Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Gerald Vernon Cleary III appointed to countywide Walsh vacancy

Well, that didn't take long.

Just last week, FWIW carried the news that a new countywide judicial vacancy had opened up, one created by the retirement of Judge Richard Walsh.

Yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Gerald Vernon Cleary III to the Walsh vacancy, effective Thursday, November 5. The appointment will terminate December 5, 2016, when the person elected to that vacancy next year is sworn into office.

Cleary is currently a partner with Pappas, Davidson, O'Connor & Fildes, P.C., a firm that touts, on its website, expertise in employment law, labor law, business law, education law, commercial law and litigation. He has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1989. Cleary's firm bio states that he has "successfully tried to verdict and arbitrated hundreds of cases in state and federal courts." Before joining Pappas, Davidson, Cleary was a partner at SmithAmundsen. From 1990 to 1997, Cleary was associated with Querrey & Harrow.

Cleary ran for a 10th Subcircuit vacancy in 2008; he ran countywide in 2012.


Anonymous said...

Oh good. The Supreme Court’s family and friends plan is alive and well and has now rewarding a 2 time loser with an appointment. When Cleary ran for judge in 2008 in the 10th sub-circuit, he only got 23% of the vote. When he ran for judge county-wide in 2012, he only got 36% of the vote.

Those weren’t just loses. Those defeats were a repudiation of him by the voters in his neighborhood in 2008 and the voters in the entire county in 2012.

Gee, how bad of a candidate can you be if you can’t get elected with such a great Irish surname like Cleary in not one but two elections?
But not to worry. Because Cleary obviously has a very good friend. You see, he got appointed to a vacancy that literally just opened up. No “process”, no “screening committee”, no nothing. (Yeah, Chicago style triple-negative intended.)

And once again, the Supremes ignore the fact that a candidate with stellar credentials was slated by Cook County Democratic Party in that particular race. And by the way, that candidate happens to be African-American male. And when I say stellar credentials, I mean it. Can’t wait for him to be highlighted in this blog.

Anyway, I digress. The point is that Cleary is going to have to run for election yet again to keep the job the Supremes gave him. But maybe this time around, he’ll run as a republican. Since everybody already knows he can’t win as a democrat. Well, everyone except his friends on the Supreme Court.

Stay tuned my friends. This one will be a lot of fun. As always, E.P.

Anonymous said...


Your analysis is usually very good, but in this particular case I disagree about the way you reach your conclusion. I don't know Mr. Cleary or his qualifications, but there are myriad reasons why a well-qualified candidate loses. Similarly, I can list two dozen judges who won by landslides that have proven to be great disappointments.

Also, I am not certain Mr. Leyhane has his facts correct. The Cleary who ran in the 10th sub was Gerald Patrick Cleary and the one who was recently appointed is Gerald Vernon Cleary.

If new appointee is the man who ran in the 10th sub, the victor in that race was a Polish female running against three male candidates. The 10th sub is heavily Polish.

Gerald V. Cleary ran one-on-one against a female countywide. This is usually the death knell for many male candidates.

If Mr. Cleary decides to run, at least he has put in his time. If the party is going to play cat and mouse with late vacancies to serve its own friends and family plan, then I support any effort to challenge the slated candidate. Maybe the Supreme Court is tired of the games played with intentionally late-announced vacancies benefitting Toni Preckwinkle's friends.

Anonymous said...

E.P., you continue to amaze me. Since when do you care about "stellar credentials"? When Clearly ran countywide against your friend Cynthia Ramirez, he was the candidate with the "stellar credentials" ...outstanding bar ratings and the Tribune endorsement. So what do those matter?

Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 3:45 -- New Judge Cleary ran as Gerald Patrick Cleary in 2008 and as Gerald V. Cleary in 2012. Wouldn't be the first time someone used their Confirmation name....

Interestingly, there is (or was) a Gerald P. Cleary, who was working for the Northern Trust Bank in 2008 (per ARDC at the time) and, at the time, I briefly confused him with the actual candidate. So your comment hit home -- through the fog of increasingly unreliable memory I remembered there was some concern on this at one time -- and I had to go back and check. On this one occasion at least, I did get the facts right.

Anonymous said...

I should have listened to my parents and taken the Confirmation name "Preckwinkle" like they wanted me to.

Live and learn.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:28 - Very, very funny. I named my cat "Preckwinkles". She looks amazing in her little blue flea collar but she has a strange habit. Whenever a white Irish attorney comes over for a visit Preckwinkles asks sick then coughs up a hairball. But my gerbil "Donnie" gets real excited and jumps on his wheel and runs with his little legs as fast as he can. Go figure?

Anonymous said...

Confirmation name? Excuse me? What? Excuse me? Gerald Vernon Cleary III is the same person as Gerald Patrick Cleary III? Now Jack, please do not lecture us and say there is no rule against that. What is it about avoiding even the appearance of impropriety that I do not understand?

Anonymous said...

Jack, I don't know if you were joking about the Confirmation name, but how does a person run for one election with one middle name and another election with a different middle name?

It is one thing for a woman to use her maiden name to run for office, but it really seems disingenuous for a judicial candidate to create a faux middle name. I'm not saying this happened with old Vern here, but maybe you can shed some light on the mysterious change of middle name?

Vern's old campaign web site is alive and well online and he uses the middle name "Patrick" throughout, but when he got appointed by the Supremes he's taken the middle name Vern.

Jack Leyhane said...

I actually did a post about choosing a ballot name in 2013. I believe, without violating the statute, I could run -- I'm using myself as an example, not making any announcement! -- as Jack Leyhane, or Francis Jack Leyhane, or (as I in fact did when I ran so unspectactularly during the 1990's) Francis J. 'Jack' Leyhane III. (Come to think of it, it's a wonder I got any votes at all.)

Not surprisingly, the statute does not appear to specifically address Confirmation names (mine is also Patrick -- maybe I should have thrown that in as well) but, if the name is a nickname for the candidate, it's not necessarily improper. Heck, I once worked for a guy who was called Pat by all and sundry and that was neither his first name, nor his middle name.

So I don't think it's that big a deal -- and in the case under discussion it's water under the bridge. In general, however, I would submit that a candidate might be well-advised to talk over how to identify oneself with his or her election lawyer before getting the petitions printed and also, if an opposing candidate's name strays from what ARDC reports as the candidate's name when petitions are filed, another call to one's election lawyer might be in order.

Anonymous said...

I have only had two cases in front of this man (as an attorney). I wish there were more Judges like him on the Bench.

I found him to be well-tempered, intelligent, and fair-minded. He knows the law and has a very friendly, yet rational explanation of the law.

To put it nicely, I wish all Judges in the Daley Center would be a good as him.

There are an array of reasons why a man or woman who makes a great campaigner, can make an awful Judge, and vice versa.