Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Illinois Civil Justice League begins posting judicial canditates' responses to questionnaires

The Illinois Civil Justice League has begun posting responses by judicial candidates to its questionnaire on its IllinoisJudges.net website.

Posted this morning are the responses of Diann Marsalek (countywide Bronstein vacancy), Russell William Hartigan (countywide Riley vacancy), Marvin Gray (countywide Riley vacancy), Joan Marie Kubalanza (15th Subcircuit, Lipinski vacancy), Thomas "TJ" Somer (15th Subcircuit, Phelan vacancy), Linda Pauel (countywide Dolan vacancy) and Raymond Mitchell (countywide Hayes vacancy). (These responses are in .pdf format.)

The ICJL asked Cook County Circuit Court candidates to respond to these seven questions:
1. State the qualifications and experiences that make you qualified to serve on the bench in Illinois.

2. One prominent Illinois judicial evaluation survey asks attorneys to evaluate candidates on Integrity, Impartiality, Legal Ability and Temperament. Critique yourself in these four areas as to how they make you qualified to serve on the bench.

3. Describe the case in which you are most proud of your work as a lawyer.

4. Name one change you would make in the Illinois court system.

5. Are there civil litigation reforms that you would like to see enacted to remedy particular problems that you have detected, either as a practicing lawyer or as a sitting judge? Are there reforms that would benefit the civil justice system? What needs to be changed? Should the enactment of any such changes be the province of the legislature, the Supreme Court or by Constitutional amendment?

6. Do you believe that our judicial system adequately deters and penalizes frivolous litigation? If not, what reforms would you like to see?

7. Do you believe the Illinois Constitution precludes legislative establishment of limitations on civil damages? Are there or should there be distinctions among economic, non-economic and punitive damages?
Although the Appellate Court races are beyond the scope of the usual coverage here, it should be pointed out that the ICJL has released questionnaire responses from these three Cook County Appellate Court candidates: Arnette Hubbard (McNulty vacancy), Kathleen Kennedy (McNulty vacancy), and Don Sampen (O'Malley vacancy).

The ICJL is covering judicial races statewide, not just in Cook County, and links to each race in Illinois may be found at IllinoisJudges.net. The Illinois Civil Justice League bills itself as "a coalition of Illinois citizens, small and large businesses, associations, professional societies, not-for-profit organizations and local governments that have joined together to work for fairness in the Illinois civil justice system."

My thanks to the ICJL's Allen Adomite for letting me know that the questionnaire responses have begun appearing.

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