Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Alliance of Bar Associations releases candidate evaluations... so far

The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is comprised of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (AABA), Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago (BWLA), Chicago Council of Lawyers (CCL), Cook County Bar Association (CCBA), Decalogue Society of Lawyers (DSL), Hellenic Bar Association (HBA), Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC), Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois (PRBA), and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) working collaboratively to improve the process of screening judicial candidates in Cook County, Illinois.

These groups have been working long hours trying to complete the task of evaluating all the candidates who have filed for the office of judge in Cook County or any of its subcircuits for the coming primary. The groups are not quite done yet (although, as regulars will have noticed, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Illinois State Bar Association have completed and released their ratings).

However, with early voting already underway, the Alliance this afternoon released the candidate ratings it has compiled so far. These follow immediately. First a key to reading the ratings. The evaluating group is indicated by its initials across the top of the tables; the ratings used are as follows:
Candidates who did not participate in the rating process are automatically found either "not qualified" or "not recommended." The "not evaluated" rating means that a bar group was unable to evaluate that individual. Blank spaces in these tables should be understood to mean that the group in question has not yet completed its evaluation of the particular candidate.

Corrected and updated "grids" will be printed as they are received. Click to enlarge any image below.

My thanks to Joyce Williams for providing this information. Ms. Williams coordinates the ratings process for the Alliance of Bar Associations.

Note: The Chicago Bar Association is not a member of the Alliance. The CBA "Green Guide" is available on line or you can read that organization's candidate evaluations by looking at posts earlier this week on For What It's Worth.


Anonymous said...

I had heard rumors regarding intense political infighting raging with the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. Unfortunately, it appears that those rumors are true.

Jack, when was the last time one of these bar associations went out of its way to give a negative recommendation to a former president of that association? But it would appear that the current honchos at DSL prefer to promote the choice of Republicans like Jim Thompson and Dan Webb than support their former leader, Bonnie McGrath. Regardless of the outcome the Hayes vacancy circuit court race, I suspect the damage it has brought to the DSL may last for years to come.

Highly Qualified said...


How many clowns do you have in that car with you? Once again you all drone on about some vast bar association conspiracy against McGrath and never mention any positive fact about McGrath that would lead one to think she had qualifications to be a judge.

Maybe the DSL didn't support her for the same reason virtually all the other ones didn't; she isn't qualified. Maybe they too were shocked by her violations of election and notary law. Maybe they wondered why she hasn't done anything to become qualified in the 12 years since her first ran for judge.

She may have been qualified to be President of the DSL but that is a different skill set than being a judge. I would think they would lose credibility if they HAD found her qualified simply because she was a past president. Talk about selling your reputation.

And again, you bring up the Republican red-herring. McGrath RAN AS A REPUBLICAN in 1998. They didn't find her qualified then either. It isn't the "current honchos" it is virtually every bar association that has EVER evaluated her in the three times she has run over the past 13 years.

Judge Mitchell is slated and endorsed by the Democratic party. He never ran as a Republican before, unlike McGrath. The fact that well-respected lawyers like Gov. Thompson and Dan Webb back his candidacy doesn't turn him into a Republican. It tells me that great lawyers who worked with him at Winston and Strawn think he would make a good judge. All the bar associations agree.

As I've said before, about the only thing everyone in Cook County agrees on is that Judge Ray Mitchell is the best candidate in the Hayes vacancy.

Instead of continuing your drivel here, you better get back in the clown care or you'll be late for your Birther convention in Area 51?

Anonymous said...

3rd Subcircuit--Carmody Jr vacancy.

Taking into account CBA ratings, 37of the 59 completed ratings have been negative for this field.

One half of this field is 0% qualified per the evaluations.

Shocking...and very sad.

Steve Levinthal said...

Sad yes. Shocking? I'm afraid not. Once the alliances gets that PDF of the grid up, send its link to friends, colleagues, and clients. In the text of the e-mail, put the names of the best and the worst people, to give them a crib sheet.

I may not trust an individual attorney to give me an opinion on the best people running for judge, but I do trust a gaggle of of attorneys and their collective enlightened-self-interest for an easier time in court. What's good for the gaggle is good for the citizen.

Anonymous said...


In your total tally you didn't include the CBA evals. It would be 37 of 65 evals negative. It's staggering.

Somehow Watkins gets the Tribune endorsement with 3 dents. Judge Allen Murphy is only candidate in this field that scored 100% positive ratings.

Unknown said...

Sorry if I am being dense but the easiest link I found in PDF format is

Jack Leyhane said...

Damian, I agree the link you posted is very handy -- and also more current than this one, which was updated at least twice. It only shows Alliance ratings, however, and does have with it the explanatory text that accompanies the CCL ratings. For these, the CBA ratings and links to campaign websites, eVoter profiles, questionnaire responses, video links and endorsements, go to this link and navigate to whatever race in which you're interested.

I don't know why search engines are sending people to posts like this one (and, according to my Sitemeter, even -- many times -- to old posts about the 2008 primary) instead of to the top of the blog. But I'm only a lawyer, not an Internet guru.