Thursday, February 16, 2012

CCL evaluations in the race for the Cahill vacancy on the Appellate Court

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Cahill vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this (or any other) Appellate Court vacancy.

Pamela E. Hill-Veal -- Not Qualified
Judge Pamela E. Hill-Veal was appointed as an associate judge to fill a vacancy in 2004. Her current caseload involves small claims, breach of contract, and insurance matters. Prior to becoming a judge, she had been in private practice dealing mostly with domestic relations matters. She has been an administrative hearing officer with the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, and was a Civil Service Board member of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. She was as an Assistant Cook County Public Defender for one year early in her legal career. She has served as an Associate Professor at Chicago State University.

Lawyers report that Judge Hill-Veal is doing an adequate job in her current assignment which involves less complex matters. She is a diligent jurist. However, the Council is concerned that she lacks the sufficiently broad legal experience in more complex matters necessary to be a judge on the Illinois Appellate Court. As a judge she does not prepare written opinions and has not in any other way demonstrated the ability to write analytically through substantive legal writing and analysis – an ability that the Council requires of any Appellate Court candidate. The Chicago Council of Lawyers finds Judge Hill-Veal Not Qualified for the Illinois Appellate Court.
Mathias William Delort -- Well Qualified
Judge Mathias Delort was elected as an Associate Judge in 2007. From 1998 to 2007, Judge Delort was an Associate and Shareholder practicing Local Government, Education and Election Law at Robbins Schwartz et al. From 1988 to 1998 he was an Associate and Partner at Odelson & Sterk Ltd., and from 1985 to 1988 he worked as a sole practitioner with a general practice. Judge Delort is currently assigned to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Mortgage Foreclosure/Mechanics Lien Section, and presides over Calendar 61. He has served in the Section since May 2007. He is a primary author of the benchbook for judges in the foreclosure call. He is also the author of several IICLE chapters for lawyers.

As a practitioner, Judge Delort has extensive experience in municipal and election law at the trial and appellate court levels. He was well-respected as an able and well-prepared practitioner with good legal ability and temperament. As a jurist, he reportedly listens well and responds clearly and decisively. He is respected for his knowledge of the law and for his excellent temperament. He issues written opinions which he posts to Westlaw. He continues to write and lecture extensively. The Council finds Judge Delort Well Qualified for the Appellate Court.
Kay Marie Hanlon -- Qualified
Judge Kay Marie Hanlon was elected to the Circuit Court in 2004. She is currently assigned to a felony trial courtroom in the Third Municipal District. Judge Hanlon was admitted to practice in 1985. Prior to election, she was in private practice focusing on criminal defense and family law. From 1985 to 1987, she served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney where she did both trial and appellate work. She teaches on-line classes. Judge Hanlon is praised for her legal knowledge and ability. She is reported to be exceptionally hard-working with a good temperament. She is also praised for her courtroom management skills and for the quality of her written opinions. The Council finds her Qualified for the Appellate Court.
Mary Brigid Hayes -- Qualified
Mary Brigid Hayes was admitted to practice in 1989. She has served since 1993 as an Assistant Public Guardian at the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office. She is currently doing appeals and courtroom support work. She has been responsible for litigation in her other positions within the Public Guardian’s Office. From 1996 to 1997, she practiced in the Probate Division. From 1997 to 1999 she was assigned to the Special Litigation Unit, and has handled wrongful death cases. She left the office in 1999 for family reasons and returned to the office, where she has been doing appeals and courtroom support work for the past nine years. She served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General from 1991 to 1992, but resigned after refusing to prepare a brief asking the Illinois Supreme Court to affirm the conviction of Rolando Cruz. She informed her supervisor that she could not argue that Cruz received a fair trial. Cruz was later exonerated and she received a Commitment to Justice Award from the Chicago Council of Lawyers for her actions. Ms. Hayes has had an active litigation practice. She currently handles numerous appeals and prepares annual case law updates for the lawyers in her office. The Council finds her Qualified for the Appellate Court.
James Michael McGing -- Qualified
Judge James M. McGing was admitted to practice in 1986. He was elected to the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2006. From 1992 to 2006 Judge McGing was a partner in Miller, Fanucchi & McGing where he did personal injury and workers’ comp cases. From 2004 to 2006 he was Director of Legal and Legislative Affairs for the Sheriff of Cook County. From 1994 to 2000 he was legal counsel to the Sheriff of Cook County. He was a sole practitioner from 1989 to 1992 with a general trial practice. He served as a hearing officer for the City of Chicago and as a Special State’s Attorney doing litigation for the Cook County Sheriff. He was with a small firm from 1988 to 1989 and from 1986 to 1988 he served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney.

As a judge, he chaired the Traffic Bench Book Committee that drafted an amended bench book for suspended and revoked license courtrooms in the First Municipal District. He states that he is currently drafting new housing bench books for conservation and demolition. He is currently assigned to the Housing Section of the First Municipal District since coming on the bench (with the exception of being in Traffic Court for the first eight months of this judicial tenure). He handles cases involving administrative review (from the City of Chicago Administrative Hearings), Enforcement of Administrative Judgments, Demolition Judgments, City Liens-Foreclosure Call, the Public Nuisance Call, and is now part of the new Vacant/Abandoned Foreclosure Call. Judge McGing is praised as having good legal ability and for being fair and respectful to all those who appear before him. He is considered to have a good temperament and for his courtroom management skills. He issues detailed written opinions. The Council finds him Qualified for the Appellate Court.
Laura Marie Sullivan -- Not Recommended
Laura Marie Sullivan did not submit materials for evaluation. The Council finds her Not Recommended for the Appellate Court.

Back to Chicago Council of Lawyers releases judicial candidate evaluations

No comments: