Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chicago Council of Lawyers releases judicial candidate evaluations

The Chicago Council of Lawyers has released its evaluations of all judicial candidates running in the March primary. (You can reach the Council's complete report by following the link from this page.)

The Council rates candidates "highly qualified," "well qualified," "qualified," or "not qualified." According to the Council's release today, any candidate that "refuses to submit his or her credentials to the Council... is rated 'not recommended' unless the Council is aware of credible information that would justify a 'not qualified' rating. Because we believe a willingness to participate in bar association and other public evaluations is a key indicator of fitness for public office, no candidate who refuses to be screened can be found 'qualified.'"

Before turning to the individual CCL ratings, there are a couple of additional points to make. Most of the CCL ratings are based on interviews and investigation conducted in the past few months. However, in a few of these ratings, some candidate information may be outdated. There are, for example, a couple of sitting judges whose Council evaluations do not reflect their appointment to the bench. This happens, on occasion because many lawyers try to become judges over a period of years. The Council explains, "In cases where the Alliance evaluated candidates within the past five years, the Alliance requested updated information, but did not investigate or interview candidates again for the March 2012 primary, instead relying on the earlier results."

Another point that should be made is that the Council does not mean any negative rating to be a reflection on an individual's skills as a lawyer. Again, quoting from the Council's explanation:
It should be noted that a lawyer might be performing well or even very well without being qualified to be a judge. A good lawyer may be unqualified to be a judge, for instance, because of a narrow range of prior experience, limited trial experience, or limited work doing legal research and writing. A lawyer may have the temperament and intelligence to be a judge without yet having worked in a position that would allow the candidate to demonstrate that capacity. Similarly, a candidate may have an outstanding resume but lack the temperament or patience to perform well as an even-handed or respectful judge. Accordingly, it should be recognized and expected that we will rate some good lawyers “not qualified.”
With these ground rules in mind, what race are you interested in?
Supreme Court vacancy;

Appellate Court - Cahill vacancy;
Appellate Court - Coleman vacancy;
Appellate Court - Gallagher vacancy;
Appellate Court - O'Brien vacancy;
Appellate Court - Theis vacancy;
Appellate Court - Tully vacancy;

Countywide - Conlon vacancy;
Countywide - Jordan vacancy;
Countywide - Kinnaird vacancy;
Countywide - Moran vacancy;
Countywide - O'Brien, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - O'Mara Frossard vacancy;
Countywide - Pucinski vacancy;
Countywide - Simmons, Jr. vacancy;
Countywide - Stewart vacancy;
Countywide - Stralka vacancy;
Countywide - Ward vacancy;

2nd Subcircuit -- Stuttley vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- McGann vacancy;
3rd Subcircuit -- Moore vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- Riley vacancy;
4th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
6th Subcircuit -- Delgado vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Jones vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Starks vacancy;
7th Subcircuit -- Terrell vacany;
7th Subcircuit -- Toney vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Chiola vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Cole vacancy;
8th Subcircuit -- Durkin Roy vacany;
8th Subcircuit -- "A" vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Bender vacancy;
9th Subcircuit -- Epstein vacancy;
10th Subcircuit -- Locallo vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- O'Brien vacancy;
11th Subcircuit -- Urso vacancy;
12th Subcircuit -- Rochford vacancy;
13th Subcircuit -- Pietrucha vacancy;
13th Subcircuit - "A" vacancy;
14th Subcircuit - O'Gara vacancy.
Note: Some of these links will take you to page two of this blog, so you will not see all of the linked posts if you merely scroll down this page.

Want to compare the Council's ratings with those issued by the Chicago Bar Association? Click here.

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