Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Two uncontested... and two uncontested no longer

James N. O'Hara and Eward A. Arce are unopposed for the two vacancies in the 14th Subcircuit. No Democrats have filed against them in the primary; no Republicans filed at all. They will be sworn in as Circuit Court judges next December.

Currently, Arce is a solo practitioner with offices on W. 26th Street in Chicago. He's been a lawyer since 1985.

O'Hara is also a solo practitioner, with offices in the Loop. A lawyer since 1981, O'Hara won a $16 million medical malpractice verdict in 2002, representing the estate of a woman who died "of complications from medicine shortly after giving birth to her third child," according to Julia Brunts' article in the June 27, 2002 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. According to Brunts' article, that verdict was among the largest ever awarded to that time. O'Hara tried that case, Estate of Dorothy Oldanie v. Dr. Mani Akkineni, et al., No. 98 L 13238, with John Seastrom. Before entering private practice, O'Hara was an Assistant Attorney General.

Patrick J. Sherlock is already a judge, having been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the 3rd Subcircuit seat he now seeks to hold. He, too, was unopposed during most of the filing period -- but on the afternoon of the last day, Maureen Leahy Delehanty filed to oppose him. Delehanty is an Assistant State's Attorney; she's been a lawyer since 1992.

Michaela Nolan Ryan filed as a Republican late Monday afternoon, providing a primary opponent for Laura J. Morask. Here's a link to Ryan's biography at Kerns, Frost & Pearlman, where she is presently employed. (The accompanying picture of Ms. Ryan is also taken from the firm website.) According to that bio, after graduating from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law in 1991, Ryan worked for a time as an Assistant Attorney General. Since joining Kerns, Frost & Pearlman, also according to the firm biography, Ryan "monitors lawsuits involving professional liability insurance policies and commercial general liability policies nationwide. In addition, she attends mediations on behalf of clients and participates in litigation. [Ms. Ryan] also provides pro bono legal services."


Laura J. Morask said...

Dear Jack,
I'm sure one of the interests of your blog is to promote accurate disclosure of a candidate's attributes and qualifications. I am Laura J. Morask, a 20 year veteran prosecutor. For the past three years, I supervise and train new prosecutors responsible for an average of 400 cases a month of narcotics, guns, drive-by shootings, robberies and property crimes that occur in the West side of Chicago. Prior to that as a Special Prosecutor I specialized in gang crimes. I convicted gang members from the most notorious of Chicago street gang members down to the "up and coming" young street toughs trying to penetrate Maine, Evanston and New Trier Townships. Previous to that, I instituted a specialized vertical prosecution unit under the Congressional Violence Against Adult Woman Act and in that two year stint I convicted thirty of the most heinous child molesters, serial rapists, child murderers, domestic batterers, stalkers and serial killers. I have prosecuted over 150 Class x felony jury trials which is a Cook County record. I am also a two time Trustee of Maine Township Board. I help organize and attend the National Night Out Against Crime, on behalf of our Seniors in Neighborhood Watch group and the children of our community. I lecture to townships and local schools on the dangers and indicators of gang involvement by our children and have been involved actively in my community through the PTO, school board, city council meetings, and guest lecturer appearances at the public schools for 19 years.
Somewhere on your blog there was an issue of my status as a former democrat-that's a well known fact of public record. I stand tall amongst Republican icons and heroes such as Ronald Reagan. In my opinion, seeing the light all those years back and changing to an affiliation far more in accord with my longtime political and social views gives me as much if not more Republican "street cred' than a candidate born into a political dynasty. I am not now nor ever have been ashamed of who I am and what I am about.
I am by far the most experienced judicial candidate in the 12th subcircuit in terms of actual litigation and trial work. Further, its misleading to the voters not to point out that the woman who filed to oppose me at 4:00PM Monday, the last day of filing, uses a completely different name as a candidate than as a registered voter; Michaela Nolan Ryan vs. Michaela Ryan Stavros. Common sense dictates the reason a candidate may do that-to pander to a particular ethnic population segment. Its this type of behavior that I think make many would be voters tired and cynical of the entire electoral process. I will always mean what I say and say what I mean and stand by my principles. For more info on me visit

Jim Stavros said...

"I stand tall amongst Republican icons and heroes such as Ronald Reagan." She is much closer to the likes of Bill Clinton!

Michaela Nolan Ryan is my wife and has never practiced law under any name other than Michael Nolan Ryan!
Laura AskMore knows better than to slander another candidate. This is a shameful act of a desperate politician. Please remember to act according to the rules of judicial conduct.

Jim Stavros

Laura J. Morask said...

Mr. Stavros;

I mean absolutely no disrespect to any candidate which I think is quite clear from my post-the facts I spoke of with respect to my opponent are public record and not slanderous in the least. I never said that my opponent practiced law under a different name. My point in the comment about Republican credentials had nothing to do with my opponent personally-it is simply this; plainly a person can become a Republican, have Republican principals, contribute time and effort to the Repuclian party without benefit of a lifelong label as such. Under the opposite theory, a person can never change and must rigidly adhere to a label no matter what their belief. I know the Republican Party does not adhere to this policy of exclusion for prospective members. Engaging in a debate over who is the "bigger Republican" is not nor should be an issue in a judicial campaign. A battle to show off who has the bigger label is just detrimental to the party and splits it, particularly at a time when it needs to come together.
Further, I have at all times adhered to the rules of Judicial Conduct. My qualifications and experience speak for themselves.
Just a note to the host- I don't know what is "ironic' about the fact that I read this blog and commented on it. Thank you all for your time and attention.

Jack Leyhane said...

Ms. Morask -- Now that you mention, there is certainly nothing ironic about your reading a post and leaving a comment. I did say it was ironic that I'd just found your website at virtually the same moment that you posted your comment, providing that same information.

Maybe "ironic" was too strong a word. But it was an interesting coincidence.