Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tribune makes judicial endorsements

You can read the entire editorial here, but these are the actual endorsements that the Chicago Tribune makes in tomorrow morning's editions:
Illinois Appellate Court McNulty vacancy: James Epstein, a circuit judge for nearly 10 years and an attorney for more than 30 years, is one of the most respected people in Chicago law. The Chicago Council of Lawyers, which found him well qualified, said he has "outstanding legal ability." We've watched him for many years, and we agree. Epstein is endorsed over four opponents.

O'Malley vacancy: A solid endorsement goes to Judge Tom Hogan, who has been on the bench since 1997 and is a leader in the Circuit Court's Law Division. His written opinions are said to be first-rate, a key for a successful appellate judge. Note: The Cook County Democratic Organization's endorsed candidate, Pamela Hill Veal, was not recommended by the Chicago Bar or Council of Lawyers.

South vacancy: Our choice is Mary Katherine Rochford, a judge in the Chancery Division. She was found well-qualified by the Council of Lawyers, which said she is "exceptionally well-prepared, hard-working and fair to all parties." The Chicago Bar Association said she is a "highly respected legal scholar." She has a wide range of legal experience. There are five candidates.

Circuit Court -- Countywide Berland vacancy:
Judge William Hooks of Flossmoor gets exceptional marks from every major bar group. He served for 13 years as chair of the hearing division of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. He has been a lawyer since 1981, with experience as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He is endorsed over two opponents.

Bronstein vacancy: Terry MacCarthy, a supervisor in the Cook County public defender's office, has tried more than 500 cases and, according to the Chicago Bar Association, is a "leading expert on evidence." He has been a lawyer since 1990 and teaches trial advocacy. He is the choice over three opponents.

Dolan vacancy: Linda Pauel, a senior counsel in Chicago's Department of Law who has extensive courtroom experience, is the best here. There are four candidates.

Hayes vacancy: A strong endorsement for Judge Raymond Mitchell, a former partner at Winston & Strawn who was appointed to the bench in 2008. He has outstanding credentials -- and his two opponents are not recommended by almost every bar group.

Kelly vacancy: Judge John Patrick Callahan practiced 21 years as a lawyer before he was appointed to the bench. He is endorsed over Joanne Fehn, an attorney from the Northwest Side who needs broader experience.

McCarthy vacancy: Our choice here is Maureen Masterson Pulia, an attorney from Westchester, over attorney Michaela Nolan Ryan of Winnetka in the Republican primary. Daniel Gallagher, an assistant public defender, has no opponent in the Democratic primary.

Riley vacancy: Russell Hartigan of Western Springs was found highly qualified by the Chicago Bar Association, has broad legal experience and has been deeply involved in his community. The Democratic Party's endorsed candidate, Sandra Ramos, was not recommended by the Chicago Bar or Council of Lawyers.

Circuit Court -- Subcircuits 1st Subcircuit

Coleman vacancy: Thaddeus Wilson, who was appointed to the bench in 2007 and sits in the Criminal Division, is our choice.

Steele vacancy: Michelle Hugghis Flagg has been an attorney since 2000. She's a little shy on experience, but the candidates who have more experience don't have her skills and potential. Flagg is endorsed.

3rd Subcircuit

Carmody vacancy: Steven Watkins, a Chicago attorney, has very good trial experience. He is endorsed over five opponents.

Darcy vacancy:
Edward Harmening was appointed to the bench in 2008. He is the choice over three opponents.

"A" vacancy: Daniel Malone has been a judge since February. He has been quite involved in Southwest Side community issues and is endorsed over four opponents.

9th Subcircuit

Otaka vacancy: Geary Kull, appointed to the bench last year, earned the highest ratings of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and Chicago Bar Association. He has three opponents.

"A" vacancy: The choice is Judge Michael Ian Bender of Lincolnwood, who was appointed to the bench in 2008.

11th Subcircuit

Riley vacancy: Ann Finley Collins, who tries murder cases as an assistant public defender, was found well qualified by the Council of Lawyers and highly qualified by the Chicago Bar Association. The CBA said she has "outstanding trial skills." She is our choice in a very crowded field.

15th Subcircuit

Lipinski vacancy: The best in a crowded field is Joan Marie Kubalanza, a judge in the Child Protection Division of Juvenile Court. There are eight candidates.

Panichi vacancy: Judge George Scully, a former state representative from Flossmoor, was appointed to the bench last year. He is endorsed over three opponents.

Phelan vacancy: Our pick is John Griffin of Palos Heights, who was appointed to the bench in 2008 and sits in the Chancery Division. He has four opponents.


Anonymous said...

What's going on in the 3rd Subcircuit (Carmody Vacancy)??

Watkins gets the Trib's nod; but he rated 3 NR/NQs in the evals. The Trib praises his trial experience.

Murphy was appointed to the bench; reports 60 felony jury trials as a prosecutor (30 murder juries) in his Trib essay. Also, he's the only candidate in the field who rated 100% positive ratings in the evals.

I don't get this one.

Anonymous said...

Murphy provided way too much info in his Trib essay.

He worked in the Gang Unit as a prosecutor. Tribune (particularly investigative reporters Maurice Posley and Steven Mills) has no love for that group.

Since candidate Fitzgerald received only one bad eval, Trib's pick might be diversity play.

Anonymous said...

OK, Murphy didn't get the nod from the Tribune.

The guy who really has to be scratching his head over this pick is Fitzgerald (90% positive ratings).