Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Short list long on familiar names

It wasn't eight; it was nine. The 'unofficial' list I saw this morning was off by one.

Nine currently-serving judges are on the 'short list' just released by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. One, John S. Fotopoulos, did not run in the March primary. The other eight, Marina E. Ammendola, Charles "Charlie" Beach, Gerald Cleary, Myron "Mike" Mackoff, Stephanie Miller, Travis Richardson, Robin Shoffner, and Patrick Stanton, all came up short in their election bids.

On the other hand, that means that seven other current judges who were not on the primary ballot or who lost their primary elections, are not on the list.

One finalist, Sanju Oommen Green, was also a finalist in 2014 and 2016. Another, Joan Marie G. Kubalanza, was briefly an associate judge in the late 1990s. She was recalled to service as an associate judge by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008, serving in this capacity through (I believe) 2012. Kubalanza was a candidate for a 15th Subcircuit vacancy in 2010 and for a countywide vacancy in 2012.

More about the current finalists will be forthcoming. But, for now, here is the list.
  • Amee Elizabeth Alonso
  • Marina E. Ammendola
  • Charles Stanley Beach
  • Lloyd James Brooks
  • Joel David Buikema
  • Jeffery George Chrones
  • Gerald Vernon Patrick Cleary III
  • John S. Fotopoulos
  • Jean Mary Golden
  • Sanju Oommen Green
  • James Edward Hanlon Jr.
  • Michael James Hogan Jr.
  • Nathalina A. Hudson
  • Joan Marie G. Kubalanza
  • Myron Franklin Mackoff
  • Celestia Laurene Mays
  • Stephanie Kathryn Miller
  • Lisette Catherine Mojica
  • Tisa Lynne Morris
  • Margaret Mary Ogarek
  • Diane Marie Pezanoski
  • Leo Steven Rakowski
  • Travis Richardson
  • Lori Michele Rosen
  • Curtis Bennett Ross
  • Robin Denise Shoffner
  • Levander Smith Jr.
  • Trina Smith
  • Patrick Thomas Stanton
  • Lisa M. Taylor
  • Daniel Alexander Trevino
  • Lynn Karyl Weaver-Boyle
  • James Adolph Wright
  • William Yu
Seventeen new associate judges will be elected from this list of 34 finalists.


Unless there are one or more write-in winners.

According to the Chief Judge's press release today, of the 272 original applicants, 24 withdrew from the process before interviews. The Circuit Court's Nominating Committee interviewed 248 applicants, and post-interview withdrawals decreased the number to 232 applicants. Each of the 34 finalists holds ratings of Recommended, Qualified, or better from both the Chicago Bar Association and each of the 11 Alliance bar groups.


Anonymous said...

Jack, could you please list the seven current judges that are not on the short-list? Did all seven of them apply to be Associate Judges? Maybe they were not found qualified by the CBA and all the Alliance Bar Associations?

Anonymous said...

To the tune of "Let It Please Be Him"

I tell myself what's done is done
I tell myself don't be a fool
No clout to wield, no elections won
It's easy to play when you’re a tool

I tell myself the robe would make me look plump
Who cares, about the good pay
That's when the phone rings and I jump
And as I grab the phone I pray

Let it please be Tim, oh dear God
It must be Tim or I shall die
Or I shall die
Oh hello, hello my dear God
It must be Tim but it's not him
And then I die
That's when I die

After a while, I'm myself again
I take the pieces off the floor
Put my dreams on the shelf again
You'll never hurt me anymore

I'm not a puppet on a string
I'll find somebody else someday
That's when the phone rings, and once again
I start to pray

Let it please be Tim, oh dear God
It must be Tim , it must be Tim
or I shall die, Or I shall die
Oh hello, hello my dear God
It must be Tim but it's not Tim
And then I die
That's when I die

Anonymous said...

To the tune of "I Just Called To Say I Love You."

No Casimir Day to celebrate
No contempt citations to give away
No kissing of my ring, no pension bling
In fact here's just another ordinary day
No trips to Spain
No white smoke plume
No marriage court on Saturdays in June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I bi-annually say to you

I just called to say it ain’t you
I just called to look as though we care
I just called to say it ain’t you
Now please stand still while we rip out your heart.

Anonymous said...

Count the number on short list that are spouses or children of judges.

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon 4/18 at 4:10 -- Short answer, no.

Longer answer, there are nine current judges who are not on the short list and whose terms will now expire in December unless reappointed by the Supremes. Two of these did not file for AJ. All of the judges excluded had good bar ratings -- some had stellar ratings.

It's a numbers game.

Aside to the CBA Christmas Spirits Committee (or Bar Show, or whatever you are these days): Are you reading those parody song lyrics above? You have one or two new writers here, folks.

Anonymous said...

I did unbelievably well on my bracket this year! Correctly picked 28 of the 34! Nearly impossible to get a perfect bracket as they usually throw in some wild cards there to lose, very hard to identify who the sacrificial lambs are going to be in advance.

Anonymous said...

Jack that is not exactly accurate. There is definitely one of the sitting judges who applied for associate and had good rating from the CBA and ISBA, but not all of the Alliance Bar Associations. I do believe that did play a part in not making the short list.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The above comment is worth repeating and repeating. There were several comments to an earlier blog about the inequities of the Alliance rating process. This list confirms those complaints. Everyone one on it got a passing grade from every Bar Association otherwise they wouldn't be on the list. This means that every bar regardless of membership size or quality of it's investigation of candidates has an equal vote. One "NR" and your back to your day job.
A lot of good candidates faced this problem without every finding out why 13 Bar 's think your great but one does not and won't tell you why.

Another reader questioned in a comment to an earlier blog about the original organization of the Alliance such as are they required to have 150 active members or a JEC of at least 15 members reviewing candidate questionnaires.
Jack was going to look into this and asked if others knew anything about it. Perhaps some of today's commentators have some information.

Jack Leyhane said...

Anon 4/19 at 10:30 a.m. -- OK, you got me. Sort of. Of the 7 sitting judge-applicants who did not make the Short List, five were on the ballot, so their ratings are matters of public record. Of those five, it is true that one particular candidate got negative ratings from two of the 11 Alliance Bars. (And neither of those two was the Chicago Council of Lawyers, BTW.) Given that the AJ applicant pool probably has a glut of 100% positively rated candidates, I will concede that, in the case of that particular sitting judge-applicant, the judge's chances to make the Short List were probably scuttled by those two minor blemishes.

BUT, what I said remains true. All of the five sitting judge-applicants who were on the primary ballot but who did not make the Short List had good bar ratings -- 10/12 in the one case, 12/12 in two, and 11/11 in the case of the other two (one NE each in their cases). I think it safe to assume that the ratings of the two who were not on the March ballot were comparable. But, whatever: At least with respect to the five sitting judge-applicants who were on the March ballot but who did not make the Short List, they all had good bar ratings. (Unless you're going to argue that 10/12 is somehow terrible. And, if you are, what do you think of those two bar groups having that sort of power?)

Jack Leyhane said...

Um, ALL CAPS? Thank you -- that's very nice of you to make that suggestion -- my lease is up this year -- however, I don't think persons who did not apply -- and I did not apply this time around -- can be "write-ins."

I refer you to SCR 39(b)(4)(i), which states, in pertinent part, "Within 14 days after the chief judge’s notification, the Director shall place the name of each candidate on a ballot in alphabetical order. The ballot shall also contain blank spaces equal in number to the number of vacancies to be filled, in which spaces may be written the name of any qualified applicant whose name does not appear on the ballot as a candidate."

I suspect that the use of the word "applicant" there refers back to SCR 39(b)(2), which describes the qualifications for office and the process for application when notice of vacancies are posted. If so, the universe of potential write-in candidates is defined by the 272 persons who actually did apply this time around.

But, I admit, I like the way you're thinking, ALL CAPS.

Anonymous said...

friends and family plan is alive and well. How is this process fair to aspiring attorneys when most of the appointed judges who lost the race end up on the short list? These people took the position knowing it was a temporary position and that you are taking a risk. I guess fairness doesn't matter to Judge Evans.

Anonymous said...

You know Jack, sometimes I wish you were not such a nice and dignified person. Or in the alternative, I wish I was the copy editor of FWIW. Sometimes I just crave a little more of the "rant" that FWIW teases with in its heading. You were asked who were the judges that did not make the short list. You snuck out of answering maybe because you thought by listing them it would unnecessarily embarrass them? My feeling is list them and if it embarrasses them a tad all the better. When the anointed ones in black get a little slice of humble pie it makes me and a lot of others giggle. Why deprive us of our giggle? If you wont print something that tame journalism is dead on FWIW. What happened to sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Indulge me and let me edit your post about hypothetical Judge X. Jack writes: Judge X makes the short-list. I edit: Predictable Tim and the Yes Tim Committee release the short-list and to the surprise of no one Judge X, who at one time had less than perfect bar ratings, who was repudiated by the voters in several failed primary attempts................makes the short-list over many other more qualified candidates. I think mine reads better and is more accurate but like you have said in the past, it is your blog. But that being said, how much more do you need to see and hear before you stop protecting the anointed ones and call it like it really is? Please do not tell me that you are safeguarding the public's perception and confidence in the system when we in Cook County have a Judge convicted of a felony who is refusing to step down and this very same judge was praised by the Chief Judge who said something to the effect that we need more like her on the bench. And this is the person responsible for chairing and assembling the short-list committee? Ok - so you do not want to make me giggle but could you please expose the hypocrisy every once in a while?

Anonymous said...

I’d be interested in knowing, if those on the SL who lost their election, how many ran against the party? With the exception of Vern, I’m not aware of any others.