[ed] a plot to have his friend and business associate killed to collect on a $500,000 insurance policy."

Michael Emmett McGinnis, Jr. is not an Assistant State's Attorney; he's an Assistant Public Defender. McGinnis has been a lawyer since 1980.

William Joseph McGann has been a lawyer since 1975. A solo practitioner in Lemont, McGann's Sullivan's listing says he handles personal injury cases.

Carl Evans, Jr. is making his first run for the bench. A solo practitioner with an office in Palos Heights, Evans has been an attorney since 1993. His Sullivan's listing says Evans practices criminal defense, real estate and personal injury law.

Thomas "TJ" Somer is Chicago Heights' city attorney and is also the elected Bloom Township Supervisor. Though elected to that office as a Republican, Somer has filed in this race as a Democrat.

Filing in the Republican primary are Peter Fera and Donald Theodore Lyman. Fera is a solo practitioner in Orland Park. He has been a lawyer since 1968. Donald Theodore Lyman is -- what else? -- an Assistant State's Attorney. He's been an attorney since 1990.

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