Thursday, December 22, 2022

An early Christmas present from Mother Nature? Courts closed tomorrow

The forecast for the next day or so keeps changing but, at its worst, the forthcoming winter storm will not equal, much less eclipse, the Blizzard of '67 (an image from which is pictured here).

Nevertheless, the Chief Judge's Office has announced that Cook County Courts will be closed tomorrow (with a few exceptions). Anyone needing to see the actual Order entered in this regard can click here. For everyone else, herewith the court's press release:

Due to predictions of significant snowfall, high winds causing blizzard-like conditions, and extremely low temperatures and wind chills in Cook County, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans ordered courts and related operations of the Circuit Court of Cook County to be closed Friday, December 23.

This means that, with the exception of adult bail hearings at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse and juvenile detention hearings at the Juvenile Courthouse, and hearings on petitions for civil emergency protective orders, there will be no court proceedings (in-person or virtually) in any Cook County courthouse, and the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court will also be closed, except for purposes of staffing bond court and detention hearings.

All cases previously scheduled for Friday, December 23, 2022, will be rescheduled by order of the Presiding Judge of each division and district of the court, and the clerks will send notices of the new court dates.

Hearings on existing civil protective orders (domestic violence orders of protection, stalking no contact orders, civil no contact orders, firearms restraining orders) will be rescheduled to a date no later than January 6, 2023. Civil protective orders set to expire on December 23 are extended to January 6, 2023.

Bond court bail hearings, including those for domestic violence offenses and suburban cases, and juvenile court detention hearings will take place according to the court’s weekend and holiday schedules.

Hearings for new civil emergency protective orders (EOP) will be held from 9:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23, and from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m on Saturday, December 24. A civil EOP hearing can be requested by visiting Illinois Legal Aid Online at

For domestic violence advocacy, assistance with emergency EOP hearings, or information about a criminal order of protection, the public can call:
Connections for Abused Women and their Children’s 24-hour hotline: (773) 278-4566

Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline in Chicago: (877)-TO END DV (voice) or 1-877-863-6338 (Voice) or 1-877-863-6339 (TTY). The hotline is toll free and confidential.

Perhaps an illustration of confirmation bias... but, then again, perhaps not

I am certain that a great many FWIW readers would agree with the proposition that we here in the Great State of Illinois are uncommonly obsessed with elections and election law. Why? Because, by tinkering with the mechanics of the electoral process, we can influence, if not actually pre-determine, electoral outcomes. See, generally, maps and redistricting.

So I was not surprised to see, in a newsletter-email addressing the introduction and adoption of election-related legislation in the 50 states I recently received from Ballotpedia, evidence supporting my opinion. This graphic from said email should more than adequately illustrate my point:
Only New York State had more election-related legislation introduced in its legislature than we did in ours.

Only about 11% (266, to be precise) of the election-related bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide were in fact enacted. The success or failure rate of election-related legislation was not broken down on a state-by-state basis, but the newsletter did say, "States with Democratic trifectas—meaning full legislative and gubernatorial control—accounted for 93 of the 266 enacted bills (35%), and 121 (45%) came in states with Republican trifectas. States with divided governments enacted 52 bills (20%)."

Trying to control election outcomes by controlling election mechanics is apparently one of those few remaining areas of bipartisan agreement: Both sides agree that the other side should have no chance, or as little chance as possible.

But the tactics are different. See this chart:

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Being a judge is almost as stressful as being a urologist: O*NET online

I'll bet you never heard it put that way. I certainly never did.

But a recent ABA Journal article by Debra Cassens Weiss provides this nugget, citing to a list published by the Occupational Information Network, or O*NET Online, a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, and developed by the National Center for O*Net Development.

To be more specific, as Cassens Weiss writes, the list "ranked 873 jobs based on the importance of stress tolerance, defined as the ability to accept criticism and deal calmly and effectively with high-stress situations."

According to the O*NET list, the top occupations requiring high stress tolerance are:
  • Urologists,
  • Film and Video Editors,
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants (tie),
  • Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates (tie), and
  • Telephone Operators (tie).
I know what you must be thinking: There still are telephone operators?

According to the ABA Journal article, "Lawyers had a stress ranking of 87, putting them much further down on the list. They tied with more than 20 other occupations, including umpires and referees, registered nurses, intelligence analysts, gambling change people, child care workers and anesthesiologists."

A big takeaway here: Somehow anesthesiologists have figured out a way to blame their assistants when things go wrong.

And, wouldn't you think, given the alleged similarities in function, that umpires, referees, and judges would all be rated as similarly stressful?

In case you're wondering (I was, at least) "gambling change persons" are not people who experience remorse five minutes after the start of any game on which they have wagered. Rather, "gambling change persons" are defined as persons who "[e]xchange coins, tokens, and chips for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers."

I certainly do not accept the rankings on this list without question: Door-to-door sales workers are allegedly one of the least stressful occupations. That can't be right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Connors resignation opens opportunity for Navarro

Illinois Appellate Court Justice Maureen E. Connors has announced her retirement, and the Illinois Supreme Court has wasted no time in filling her vacancy.

In an Order entered today, the Supreme Court reassigned Justice Mary L. Mikva, a Circuit Court judge already serving by appointment on the Appellate Court, to the Connors vacancy.

Justice Mikva's previous Appellate Court assignment was open-ended. The new assignment is effective January 18, 2023 and terminates December 2, 2024. To remain on the Appellate Court after that date, Justice Mikva would have to win election to the court in the 2024 election. Under today's order, however, she remains a Circuit Court judge sitting on the Appellate Court by assignment. If she fails to win election to the Appellate Court, or chooses not to run, she can remain a Circuit Court judge when her time on the Appellate Court is up.

Today's Order also allows Justice Mikva to retain her own caseload.

Justice Connors' cases will be taken over by Circuit Court Judge David R. Navarro pursuant to a separate Order, also entered today, by the Illinois Supreme Court. This Order assigns Judge Navarro to the Appellate Court effective February 6, 2023, in which assignment he will remain "until further order of the Court."

Navarro was appointed to the Circuit Court bench in 2017. He was elected to a 4th Subcircuit vacancy in 2018. Navarro was appointed acting presiding judge of the Pretrial Division in November 2021.

The Supreme Court's press release about Judge Navarro's new assignment can be found here.

Justice Connors had served on the Appellate Court since she was appointed to that court in late 2010. She was elected to that court without opposition in 2012. Connors was recently retained as an Appellate Court justice in the 2022 election.

Justice Mikva has been serving on the Appellate Court by assignment since 2016. She was elected to the Circuit Court in 2004.

Friday, December 09, 2022

CBA to present Korematsu reenactment on Thursday, December 15

Fred Korematsu in 1998
The Chicago Bar Association D.I.C.E Committee, the Young Lawyers Section of the CBA, and the Japanese American Bar Association of Chicago are partnering to present a program on Korematsu v. United States on Thursday, December 15 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., at the CBA building, 321 S. Plymouth Ct.

The link in the preceding sentence is not to the 1944 Supreme Court opinion (that "shameful precedent," as Justice Sonia Sotomayor called it in her dissent in Trump v. Hawaii, 138 S.Ct. 2392 (2018) (see, p. 92 of the linked .pdf document)) but, rather, to educational materials published by the U.S. Courts.

Those materials note that, while Fred Korematsu's conviction (for violating an exclusion order by the military) was overturned in a 1983 case (he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton in 1998), "the Supreme Court decision still stands."

That flat assertion might come as a surprise to the Supreme Court justices who heard Trump v. Hawaii. In the majority opinion in that case, Chief Justice Roberts stated, "Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and---to be clear---'has no place in law under the Constitution.' 323 U.S., at 248 (Jackson, J., dissenting)." And, as alluded above, in her dissent, Justice Sotomayor stated, "Today, the Court takes the importantstep of finally overruling Korematsu * * *. This formal repudiation of a shameful precedent is laudable and long overdue."

This seeming digression into Trump v. Hawaii is relevant because the materials for next Thursday's program, which were drafted and provided by the Asian American Bar Association of New York, includes commentary at the end from Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor. I may have given some of that away here.

The program will feature CBA members reenacting key moments from Fred Korematsu’s trial and fight for justice. During the presentation, participants will examine key areas of the law involved in the case.

Korematsu was born in the United States but was arrested for his Japanese ancestry and for refusing to comply with military orders. During World War II, Japanese Americans were regarded as a threat to U.S. security and were uprooted from their homes to remote internment camps in the West.

However, Korematsu took a stand for his rights as an American-born citizen and brought his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court rejected his claim that the relocation of Japanese Americans during the War was based on racial bias.

For additional information about this program or to register to attend, visit this page of the CBA website.

CBA Symphony Orchestra and Chorus present a Classical Holiday on December 17

Sure, Schroeder might say that a Beethoven-only program would more than suffice.

But the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Bar Association Chorous have decided to offer even more in their holiday program, to be presented on Saturday, December 17, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at St. James Episcopal Cathedral, 65 E. Huron Street.

Marek Rachelski will conduct the CBA Orchestra and Stephen Blackwelder will conduct the CBA Chorus in a program that features selections from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah and as well as movements from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.

Tickets will be available at the door ($20 apiece for adults, $15 for law students or persons 18 and under). Tickets purchased online in advance are discounted: $15 for adults, $10 for students. To purchase tickets online, click here.

SABA Chicago Holiday Party set for Monday, December 12

The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago will have its Holiday Party this coming Monday, December 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at City Social, 120 N. LaSalle St. Registration is required for this event (yes, that's the link).

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Cook County Bar Association Winter Ball & Holiday Toy Drive set for December 15

The Cook County Bar Association will hold its Winter Ball & Holiday Toy Drive on Thursday, December 15, from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m., at the Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th Street.

Tickets for this event are $100 each. The price includes admission, limited open bar, food from Premier Catering, and live entertainment from the "Park N Ride" band and sounds from DJ Commando. Semi-formal attire is encouraged.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys. Checks in lieu of toy donations may be made payable to the Cook County Bar Association or, alternatively, Zelle payments may be sent to

Event tickets are available here.

AABA Chicago Holiday Party this Thursday, December 8

A holiday party sponsored by the Asian American Bar Association Chicago and the AABA Chicago Law Foundation will take place this Thursday evening, December 8, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Lao Sze Chuan, 520 N. Michigan Ave.

Tickets are $55 each for members ($65 for non-members). Law students will be admitted for $15. All tickets are available at this link. Tickets will also be available at the door, but payment must be made by credit card only; no cash will be accepted.

Monday, December 05, 2022

New class of Cook County Circuit Court judges sworn in today via Zoom

I just know this will be triggering to some small percentage of FWIW readers, but it is a fact and I refuse to shrink from my responsibility to report that the newest crop of Cook County Circuit judges, all of whom (with the exception of Joe Gump) were effectively elected in the June Democratic primary, there being no two-party system to speak of in our fair county, were sworn in this morning in an online Zoom hearing.

The festivities were streamed live on YouTube.

It was, as these things go, a very nice ceremony, with advice and admonitions appropriate to the occasion from several judicial luminaries, including former 7th Circuit Chief Judge Diane P. Wood, Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the Northern District of Illinois, newly-installed Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy V. Cunningham, and Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis.

It was a little strange, of course, to watch a ceremony like this shoehorned into the Hollywood Squares format of a Zoom meeting. Fortunately, no one took it upon themselves to assume the part of Paul Lynde. All the new judges seemed to have a standard Circuit Court of Cook County virtual background -- a viewer could quickly pick out the virtual nature of the background because the arm of this new judge, or that one, would disappear when they failed to remember to sit entirely stock still.

And, let's face it, this was an occasion where the persons being welcomed into the third branch of government (as a number of speakers reminded the initiates) were understandably excited, elated, and, well, eager to get the formalities over with so they could celebrate with friends and family. Some of them had trouble sitting entirely still.

Allow me to use this platform to offer my personal and heartfelt congratulations to all the newly sworn-in judges.

I realize that even this modest salutation will also be triggering for some FWIW readers.

There are some very bitter people on the outside looking in. Having been disappointed myself over the past 30 years of not reaching the bench, I can appreciate the disappointment that others also feel. I can even understand how some may feel that disappointment more keenly, these days, than I might, since I've stopped actively striving (why, I didn't even fill out applications for the last couple of AJ classes -- I figure the Supreme Court knows where to find me, if it wants to, and I'm not holding my breath anymore waiting).

But I do have a problem understanding much of the anger and bitterness that some have expressed in comments FWIW readers never see.

Not all of the angry people are judge wannabes. Some are practitioners who felt, rightly or wrongly, that the civil court system failed utterly during Covid, depriving them of opportunities to earn a livelihood. A judge on Zoom, for some of these, is a judge who is not earning their pay.

But some of these angry people have ambitions to one day don the robe themselves. Or say they do. And yet they profess disdain for the successful candidates and heap scorn on the (pick one or more) ability, intelligence, independence, work ethic, and/or sobriety of the judges already serving. This makes no sense to me: Why would anyone aspire to a job working with colleagues they despise?

Well... as I've said on many occasions... I am no politician.

Anyway, congratulations to all the new judges. I wish you well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Limited tickets still available for HLAI holiday party on December 2

The HLAI (and HLAI Charities) Holiday Party is set for this Friday, December 2, from 5:30 to 7:30p.m., in the Cava Room, above Moe's Cantina, 155 W. Kinzie.

Limited tickets are still available for this event. Tickets are $75 each for HLAI members, $100 for non-members (law students will be admitted for $55) and can be purchased by clicking here. All attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or gift card (minimum $20 value) to benefit the children of Mujeres Latinas en Acción & Legal Aid Society. Proceeds from this event will fund HLAI Charities Scholarships.

Who will tell the Speaker that "Blue Christmas" is a sad song?

I wouldn't wish a Blue Christmas on anyone... but this is America, doggone it, and, if that's what he wants to do, the Speaker is free to wish a lonely, miserable Christmas on his many foll... what?... oh. It has just been called to my attention that "blue" in this context is a reference to the Speaker's political party and is not meant in any way to suggest that the Speaker wishes any quantum of sadness, large or small, on anyone during this holiday season.

Readers will hopefully note a very positive feature of the above and foregoing invitation: There is a strong financial incentive to bring a toy to this seasonal soirée. Tickets are $250 apiece -- but persons who pledge to bring a toy to be donated to local organizations can purchase tickets for the heavily discounted price of just $100 each.

To purchase tickets for this event (with or without a toy), or to purchase a sponsorship for this event, click here.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

FWIW didn't get the story wrong: Circuit Court Judge Freddrenna M. Lyle has been assigned to duty on the Appellate Court

And Judge Lyle will assume Justice Cunningham's case load when she arrives (Justice Joy V. Cunningham, you will recall, having been appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court).

However, owing to what the Supreme Court describes as a "clerical error," the Supreme Court entered a "Corrected Order" this past Friday indicating that Judge Lyle is being assigned "to the position currently held by the Honorable Cynthia Y. Cobbs, who is being reassigned to the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District."

Which means... depending on what is meant by a separate order also entered Friday... that Justice Cobbs, a Circuit Court judge already serving by assignment to the Appellate Court, is now in the 'up or out' slot. Probably.

Here's where the potential confusion comes from: Justice Cobbs has not been appointed to the Appellate Court. Rather, the order states that Justice Cobbs "is reassigned to duty in the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, to the position currently held by the Honorable Joy V. Cunningham, who is being appointed to the Supreme Court of Illinois." So she has been put in Cunningham's slot, but keeps her own caseload.

In contrast, in 2020, the Supreme Court expressly appointed Justice Robert E. Gordon, like Justice Cobbs a Circuit Court judge serving on the Appellate Court by appointment, to the vacancy of Justice Shelvin Louise Marie Hall.

However, because Friday's order expressly provides that Justice Cobbs' new 'assignment' will terminate on December 2, 2024, I believe that the intention of Friday's order is that Justice Cobbs would have to run for, and win, the Cunningham seat (or some other) on the Appellate Court in order to remain on that bench. On the other hand, because she has not been appointed to the Cunningham vacancy, in the event that she is unsuccessful in her potential bid for the Cunningham vacancy, or if she chooses not to run, Cobbs would remain a judge of the Circuit Court after the expiration date of last week's reassignment (December 2, 2024).

If memory serves (and, because the Supreme Court website has since been updated, I can no longer pull up the 2018 order to double-check), the language in this order is similar to that employed in the older order reassigning Justice Hyman to a specific Appellate Court vacancy, with a definite end date: Justice Hyman ran for that vacany and won in 2020, but if he had fallen short, he would have remained on the Circuit Court bench. As it was, Hyman's Circuit Court seat came open when he won election to the Appellate Court and was filled in this most recent election cycle.

Advocates Society Holiday Party set for December 16

The Advocates Society, the Association of Polish-American Attorneys, will hold its Holiday Party on Friday, December 16, starting with a short meeting at 6:30 p.m., at the Copernicus Annex at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago.

Dinner will follow the short meeting, according to the event organizers, and festive games will follow dinner. This will be a family-friendly event, the Advocates assert, with festive attire suggested. Tickets are $30 per person, but accompanied children 16 and under will be admitted at no charge. To register for this event, click here.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Transitioning to Life as a Judicial Law Clerk: December 8 CLE from DSF and ISBA

There was a time when the opportunity to serve as a judicial law clerk came only at the beginning of one's legal career. That has apparently changed.

The Illinois State Bar Association Diversity Leadership Council and the Diversity Scholarship Foundation will present a free CLE program on Thursday, December 8, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., at the JW Marriott Hotel, 151 W. Adams. This program, entitled "It's Never Too Late: Transitioning to Life as a Judicial Law Clerk," will take place during the ISBA/IJA Joint Midyear Meeting.

Speaking at the program will be Enrique Abraham, of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office; Jonathan B. Amarilio, of Taft Stettinius and Hollister LLP; U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, of the Northern District of Illinois; Illinois Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes; and Ryan Suniga, Law Clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Jorge L. Alonso, of the Northern District of Illinois. Jerrod L. Williams, a Law Clerk, in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, will serve as moderator. Bianca B. Brown, of the Chicago Transit Authority, is the program coordinator.

While the program is free, registration is required. This can be accomplished at this page of the ISBA website.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Northwest Suburban Bar Association Holiday Party set for December 7

Tickets are available at this link for the Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Annual Holiday Party, to be held on Wednesday, December 7, starting at 5:00 p.m., at Maggiano's Little Italy, 1901 E. Woodfield Dr., Schaumburg.

The NWSBA will honor retired Judge James A. Geocaris with its Lifetime Achievement Award at this event. The NWSBA will also confer its Public Service Award on Judge Steven A. Kozicki. Tickets cost $100 per person; the price includes dinner and an open bar.

Questions about the event should be directed to Kaitlyn Gallagher at Persons or groups wishing to sponsor this event should contact Julie Barth at

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Tickets now available for Illinois Latino Judge Association Holiday Fiesta

The Illinois Latino Judges Association Holiday Fiesta will take place on Thursday, December 8, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., at Mi Tierra Restaurant, 2528 S. Kedzie, Chicago.

Tickets are $75 apiece and are available at this link.

Guest Post: Approaching a new retention normal?

Today FWIW is again honored to present a Guest Post by Albert J. Klumpp, a generous and frequent contributor to FWIW over the years, a research analyst with a public policy PhD, and the author of several scholarly works analyzing judicial elections.

by Albert J. Klumpp

Despite the current level of political turmoil throughout our country, last Tuesday’s election concluded one of the quietest judicial retention cycles on record. Nationally there were 692 state court judges seeking noncompetitive retention in eighteen different states. Pending some unreported results in Kansas and Indiana, 689 of the judges appear to have been retained. The lone exceptions were in Maricopa County, Arizona, where three trial court judges with less-than-perfect marks from the state’s judicial performance commission were on the verge of defeat, albeit with many thousands of ballots still to count.

Here in Cook County, the voting indicated that the surge in interest in the retention part of the ballot that began in 2018 and grew in 2020 is starting to fade. This is not at all unexpected. The same happened during the Operation Greylord elections of the 1980s, and has happened in other jurisdictions as well. But while the post-Greylord voting was largely the same as the pre-Greylord voting, in this instance future retention elections are likely to settle into a somewhat different normal compared to the past.

Ballots are still being counted in both city and suburbs, but the retention numbers are complete enough to allow for a sufficient examination of the results:
  • The reported voter turnout of 41% is the lowest for any November election since the adoption of judicial retention in 1964. Conversely, the median participation rate for the retention judges on the ballot was 76%, the highest level ever. Since it typically is the most regular and dedicated voters who complete the retention part of the ballot, the two figures in combination is not a surprise.
  • The baseline approval rate for the 61 judges on the retention ballot, controlling for all positive and negative variables, was a historically typical 75.3 percent. This is exactly the same figure as in 2020 and just below the 75.4 percent level in 2018. (There in fact were 62 judges listed on the ballot, but unfortunately both the city and county election agencies did not report vote totals for the retiring Daniel Pierce.)
  • Among the bar association ratings, the Illinois State Bar Association’s were by far the most influential at roughly eight percent of the vote, compared to roughly five percent for all of the other bars combined. In recent years the ISBA ratings have been reported more frequently by suburban media, so their growing influence is to be expected, and in fact was measured as growing in 2018 and 2020. However, in this election they were predominant among the bar groups even in the city. The eight percent figure may be a bit of an overstatement, due to the small overall number of negative ratings by the bars and the consequent difficulty in estimating their impact, but the trend is undeniable.

  • The two social media guides from progressive activists that were detectable in the 2018 and 2020 voting were once again detectable here. The “Girl I Guess” guide was used by roughly 4.8 percent of the voters, while the “Cheat Sheet” guide circulated by the Chicago Votes group was used by roughly 1.6 percent. As expected, both were much more influential in the city than in the suburbs.

  • Unlike the primaries, where name cues are highly influential and often determinative, name cues are of little significance in retention voting and were not a major influence here. Female judges did 1.8 percent better than males, and among the three most important race/ethnicity categories (Irish, Black, Hispanic), none was worth more than 1 percent.

  • Overall roughly 200,000 voters made use of information from one of the above-named information sources to cast a mixture of yes and no votes. This is double the historically typical figure of 100,000, but only a fraction of the 400,000 in 2018 and the 520,000 in 2020. However, while the number is smaller than in the two previous elections, it occurred with no help whatsoever from either of the major metropolitan newspapers, The Sun-Times and Tribune both not only declined to offer any retention recommendations of their own, but did not even report any of the bar association ratings for informational purposes.
One final point, something that drew surprisingly little pre-election attention but cannot be ignored:
This was the county Democratic party’s mailer for the election, showing a full retreat from the aggressive position taken by the party in 2018 and 2020 regarding retention candidates. There is no mention on the party’s website of having done the sort of investigating that it claimed to have done in 2018 and 2020, so this appears to be simply a reversion to the party’s previous long-running practice of simply recommending yes votes on the full retention class. And while this may have surprised many observers, history teaches us that it should have surprised no one.

In 1887, 1921, 1953, 1984 and again in 2020 the local political powers-that-be suffered headline-generating embarrassments in judicial elections, because they forgot the lessons of the past and were repudiated by the electorate for trying to overly influence the process of judicial selection. It’s a remarkably cyclical pattern that repeats every thirty-something years, and proves the old adage of those who forget history being doomed to repeat it. This mailer may well be evidence of another cycle coming to a close.

Looking forward, if the Sun-Times and Tribune, which were significant drivers of retention votes in the past, continue to shun the retention candidates in the future, then future elections will continue to see the combination of the internet, social media and smartphones play the primary role in retention voting as they apparently did here. The mixture of information-based votes will be more political and less profession-oriented — especially considering that the bar community shows no interest in strategies to increase the use of its ratings, and seems oddly accepting of its lessening influence. This will likely occur regardless of the choices made by the county Democratic party.

When the results are official the ward and township numbers are final, I’ll share some detail from the analysis at that level. For now I’ll just add the usual fine print about how the figures cited above are statistical estimates with margins of error, but that on the whole they “fit” the retention results very well and describe the voting patterns accurately.

Judge Freddrenna M. Lyle assigned to Appellate Court

Updated 11/18/22 to add link to Supreme Court press release

In an order entered yesterday, the Illinois Supreme Court assigned Circuit Court Judge Freddrenna M. Lyle to duty on the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court. The Supreme Court's press release about the appointment is available here.

Pursuant to the order, Judge Lyle will take up her new duties when Justice Joy V. Cunningham officially joins the Illinois Supreme Court on December 1. Judge Lyle will also assume Justice Cunningham's caseload on the Appellate Court.

Justice Cunningham has been appointed to the Supreme Court, which means that, if she wishes to remain on that Court, she will have to seek election to that office in 2024. Judge Lyle has been assigned to the Appellate Court, which means that she will not necessarily have to seek the Cunningham vacancy on the Appellate Court in 2024 in order to remain in that assignment.

Judge Lyle, a former Chicago alderperson, was first elected to the Circuit Court in 2016. She was retained in the recent election (winning a "Well Qualified" rating from the Chicago Council of Lawyers in the process).

But Lyle began her judicial service in late 2011, when the Illinois Supreme Court appointed her to a 2nd Subcircuit vacancy. She did not run for that judgeship; instead, in 2012, she received a new appointment, this time to a 7th Subcircuit vacancy. She did not run for that vacancy either.

In 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Lyle to a 5th Subcircuit vacancy. This was the vacancy to which she was elected -- without opposition -- in 2016.

The Cook County Democratic Party slated Judge Lyle for an Appellate Court vacancy in the 2014 election cycle. Judge Lyle's "Qualified" rating from the Chicago Bar Association was rescinded on the eve of the primary (because the CBA felt that its rating was being touted as an endorsement in some of Judge Lyle's radio commercials), only to be reinstated after the primary, after Judge Lyle's bid for the Appellate Court had come up short.

Tickets now available for Diversity Scholarship Foundation's Annual Unity Gala

The Diversity Scholarship Foundation will hold its Annual Unity Gala on Tuesday, December 6, starting at 5:00 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

As in past years, the event will feature all bar presidents taking an Oath of Diversity. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans will administer the oath at this year's ceremony.

Newly installed Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis will receive the DSF's Unity Award, while the chair of her judicial screening commmittee, former Judge Patrica Brown Holmes, will receive the Justice Laura Liu Access to Justice Award at the gala. The DSF will also recognize Vivian R. Khalaf, Judge Matthew W. Jannusch, David W. Inlander, Manish K. Mehta, Angel M. Traub, and H. Patrick Morris as Advocates for Diversity.

Persons receiving the DSF scholarships will also be recognized at the event.

Tickets for the Gala are $150 each (a table of 10 is $1,500) and are available by clicking this link.

The deadline for sponsorships has passed, but interested persons or groups who missed the deadline should email as soon as possible. (The sponsorship brochure can be accessed here.) There is also an ad book for the event, with ads starting at $175. Click here for ad book information.

Friday, November 11, 2022

CBA Young Lawyers Section promotes Dear Santa Letters Program

The CBA YLS is again working with Chicago Public Schools and Direct Effect Charities to help fulfill the holiday wishes of needy Chicago school kids. Lawyers can click on this link to complete a form and request as many letters as they can answer.

The expectation is that responding lawyers will spend $25 or $30 to purchase some or even a few items on each letter writer's list. Packages will be sent directly to each child's school.

For those too busy responding to discovery requests to shop even on line, donations may be made to Direct Effects Charities via Zelle (at 312-296-5311) to help defray the program's administrative costs.

No word yet on whether a Dear Santa program has been set up to fulfill the holiday hopes of deserving lawyers....

Thursday, November 10, 2022

WBAI, HLAI Leadership Dinner set for November 15

The Women's Bar Association of Illinois and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois will hold their Second Annual Leadership Dinner on Tuesday, November 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Dentons, 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5900.

The event is intended to celebrate Latina lawyers and Latin American heritage and to allow the leaders and members of the two bar groups to meet in a casual setting and develop social and professional network connections. The dinner will feature "'Antojitos de América Latina,' flavorful small plates of from several Latin American countries including México, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba and Perú." An open bar reception with "signature cocktails from around Latin America" will follow.

Tickets are $55 each for members, $65 each for non-members, and are available at this link.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Something to consider for those who think the 60% + 1 judicial retention bar too low

Would anyone seriously call Pritzker's margin over Bailey a squeaker? A close call? A cliffhanger?

Maybe "landslide" would be used only by those with a rooting interest -- but it does not seem at all hyperbolic to say that Gov. Pritzker enjoyed a "comfortable" or "double-digit" margin over State Sen. Bailey, at 54.2% to 43.1%. The election had been called by every major news outlet before the election judges had a chance to get home.

But if J.B. Pritzker were a Cook County judge seeking retention, he would have been kicked out of office with "only" a 54.2% favorable vote.

It was a Democratic sweep last night in Illinois, but outside of races for Cook County offices where the Republicans cobbled together a ticket only after the primary, very few winners got 60% of the vote. If 60% + 1 were the standard, every lopsided Democratic statewide winner, not just Pritzker, would have gone down to defeat.

But, just as sure as sunrise, there will be those who lament that the judicial retention standard is too lenient, a virtual guarantee of lifetime employment for those fortunate enough to serve in the judiciary.

But, in reality, it's darned hard for a candidate to get the approval of more than six out of every 10 voters. It's an achievement. Just look at the numbers.

The maps won

In this data-driven age, as long as the politicians get to select their own voters by drawing the maps, the maps will pretty much always win. Election outcomes are essentially determined at the redistricting stage.

Statewide, some 54% or 55% of the voters supported the Democratic Party's sweep of statewide offices (I believe Comptroller Susan Mendoza may have led the ticket with something like 57% of the vote). If legislative maps were proportinately drawn, Democrats should expect to receive 64 seats in the 118-member Illinois House and 32 or 33 seats in the Illinois Senate -- a comfortable majority, but not veto-proof. But, thanks to the superb cartographic skills of the Democratic Party's map-makers, Democrats will again enjoy supermajorities in both houses.

With proportionate maps, there might have been as many as seven or even eight Republicans sent to the U.S. House from Illinois. But with the maps we have, with what look like straws snaking into Cook County's seemingly inexhaustible fund of Democratic votes from all directions, there will be perhaps three Republicans in Illinois' 17-member delegation.

In Texas or North Carolina this would be denounced as gerrymandering. Here...? I guess here you'd best just call it good politics.

But the Democratic Party's mapmakers faced a real challenge this year.

When Tom Kilbride's Supreme Court retention bid failed in 2020, the possibility of a 4-3 Republican majority on the Illinois Supreme Court became more than theoretical. While Cook County has long been a Democratic bastion, and while the collar counties have been turning and trending Blue and Bluer for several election cycles, the rest of the State has turned more correspondingly Red. Republican victories in the then-existing Second and Third Judicial Districts seemed likely.

So the Illinois Democratic Party had to redraw the Supreme Court districts.

But the 1970 Illinois Constitution posed some significant obstacles for the map-makers: Cook County IS the First Judicial District, according to the Constitution. It cannot be broken up into chunks, even for the noble purpose of protecting a Democratic majority on the Illinois Supreme Court.

There was only one option: The collar counties had to be shuffled in a way to maximize the Democratic Party's chances. In 2018 Pritzker won the counties comprising both the new Second Judicial District (DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties) and the new Third Judicial District (Bureau, LaSalle, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, DuPage and Will Counties). Thus, the map-makers thought they had a shot at both new seats.

They may well have been right.

Lake County Judge Elizabeth Rochford defeated former Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to win the new Second Judicial District seat.

And, judging by results posted online this morning by the respective county clerks, it appears that Appellate Court Justice Mary K. O'Brien is going to defeat appointed Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke, albeit by only about 8,000 votes:
And the margin of defeat, if the numbers hold, will have come from DuPage County, where Burke is from.

UPDATE: O'Brien has claimed victory.

Joe Gump wins the one contested Cook County judicial election

In the only contested judicial election on the ballot in Cook County -- in the race for the Groebner vacancy in the far Northwest suburban 13th Subcircuit -- former Assistant Public Defender Joe Gump has defeated Gary William Seyring by roughly 11,000 votes, 55,347 to 44,577, according to returns released late last evening by the Cook County Clerk.

A great many more persons than this were elected to judicial vacancies yesterday... but all were unopposed. No Republicans were on the ballot for any judicial vacancy in Cook County, countywide or subcircuit, except for Seyring. All the other judicial elections were effectively determined in the June primary.

Was there ever really a doubt? All Cook County judges seeking retention were retained

The headline says it all: Every Cook County judge seeking retention, from newly-installed Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis on down, received more than the necessary 60% + 1 "yes" votes, granting each of the retention candidates new terms in office (10-year terms for the Supreme and Appellate Courts, 6-year terms for Circuit Court judges).

Some judges had a harder time than others: Unlike most of his colleagues, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans did not break the 70% approval barrier in either the City (68.7%) or suburbs (69.91%).

Ann Finley Collins, who received negative evaluations from every bar association because she did not submit to evaluation, fared worse than nearly all of her colleagues, getting a 63.53% yes vote in the City and only a 61% yes vote in the suburbs.

Charles Patrick Burns, who received positive reviews from all bar associations, but was called out by Injustice Watch for a high reversal rate, received a 67.95% yes vote in the City and a 69.9% yes vote in the suburbs.

Rossana P. Fernandez and William H. Hooks received negative evaluations from the Illinois State Bar Association. The Girl I Guess Progressive Voter Guide also recommended a 'no' vote on Fernandez. (That guide also recommended a 'no' vote on Hooks initially -- but subsequently flipped.) But voters returned both, giving Fernandez a 63.39% 'yes' vote in the suburbs and a 62.02 'yes' vote in the City, while Hooks received favorable votes of 64.21% in the suburbs and 68.39% in the City.

In general, City voters were more generous with their 'yes' votes than suburban voters: No retention judge appears to have received an 80% approval rating among suburban voters, while City voters gave Chief Justice Theis an 81.54% approval rating; Appellate Court Justices Maureen E. Connors and Jesse G. Reyes 80.13% and 81.09%, respectively; and 80% or better 'yes' votes to Circuit Court Judges Sophia H. Hall, Clare Elizabeth McWilliams, Linzey D. Jones, Susan Kennedy Sullivan, Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa, Carolyn J. Gallagher, D. Renee Jackson, Daryl Jones, and Catherin Ann Schneider (82.14%, 80.20%, 80.03%, 80.46%, 80.49%, 80.73%, 81.21%, 80.49%, and 80.15%).

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Welcome judicial retention voters: The it's too late to really be early edition

The actual election is finally (almost) upon us. This is the last weekend for early voting for both Chicago residents and residents of suburban Cook County.

If you've landed here via a web search, you are probably seeking information about the lengthy Cook County judicial retention ballot. What follows are a number of links to recent FWIW posts that should help satisfy your curiousity.

Feel free to share this post (or any of the posts linked herein) with your friends and neighbors by clicking on one of those little buttons at the bottom of the post you wish to share (or in whatever other way you share on social media).

The good news is that the November elections are almost over.... the bad news is that the Chicago mayoral and aldermanic races have already begun.... *Sigh*

But without further adieu, then, links:

Friday, November 04, 2022

Illinois Judges Foundation Annual Reception set for November 10

The Illinois Judges Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association, will hold its Annual Reception on this coming Thursday, November 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 South Plymouth Court.

Honorees at this reception will include new Fourth Judicial District Supreme Court Justice Lisa Holder White; Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., the Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County; and retired DuPage County Judge Robert Anderson.

Tickets to attend the event in person are $100 each, but persons may also attend via Zoom for $25. Either way, tickets are available at this link.

Sponsorships are also still available ($500 - Friend, $1,000 - Silver, $2,500 - Gold, $5,000 - Platinum). For more information about sponsorships, click here or contact Michael Bender at Membership opportunities in the Illinois Judges Foundation are also available; for more information about these options, click here.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Jewish Judges Association of Illinois to hold Awards and Installation Dinner December 8

The Jewish Judges Association of Illinois will hold its 18th Annual Justice, Lifetime Achievement, and Public Service Awards and Installation Dinner at the Hilton Doubletree, 9599 Skokie Blvd., on Thursday, December 8, with a reception starting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner following at 6:30 p.m.

Outgoing Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will recieve the group's First Special Recognition Award at the event. Lake County Circuit Court Judge Daniel B. Shanes will receive the Honorable Seymour Simon Justice Award, recently-transferred Fourth District Appellate Court Justice Kathryn Zenoff will receive the Honorable Ilana Diamond Rover Lifetime Achievement Award, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert will receive the Honorable Richard J. Elrod Public Service Award.

Tickets for the event are $175 each, or $1,750 per table.

Sponsorships are also available (Gold - $1,000, Platinum - $1,500, and Diamond - $2,500).

The last date to purchase tickets is November 15, 2022. Further information about the event, and a form for ordering tickets or sponsorships, can be found by clicking here. Dietary laws will be observed.

Justinian Society to hold its Endowment Fund Scholarship Dinner on November 17

Thursday, November 17 turns out to be a busy day for scholarship fund fundraisers.

In addition to the BWLA Scholarship Fund event, the Justinian Socity of Lawyers will hold its Endowment Fund Scholarship Dinner at the Rosebud, 1500 W. Taylor St., on Thursday, November 17, with cocktails starting at 6:00 p.m., and a family style dinner (with wine included) following at 7:00 a.m.

Hard choices may have to be made... although it may just be possible to hit one for the appetizers, then head over for dinner at the other. The venues are only about 1.3 miles apart. Depending on the timing, the truly ambitious, or determined, may even make it back to the first venue in time for the wine tasting.

Anything for the next generation of lawyers, right?

Tickets for the JSEF Scholarship Dinner are $65 for Justinian members, $75 for non-members, and $55 for students. All are available at this link.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Justinian Society of Lawyers Endowment Fund, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Contributions are deductible to the extent allowed by law.

BWLA Scholarship Fund Board announces Sips for Scholarships on November 17

The Black Women's Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. Scholarship Fund Board will present its annual Sips for Scholarships event on Thursday, November 17, from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., at the Nych Art Gallery, 2025 S. Laflin St.

The event will feature a beer-and-wine open bar, appetizers, and wine tastings featuring a Black and female-owned winery. There will also be raffle prizes and a silent auction. The winners of the Scholarship Fund's Fall Book Award and Bar Review Scholarships will be announced.

Tickets for the event are $65 each for BWLA members, $85 for non-members, and are available at this link.

Persons with items to donate to the silent auction are urged to contact

Cook County Bar Association co-hosts November Joint Dinner this Thursday

The Cook County Bar Association, in conjunction with the Illinois Judicial Council, the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., and the Black Men Lawyers' Association, is co-sponsoring a November Joint Dinner on Thursday, November 3, from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., at Row 24, 2411 S. Michigan Ave.

Appellate Court Justice Cynthia Cobbs will receive the Trailblazer Award at the event.

Tickets for the dinner are $65 apiece (the price includes one free drink ticket) and are available at this link. For questions or additional information about the event, contact

Friday, October 28, 2022

Welcome early voters! Everything you need to know about the Cook County judicial retention ballot

Updated October 28 and bumped up for greater visibility
Updated October 14 and bumped up for greater visibility

Early voting is now well underway for both Chicago residents and residents of suburban Cook County.

If you've landed here via a web search, you are probably seeking information about the lengthy Cook County judicial retention ballot. What follows are a number of links to recent FWIW posts that should help satisfy your curiousity.

Feel free to share this post (or any of the posts linked herein) with your friends and neighbors by clicking on one of those little buttons at the bottom of the post you wish to share (or in whatever other way you share on social media).

And, for those of you who are voting early, you do know it won't stop the commercials on your TV, right? (If only...........)

Without further adieu, then, links:

Northern District of Illinois announces application process for Magistrate vacancy

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is accepting applications for a full-time United States Magistrate Judge position in the Eastern Division, "with the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse at Chicago, Illinois as the duty station."

Chances are pretty good that the successful applicant for the position would already know where the "duty station" is... but I suppose the Court did not wish to automatically exclude law professors from the process.

Of course, even if law professors were interested in getting a real job (as opposed to the adjuncts who do work all day in the real world and then teach nights and weekends, trying to provide law students with practical instruction they would never otherwise get), the academics would likely stumble on the first of the following requirements of the magistrate position:
  1. be, and have been for at least five years, a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands of the United States, and have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least five years;
  2. be competent to perform all of the duties of the office; be of good moral character, emotionally stable and mature; be committed to equal justice under the law; be in good health; be patient and courteous; and be capable of deliberation and decisiveness;
  3. be less than seventy years of age; and
  4. not be related to a judge of the district court.
The pay is good -- the present annual salary for a United States Magistrate Judge is $205,528 -- and the retirement plan is even better: A magistrate who reitres after turning 65 and serving 14 years in the position, whether continuously or not, gets an annuity equal to the salary being received at the time the United States Magistrate Judge leaves office.

Further details, and the application itself, are available at this page of the Northern District's website.

Filling this U.S. Magistrate Judge position is contingent upon approval of the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council and of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System. The candidate selected will be appointed only upon the successful completion of a Federal Bureau Investigation and Internal Revenue Service background check.

The application deadline for this vacancy is 5:00 p.m. on November 23, 2022.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Cook County Bar Association Judges' Night set for November 16

Corrected 11/14/22
The Cook County Bar Association will hold its Judges' Night on Wednesday, November 16, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Fremont Chicago, 15 W. Illinois.

The CCBA will confer the Justice Charles Freeman Award on the two newest Illinois Supreme Court justices, Joy V. Cunningham and Lisa Holder White at this event. It will also present the Timothy C. Evans Judicial Award on Circuit Court Judge Arnette Hubbard.

Tickets for the event are $150 each, for non-members; tickets for members are $85 each (judges are admitted free of charge). Event tickets are available at this link.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for this event. Sponsorship levels and benefits are as follows:
Friend of the Court Sponsor - $350
Includes one event ticket and logo placements on Media at the event and on the CCBA's website;

ALJ Sponsor - $1,500
Includes two event tickets, logo placements on Media at the event and on the CCBA's website, and verbal recognition at the event;

Magistrate Sponsor - $5,000
Includes four event tickets, logo placements on Media at the event and on the CCBA's website, and verbal recognition at the event;

Judicial Sponsor - $10,000
Includes a reserved table with six tickets, logo placements on Media at the event, on the event invitation, and Step and Repeat. Also, placement on CCBA's website and Social Media, and verbal recognition at the event;

Appellate Sponsor - $15,000
Includes a reserved table with eight tickets, prominent logo placements on Media at the event, on the event invitation, and Step and Repeat. Also, placement on CCBA's website and Social Media, and the opportunity to address the guests at the event; and

Supreme Sponsor - $20,000
Includes a reserved table with 12 tickets, dominant logo placements on Media at the event, on the event invitation, and Step and Repeat. Also, placement on CCBA's website and Social Media, and the opportunity to address the guests at the event.
Sponsorships may be obtained at this link.

PRBA member featured on recent Chicago Tonight segment

Puerto Rican Bar Association member Martha Soto was among the panelists on a recent Chicago Tonight segment concerning Latino representation in local elected offices, including the judiciary.

The complete segment is available on this page of the WTTW website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Former alderperson and Democratic Party committeeperson recommends "no" vote on Chief Judge Evans

No, not Bob Fioretti. (Although he presumably does, too.)

I refer instead to recently-retired 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith. While she has not held both titles for several years, Smith was at one time both alderperson and 43rd Ward Democratic Party Committeeperson.

And Smith has long had a lively interest in the quality of the Cook County judiciary. FWIW has frequently reported her recommendations in judicial races.

Though now out of office, Smith has again released her recommendations for voters in her former constituency, a list which includes her choices on the judicial retention ballot. (A complete list is available here.)

Perhaps the most notable of Smith's choices on the retention ballot is her recommendation that voters vote NO on the question of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans "despite his other accomplishments."

Smith's argument against Evans is laid out in an email. The starting point, for her, is Circuit Court General Order No. 18.8A which "[changed] the way pre-trial bond is determined in Cook County" (links as in original):
We are all aware of the controversy over pre-trial detention. However, underlying all of this controversy is a lack of transparent and accurate data.

In Chicago, the city’s data portal has a record of every crime reported to the police since 2001. It can be searched by ward, date and type of crime. While not perfect, it provides an ability to understand reported crime in our neighborhood.

Cook County has no easily publicly accessible, searchable database for its criminal justice system. It’s almost impossible for the media (much less the public) to actually track the progress of criminal cases through the system.

The decision to NOT have this data for criminal cases falls squarely on the Chief Judge and the [Clerk of the Circuit Court]. Good government organizations such as the Civic Federation and reform groups like Chicago Appleseed have been calling for more transparency in the data processes of the criminal courts since at least 2017.

The impact of this lack of data is significant because the Court’s data has been found unreliable. In May 2019 the Circuit Court published a study of the first 18 months of implementation of the new bail bond rules. The county claimed that rates of re-offending (meaning an arrest) were the same 18 months after implementation of the new rules. No underlying data was made available.

The Chicago Tribune published a report in 2020 after a hand analysis of case files of all murders committed after the report was issued. That analysis found that instead of three murders committed by offenders who were out on bail there were twenty-one.

The Court's analysis of its data is also misleading. In its report, the court stated that after being released on bond, the same percentage of people were not rearrested, 82.2% before and 83.1% after - and claimed that crime by people out on bond had not increased.

However, straightforward math shows that the number of crimes increased after the bail bond rules changed. In the first 18 months of the new system, 4164 new crimes were committed by felony defendants out on bond compared to 3712 in the 18 months before the new system, a total of 452 new crimes – 8 more a week of the most violent crimes in our city.

More shocking is that the court’s calculations on violent crimes committed by released defendants do NOT include crimes such as domestic battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, armed violence and reckless homicide.

As of June 30, 2022 the Court states that 83,206 adult felony defendants have been released under the new order, and at least 15,060 of those arrested and released on bond under the new system were arrested for new crimes.

No comparative analysis is available to calculate how many of those would have been released under the old system. The Court continues to release quarterly or monthly dashboards with the same unsubstantiated data.

There are many more questions about this data, such as the impact on the dramatic increase in the number of defendants on electronic monitoring, the re-arrest records of misdemeanor defendants and the large number of crimes committed for which there are no arrests. There is no analysis at all about juvenile defendants, only adults.

The person responsible for the issuance of Order 18.8 and the person responsible for the courts, Chief Judge Evans, has not made the data available for unbiased study.

I therefore recommend a NO vote to retain Chief Judge Evans (#218) despite his other accomplishments over his long career.
Smith also recommends a "no" vote on four other Circuit Court judges, only three of whom are seeking retention. Quoting again from Smith's email:
  • 242 Daniel James Pierce - would not participate in the evaluation process
  • 255 Ann Finley Collins - would not participate in the evaluation process
  • 257 Daniel J. Gallagher - Judge Gallagher, while a compassionate judge, has made it difficult to achieve justice in our misdemeanor cases. With frequent "do overs" for defendants, delays and continuances, even our own attempts to get defendants treatment for drug or mental health issues in lieu of incarceration took tremendous effort by our citizens, victims and our office.
  • 282 Rossana P. Fernandez - Several bar associations recommend she leave the bench for poor disposition.