Saturday, January 28, 2017

CBA extends deadline for interested persons to join its JEC; Alliance looking for JEC volunteers, too

The Chicago Bar Association has extended the deadline for persons interested in applying for its Judicial Evaluation Committee to February 17. The CBA says it is looking for help with the JEC's Investigation Division. Applicants must be CBA members with at least a "few years of experience."

To obtain an application, click on this link. Complete the form and either email it back to Therese Kurth at or fax it to 312-554-2054. Applicants will be contacted by a representative of the CBA JEC after February 17.

Joyce Williams, the Alliance Administrator, said the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is also looking for more investigators. Interested members of any Alliance bar group should contact their own JEC committee to volunteer. Email Joyce Williams at if you have any questions.

While every bar group has its own procedures, in general, JEC investigators are assigned one or more candidates (or applicants for Associate Judge) and asked to follow up on the various disclosures made in the lengthy applications. JEC volunteer investigators call the persons that the candidate has listed as references, as his or her opponents in various cases, and otherwise follow up on the disclosures the candidate has provided. This results of the investigation are reported back to respective JECs and serve as the basis for the candidate interviews that the CBA or Alliance will eventually conduct.

The application window for the next class of associate judges closes February 8, so new JEC volunteer investigators are likely to have the opportunity to participate almost immediately. However, as the old saying goes, many hands make light work... and, if more incentive is required, if you search the archives here, you will note that a great many judges began their ascent to the bench as a JEC member.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm. Many of the smaller bar association JEC's are comprised of, let's say, a committee of one. Maybe a committee of two. They are not really committees at all. Smoke and mirrors.

Jack Leyhane said...

@Anon 1/29 8:57 a.m. -- Wouldn't you say that's a good reason to volunteer for JECs, and an especially good reason to volunteer for those JECs to which you refer?

Of course, you didn't name names.

Which JECs are a 'committee of one'? Or of two?

There have been times -- I have this on good authority -- where only one representative of an Alliance Bar group is available for a particular candidate hearing -- and sometimes that one person represents a number of bar groups to which he or she belongs. That gives that person outsize influence, yes -- but even this would not be as bad as the committee of one or two that you posit -- and would, in due course, be diluted by a flood of volunteers.

Care to name names?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57: Giving Alternative Facts?

Anonymous said...

Judge Patricia Banks has retired, creating a vacancy in the 5th Subcircuit.

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon 1/30 @4:32 -- That one I had.

Anonymous said...

We had this discussion in past posts. Bar Association JEC committees are not exactly overflowing with members. And many of the members do not have even close to the 10-12 years of practice experience the judicial candidates they are evaluating are required to have. Your story reflects that the CBA needs to extend their deadline to obtain new JEC members and the Alliance needs members as well. Why is that? Have we all suddenly lost our volunteer spirit? More likely, and I credit FWIW for this for providing a forum for discussion and comment, the folly of the process is becoming more and more apparent to all of us.

Anonymous said...

These committees don't have people because it is very time consuming. When you are asked to be an investigator and you do a proper job it takes hours to review the application, call people on list, find off list people, conduct internet searches and write a report. Sitting in on the interviews is not bad it's anywhere from one to two hours tops.