Friday, January 16, 2015

Rossana Fernandez, Alison Conlon receive appointments to the Cook County Circuit Court

The Illinois Supreme Court today appointed Rossana Patricia Fernandez and Alison Conlon to countywide vacancies on the Cook County Circuit Court. The Supreme Court's press release about the appointments can be accessed from the link in this sentence.

Rossana Fernandez is the owner of Rossana P. Fernandez & Associates LLC. A former partner with Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, Fernandez was a finalist for Associate Judge in both 2012 and 2014. She has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1997.

Fernandez has been appointed to the countywide vacancy created by the death of Judge Richard J. Elrod. Her appointment is effective February 2 and terminates December 5, 2016. Although several Hispanic women have been elected to the bench (there will now be 35 Hispanic or Latino judges in Illinois, 14 of them women), the Supreme Court says that today's appointment marks the first time that a Hispanic woman has been appointed to the Circuit Court in Illinois.

Alison C. Conlon is a partner with the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. A former partner at the Chicago firm of Wildman Harrold (now known as Edwards Wildman), Conlon began her legal career as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Charles P. Kocoras.

Conlon has been appointed to the countywide vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas L. Hogan. Like Fernandez, her appointment is effective February 2 and terminates December 5, 2016. Conlon is a graduate of Duke University Law School; she holds an M.A. in English from Georgetown University. Conlon did her undergraduate work at Yale. She has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2000. Conlon serves on the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission and has served a term on the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association.

Both of these appointments were recommended to the Illinois Supreme Court by Justice Mary Jane Theis pursuant to the recommendations of her bipartisan judicial screening committee.


Anonymous said...

Once again Justice Theis appoints two political insiders under the public deception of her bipartisan committee? Let us investigate this:

According to the State Board of Elections Website, Ms. Conlon, has not made very many contributions to candidates to political office, but, big surprise, she made two to Justice Theis when Theis was running for her current office on the Supreme Court. Draw your own conclusions please.

Ms. Fernandez. It is no secret to anyone involved in the Associate or Appointment process that certain Hispanic elected officials believe it is a duty of their office to push ANY AND ALL Hispanic candidates for the bench. Northside State Senator Iris Martinez has been one of the most vocal. That is fine. However, when Justice Theis likes to boldly tell us that her committee screens and recommends candidates on the basis of merit - this is where I, and you, and anyone concerned with the quality of our Judges, should be outraged. Ms. Fernandez posted on her Facebook a "Thank you" after receiving news of her appointment and made the following statements:

"I especially thank all of those who have lobbied on my behalf" and "Latina power". This is absolutely appalling. Is this not a fair process driven by a committee looking at merit and experience? What role does lobbying play? This candidate clearly states, and we should all know by now, who is lobbing on your behalf deserves all the thanks. It is a political process. So Justice Theis - please drop your selection committee cover. You appoint whoever you like based upon which elected official has your ear. This time it was Sen. Martinez. Sen. Martinez has already publicly taken credit for this appointment by the way.

Once last comment please. I am so offended by Ms. Fernandez posting "Latina Power" of Facebook. How incredibly racist and inappropriate. Are you telling us you got the appointment because you are Hispanic? According the the Supreme Court Press Release (lets promote diversity} Justice Theis seems to like that you are Hispanic and a woman. What does "Latina Power" refer to? If the next appointment is African American is it ok for them to post on Facebook "Black Power"? How about the next Caucasian appointment? What if they post "White Power"? Based upon your immature publicly made comments I have no confidence in you on the Bench. How dare you.

I agree with a comment left by a reader on a previous post that whether good or bad, positive or negative, comments should be allowed to be posted. You have a sharp bunch of readers. Trust them to draw their own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court press release bothers me. How many trials to verdict has either of these two completed? That is what I would like to know. I do not care if my Judge is black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, or straight.

Anonymous said...

Bitter are we? Why post anonymously if you feel so strong about your statement? Just asking, cause I tend not to trust someone who hides behind just words. Lol

Anonymous said...

At the same time these openings were posted, an opening in the 11th sub circuit was posted. No announcement yet made about that opening. Anyone know what is going on with that vacancy?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any information as to when and how Alison Conlon went from being on Justice Theis's selection committee to being a candidate herself?