Friday, February 17, 2012

CCL evaluations in the race for the Cole vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of candidates running for the Cole vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. Candidates are listed in ballot order. All of the following are candidates in the Democratic primary; no Republican filed for this Circuit Court vacancy.

Brad Trowbridge -- Not Qualified
Bradley R. Trowbridge was admitted to practice in Illinois in 2000. Prior to law school he served as a social worker. Since 2004 he has served as a sole practitioner focusing on domestic relations issues. He has worked as a Staff Attorney at the Chicago Department of Law, as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, and as an associate with Audrey Gaynor & Associates. He has done Domestic Violence/Order of Protection pro bono work. Mr. Trowbridge is considered to have good legal ability. He is praised by both lawyers and judges as having good litigation skills. He has a good temperament and is praised as being respectful and professional. The Council is concerned about his relatively few years in practice, and the narrowness of his experience. On balance, the Council finds him Not Qualified at this time for the Circuit Court.
John H. Ehrlich -- Well Qualified
John H. Ehrlich was admitted to practice in 1988. He has worked in the City of Chicago Law Department since 1994 and has been Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Torts Division since 1999. Prior to that, he was in private practice handling commercial litigation matters. Mr. Ehrlich has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law since the fall of 2003. Mr. Ehrlich has excellent legal ability and extensive legal experience. He has handled significant, high profile cases on behalf of the City of Chicago, both as plaintiff and defendant. He has a very good temperament. The Council finds him Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Gideon Abraham Baum -- Qualified
Gideon Baum was admitted to practice in Illinois on November 5, 1992. From November 1998 to present, he has worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, primarily in the Juvenile Division. From January 1994 to November 1998 he served as Legal Counsel/Analyst for Senate Democratic Staff. He was in private practice in 1993. Mr. Baum is considered to be knowledgeable about juvenile law matters. He is reported to have good legal ability and temperament. He is involved in a court program to supervise and train newer prosecutors. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Helaine "Lainie" Berger -- Not Qualified
Judge Helaine Berger became an Associate Judge in 1997. She has been assigned to the Child Protection Division since 2008. From 1983 to 1997, Judge Berger was in private practice doing general litigation. Judge Berger is considered to be a smart, hard-working jurist with a good grasp of juvenile law. Some lawyers say she has a good temperament, but many complain that she is too often dismissive of the lawyers before her. Many lawyers say that she is thorough and carefully reviews prepared orders. But other lawyers say she can make inconsistent rulings, and sometimes makes decisions that are outside her jurisdiction. On balance, the Council finds her Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.
James L. Kaplan -- Qualified
Judge James L. Kaplan was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. He was admitted to practice in 1971. Before becoming a Circuit Judge, he was senior partner with the law firm of Kaplan & Sorosky Ltd., and served as a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims. His practice primarily involved workers’ compensation matters. Judge Kaplan was considered to be a good lawyer with good legal ability and temperament. As a judge, he is reported to demonstrate a good temperament and ability to manage a courtroom. The Council finds Mr. Kaplan Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Ellis B. Levin -- Not Qualified
Ellis B. Levin was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1973. He is currently a sole practitioner specializing in condominium, cooperative community associations, and property tax law. He primarily represents condominiums, community associations, and cooperatives in forcible entry cases and in administrative proceedings involving housing discrimination matters and building code cases. He was an Illinois State Representative from 1977-1979 and from 1981 to 1995. From 1973 to 1977, he served as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. Mr. Levin had a long career in the public service. The Council is concerned, however, that his litigation experience is narrow and he has insufficient experience in more complex matters. Some lawyers have questioned his tactics as a lawyer. The Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.
Back to Chicago Council of Lawyers releases judicial candidate evaluations

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