Saturday, March 19, 2016

Introducing the 26 Associate Judge finalists - Part I

Four Circuit Court judges, sitting pursuant to Supreme Court appointment, are among the 26 Cook County associate judge finalists announced yesterday. These are Maryam Ahmad, Jean Margaret Cocozza, Marc William Martin, and Anthony E. Simpkins.

Ahmad and Simpkins were defeated in their bids to hold the 1st Subcircuit Brim and Hopkins vacancies to which they'd been appointed; Martin was defeated in his bid to hold the 11th Subcircuit seat to which he'd been appointed. Cocozza was not a candidate in this year's primary. Cocozza has served in the judiciary since 2013; she is currently serving in an appointment to the countywide Love vacancy.

Two other finalists, Thomas Maloney Cushing and Patrick Joseph Heneghan, were candidates in the 2016 primary. Cushing lost his race against Judge Aleksandra "Alex" Gillespie for the countywide Howlett, Jr. vacancy. Cushing was not the slated candidate. Heneghan, however, was slated by the Cook County Democratic Party in his race for the late-opening, countywide Palmer vacancy, but lost to Susana L. Ortiz.

A number of the finalists have been finalists before. Julie Bess Aimen, Geraldine Ann D'Souza, Tiffany Mary Ferguson, Sanju Oommen Green, and Edward Nicholas Robles were all finalists in the 2014 associate judge selection process. (On the 2014 list, Green was referred to as Sanju David Oommen.)

Julie Aimen is a solo practitioner with an office in the Loop. Licensed in Illinios since 1984, Aimen, according to her firm website, is a past president of the Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a former member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

Geraldine Ann D'Souza
Geraldine D'Souza has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1992. She has served as an Cook County Assistant State's Attorney for 22 years, currently serving as a first chair prosecutor at 26th Street. D'Souza worked as an ASA in Kankakee County before that. She is the daughter of Indian and Chilean immigrants, and is fluent in Spanish.

Tiffany Mary Ferguson
According to her LinkedIn page, Tiffany Ferguson is the President of T.M. Ferguson & Co., a new firm launched at the beginning of 2016. On LinkedIn, Ferguson describes herself as a "[h]ands-on, strategic legal analyst with 20 years experience as a litigator and trial attorney concentrating in the representation of management in labor and employment litigation with broad experience in commercial litigation and fraud-related investigations." Before setting up T.M. Ferguson & Co., Ferguson worked for Quintairos, Prieto, Wood, & Boyer, P.A., and Pugh, Jones & Johnson, P.C. She is also a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. According to ARDC, Ferguson has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1996.

Sanju Oommen Green is an Assistant State's Attorney, serving as a first chair prosecutor at 26th Street. Licensed in Illinois since 2000, Green is the Immediate Past President of the Asian American Bar Association. According to the AABA website, Green is a "founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Bar Association and also served as secretary on its national board." She has also volunteered for Cabrini Connections.

Edward Nicholas Robles has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1988. According to his LinkedIn page, Robles is Deputy General Counsel- Litigation for the Chicago Housing Authority.

More on the rest of the finalists in the next post.


Anonymous said...

Two interesting excerpts from the Evans Press Release announcing the short list:

1. “Given that all of the candidates received positive ratings from the bar associations, I am confident that our new associate judges will be ready to hit the ground running in the Circuit Court of Cook County,” Chief Judge Evans said.

Really? Disclose the bar ratings to the public as is done with all the candidates that ran in the Primary Elections.

2. "Evans said the committee employed a comprehensive approach in the selection process that considered multiple aspects such as legal excellence, a variety of legal experience in the public and private sectors, and diversity of race, ethnicity, and gender."

Really? No mention of political clout?

As far as "race, ethnicity, and gender" - a better suggestion: require the selection committee to pick the short list based upon anonymous applications, much like college students have their exams graded. Every applicant is given an identification number and identities are not disclosed. I bet the 2016 short list would look a lot different if that method was employed. The last time I filed a new complaint or an answer to a complaint I do not remember the clerk giving me the option of having the case assigned to a male or female judge. Or an African American, Hispanic, or White Judge. Why is that?

Jack Leyhane said...

Every AJ finalist received unanimously positive ratings. I did not have time Friday to do more than copy and paste the list of names. But I did get a chance this weekend to expand that post to include details regarding the ratings. Here's the link.

Anonymous said...

This is Evans last associate judge list. 2016 will see a female Chief Judge for Cook County.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous on 3-20-16 at 4:10 PM,
From your mouth to God's ears that this is Evans' last AJ list. E.P.