Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Many other new 2020 candidate websites added to the blog Sidebar

Pictured at right is Judge Celestia L. Mays. That's a link to her new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Judge Mays to the countywide Funderburk vacancy in November 2018 (though she did not assume her judicial duties until this past January). This past August, the Cook County Democratic Party slated Judge Mays for the vacancy she now holds.

Licensed as an attorney in 1990, according to ARDC, Mays is a former President of the Cook County Bar Association. Before her appointment to the bench, Mays operated her own firm, concentrating in the areas of family law, probate, and residential real estate.

Jennifer Callahan, a candidate for the countywide Mason vacancy, was introduced to FWIW readers in this post. At that time, Callahan had no campaign website; the first link in the preceding sentence will take you to her campaign website now.

FWIW readers will also recall that the Cook County Democratic Party slated 10 alternates for the Circuit Court this past August. These individuals are effectively pre-endorsed for judicial vacancies that, so far, have not materialized -- and, of course, the Party's support for any alternate is contingent on the alternate not running against a Party-endorsed candidate.

Among the tenuous 10 are Cristin McDonald Duffy -- but she had a campaign website before the slating meeting. (She is the Party's third alternate countywide judicial candidate.) At least three other alternates now have websites as well (the following links are to their respective sites, and each has been added to the blog Sidebar): Thomas E. Nowinski (1st alternate), Joseph Chico (7th alternate), and Diane Marie Pezanoski (8th alternate).

Pat Casey to make 8th Subcircuit judicial bid

You will search in vain for a picture of the candidate on Pat Casey's new campaign website. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

A search of the candidate's campaign Facebook page will be equally unrevealing.

And the candidate's campaign bio is carefully written to avoid any pronouns that might give gender away.

This is almost certainly not coincidental -- and it puts the visitor in mind of the old Pat or Pat sketches on Saturday Night Live -- but this is true to a time-honored tradition of judicial candidates with names that might be male or female. FWIW readers will not have to think long to summon a number of examples.

According to the candidate's campaign bio, Casey has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the past 10 years, first with the Illinois Department of Employment Security and now currently serving as a Supervising ALJ for the Illinois Department of Human Services. Before becoming an ALJ, Casey operated the Law Offices of Pat Casey from 2005 to 2009. Before that, Casey worked for a firm handling police misconduct cases.

A former Chicago Police Officer (rising to the rank of Sergeant), Casey earned a J.D. in 2001.

It's a good ploy, and it's harder to write without pronouns than you might think, but due diligence requires me to report that, according to ARDC, Patrick A. Casey has been licensed in Illinois since 2001.

First "Democratic Socialist candidate for judge"

Gabe Galloway (pictured at left) is running for judge in the 6th Subcircuit as "Chicago's first Democratic Socialist candidate for judge." That's a link to Galloway's artsy website in the preceding sentence.

According to the site, Galloway's "campaign is an effort to disrupt the typical judicial election process in Cook County, by which the Democratic Party establishment runs two of their hand-picked candidates against each other, the hand-picked candidate that wins the election receiving that judgeship, and the hand-picked candidate that loses often later getting appointed to another judgeship."

FWIW readers may be question that statement... but Galloway's site is unquestionably unique in the titles bestowed on campaign volunteers -- such as Wellness Consultant and Minister of Propaganda -- and on its Executive Committee (including Spiritual Advisor and Counsel on Foreign Relations).

Galloway has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2005, according to ARDC.

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Who Sits Where -- Marie Antoinette Edition

On this day (October 16) in 1793, Marie Antoinette was beheaded.

Today is also Boss's Day -- and neither of these facts has a darn thing to do with the following updated list of all Cook County judicial vacancies that have been published by the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The list below shows which vacancies have been filled by Supreme Court appointment. Eight of the countywide Circuit Court appointees were slated by the Cook County Democratic Party.

As always, all errors of omission or commission in this list are mine alone and I am grateful for additions and corrections provided.

Supreme Court Vacancy

Vacancy of the Hon. Charles E. Freeman -- P. Scott Neville, Jr.

Appellate Court Vacancies

Vacancy of the Hon. P. Scott Neville, Jr. -- Michael B. Hyman1
Vacancy of the Hon. John B. Simon -- John C. Griffin

Countywide Vacancies

Vacancy of the Hon. Carole K. Bellows -- Kerrie Maloney Laytin
Vacancy of the Hon. Matthew E. Coghlan -- James T. Derico, Jr.
Vacancy of the Hon. N. R. Ford -- Thomas M. Cushing
Vacancy of the Hon. Raymond Funderburk -- Celestia L. Mays
Vacancy of the Hon. Diane J. Larsen -- Levander Smith, Jr.
Vacancy of the Hon. Mary Anne Mason -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. James P. McCarthy -- Teresa Molina
Vacancy of the Hon. Joyce Marie Murphy Gorman -- Sheree D. Henry
Vacancy of the Hon. Jessica A. O'Brien -- Lloyd James Brooks
Vacancy of the Hon. Sebastian T. Patti -- Lynn Weaver-Boyle
Vacancy of the Hon. Thomas D. Roti -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Colleen F. Sheehan -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Kevin M. Sheehan -- Marina E. Ammendola

Subcircuit Vacancies

1st Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Rodney Hughes Brooks -- Fredrick H. Bates
Vacancy of the Hon. Rhonda Crawford2 -- Tyria B. Walton

2nd Subcircuit
"A" Vacancy3 -- Sondra Nicole Denmark

3rd Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Denise K. Filan -- Daniel E. Maloney
Vacancy of the Hon. Peter Flynn -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Allen F. Murphy -- Erin Haggerty Antonietti

6th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Marya Nega -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Kathleen M. Pantle -- Unfilled

7th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Marianne Jackson -- Cara Lefevour Smith

8th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. John J. Fleming -- Unfilled4
Vacancy of the Hon. Deborah J. Gubin -- Michael A. Forti

9th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Larry Axelrood -- Unfilled
Vacancy of the Hon. Marvin F. Luckman -- Michael A. Strom

10th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Thomas R. Allen -- John G. Mulroe
Vacancy of the Hon. James M. McGing -- Unfilled

12th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Kay M. Hanlon -- Patricia M. Fallon

13th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Margarita Kulys Hoffman -- Michael Perry Gerber

14th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. Robert Bertucci -- Gerardo Tristan, Jr.
Vacancy of the Hon. William G. Lacy -- Daniel O. Tiernan

15th Subcircuit
Vacancy of the Hon. John C. Griffin -- Nichole C. Patton

----------------------------------------------------------------
1 Justice Hyman is a Cook County Circuit Court judge sitting by appointment to the Appellate Court. The Supreme Court's order appointing Justice Hyman to this vacancy provides that, unless he runs for, and wins a seat on the Appellate Court in 2020, he will return to his original position as a Circuit Court judge. There is no Hyman vacancy on the Circuit Court.

2 The late Rhonda Crawford won the Democratic Party's nomination for this vacancy in the 2016 primary and received more votes than a write-in candidate in November of that year -- but never took office. I do not know why the ISBE has designated this as the Crawford vacancy. I have asked for clarification on this, and if I get it, I will report it.

3 Vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Alexander White.

4 Jeanne Marie Wrenn was appointed to this vacancy, but, last November, Judge Wrenn was elected to fill the 8th Subcircuit vacancy of the Hon. Sheryl Pethers. That is why this vacancy is again unfilled.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Annual Advocates Society Judges Night is Thursday October 17

The Advocates Society will hold its Annual Judges' Night this Thursday, October 17, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., at the Polish Museum of America, 984 North Milwaukee Avenue. Free parking is availabe at the museum.

Dinner -- a spread of authentic Polish food catered by Kasia’s Deli in Chicago -- begins at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will also have access to many exhibits within the museum.

Tickets will be available at the door -- $100 for non-Advocates members, $60 for Advocates members, retired judges, and guests of judges. Sitting judges attend as complimentary guests of the Society.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, email Jonathan Clark Green at jcgreenlaw98@gmail.com. Today was supposed to be the deadline to order discounted advance sale tickets -- so, if that's your goal, best to act quickly.

Reception Wednesday October 16 for Judge Lynn Weaver Boyle

State Senate President John Cullerton and Cook County Commissioner John Daley are the honorary hosts for a reception supporting the countywide candidacy of Judge Lynn Weaver Boyle on Wednesday, October 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd Floor.

Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Silver - $250, Gold - $500, Platinum - $1,000). For more information about the event, or to order tickets, email Thom Karmik at tkarmik@gmail.com or visit this page of the candidate's website.

Dan Walsh to seek countywide Murphy Gorman vacancy

Assistant Public Defender Daniel J. Walsh has announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the countywide Murphy Gorman vacancy in the 2020 Primary.

Currently working on felony matters at the Maywood courthouse, Walsh has been with the Public Defender's Office for 15 years. Before that, Walsh worked for the State Appellate Defender. He began his legal career as a law clerk to former Judge Jennifer Duncan Brice. Licensed in Illinois since 2001, according to ARDC, Walsh is married and has a son in high school.

Megan Kathleen Mulay to seek Larsen vacancy

Assistant State's Attorney Megan Kathleen Mulay has announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the countywide Larsen in the 2020 Primary. That's a link to Mulay's campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1999, according to ARDC, Mulay is currently working in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau of the SAO's Felony Trial Division.

Mulay's campaign bio notes that she is the youngest of six children, raised by a single mother, life experiences that taught her "early in life how to be an advocate for herself and others."

She has, according to her campaign bio, served as lead attorney in "over 100 felony jury and bench trials ranging in severity from drug possession to first degree murder." She is presently responsible for the prosecution and management of over 300 active felony cases.

Mulay grew up in the south suburbs but currently resides in Chicago with her husband and two sons.

Arab American Bar Association Judicial Reception set for November 20

The Arab American Bar Association of Illinois will hold its 2019 Judicial Reception on Wednesday, November 20 at the Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 W. Randolph St., from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

First Municipal District Presiding Judge Kenneth E. Wright, Associate Judge Mark J. Lopez, and Judge William B. Sullivan are the distinguished honorees for this event.

Tickets for the event are $75 each (student tickets are available for $25 apiece) and judges will be admitted gratis. Sponsorships are also available (Silver - $500, Gold - $1,000, Platinum - $1,500) (increasing numbers of event tickets and other benefits attach at each level of sponsorship). For more information about the event, or sponsorship opportunities, email arabbarrsvp@live.com. Tickets are also available by clicking on this link.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Two countywide slated candidates launch campaign websites

Campaign websites have been launched for two countywide judicial candidates recently endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party.

Araceli Reyes De La Cruz was slated for the countywide Roti vacancy. That's a link to her campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar as well.

Licensed in Illinois since 2001, according to ARDC, De La Cruz currently serves as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for the Acero Charter School Network, according to her campaign bio.

Before joining Acero, De La Cruz was Chief of General Prosecutions in the Division of Professional Regulation in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Before that, De La Cruz was Chief of Safety and Security Compliance for the Chicago Transit Authority. She began her legal career in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, according to her campaign bio.

A lifelong resident of Albany Park, De La Cruz describes herself on the website as the "proud product of CPS." She has served on the Board of Directors of Casa Central Social Service Agency and, from 2006-2009, as a board member of the National Hispanic Prosecutor's Association.

Laura Ayala-Gonzalez is the Democratic Party's slated candidate for the countywide Ford vacancy. That's a link to her new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 2003, according to ARDC, Ayala-Gonzalez has spent her legal career in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, currently serving as a Supervisor in the Felony Trial Division of that office.

Born to a single immigrant mother and raised in Texas, according to her campaign bio, Ayala-Gonzalez came to the Chicago area (Melrose Park) as a six-year old and became the first person in her family to finish high school, graduate from college, and obtain a law degree.

According to her campaign résumé, Ayala-Gonzalez partnered with Mujeres Latinas en Acción to hold panel discussions to "help renew bonds" between the Hispanic community and the CCASO. She has been a co-leader of the Government Lawyers Program with the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, a member of the Diversity Scholarship Foundation, and a mentor to the Lyons Township High School Mock Trial Team.

James J. Knibbs declares 3rd Subcircuit candidacy

There's no campaign website as of yet, or even a campaign Facebook page, but, in a Facebook announcement, James J. Knibbs has declared that he intends to seek a 3rd Subcircuit vacancy in the 2020 Primary.

Knibbs has decided not to challenge either of the two already-appointed judges who are also running in the 3rd Subcircuit (there are three vacancies there). Quoting now from the Facebook post,
I know that many of my FB friends are supporting the campaigns of our mutual friends, Judge Daniel Maloney, and Judge Erin Haggerty Antonietti. I am not running against Dan or Erin, both of whom I had the privilege to work with both in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Judge Dan Maloney and Judge Erin Haggerty Antonietti are excellent Circuit Court Judges, and I am fully supportive of their candidacies in their respective races.
Licensed in Illinois since 1985, according to ARDC, Knibbs is currently of counsel to Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff PC. In addition to his experience in the State's Attorney's Office, Knibbs' firm bio notes that his career achievements include "a $26 million subrogation recovery arising out of a utility plant collapse; several million-dollar plus subrogation recoveries; a $1 million-plus settlement for his clients in a fraudulent land sale involving a Chicago college[;] numerous successful arson, fraud and other coverage matters[;] a not guilty verdict in a U.S.C. Section 1983 on behalf of nine Chicago Police Officers; and the successful defense of a State Representative in a defamation trial." The firm bio also notes his experience as an adjunct instructor at Loyola University Chicago Law School.

Two more campaign websites go live

When I wrote that Pam Stratigakis was seeking a 9th Subcircuit vacancy, I mentioned that her campaign website appeared to still be under construction. Her campaign website is now up and running and it has been added to the blog Sidebar.

A couple of weeks ago I put up a post about an upcoming fundraiser for 15th Subcircuit appointee Judge Nichole C. Patton. But her campaign website was not yet up and running either. Now it is, and it, too, has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The new judicial vacancy list is out...

... and the Illinois State Board of Elections says there are no new Cook County vacancies.

Maybe next time.

In other news from the ISBE, there are two more "caps off" Cook County judicial races.

Erin Haggerty Antonietti, appointed by the Supreme Court to the Murphy vacancy in the 3rd Subcircuit this past June, has made contributions to her campaign fund that exceed the $100,000 threshold for her race. Also, Judge Lynn Weaver Boyle, who received her appointment to the countywide Patti vacancy last December, and who was subsequently slated by the Cook County Democratic Party, has amassed family contributions of just under a quarter million dollars, removing the contribution caps in her race.

According to the ISBE, there are three ways in which contribution limits can be lifted in an election race -- as a result of:
  1. any candidate in the race reaching the Self-Funding threshold ($250,000 for statewide races and $100,000 for all other races);
  2. independent expenditure spending by an Independent Expenditure Committee exceeding $250,00 (for statewide races) or $100,000 (for all other races); or
  3. independent expenditure spending by a Natural Person exceeding $250,000 (for statewide races) or $100,000 (for all other races).
The ISBE may also declare contribution limits lifted in any given race if the Board determines that any combination of (2) and (3) above exceeds the threshold.

In each case, the removal of limits affects all candidates for the same office and lasts through the remainder of the current election cycle. According to the ISBE website, in cases of self-funding during a primary election cycle, the limit removal can extend through the November election, if the candidate who becomes self-funding wins the primary election.

Candidates and campaign officials should always consult their election lawyer for guidance on these issues.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Five campaigns to hold joint Fall Fest fundraiser


Supporters of candidates for four countywide judicial vacancies and one 9th Subcircuit vacancy will hold a joint Fall Fest fundraiser on Friday, October 4, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., in the parking lot of City's Edge, 5310 W. Devon (this is an outdoor tent event).

Tickets are $40 each and will be available on-site. Promoters promise live music, as well as food and drinks.

Attendees will be asked to designate their ticket contribution toward the campaigns of one of these five candidates: Heather A. Kent (O'Brien vacancy), Suzanne McEneely (Larsen vacancy), Beth Ryan (Coghlan vacancy), Pam Stratigakis (9th Subcircuit), or Jennifer Callahan (Mason vacancy).

Each of the campaigns also has a separate PayPal address for donations (Kent - paypal.me/heatherkentforjudge; McEneely - paypal.me/mceneelyforjudge; Callahan - paypal.me/callahan4judge; Ryan - paypal.me/Ryanforjudge; and Stratigakis - paypal.me/citizensforpam).

Monday, September 23, 2019

Campaign kickoff tomorrow night for Justice Michael B. Hyman

Supporters of Appellate Court Justice Michael B. Hyman's bid to retain his seat on that court are holding a campaign kickoff event tomorrow night, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at 321 N. Clark, in the third floor tenant lounge.

Tickets for the event are $500 each and will be available at the door. Sponsorships are also available (Friend - $1,000, Patron - $2,500).

The host committee for this event includes Robert A. Clifford, Steven Blonder, Kimball Anderson, Howard Ankin, Harvey Bennett, Laurel Bellows, David T. Brown, Deane B. Brown, Linda C. Chatman, Jeffrey Colman, Hon. Mort Denlow, Steven Elrod, Trisha Rich, Mary Robinson, and Federico Rodriguez.

Hyman's supporters have also launched a campaign website on his behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence.

Hyman was elected to the Cook County Circuit Court in 2008. The Illinois Supreme Court appointed him to the Appellate Court in 2013 (six of the 24 justices on the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court serve pursuant to Supreme Court assignment; the other 18 are elected).

In 2018, when Appellate Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court, the Supreme Court appointed Hyman to fill Neville's spot. Thus, to remain on the appellate bench, Justice Hyman must become one of those 18 elected justices. Hyman has been endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party for the Neville vacancy.

Hyman's campaign bio mentions only some of the many positions that Justice Hyman has held over the years, noting in particular that he is a past president of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Association, and, from 2015-2018, the National Association of Legal Writers (SCRIBES). He has been editor-in-chief of the Chicago Bar Association's CBA Record for over 20 years.

Chris Stacey campaign website up and running

A campaign website has been launched for the Cook County Democratic Party's nominee for the countywide Mason vacancy, Chris Stacey. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 1982, according to ARDC, Stacey's campaign bio states that, in his career, Stacey has "helped victims of fraud and deceit recover their losses, took action to protect the life savings of elderly and disabled people targeted by swindlers, and helped non-profits secure their properties."

According to his campaign bio, Stacey has served on the Board of World Relief International’s Chicago Office, assisting immigrants and refugees. He also served on the Board of Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic.

Stacey has traveled to Africa with International Vision Volunteers, assisting eye surgeons in operating rooms and performing administrative work, according to his campaign bio. Married with four children, Stacey has also been "a musician, singer and songwriter and has performed improv comedy at various venues in Chicago."

Contribution caps are off in the race for the Mason vacancy.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

October 16 fundraiser set for Judge Nicole C. Patton

Supporters of Judge Nicole C. Patton's bid to hold her 15th Subcircuit seat have organized a fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, October 16, at the University Park Golf Club, 23520 Crawford Ave, University Park.

The Host Committee for this event includes Cong. Robin Kelly (2nd); State Senators Michael Hastings (19th) and Toi Hutchinson (40th); Board of Review Commissioner Larry R. Rogers, Jr. (3rd Dist.); State Representatives Lamont Robinson (5th), Emmanuel "Chris" Welch (7th), Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (33rd), Debbie Myers-Martin (38th), and Anthony DeLuca (80th); Committeemen Lori Wilcox (Bloom), Vernard Alsberry (Bremen), Michael Hastings (Orland), Robert Maloney (Palos), Calvin Jordan (Rich), Frank Zuccarelli (Thornton), and Patricia Joan Murphy (Worth); Mayors Roger Agpawa (Markham), Sheila Chalmers-Currin (Matteson), Jon Vanderbilt (Park Forest), Rick Reinbold (Richton Park), and Tyrone Ward (Robbins); and Matteson Trustee Adam Shorter III.

Tickets for the event are $50 each, but sponsorships are available (Supporter - $100, Bronze Sponsor - $250, Silver Sponsor - $500, Gold Sponsor - $750, Platinum Sponsor - $1,000). For more information about the event, or to order tickets, email judgepatton2020@gmail.com.

Alliance of Illinois Judges to host October 15 reception


The Alliance of Illinois Judges will host its 4th Annual National Coming Out Day Cocktail Reception at the Plymouth Restaurant and Rooftop Bar, 327 S. Plymouth Ct., on Tuesday, October 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the event are $50 each and may be purchased as this page of the AIJ website.

John O'Meara announces countywide campaign, campaign website

Former Judge John O'Meara has announced plans to seek the countywide Ford vacancy in the 2020 Democratic Primary. His supporters have launched a campaign website in support of this venture. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar. He also has a campaign Facebook page.

An attorney since 1995, according to ARDC, O'Meara was appointed to a 4th Subcircuit vacancy in 2016. He currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge in the Illinois Department of Labor, according to his campaign bio.

O'Meara's campaign bio also notes that he has served as a volunteer for the Chicago Legal Volunteer Society and several mock trial programs. He has also served as Guardian Ad Litem for disabled adults and has been a frequent lecturer on trial evidence.

Bar groups seek evaluators, candidates to evaluate

Lawyers interested in evaluating judicial candidates are needed -- right now -- for both the Chicago Bar Association and the various members of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening.

CBA members are encouraged to join the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee by completing and returning an application (available at the linked page) and returning it to Therese Kurth at tkurth@chicagobar.org by October 11.

Applicants for the CBA JEC are not automatically accepted; applicants will be contacted by a CBA JEC member after October 11. JEC members are pledged to strict confidentiality and terms are limited. Rigorous demands for attendance and strict confidentiality are enforced.

The Puerto Rican Bar Association is also soliciting PRBA members to join its JEC. Interested PRBA members are asked to email Christian Luciano or Marcos A. Resendiz for more information.

Members of other Alliance groups who are interested in service on their organization's JECs should email Alliance Administrator Joyce Williams at jwilliams@isba.org.

One does have to be a member of an Alliance group in order to serve on that group's JEC; ISBA JEC members must be ISBA members as well, for example.

The Alliance has been conducting candidate interviews for awhile now; many interview sessions are scheduled in the coming weeks. So... interested readers should volunteer sooner rather than later.

This should be obvious, but let's say it anyway: Candidates running in the 2020 primary are not eligible to serve on any JEC.

But persons interested in serving on the bench someday -- two or three cycles down the road, perhaps -- might find participation very helpful.

Seasoned practitioners looking for ways to 'give back' to the profession may also find JEC service rewarding.

And, of course, the public benefits most when attorney-evaluators from diverse backgrounds work together on judicial evaluations.

Meanwhile, 2020 judicial candidates who have not publicly announced their intentions, especially those who have not previously been evaluated, or those who are eligible for updated evaluations, are strongly encouraged to reach out to both the CBA and Alliance and get that process started.

The CBA judicial candidate questionnaire and all other required forms (and there are a bunch) can be accessed at this page of the CBA website. To get the Alliance process going, email Alliance Administrator Joyce Williams at jwilliams@isba.org. (There are a bunch of required forms here, as well.)

In every election cycle, candidate evaluation results are delayed because bar groups are forced to scramble to complete their investigations of late-announcing candidates. And, though (speaking as someone covering this beat) I would greatly prefer that the CBA and Alliance release their judicial candidate ratings on a rolling basis, these groups believe that they achieve the maximum impact with the voting public by releasing everything at once.

So they wait to make the grand reveal until they are done, or nearly so, and, sometimes, early voting is already underway.

Judge wannabes, I ask you: Don't you hate it when the judge makes you wait in court for his or her arrival? Well, don't make the public wait; get your evaluation process started ASAP.

And, of course, remember: No one is required to submit to screening -- but persons who refuse to participate are automatically rated "Not Recommended."

Friday, September 13, 2019

Howard J. Wise to seek 12th Subcircuit vacancy

Supporters of criminal defense attorney Howard J. Wise's 12th Subcircuit bid have launched a campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 1997, according to ARDC, Wise maintains an office in Chicago's Loop. He began his legal career in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, finishing up in Felony Review. He set his own practice up in 2001, according to his campaign bio.

Wise grew up in Glenview, according to his campaign bio. He now resides in Northbrook with his wife and two children.

Kristen Marie Lyons to seek 7th Subcircuit vacancy

Supporters of Kristen Marie Lyons' bid for a 7th Subcircuit vacancy have launched a campaign website in support of the effort. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar. There is also a campaign Facebook page.

Licensed in Illinois since 2004, according to ARDC, Lyons is a sole practitioner with offices in Chicago's Loop. Her campaign bio states that she "has experience as an attorney for both the plaintiff and defendant, private practice and municipalities, large and small law firms." Lyons has tried more than 35 jury cases and 200 arbitrations, according to the campaign bio.

Lyons' campaign bio also notes that she is a member of the Forest Park Kiwanis Club, Historical Society, Neighborhood Watch, South PTO and 209 Scholarship Committee. She has volunteered her time at the annual Forest Park Rib Fest and National No Glove Softball Tournament. She has helped deliver food through her work with Top Box Foods. Lyons is also a Past President of the Advocates Society.

Puerto Rican Bar Association 25th Year Gala set for October 19


The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois will hold its Annual Gala and Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, October 19, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., at the Fountain Blue Banquets & Conference Center, 2300 Mannheim Road, in Des Plaines. Dinner and entertainment will run from 7:00 p.m. Music will be provided by Tato y Su Orquesta Suave and DJ Tee. Discounted rooms will be available at the Wyndham Hotel.

Tickets for the dinner are $150 each -- but law students will be admitted for $75 each, and government employees for $100 apiece. And sponsorships are available (Bronze - $500, Silver - $1,500, and Gold - $2,500). Varying perks are associated with each sponsorship level. Tickets are available online at this link. For more information about the event, email prba@prbalawil.com

Senators Duckworth and Durbin announce screening committee to fill Castillo vacancy

United States Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Dubrin have announced the formation of a screening committee to review applications from persons interested in filling the vacancy left by Judge Rubén Castillo's pending retirement from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

To be considered, applicants will have to complete a questionnaire, and submit a résumé, by email, to applications@durbin.senate.gov, by no later than 5:00 p.m. (Central Time) on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The applicant's résumé, completed questionnaire, and any attachments to the questionnaire should be incorporated, if possible, into a single PDF document.

The Senators' screening committee will be chaired by retired U.S. District Judge David Coar. Other members of the screening committee are are Alejandro Caffarelli, Michael Chu, Edward Feldman, Betty Jang, Monica Llorente, Laurie Mikva, Carlina Tapia-Ruano, Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, and Diana White.

The Senators' press release states, "The application questionnaire is nearly identical to those used by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will help provide insight into candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications. The screening committee will review candidates and advise the Senators, who will make recommendations on potential nominees to the President. Once the President submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, the nominee will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member, and will receive a vote in the Committee. The approval of both home state Senators is traditionally required for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up and consider a judicial nominee. If a nomination is approved by the Judiciary Committee, the nomination will be sent to the full Senate for consideration."

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Julie Aimen campaign website launched; fundraiser tonight

A campaign website has been launched in support of Julie Aimen's 9th Subcircuit judicial bid. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar as well.

Aimen's supporters have also organized a fundraiser tonight, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Tickets for the event are $100 apiece but last minute sponsorships are available ($250, $500, or $1,000). For more information about the event, email electjulieaimenjudge@gmail.com.

Licensed in Illinois since 1984, according to ARDC, Aimen is a sole practitioner with an office in the Loop. According to her campaign bio, Aimen is a past president of the Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice (and the first woman to serve as president of that group) and a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is also a former member of the Board of Governors of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Aimen was a finalist for associate judge in the 2016 selection process.

A social worker before becoming a lawyer, according to her campaign bio, Aimen helped "Vietnam vets, victims of domestic violence, drug addicts, the wandering mentally ill, and so many others in need of assistance." She currently "reaffirms her commitment to justice by frequently representing indigent" defendants.

Aimen has lived in various parts of what is now the 9th Subcircuit most of her adult life, in Edgewater, Rogers Park, Evanston, and, now, Wilmette, according to her campaign bio. She is a member of the Wilmette League of Women Voters.

Krista D. Butler campaign website found

Supporters of Krista D. Butler's 1st Subcircuit judicial bid have launched a campaign website for their candidate. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1993, according to ARDC, Butler is currently employed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She previously has worked as a Public Service Administrator for the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission.

Rather than reciting each job title she has held, Butler's campaign bio stresses the various practice areas to which she has been exposed. Her campaign bio also notes that she is a member of "Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the South Suburban Family Shelter, an agency that provides domestic violence services and supports for both victims and perpetrators."

Campaign website for Deidre Baumann goes live

Supporters of Deidre Baumann have launched a campaign website on her behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney since 1992, according to ARDC, Baumann practices with the firm of Baumann & Shuldiner. She began her legal career, according to her campaign bio, with as an Assistant Public Defender before setting up her own practice in 1996. Between 2009 and 2011 Baumann represented many of the plaintiffs in the Burr Oak Cemetery scandal.

A countywide judicial candidate in 2016, Baumann's campaign bio stresses her extensive bar association activity. According to the campaign bio, Baumann is currently president of the Suburban Bar Coalition and has served as president of both the Decalogue Society of Lawyers and the North Suburban Bar Association. The campaign bio also notes that Baumann "currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and for the Decalogue Foundation and has served on the Executive Boards for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association, Alliance for Women. She is currently vice chair of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association, is secretary for the General Practice and Small Firm Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association, and serves on the Federal Civil Practice Committee of the Illinois State Bar, the Public Affairs and Interfaith Committees with the Chicago Bar Association and has served as the Chair of the Constitutional Law Committee and Planning Committee for a Seminar on Hate Speech."

Baumann attended the University of Illinois, from which she received both her undergraduate and law degrees. A Lane Tech graduate, Baumann currently serves as secretary of the Lane Tech Alumni Association, according to her campaign bio.

Chief Judge election takes place this afternoon

The eligible judges will gather in the Jury Assembly Room on the 17th floor this afternoon for the vote. Check-in is from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. Judicial IDs will be required.

The Illinois Judicial Council has sent its members a letter supporting the reelection bid of Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. The letter, signed by Judge Freddrenna M. Lyle, the current IJC Chair, praises Judge Evans' leadership and accomplishments. These are the sorts of things one would expect in a letter supporting someone's candidacy. But the letter also stated:
Those old enough to remember other reigns as Chief acknowledge that Judge Evans refuses to use assignments to reward his friends or punish his enemies. Newer Judges may be surprised to learn that once upon a time a criticism would cause a Judge to be reassigned to the courthouse farthest from their home. That doesn't happen under Judge Evans.
The fact that such a letter has been circulated is noteworthy in that it provides some tangible proof of something we all assumed, namely, that there has been a campaign going on for the hearts and minds of the eligible voters.

Here, though, on the outside, there has been precious little indication that a campaign has taken place -- aside from the speculations, some of them quite elaborate, that have made their way into the comments on prior posts here. But, no doubt, the judges have conferred amongst themselves. And they will deliver their verdict later today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Campaign website found for Judge Gerardo Tristan, Jr.

Supporters of Judge Gerardo Tristan Jr.'s bid to hold the 14th Subcircuit seat to which he was appointed have launched a campaign website to support this effort. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Tristan was appointed to the bench in January of this year. Licensed in Illinois since 2002, according to ARDC, Tristan began his legal career working for the Chicago Public Schools. He thereafter moved to the firm of Tristan & Cervantes, where he worked with his brother. He joined the State's Attorney's Office in 2003 and was working there at the time of his appointment to the judiciary, according to his campaign bio.

A graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary South High School, according to his campaign bio, Tristan did his undergraduate work at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Before enrolling in the DePaul College of Law, Tristan worked for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Household Finance, and Motorola.

Camaign website found for Jamie Guerra Dickler

Assistant State's Attorney Jamie Guerra Dickler is planning a run for one of the 6th Subcircuit vacancies available in 2020. That's a link to her campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2005, according to ARDC, Dickler's campaign bio states that she is currently a First Chair in the Felony Trial Division of the State's Attorney's Office and has prosecuted a variety of felony cases including murder, sexual assault, narcotics, identity theft and fraud.

According to her campaign bio, Dickler's mother and uncle came to America from Cuba as refugees in Operación Pedro Pan, spending over a year in a Catholic orphanage. Her father's family fled anti-Semitic pogroms in the Ukraine shortly before he was born. Dickler's campaign bio notes that she "proudly embraces both her Latina and Jewish heritage."

Dickler spent a volunteer year with Amigos de las Americas and has served as a junior board member of the Chicago Lighthouse. She has also volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Chicago.

Burke to become Chief Justice on October 26

The Illinois Supreme Court entered an order yesterday appointing the Hon. Anne M. Burke as Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court for a three-year term, commencing October 26 and ending October 25, 2022.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Campaign website found for Owens "Joe" Shelby

Supporters of Assistant State's Attorney Owens "Joe" Shelby's bid for a 7th Subcircuit vacancy have launched a campaign website on his behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been also been added to the blog Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2007, Shelby's campaign bio notes that he grew up in the Austin neighborhood, is a graduate of Providence St. Mel High School, Morehouse College, and Chicago Kent College of Law. According to his campaign bio, Shelby has given back to the community by "mentoring youth, speaking at career days and community outreach programs, coaching youth basketball, and serving on boards for St. Angela School, Better Boy’s Foundation, NAACP Westside Chapter, College Mentoring Experience, [and] St. Joseph Services. He is also a member of the National Black Prosecutor’s Association.

Before joining the State's Attorney's Office over 11 years ago, Shelby worked as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois House of Representative Office of the Speaker in Springfield.

Campaign website launched, Sept. 26 fundraiser set for Jill Rose Quinn

Supporters of Jill Rose Quinn's countywide candidacy have launched a campaign website. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

Quinn's supporters have also planned a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, September 26, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at City Social, 120 N. LaSalle Street. Tickets for the event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, and Gold - $1,000). For more information about the event, or to purchase tickets, email info@votejillrosequinn.com. Tickets are also available online.

Quinn is the first openly transgender person to be slated for countywide office (Sheehan vacancy) by the Cook County Democratic Party. Licensed in Illinois since 1983, according to ARDC, Quinn's campaign website notes that she has had her own law office on Chicago's Northwest Side since 1997. Quinn is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association and Chicago LGBT Chamber of Commerce. She was a candidate for a 10th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2018 primary.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Halloween deadline set for judicial candidates seeking Advocates endorsement

The Advocates Society, the Chicago area association of Polish-American attorneys, has announced an October 31 deadline for judicial candidates seeking the organization's endorsement.

The Advocates has no plans to make endorsements or recommendations in any other contests other than judicial races, according to materials provided FWIW by the Advocates.

Judicial candidates are asked to provide the Advocates Society Steering Committee with a cover letter, identifying the position sought by the candidate, a résumé, and any other information that the candidate believes would be helpful to the committee's evaluation. All materials must be sent by email to the Steering Committee in care of the committee chair, Michael Zink, at mizink9@hotmail.com.

No late submissions will be considered and, according to the Advocates' written statement, there will be no exceptions to this deadline.

The Advocates Society plans to issue its endorsements or recommendations (it occasionally has, in the past, recommended more than one candidate for a given vacancy) by the end of 2019.

The Advocates Society differs from most bar groups, including several ethnic bar associations that participate in the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, in that it does make endorsements in judicial races. The candidate ratings issued by the Chicago Bar Association or the members of the Alliance are not endorsements. The CBA and the Alliance do not endorse individual candidates in judicial races.

The distinction between endorsements and positive ratings may seem rather unimportant to the average voter, but lawyers, and especially lawyers who aspire to be judges, are expected to appreciate and respect these distinctions. Basically, it comes down to this: Bar groups that issue ratings are not suggesting that voters support any particular candidate; they are merely providing information for the voters to use in making their choices at the polls. On the other hand, a group that issues endorsements, like the Advocates, political organizations, the Tribune, or various unions, are asking voters to support the endorsed candidate over all others.

It really gets interesting when the endorsing organization makes multiple endorsements in a single race. The Advocates Society has been very transparent on this. In races where it supports more than one candidate for a vacancy, it will "recommend" those candidates. The problem is that other bar groups use "recommended" or "not recommended" in their ratings... but, then again, we're lawyers. We like making fine distinctions.

Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser Monday for Brad Trowbridge

Supporters of 8th Subcircuit candidate Bradley R. Trowbridge's campaign have organized a campaign kickoff event for this coming Monday, September 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Lark Chicago, 3441 N. Halsted.

This is a give-what-you-can event; no specific admission price is specified, though reservations are required -- and sponsorships are available (Harvester - $125, Barn Raiser - $250, Ground Breaker - $500, and Rainmaker - $1,000).

The host committee for this event includes Ramesh Ariyanayakam, Stella Black, Jhonmar Castillo, Ralph Fasano, Edward Gisiger, Rick Garcia, Helen Gutierrez, Mark Liberson & Rodney Becker, Dr. Michael Macken, Matthew Moeller, Reed Centracchio LLC, Mark Tisdahl, Walczak & Hernandez PC, Denice Wolf Markham, the Women's Divorce Law Group, Adam Miel Zebelian, and John Zmuda.

For more information, or to reserve a place at this event, email jhonmar@foremoststrategy.com.

Eileen Marie O'Connor announces 6th Subcircuit judicial bid, Sept. 24 fundraiser set

Eileen Marie O'Connor has announced plans to seek a 6th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2020 Democratic Primary. That's a link, in the preceding sentence, to the campaign website her supporters have launched on her behalf; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar. There is also a campaign Facebook page.

O'Connor's supporters have scheduled a fundraiser for their candidate on Tuesday, September 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at City Social, 120 N. LaSalle St. Listed hosts for the event include Margaret Battersby Black, Mark Brennan, Brad Cosgrove, Ben Crane, David Gubbins, Chris Hurley, Sean Kasserman, Sarah King, Gera-Lind Kolarik, Mark McKenna, Brian Murphy, Bob Napleton, Chris Norem, Conrad Nowak, Paul O'Toole, Joe Parente, Robert Phillips, Antonio Romanucci, Carl Salvato, and Pat Salvi II. Tickets are priced at $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, and Gold - $1,000). For more information, or to order tickets, email rsvp@1833group.com.

Licensed in Illinois since 2006, according to ARDC, O'Connor practices with the O'Connor Law Group LLC. O'Connor's campaign website notes a number of seven-figure verdicts in various kinds of civil matters, including medical malpractice, and one $15,000,000 verdict in a landlord-tenant matter where she represented a 5-year old who suffered burns over 85% of his body because of a defective electrical outlet.

O'Connor's campaign bio also notes that she is a former member of the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association and also serves on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. She has also served in the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Longtime FWIW readers may recall that O'Connor was briefly a candidate for the Appellate Court in the 2012 election cycle. She withdrew from the race within a couple of weeks after filing her petitions.

Campaign website goes live for Heather Ann Begley

Supporters of Heather Ann Begley's 2020 judicial bid have launched a campaign website on her behalf. That's a link to the website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar.

FWIW previously carried an announcement of Begley's candidacy. The candidate recently informed this blog that she has decided to seek the Griffin vacancy in the south suburban 15th Subcircuit.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

FAQs about FWIW

This is a post I reprint (and revise) every now and again. Now that petitions are starting to circulate for the 2020 primary, and campaign websites are proliferating, it seems an appropriate time to address some questions that new readers, including candidates or their supporters, may have about this blog. (A lot of this stuff is already addressed in the blog Sidebar, but it may not hurt to spell it out here, too.)
  1. This is a non-partisan blog. I want to cover all candidates running for judge in Cook County. Because Democratic candidates have historically enjoyed such tremendous success in this county, most of the posts here will be about candidates in the Democratic primary. But I will gladly cover any Republican candidates, too. If a candidate has a website, I will link to it and post another link in the blog Sidebar.
  2. This blog does not make endorsements. I realize no one cares who I would vote for. On the other hand, I have been a lawyer for 39 years and I have fairly well-developed opinions about what I want for my clients when I appear in court. I reserve the right to talk about that -- in general terms -- in future posts.

    In past election cycles I have given candidates the opportunity to make their own case (click here to bring up posts written by judicial candidates in prior campaigns). I plan to do this again; expect an announcement around the first of the year.

    I believe the best candidates will distinguish themselves when as much information about all candidates as possible is presented for the voters' consideration. In addition to bar evaluations, I will report newspaper endorsements (if they're made) or community group or union endorsements (when I can verify them). All of this stuff will be collected in Organizing the Data posts (explained more, below) as the primary date comes closer.
  3. I want to publicize candidates' events. I'm happy to put up information about candidate fundraisers. I will cheerfully publicize other candidate events as well. (Organizers of candidate forums are encouraged to contact this blog so I can promote their events.) If a candidate wants to promote a speaking engagement or a morning handing out flyers at the 95th Street Red Line Station or the Jefferson Park Blue Line Station, I'll run that, too. I will try and include photographs if the candidate or his or her campaign provides them. Please keep in mind that this is not a full-time job for me and I can't possibly find out about all candidate events on my own. That means I rely on candidate requests for publicity. I'm sure I'll hear from some campaigns ten times or more; there will probably be others that I'll never hear from once. That does not mean I'm playing favorites; I'm merely responding to the email I receive.

    NB: I generally will not report a candidate's bar ratings until the CBA and the Alliance release their findings. This will not happen until late in the primary season, after every candidate has had the opportunity to be evaluated. I wish these groups had a rolling release policy for their ratings -- but they don't. I hear complaints from judicial campaigns in every election cycle about this. But the bar associations believe that the mass release of candidate ratings, around the time that early voting begins, helps to maximize the impact of those ratings on the voting public. Meanwhile, candidates can, and do, post bar ratings on their campaign websites as soon as they get some favorable ratings to talk about. And I link to the websites. So, for now, look there.
  4. Judicial candidates and committees do not pay for posts appearing on this blog. I do not book the Google ads on that appear on this page, and you may sometimes see candidate ads in those spaces, but I personally do not accept candidate ads. (I do accept ads from persons or companies looking to offer products or services to judicial candidates; see the blog Sidebar for additional information.)

    In this still-early stage of the election cycle, judicial election posts on FWIW are read primarily by candidates, their supporters, and persons who are thinking about running for judge in the future. A lot of judges tell me that they visit here regularly; so do persons affiliated with the various bar association judicial evaluation committees. As the primary date draws closer, this site will be increasingly visited by citizens trying to make informed voting decisions. The information that I have collected here, post by post, will be 'packaged' for the voters. Candidates may want to look at past Organizing the Data posts to get a feel for the kind of information has been collected and posted in the past. I'm always looking to enhance the functionality of this site and I reserve the right to make any improvements within my abilities.
  5. I am a lawyer, not a professional journalist. However, since professional journalists insist on ignoring judicial elections, I do the best I can. Having run for judge twice myself (in 1994 and 1996) I appreciate just how little opportunity judicial candidates have to get their credentials before the public. I do try to present candidates in the best possible light, at least in my initial post about any given campaign. However, I reserve the right to fact-check information provided, to add information I've discovered on my own, to combine or even ignore duplicative releases. In short, I reserve the right to edit.
  6. Comments on this blog are 'moderated.' This means I read any comment that anyone cares to leave and decide whether or not it will get posted. I do not automatically exclude anonymous comments, but I'd greatly prefer you leave a name. I will, however, block "attack" comments, especially from anonymous commenters.

    I understand that this is a blog and there is an expectation, for better or worse, that all Internet commentary should be freewheeling and even pungent. But this is my blog and I reserve the right to have my own expectations.

Maire Aileen Dempsey plans 2020 judicial bid

Updated Sept. 6, 2019

Medical malpractice defense attorney Maire Aileen Dempsey has announced plans to seek a judgeship in 2020. That's a link to her campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the blog Sidebar. There is also a campaign Facebook page.

In an email to FWIW received after this article was first posted, Dempsey clarified that her plans are to seek a 10th Subcircuit vacancy that does not yet officially exist. Dempsey indicated that she has no plans to run countywide or to challenge former State Sen. John Mulroe, recently appointed to the Allen vacancy in the 10th Subcircuit.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 2002, Dempsey has been a partner with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. since 2015.

Dempsey's campaign bio is distinctive. While it contains the usual information about education and work experience, Dempsey's bio also stresses her expertise in the martial arts. A black belt in karate, according to the campaign bio, Dempsey currently trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and teaches Modern Arnis (a Filipino stick fighting art). She has taught Women’s Self-Defense for the past 12 years.

Campaign website launched, Sept. 12 fundraiser set for Marcia O'Brien Conway

Supporters of Marcia O'Brien Conway's 2020 judicial campaign have launched a campaign website on her behalf. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the blog Sidebar. A campaign Facebook page has also been set up.

Conway's supporters have scheduled a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, September 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Selleria Veneta store, 7773 Lake Street, in River Forest. Hosting the event with Selleria Veneta is River Forest Chocolates.

Tickets for the event are $75 each ($125 for couples), and sponsorships are available (Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, and Gold - $1,000). For more information about the event, email info@marciaconway.com. Tickets for the event are available online at this link.

Conway's campaign bio notes that she began her legal career with Winston & Strawn. After a five-year stint as a solo practitioner, Conway moved to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in 1993. She has remained with that office in a variety of capacities since, serving for the last 10 years or so in the Real Estate Tax Division of that office.

A 1984 graduate of Loyola University School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola Law Review, according to her campaign bio, Conway clerked for the Attorney General's Office and served as a summer intern to U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras while still in school. She has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1984 and is listed on the master roll under her maiden name, Marcia Organ.

Conway's campaign bio notes that she raised triplets as a single mother while continuing to work as an attorney. Her children had serious medical issues, according to campaign bio, and numerous surgeries, therapies and doctors’ visits helped her better understand what it is like to struggle medically, physically, emotionally and financially. Her campaign bio states that her "life experiences have made her a more compassionate person to those who are struggling in any area of life."

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

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Anthony Lucafo to seek 6th Subcircuit vacancy

Assistant State's Attorney Anthony Lucafo has filed papers with the Illinois State Board of Elections announcing his intention to seek one of the two open 6th Subcircuit seats in the 2020 Democratic Primary.

Lucafo has been licensed in Illinois since 2006, according to ARDC. FWIW has so far been unable to locate any campaign website or Facebook page for this campaign.

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Hat tip to Frank Calabrese for advising of this campaign.

Caps off in race for countywide Mason vacancy -- one way or the other

Neither declared candidate for the countywide Mason vacancy has a campaign website yet -- but both can surely afford one.

The Democratic Party's endorsed candidate for this vacancy is Loop attorney Chris Stacey. He's filed a Notification of Self-Funding with the Illinois State Board of Elections after loaning his campaign $100,000 -- blowing the contribution caps off in this race. Stacey's campaign appears to have about $270,000 in the bank, according to an FWIW search of ISBE records this morning.

Park Ridge attorney Jennifer Callahan has apparently decided to focus on this race as well. That's a link to Callahan's Facebook campaign page; as of the publication of this post, the Facebook page discloses the Mason vacancy as her objective.

According to ISBE records, Callahan filed her Notification of Self-Funding four days before Stacey's was received. She also loaned her campaign $100,000.

Callahan has been licensed in Illinois since 2006, according to ARDC. She practices with Callahan Law, P.C.