Wednesday, November 29, 2017

It's judge vs. judge vs. ex-judge for the 8th Subcircuit Fabri vacancy

Well, judge vs. judge vs. ex-judge -- and Feldman. Stephen J. Feldman is the only one of the four lottery-eligible candidates filing for the 8th Subcircuit Fabri vacancy who has never served as a judge. But he has been a hearing officer: Feldman's campaign website stresses his experience as a hearing officer for the Secretary of State's Office, presiding over 1,000 contested hearings. Since 2011, according to the campaign website, Feldman has also served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the John Marshall Law School, teaching trial advocacy. Feldman's Facebook campaign page says that he is a lifelong resident of the Gold Coast, attending the Ogden School and graduating from the Francis W. Parker School. He has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2001. He ran countywide in 2014.

The ex-judge is James "Jamie" Shapiro. The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Shapiro to an 8th Subcircuit vacancy in 2007. After falling short in the 2008 primary, despite strong ratings from bar evaluators, Shapiro was recalled to judicial service by the Illinois Supreme Court. He served until the end of November 2012, making another run for an 8th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2012 primary.

Shapiro has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1985. According to his campaign bio, Shapiro began his legal career with the firm now known as Hinshaw & Culbertson, moving to D'Ancona & Pflaum for a year before serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989 to 1995. He became a mediator and arbitrator with Resolute Systems LLC after leaving the bench, and has also helmed his own law firm or partnered with others in a number of firms.

Shapiro was President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers in 2007-08; he served as a Director of the Alliance of Illinois Judges from 2010 to 2015.

One of the two incumbent judges are Robin Denise Shoffner, who holds this vacancy pursuant to appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court. She previously served by appointment in a 5th Subcircuit vacancy.

Shoffner's campaign bio stresses her pre-judicial service as a trial attorney for the Federal Civil Rights Division of the Corporation Counsel's Office, as Senior Litigation Counsel for Aon Risk Services, and with the law firm currently known as Albert, Whitehead, P.C. It also notes Shoffner's service as President of the Black Women Lawyers' Association and as a past board member of the Cook County Bar Association. Shoffner was licensed to practice law in Illinois in 1990.

According to her campaign bio, Shoffner is an active member of Holy Angels Catholic Church, serving on the Finance Committee and the HIV/AIDS Ministry. Shoffner lives in the South Loop community with her daughter, who attends the South Loop Elementary School. Shoffner was endorsed for the Fabri vacancy by 8th Subcircuit committeemen this past August.

The other incumbent judge is Elizabeth Anne Karkula. (That's a link to her campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.) The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Karkula to the countywide Rooney vacancy in January 2016, but the Cook County Democratic Party slatemakers declined to endorse her candidacy this past August (she was selected as fourth alternate -- but only three vacancies opened up).

Karkula has been licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1987. Her campaign website notes that, in addition to extensive pro bono work, Karkula served as general counsel to IBEW Local 134 before ascending to the bench.

Because each of these candidates was counted as being 'in line' when the doors opened Monday morning at the Illinois State Board of Elections, all four are eligible for the ballot lottery to determine who will have the first ballot position.


Anonymous said...

Karkula won’t be in 8 long; special countywide late vacancy opening just for her. Any bets that she seeks a vacancy that shares her last name?

Nothing to see here folks. All on the up and up.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else have a problem with a sitting judge taking campaign pictures in the courtroom? I've got no problem with using pictures from a judge's swearing in or wearing the robe in your campaign photo (that's one of the perks of running for judge as a sitting judge), but the photos on the bench and in the courtroom seem inappropriate. Thoughts?

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon 11/30 @9:08 -- I've seen some sitting judges avoid this problem by posing in a law school mock trial courtroom... but, as you point out, not all do. But I'm not certain that this is a violation of anything other than our general queasiness, here in Cook County, about cameras (or microphones) in courtrooms. I'm curious myself. Is there any rule or regulation on this... or is this just custom and practice?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Paul has 20 years on the bench yet and last I heard
working for Eddie V did not qualify you for a pension