Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Raymond W. Mitchell: In his own words

Raymond W. Mitchell is a candidate for the Harris vacancy on the Illinois Appellate Court. His punch number is 154.
I want to thank Jack Leyhane and you -- the readers of For What It’s Worth -- for considering my qualifications for the Illinois Appellate Court (Harris Vacancy). This campaign has reminded me just how deeply I am indebted to my family, friends and colleagues. My gratitude for the trust and confidence others have placed in me underscores in my mind the personal modesty that distinguishes the role of the judge. The inscription over the door in the courtroom in the Illinois Supreme Court reads, “Audi Alteram Partem” — “Hear the other side.” Those words serve as a reminder of the humility that is inherent in the judicial function.

For the last 14 years, I have served on the Circuit Court of Cook County in the Commercial Section of the Law Division and the General Chancery Division—two of the most demanding assignments. I have conducted innumerable bench and jury trials, settlement conferences and hearings, and I have written over 1,000 opinions. No other candidate in this race has judicial experience of comparable breadth and depth.

Based on my years of judicial service, the leading bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, and the Illinois State Bar Association, have given me their very highest ratings. The Council noted that I am reported to be “exceptionably knowledgeable about legal doctrines, principles, and procedure,” “respectful to all” and “exceptionally hard working, with a strong commitment to professionalism.” Equally noteworthy, while finding me “Highly Qualified,” the Illinois State Bar Association has found my two opponents “Not Qualified.”

Before going on the bench, I was a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP where I specialized in appeals. I briefed appeals in state and federal reviewing courts across the country, and I have argued appeals in the Illinois Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court and the United States Court of Appeals. I have also taught appellate advocacy and presented and published on topics related to appeals.

For me, it is a great honor to serve as a judge, and I am working hard to let the voters know about my qualifications and experience. I am proud to have earned endorsements from, among others, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Chicago Federation of Labor and its 300 affiliated unions, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, the Chicago Firefighters’ Union and the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

The people of Cook County deserve highly qualified and hardworking judges with integrity. I have no agenda other than to be a good judge. If I am elected to the Appellate Court, I promise to continue to be a good judge and to be worthy of that great trust that you have placed in me. For all of you who care about electing good judges, I ask for your support and your vote on election day.

To learn more, please visit my campaign website at ElectJudgeMitchell.com.

Fundraiser tomorrow evening for Barry Goldberg

Supporter's of Barry Goldberg's campaign for the Jacobius vacancy in the 9th Subcircuit are holding a fundraiser for the candidate tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1, fom 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Village Inn, 8050 Lincoln Ave., Skokie. The "suggested donation" for the event is $50. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information about the event, or to reserve tickets, email BarryGoldberg4Judge@gmail.com.

ISBA releases its Cook County judicial candidate ratings

The Illinois State Bar Association has released its evaluations of candidates seeking judicial vacancies in Cook County in the 2022 election cycle. The charts follow almost immediately.

But, first, for those who may not be intimately familiar with the ratings process or are -- you know -- actual voters looking for information about judicial candidates in order to make informed voting decisions, we pause briefly to explain what these charts are intended to convey.

Judicial candidates are rated by ISBA Judicial Evaluation Committee members based on detailed information supplied by the candidates themselves, background checks by trained lawyer-investigators, and interviews of each candidate. The ISBA participates in the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, pooling its resources with the other dozen members of the Alliance for joint evaluations.

Each Alliance member, however, makes its own separate determination on each candidate. As readers will see, therefore, it is sometimes the case that different Alliance members, though working from the same candidate questionnaires, and the same candidate investigations and interviews, will sometimes disagree on the merits of a particular candidate. (The Chicago Bar Association conducts a similar evaluation process on its own; it does not participate in the Alliance. Its evaluations will be out soon, too.)

For candidates participating in the evaluation process, the ISBA issues one of three ratings: "Highly Qualified", "Qualified", or "Not Qualified". Candidates who fail or refuse to participate in the evaluation are automatically rated "Not Recommended."

The ISBA says that its ratings "reflect the [Judicial Evaulation] Committee's opinion of whether candidates have the necessary qualifications for judicial service or ascension to a higher office and are not a reflection of the candidates' abilities as lawyers or judges."

In recent election cycles, the ISBA has released brief narratives explaining its ratings of individual candidates. FWIW has confirmed that the ISBA plans to release narratives in this election cycle as well. When these are available, we will have them. Meanwhile, here are the ISBA ratings (click on any image to enlarge or clarify):

Elizabeth "Beth" Ryan: In her own words

Elizabth "Beth" Ryan is a candidate for the countywide Ingram vacancy. Her punch number is 173.
My name is Elizabeth “Beth” Ryan and I am running for judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County. I am the only candidate in my race that has been found qualified and/or recommended by all thirteen bar associations because I have spent my entire legal career in the courtroom as a trial lawyer. The Chicago Council of Lawyers stated that, “Ms. Ryan is considered to have a good legal ability and temperament. She is praised for litigation skills and has substantial experience in more complex matters. The Council finds her Qualified for the circuit court.”

In addition to have been found qualified and/or recommended by all thirteen bar associations, I am honored to have the endorsements from the following organizations: Chicago Firefighters Union, Plumbers Union, Local 130, Carpenters Union, Operating Engineers, Local 150, Iron Workers, Local 1, the United Hellenic Voters of America, the Italian Police Association, Chicago NOW PAC and Personal PAC. I have the support and endorsements from many elected officials including Alderman and Committeeman Matt O’Shea, Alderman Sam Nugent, Committeewoman Lucy Moog, Alderman and Committeeman Ariel Reboyras, Alderman Chris Taliaferro as well as State Representatives John D’Amico (ret), Kelly Burke and Fran Hurley. (Additional endorsements listed on campaign website at Ryanforjudge.com)

My legal career started nineteen years ago as a judicial clerk in the Chancery Division of Cook County writing memorandum opinions in complex civil cases. Since that time, I have been a trial attorney advocating on behalf of the mentally ill, injured and disabled.

On a personal note, I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and currently live on the Northwest Side of Chicago with my husband and four daughters. I am a graduate of Mother McAuley High School, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and DePaul College of Law. I spend my spare time coaching girls basketball, cheer and I served on the school board at Queen of All Saints Elementary School.

I want to become a judge to ensure that all individuals that appear in my courtroom receive the respect they deserve and walk away feeling as though they received a fair and reasonable result.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Personal PAC makes its 2022 Cook County judicial endorsements

Personal PAC, the abortion rights lobbying group, has issued its list of endorsements for the forthcoming primary.

As in past election cycles, Personal PAC has endorsed every candidate in some races and more than one candidate in several races. It has also bypassed some subcircuit races, at least as of this posting. The complete list of Personal PAC endorsements for the 2022 primary can be found at this link.

Appellate Court Vacancies
Hall Vacancy – Debra B. Walker & Dominique C. Ross
Harris Vacancy – Raymond W. Mitchell, Devlin Joseph Schoop, & John H. Ehrlich
Countywide Vacancies
Callahan, Jr. Vacancy – Suzanne Therese McEneely
Cannon Vacancy – Diana López
Hyman Vacancy – Thomas E. Nowinski
Ingram Vacancy – Elizabeth “Beth” Ryan & Yolanda Harris Sayre
Leeming Vacancy – Rena Marie Van Tine
Lynch Vacancy – Deidre Baumann & Michael Weaver
McGury Vacancy – Ruth Isabel Gudino
O’Brien Vacancy – Araceli R. De La Cruz
Sullivan Vacancy – Thomas More Donnelly
Subcircuit Vacancies
1st Subcircuit, Johnson Vacancy – John W. Wilson

4th Subcircuit, Gavin Vacancy – Amanda Moira Pillsbury
4th Subcircuit, Rogers Vacancy – ShawnTe Raines-Welch

5th Subcircuit, Portman-Brown Vacancy – David L. Kelly
5th Subcircuit, Shelley Vacancy – Timothy W. Wright, III

6th Subcircuit, Vega Vacancy – Kerrie Maloney Laytin

7th Subcircuit, Martin Vacancy – Marcia O’Brien Conway

8th Subcircuit, Gordon Vacancy – Pat Casey, Bradley R. Trowbridge, & John Fritchey
8th Subcircuit, Lipscomb Vacancy – Stephen Swedlow

9th Subcircuit, Cleveland Vacancy – Sanjay Tailor
9th Subcircuit, Jacobius Vacancy – Don R. Sampen & Barry Goldberg

13th Subcircuit, Groebner Vacancy – Jack Costello & Joe Gump

15th Subcircuit, Lawler Vacancy – Jim Gleffe
In downstate races for the Illinois Supreme Court, Personal PAC has endorsed Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rodkin Rotering in the Democritc primary race for the Thomas vacancy in the newly reconfigured Second Judicial District and Appellate Court Justice Mary K. O'Brien in her uncontested Democratic primary bid for the Kilbride vacancy in the new Third Judicial District.

Friday, May 27, 2022

65 Cook County jurists to seek retention in November

A total of 65 Cook County jurists, including six justices of the Appellate Court and 58 Cook County Circuit judges, have filed to be on the retention ballot this November, according to records obtained by FWIW from the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis has also filed for retention, according to the Secretary of State. Justices serving on both the Appellate Court and the Supreme Court must stand for retention every 10 years. Justice Theis was first elected to the Supreme Court in 2012.

The six Appellate Court justices filing for retention are, in alphabetical order:
  • Maureen E. Connors,
  • Mathias William Delort,
  • Nathaniel Roosevelt Howse, Jr.,
  • Terrence J. Lavin,
  • Jesse G. Reyes, and
  • James Fitzgerald Smith.
Circuit Court judges must seek retention every six years. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans is among those who have announced their plans to seek retention this year. The 58 Circuit Court judges filing for retention are (also in alphabetical order):
  1. James L. Allegretti
  2. Robert "Bob" Balanoff
  3. Steven James Bernstein
  4. Kathleen Marie Burke
  5. Charles Patrick Burns
  6. Bonita Coleman
  7. Ann Finley Collins
  8. Alison C. Conlon
  9. Eulalia "Evie" De La Rosa
  10. Daniel Patrick Duffy
  11. Jerry A. Esrig
  12. Timothy C. Evans
  13. Rossana P. Fernandez
  14. Carolyn J. Gallagher
  15. Daniel J. Gallagher
  16. Aleksandra "Alex" Gillespie
  17. Sophia Hall
  18. Carrie E. Hamilton
  19. Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon
  20. Edward Harmening
  21. William H. Hooks
  22. Arnette R. Hubbard
  23. D. Renee Jackson
  24. Daryl Jones
  25. Linzey D. Jones
  26. Thomas J. Kelly
  27. Susan Kennedy Sullivan
  28. John Patrick Kirby
  29. Steven A. Kozicki
  30. Geary W. Kull
  31. Matthew Link
  32. Anna Maria Loftus
  33. John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr.
  34. Freddrenna M. Lyle
  35. Thomas V. Lyons
  36. Terry MacCarthy
  37. Daniel Malone
  38. Leroy K. Martin, Jr.
  39. Mary Kathleen McHugh
  40. Clare Elizabeth McWilliams
  41. Mary Lane Mikva
  42. Raymond W. Mitchell
  43. Patrick T. Murph
  44. Leonard Murray
  45. Brendan A. O'Brien
  46. Kevin M. O'Donnell
  47. Susana L. Ortiz
  48. Jesse Outlaw
  49. Daniel James Pierce
  50. Patrick Joseph Powers
  51. Marguerite Ann Quinn
  52. Sandra Gisela Ramos
  53. Eve Marie Reilly
  54. Jim Ryan
  55. Catherine Ann Schneider
  56. Patricia "Pat" Spratt
  57. William B. Sullivan
  58. Thaddeus L. Wilson
If history is any guide, a few judges who file for retention may withdraw from the ballot prior to the November election. And there is no requirement that any of these judges fully serve out the new terms to which they are elected, assuming they are retained.

The retention ballot is a straight 'yes' or 'no' proposition. For each judge seeking retention, voters are asked, 'shall judge x be retained in office.' To be retained in office, a judge must receive 'yes' votes from more than 60% of those voting on the question (or, as it sometimes phrased, 60% + 1). This requirement applies to judges of all Illinois courts, including justices of the Appellate and Supreme Courts.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Injustice Watch publishes 2022 Judicial Primary Guide

Injustice Watch has published its 2022 Judicial Primary Guide.

That's a link to the Injustice Watch guide in the preceding sentence. It's got a lot of information that voters may find helpful, including, in many cases, questionnaire responses.

It's pretty slick. I'll be referring to this again as the June 28 primary draws ever nearer.

"Girl, I Guess" makes endorsements in Cook County judicial races

Updated May 30, 2021 with new and corrected information.

A Tweet announcing the "Judicial Update" to the "Girl I Guess" Progressive Voter Guide was published earlier this afternoon. The Tweet, from Stephanie Skora, the "Genderqueer, Trans woman, Femme Lesbian, Jewish Mom Virgo, organizer, speaker, #GirlIGuess writer" behind the guide, is linked in the first sentence of this post. Given my technical limitiations I can only provide an image of that Tweet here (you may need to click on the images in this post to enlarge or clarify them):
Longtime contributor Albert J. Klumpp first called FWIW readers' attention to the Girl I Guess guides in his wrap-up of the 2018 retention election. At the time, Dr. Klumpp wrote, "my analysis suggests that roughly 3 percent of retention voters used information from the guide or other sources that referenced it." In the aftermath of the 2020 retention election, Dr. Klumpp wrote, "The 'Girl I Guess' voter guide that emerged in 2018 remained influential this year, with an estimated 4.2 percent effect (versus estimated 3.4 percent in 2018, likely but not provably higher)."

So the Girl I Guess endorsements may well be influential in 2022 as well -- particularly in an election cycle where the Chicago Tribune has apparently decided not to offer endorsements to voters in judicial races.

Before listing the Girl I Guess judicial endorsements, let me first share screen grabs from the linked Google doc that pops up when one clicks on the Girliguess.com link embedded in the Tweet:
For the Appellate Court vacancies, Girl I Guess initially recommended Dominque C. Ross for the Hall vacancy (see screengrab above) -- but soon thereafter changed it to Debra Walker. Devlin Joseph Schoop remains recommended for the Harris vacancy. In countywide races, Girl I Guess recommends:
  • Lisa Michell Taylor
    Brennan Vacancy,

  • Tracie Porter
    Callahan Vacancy,

  • Diana López
    Cannon Vacancy,

  • Carmen Migdalia Quinones
    Hyman Vacancy,

  • Elizabeth "Beth" Ryan
    Ingram Vacancy,

  • Rena Marie Van Tine
    Leeming Vacancy,

  • Michael Weaver
    Lynch Vacancy,

  • Chelsey Renece Robinson
    McGury Vacancy,

  • Dan Balanoff
    O'Brien Vacancy, and

  • Thomas More Donnelly
    Sullivan Vacancy.
In Subcircuit races, Girl I Guess makes the following endorsements:
  • John W. Wilson, 1st Subcircuit (Johnson Vacancy),

  • "Both Awful", 4th Subcircuit (Gavin Vacancy),
  • Jerry Barrido, 4th Subcircuit (Rogers Vacancy),

  • Jenetia Marshall, 5th Subcircuit (Portman-Brown Vacancy),
  • Judie Lyn Smith, 5th Subcircuit (Shelley Vacancy),

  • Kerrie Maloney Laytin, 6th Subcircuit (Vega Vacancy),

  • Owens "Joe" Shelby, 7th Subcircuit (Martin Vacancy),

  • Bradley Trowbridge, 8th Subcircuit (Gordon Vacancy),
  • Stephen Swedlow, 8th Subcircuit (Lipscomb Vacancy),

  • Sanjay Tailor, 9th Subcircuit (Cleveland Vacancy),
  • Torrick Alan Ward, 9th Subcircuit (Jacobius Vacancy),

  • Chris Taliaferro, 11th Subcircuit (McGuire Vacancy),

  • Joe Gump, 13th Subcircuit (Groebner Vacancy), and

  • Viviana Martínez, 14th Subcircuit (Jagielski Vacancy).
In addition to the rather strong non-endorsement in the race for the Gavin Vacancy in the 4th Subcircuit, Girl I Guess bypasses the contested primary in the 15th Subcircuit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Girl I Guess also offers no opinion in the contested Republican primary in the 13th Subcircuit. (FWIW readers will recall that two other subcircuit vacancies, one in the 6th and the other in the 14th, are uncontested.)

When I first put up this post, on May 26, I wrote that the Girl I Guess Guide did not offer specific explanations for its judicial selections, but does include a section describing the methodology used in arriving at its endorsements. To quote from the Guide:
This guide is written by using publicly available information from the candidates’ websites and in media outlets, as well as the candidates’ publicly available funding disclosures. I also consult with radical organizers that I trust. Candidates are judged based on the overall progressive nature of their platform, which varies for National and State races. Metrics that all candidates are being judged upon include:
  • Support for a free Palestine and BDS
  • Support for Medicare for All/Single Payer for Illinois
  • Support for canceling Student Loan Debt
  • Progressive policies on Housing Justice, especially Just Cause for Eviction
  • Support for a Universal Basic Income, and/or a higher national minimum wage
  • Endorsements from meaningful progressives, and (some) past Girl, I Guess endorsees
  • Progressive positions on climate change
  • Progressives positions on racial justice and defunding/abolishing police and prisons
  • Support for decriminalizing sex work
  • Support for trans people, intersex people, and the broader LGBTQ community
  • Support for addressing gerrymandering, and voter suppression
  • Stance on term limits
  • Being pro-choice (AKA The Lipinski Rule)
  • And more, depending on the individual races!
However, if I was correct when said that last Thursday, as of today, May 30, there are indeed explanations for each and every countywide judicial endorsement in the guide. Under the heading "The Dish," for each vacancy, Ms. Skora explains her rationale.

As of this May 30 update, there are no specific explanations provided for subcircuit endorsements. I looked. Carefully. If explanations are hereafter posted, I will advise.

With respect to the changed Appellate Court endorsement, Ms. Skora writes, in pertinent part:
This is a case where all the candidates are qualified, and nobody is without either an eyebrow-raising moment, or a complete snooze factor (honestly not the worst thing in a judge). I’m going to go with Dominique Ross, and trust the judgment (ha) of the progressives who are backing her.


In perhaps my fastest reversal, I had about 10 folks tell me that Ross is absolutely horrible, never shows up to Court, and is ridiculously unqualified, despite what the Bar groups say. Can't argue with the response here, and I'm flip-flopping to my second choice, Debra B Walker.
To get to Ms. Skora's often-pungent candidate commentary, which relies heavily on input from the Injustice Watch 2022 Candidate Guide, a reader must scroll down the "Outline" of the Google doc. The countywide judicial races are profiled at the end of that outline.

Early voting in Chicago pushed back to May 31

This is the second postponement in as many weeks. Here is the statement released yesterday by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners:

Early Voting for the June 28th Primary Election in Chicago has been pushed back to begin on Tuesday, May 31st at 9:00 a.m. at the Chicago Board of Elections Supersite at 191 N. Clark (Lake & Clark).

The Circuit Court of Cook County made the following rulings over the last few days:
  • 1st Congressional District – candidate Stephany Rose Spaulding is OFF the ballot

  • Cook County Sheriff – candidate Carmen Navarro Gercone is ON the ballot

  • Cook County Sheriff – candidate Noland Rivera is ON the ballot
These changes to the ballot required the new start date for Early Voting in Chicago, as well as additional ballot proofing and pre-election testing of voting machines. Vote By Mail ballots will also start to be shipped on May 31st.

The Supersite at 191 N. Clark will now be open May 31st to June 28th (Election Day) for the following hours:
Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Election Day: 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (June 28th)
There will be extended weekday hours for the Supersite (9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.) from June 20th to June 24th.

Early Voting in each of the 50 Wards in Chicago begins on June 13th and runs through June 28th. You can see all Early Voting locations and addresses by clicking here.

All voters in Chicago may vote at any of these sites, no matter where they live in the City. Voter registration services (new voters, name changes and address updates) will be provided at all Early Voting sites. Two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter's current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or an address update.

Voters with questions may call (312)269-7900 or email cboe@chicagoelections.gov.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

SABA Chicago and CBA Judicial Reception set for June 8

The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and the Chicago Bar Association will co-host a Judicial Reception on Wednesday, June 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the CBA Building, 321 S. Plymouth Court.

According to event organizers, SABA Chicago will honor Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans with its Leadership & Diversity Award and Cong. Raja Krishnamoorthi with its Public Service Award. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani will be a featured guest. State Senator (and 39th Ward Committeeperson) Ram Villivalam will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event are $50 each for SABA Chicago and CBA members, $80 for non-members. Students will be admitted for $25 apiece and judges will be admitted gratis. Tickets may be obtained at this eventbrite.com page. Sponsorship opportunities are also available; contact avani.patel@sabachicago.org for specifics.

Birthday fundraiser for Araceli R. De La Cruz June 8

Huh. Another birthday fundraiser. Are we seeing the start of a new trend?

Time will tell.

Meanwhile, though, supporters of Judge Araceli R. De La Cruz's bid to hold the countywide O'Brien vacancy are planning a birthday fundraiser for their candidate on Wednesday, June 8, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP, 71 South Wacker Drive. Tickets for the event are $75 apiece and sponsorships are available (Advocates - $125, Leaders - $250, Change Makers -$500+).

For more information about the event, call or text Helena Stangle at (847) 916-7735 or email info@judgedelacruz.com. Tickets can be purchased via this democracyengine page.

Cook County judicial candidates invited to submit statements to FWIW

This post is specifically directed at the current crop of Cook County judicial candidates and their campaign advisers.

Getting one’s message out to voters in a county as large as this one is a herculean challenge. Subcircuits may look a lot smaller on the map, but each covers a lot of ground, as anyone who has ever tried campaigning door-to-door will attest. The enormity of the task before you has become clear, whatever support you are already privileged to have. Each of you has a day job to keep up with – and, in your spare time, you are still seeking endorsements, filling out questionnaires, and showing up at any event that will have you. You have undoubtedly noticed, at these events, that judicial candidates spend a lot of time seeing... each other. You may be getting around, but you’re not always around likely potential voters; at least you're not always around likely voters you haven’t already met.

I’d like to give you an opportunity to get your message directly to potential voters.

Google says that this website has been viewed nearly 3.6 million times to date; while a lot of those page views come from candidates and their friends and families, as the primary draws ever nearer, this site will be seen by increasing numbers of likely voters.

What would you like to tell them?

I will print any statement that any Cook County judicial candidate cares to make right here on For What It’s Worth. This is the eighth election cycle in which I’ve extended this invitation. I will print what I get (subject to a couple of ground rules set out below), whether I get five statements or 55. When I put up the Organizing the Data posts shortly before the primary, I will link back to any statements I’ve received, providing voters an additional chance to receive your message directly.

I make this offer because, when I ran for judge in 1994 and 1996, I would have given my right arm to have had such a forum.

Things were different, of course, back then: The Internet was still a largely undiscovered country. I think I was just learning how to use email in those days; I definitely was using an AOL address. But, today, you have the opportunity to reach nearly every single voter in Cook County without leaving your den. You can of course speak to voters directly on your own sites as well, but I am offering you an additional platform, an additional opportunity for voters to find out about you when they start searching the Internet for information about our upcoming judicial elections.

Candidates need only send me an email (that's a link to my email address; there's also a link you can find in the sidebar of this blog) with their essay.

You may be wondering what you should say. I don’t know that there is any “right” answer. You can send me a statement of personal philosophy, the stump speech you’ve always wanted to make, the pitch you’d like to make at every voter’s front door, your ‘closing argument’ to the electorate, or whatever else you think appropriate.

I’m not going to tell anyone what to say or how to say it.

However, I would suggest, as my mother used to say, that you don’t make your own candle shine brighter by trying to blow out someone else’s. Tell voters why you should be elected, not why your opponent should not be.

I strongly suggest that you put your statement in the first person (be personal, use “I” and “me”) because I will run your statement as your statement, under your byline, by Sally Smith, by John Jones. I know some of you are paying consultants to help you craft your message and there may be a temptation to simply delegate this task. Resist that temptation. Get feedback from your advisers before you send me anything (especially if you're paying for it anyway), but let your voice come through in your essay. I know writing such an essay won’t be an easy task: As lawyers, we’re used to advocating for a client -- for someone else. It is not as easy to talk about ourselves. But this is an opportunity for you to define yourself, rather than be defined by questionnaire responses.

If I don’t already have your picture, send me a head shot. I’ll run your picture with the post. I will not edit candidate statements. I’ll print what you send. (That’s why I need an email, to verify what was sent, and by whom.) To see what other candidate statements have looked like, click on the "In Their Own Words" tag here or at the bottom of this post and start scrolling down. I will only put up one statement per candidate.

I realize some of you already have personal statements posted on your own campaign websites. If you ask me to run a substantially similar statement here, or even the same statement, I will do so. But I will not pull statements from your site to put on my own. If you want me to put your statement here, you have to send me the statement.

I will begin accepting, and posting, candidate essays immediately. Because I will link to them from the Organizing the Data posts, there’s no advantage to delay. And if you do try and wait until the last minute, when I am working on those roundup posts, I may be unable to get your essay posted. So please, if you're interested, send something ASAP.

I do not intend to impose any limit on the statement’s length; presumably all of you are familiar with the concept of "tl;dr." For illustration purposes, my word processor advises me that this post is about 1,000 words long.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Decalogue Society Annual Installation and Awards Dinner set for July 7

The Decalogue Society of Lawyers has announced that its 88th Annual Installation and Awards Dinner will take place on Thursday, July 7, from 5:15 to 8:30 p.m., at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson. A reception will precede the dinner.

Circuit Court Judge Megan Goldish will serve as emcee. After the dinner, the Decalogue Society will present the following awards:
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    Hon. Moshe Jacobius,

  • Hon. Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award
    Judge Judith A. Rice,

  • Hebrew University Fellowship Award
    Justice Robert E. Gordon,

  • Decalogue Society Award
    Judge Neil H. Cohen,

  • Award of Excellence
    Donald C. Schiller,

  • Founders Award
    Sharon L. Eiseman,

  • Presidential Citation
    Joel B. Bruckman, and

  • Intra-Society Award
    Michelle Milstein.
The installation of incoming Decalogue President Judge Myron F. Mackoff, and of the rest of the new officers and the Board of Managers will be conducted by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. Tickets for the event are $175 for members, $225 for non-members. Persons buying tickets online by June 20 will receive a $25 discount from the applicable price. Tickets for the pre-dinner reception only are $75 each for members, $100 each for non-members.

There are also sponsorships availble as well as the opportunity to purchase an ad in the program's ad book.

Full color ads are available for $500 apiece. A half-page ad is $250, while a quarter-page ad is $150.

Available sponsorships include Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, and Gold - $2,000. There are two $5,000 Bar Sponsorships available and one $5,000 Platinum Digital Sponsorship. The rights and privileges appertaining to each of these sponsorships are described in more detail at this page of the Decalogue website. Tickets, ads in the ad book, and sponsorships can be purchased from that page as well.

Monday, May 23, 2022

June 6 meet and greet for some slated countywide candidates in Oak Park

Dawn Gonzalez will host a Meet & Greet with four members of the Cook County Democratic Party's countywide judicial slate on June 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Cross Function Workspace - Atrium Room, 1033 South Boulevard, Oak Park.

Scheduled to appear are Thomas E. Nowinski (Hyman vacancy), Araceli R. De La Cruz (O'Brien vacancy), Diana López (Cannon vacancy), and Ruth Isabel Gudino (McGury vacancy). There is no charge to attend, but persons interested in attending should RSVP to gonzalezd14@sbcglobal.net.

And now for a commercial from your host and moderator: If you are hosting a candidate forum, or meet & greet, or any other event at which both Cook County judicial candidates and the public will be welcome, please email me at jackleyhane@yahoo.com so I can promote your event, too. I reserve the right to contact you for clarification, verification, or further details but, with that caveat, I will include as many events as I can.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Campaign website launched, May 25 fundraiser set for Christine Svenson

A campaign website is now up and running for Christine Svenson, candidate for the Republican nomination for judge in the 13th Subcircuit. That's a link to the new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the this site's Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1995, according to ARDC, Svenson, who practices with the Svenson Law Offices in Palatine, also serves as an elected Trustee of Palatine Township. According to her campaign bio, Svenson was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Governors of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Journeys | The Road Home and provides pro bono services for the Willow Creek Care Center, according to her campaign bio.

Svenson's campaign bio also notes that "she has served as General Counsel and Parliamentarian for the Cook County Republican Party; Chair of the Illinois Chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association and as a national Officer for the Republican National Lawyers Association; and Committeewoman for the Palatine Township Republican Organization." She still serves on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Svenson's supporters are hosting a fundraiser for their candidate this coming Wednesday, May 25, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., at Chicago Prime Italian, 700 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg. Tickets for the event are $150 each or $250 per couple and will include a light buffet dinner and two drink tickets. Sponsorships are also available (Apertivo - $500, Prosecco - $1,000, Sambuca - $2,500). Tickets may be obtained through this page of the campaign website. For questions or more information about the fundraiser, email info@svensonforjudge.org.

Svensons was the Republican nominee for a 13th Subcircuit vacancy in 2018.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Birthday fundraiser for Judge Debra Walker

Supporters of Judge Debra Walker's Appellate Court candidacy (Hall vacancy) are hosting a fundraiser in honor of their candidate's birthday on Tuesday, May 24, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., on the 6th floor at 20 N. Clark Street.

Tickets are $100 each but sponsorships are available (Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, Gold - $1,000, Platinum - $2,500). To RSVP or for questions about the event, email gennifer@p2consultinginc.com.

The host committee for this event includes Hon. Helaine L. Berger (Ret.), David Brinton, Deane Brown, Karen Conti, Kathryn Conway, Karen Enright, Dawn Gonzalez, Corinne Heggie, Lori Levin, Radusa Ostojic, Todd Smith, and Karie Valentino.

Silent Auction bids allowed online for tonight's IBF Gala

It is a bit late to get tickets for tonight's Illinois Bar Foundation Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel, especially if you left your tux or formal at the cleaners before Covid and never picked it up. If you want to try, however, you might email Jessie at the IBF.

But that's not the reason for this post.

Rather, the Illinois Bar Foundation has put its silent auction for tonight's Gala online and all are invited to put in bids for auction items right now -- even those who don't remember where the cleaners is. Or used to be.

Campaign website found for Owens "Joe" Shelby

A campaign website has been launched in support of the 7th Subcircuit candidacy of Owens "Joe" Shelby. That's a link to the new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to this site's Sidebar.

Shelby has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2007, according to ARDC. Shelby's campaign bio states that he has been employed as a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney for the past 11 years. Before that, according to the campaign bio, Shelby served as Assistant Counsel to the Illinois House of Representatives, Office of the Speaker.

A graduate of Providence St. Mel High School, Morehouse College, and Chicago Kent College of Law, according to his campaign bio, Shelby has served "on boards for St. Angela School, Better Boy’s Foundation, NAACP Westside Chapter, College Mentoring Experience, St. Joseph Services, and the National Black Prosecutor’s Association."

Shelby also sought a 7th Subcircuit vacancy in 2020.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Campaign website found for David Rodriguez

A campaign website has been launched in support of David Rodriguez's campaign for the Vega vacancy in the 6th Subcircuit. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to this site's Sidebar.

Rodriguez has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1984, according to ARDC. His campaign bio states that he is currently employed as Deputy General Counsel for the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Rodriguez is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Aspira of Illinois.

According to his campaign bio, Rodriguez has taught business law at St. Augustine College. He has also served as a volunteer attorney with the Council on Latin American Relations, as American Red Cross Chicago Regional Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Relief Services, and as Legal Advisor to the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees (IAHSE).

Rodriguez was in private practice when tapped for his current position with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Earlier in his career, according to his campaign bio, Rodriguez was an Illinois Assistant Attorney General. His campaign bio notes that Rodriguez opened a regional office of the Attorney General in the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhoods. The office provided assistance to crime victims, fights consumer fraud, assisted immigrants and made government more accessible to Chicago’s north and northwest side residents. Rodriguez has also served as a Commissioner with the State of Illinois Court of Claims.

John Fritchey campaign website goes online

A campaign website has been launched in support of John Fritchey's candidacy for the Gordon vacancy in the 8th Subcircuit. That's a link to the new site in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to this site's Sidebar.

Fritchey's new website touts endorsements from Cong. Chuy Garcia; Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry (3rd); Alderpersons Walter Burnett, Brendan Reilly, Harry Osterman; St. Rep. Kam Buckner; and former Ald. Ameya Pawar.

According to ARDC, Fritchey has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1989. ARDC says that Fritchey now works for F4 Consulting Ltd. His LinkedIn profile says that Fritchey serves as Government Relations Director for that firm.

Fritchey is a former Commissioner of the Cook County Board (2010-2018). Before that, from 1996, Fritchey served as a member of the Illinois House. Fritchey did apply for associate judge in 2021.

Fritchey's campaign website emphasizes his accomplishments, or at least his priorities, as a legislator. While several topics are covered (equality, mental health, abortion rights), just by way of example, the site contains this statement (emphasis in original):
Shootings. Carjackings. Robberies. Across Chicago, crime is out of control. John has spent his career fighting to make our neighborhoods safer including passing legislation creating stiffer penalties for gun crimes.

John's efforts to keep us safe led to the Illinois State Crime Commission naming him Democratic Leader of the Year.

As a Cook County Commissioner, John introduced legislation, supported by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, to create a Gun Court that would make it faster to handle gun offenses and would keep repeat offenders from quickly getting back out on our streets.

Campaign website launches for Dominic J. Buttitta, Jr.

A campaign website has been launched in support of Dominic J. Buttitta, Jr., candidate for the Republican nomination for the vacancy in the northwest suburban 13th Subcircuit. That's a link to the new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to this site's Sidebar.

Licensed as an attorney since 2010, according to ARDC, Buttitta is currently the principal of the Buttitta Law Group in Barrington. He began his legal career with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, according to his campaign bio, moving soon thereafter to the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office. Buttitta set up his own practice in 2013.

Buttitta has filed a Notification of Self-Funding; contribution caps are therefore off in this race.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Early voting delayed in Chicago, but only until May 26

Believe it or not, early voting was supposed to start tomorrow in Chicago.

It won't -- but early voting will start Thursday, May 26 at 9:00 a.m. at the Chicago Board of Election Supersite, 191 N. Clark (Lake & Clark).

According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, the opening date was pushed back one week from May 19 to accommodate the recent changes to the ballot, including the removal of the city ward map referendum question, as well as perform all necessary ballot proofing and pre-election testing of voting machines. Additionally, Vote By Mail ballots that were scheduled to start being sent on May 19 will begin hitting the mailboxes early next week.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners reports that the Supersite at 191 N. Clark will be open most days from May 26 to June 28 (Election Day) during the following hours:
Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sundays: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Election Day (June 28): 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, the Supersite will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon. From June 20 to 24, the Supersite will operate on extended hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Other early voting sites, in all of Chicago's 50 wards, are expected to open on June 13. For a complete list of Chicago early voting sites and hours of operation, visit this page of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

According to the Board of Election Commissioners, all voters in Chicago may vote at any early voting site, no matter where they live in the City. Voter registration services (new voters, name changes and address updates) will be provided at all Early Voting sites. Two forms of ID, one of which shows the voter's current address, are needed to register for the first time or to file a name change or an address update.

Early voting for Cook County residents living outside Chicago will begin on June 1, according to the Cook County Clerk's Office. From June 1 to June 10, suburban voters will be able to vote in the Pedway at the George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building, 69 W. Washington.

Suburban early voting sites will open up on June 13, according to the Clerk's Office. For a complete list of suburban early voting locations and hours of operation, visit this page of the Cook County Clerk's website.

Campaign website found for Pat Casey

The first thing one notices about the new Pat Casey campaign website (8th Subcircuit, Gordon vacancy) is that it does not have any pictures of the candidate. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to this site's Sidebar.

Other campaign websites carry at least one picture of the candidate; most are chock full of pictures of the candidate alone, of the candidate and his or her family, and/or of the candidate and various persons who could be coaxed into standing still long enough for a picture. In this high-powered smart-phone era, one needn't stand still for long....

I do not criticize, obviously. How could I? I myself have a face made for radio. Which, by the way, should not be taken as any sort of backhanded disparagement of this candidate's appearance. Again, how could I? I don't know what the candidate looks like.

I do know the new campaign website contains this carefully-worded campaign bio:
I am a resident of the 3rd Ward in the City of Chicago and I have the support of the Hon. Pat Dowell, 3rd Ward Alderman and Committeeperson.

I am active in the community and with professional organizations. I am a longtime supporter of Misericordia, where a family member is a resident. I am a member of the Chicago Bar Association, and American Bar Association. I have served as a Pro bono attorney for many individuals who need legal representation. I have been an Advisory Board member of System of Care Chicago, a youth and family focused behavioral and mental health program to erase the stigma of mental health and to make mental health services more available to families and youth of Chicago. I also support the Lakeview Pantry and the Jason Foundation, a nationwide suicide awareness, prevention and education not for profit.

I served as an Administrative Law Judge for over 10 years, the last 7 with the Illinois Department of Human Services where I oversaw long term care cases, before returning to private practice. Prior to my appointment as an Administrative Law Judge, I was in private practice concentrating on police misconduct cases, personal injury cases, and criminal defense matters.
I can also tell you that this is the second time Casey has filed to run for judge. Casey withdrew from the 2020 primary. Moreover, I exhuasted the Pat or Pat shtick in my 2019 post on Casey's last campaign website.

Finally, I can report that Patrick A. Casey has been licensed to practice in Illinois since 2001, according to ARDC.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Shelley M. Bethune named first Executive Director and General Counsel of the Illinois Courts Commission

Press release issued today by the Illinois Courts Commission:

The Illinois Courts Commission announced today that it has hired Shelley M. Bethune as its first Executive Director and General Counsel. Ms. Bethune will serve as the head of the agency and will supervise its day-to-day operations. She will take up her new responsibilities on June 1, 2022.

"We are thrilled to welcome Shelley as the first Executive Director of the Illinois Courts Commission," said Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis, Chair of the Courts Commission. "Her background in ethics and the discipline process sets her up for success in this position. Her hiring helps maintain public confidence in our courts by providing for a robust judicial disciplinary system."

Ms. Bethune's most recent position was with the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. There she defended attorneys in disciplinary proceedings before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) and other lawyer regulatory agencies, as well as in civil legal malpractice actions. She also advised law firms and attorneys on various risk management issues to ensure compliance with their professional obligations. As part of this, she composed opinion letters analyzing relevant Rules of Professional Conduct and handled risk management hotline calls from attorneys on a wide range of ethical dilemmas.

"I am very honored to serve as the Courts Commission’s first Executive Director and General Counsel and humbled by the confidence the Commission has placed in me," Bethune said. "I am excited to bring my experience in legal ethics and attorney discipline to the important work of the Commission, and I am equally eager to help maintain the integrity of the judiciary and inspire the public’s confidence in our court system through this new role."

Prior to joining Hinshaw and Culbertson, Ms. Bethune served as Litigation Counsel for the ARDC. There she investigated hundreds of allegations of professional misconduct against Illinois attorneys to determine whether public charges of a violation of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct were warranted. She represented the ARDC Administrator in proceedings before the Inquiry and Hearing Boards and prepared pleadings for matters before the Hearing Board and the Illinois Supreme Court. She also provided guidance on ethical issues to Illinois attorneys through the Ethics Inquiry Program.

Ms. Bethune received her Juris Doctor from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan. During law school, she externed in the Chambers of the Hon. Ruben Castillo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Executive Director and General Counsel will have an office at the Commission’s headquarters in Chicago.

Campaign website for Barry Goldberg found online

A reader alerted me to the new campaign website supporting the 9th Subcircuit candidacy of Barry Goldberg (Jacobius vacancy). That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to this site's Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 1999, according to ARDC, Goldberg has spend his entire legal career in the Illinois Attorney General's office. He currently serves as Bureau Chief of the Charitable Trust Bureau, according to his campaign bio.

According to his campaign bio, Goldberg's father is an immigrant and his paternal grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. His maternal grandfather, Rabbi Menahim M. Goodman, was the rabbi of Congregation Anshe Motele on California Avenue for more than 30 years.

A former president of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Goldberg was raised in West Rogers Park and Skokie and is a Niles West graduate. His campaign website lists the recently retired judge whose vacancy he seeks, Moshe Jacobius, as the Honorary Chair of his campaign committee.

Fundraiser Wednesday evening for Claudia Silva-Hernandez

I am reproducing the entire flyer below because it has a QR code and, supposedly, interested persons can use the QR code to register for Wednesday evening's event (from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) at the Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard Street.
When it comes to QR codes, I am in the same boat as Steve Stone on the White Sox telecasts.

I thought the QR codes boomlet of a couple years past had come and gone without my ever having to figure them out, but they obviously are here again, on the ballgame broadcasts and, now, in Cook County judicial fundraising efforts.

If you are unwilling to venture into this old/new-again brave new world of QR codes, but still wish to attend this event, you may do so by following this link from the candidate's campaign website. Individual tickets are $75 apiece and sponsorships are available (Friend - $150, Supporter - $250, Sponsor - $500).

Questions about the event specifically (as opposed to questions about QR codes generally) may be sent to angiesforsilvahernandez@gmail.com.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Aileen Bhandari campaign website goes live

A campaign website has been launched in support of Aileen Bhandari's campaign for the McGuire vacancy in the 11th Subcircuit. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the Sidebar on this site.

Licensed in Illinois since 2002, according to ARDC, Bhandari is a career Assistant Cook County State's Attorney, having handled over 300 bench trials and 40 jury trials, according to her campaign website.

Her campaign bio notes that Bhandari is a second generation Indian and Filipino American who was raised on Chicago's Northwest side. She attended Our Lady of Victory grammar school and Notre Dame High School for Girls. Bhandari did her undergraduate work at Loyola and attended DePaul University College of Law.

Bhandari made the short list for Cook County Associate Judge in 2019. She ran for a countywide vacancy in 2020. Bhandari was president of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and, according to her campaign bio, has served as president of the National Asian Pacific Islanders Prosecutor’s Association Chicago Region.

Circuit Court of Cook County reinstates three Supreme Court candidates

Following an afternoon Zoom hearing, the Circuit Court of Cook County late yesterday issued an order reinstating the Supreme Court candidacies of Appellate Court Justice Susan F. Hutchinson, former Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr., and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rodkin Rotering.

Hutchinson and Curran were, and will be again, subject to any further appeals, candidates for the Republican nomination for the Supreme Court in the newly redrawn Second Judicial District; Rotering was, and now is again, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for that seat.

At yesterday's hearing, counsel for all parties insisted that the principally disputed statute -- §7-10(h) of the Illinois Election Code, 10 ILCS 5/7-10(h) -- was clear on its face, but (of course) each side asserted that the 'clear' provisions of that text supported their diametrically opposed positions. Judge Maureen Hannon sought agreement from the parties that, given their respective positions, the statute must be ambiguous. In her subsequent written opinion, Judge Hannon stated, "A statute is ambiguous if it is capable of being understood by reasonably well-informed persons in two or more different ways. People v. Jameson, 162 Ill.2d 282, 288 (1994)."

This case arose from a decision of the Illinois State Board of Elections that went against the recommendation of its own hearing officer and general counsel. See, Three candidates removed from Supreme Court race in Second Judicial District.

Following the issuance of yesterday's order, Justice Hutchinson stated, "I'm very happy with this ruling. Judge Hannon studied the issues carefully, asked good questions and came to the correct conclusion."

Hutchinson's attorney, Keri-Lyn J. Krafthefer of Ancel Glink, added, "This is a victory for Justice Hutchinson, but also for the voters in the new second district who now have expanded choices in this important race."

Ed Mullen, of the Mullen Law Firm, represented Nancy Rotering. He said, "Judge Hannon’s decision is, in my opinion, consistent with the Election Code, relevant precedent, and the longstanding practice of the Illinois State Board of Elections. Ballot access is a substantial right in Illinois, not only for candidates, but for all voters to have choices. This decision gives voters in the Second Judicial District a real choice in the primary election, and I am thrilled that Democrats will have the opportunity to vote for Nancy Rotering for the Illinois Supreme Court."

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Lawyers Club of Chicago presents conversation with Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans on May 26

The Lawyers Club of Chicago will present Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans "in conversation with Circuit Judge Nichole Patton in celebration of [Evans'] 30 year Judicial anniversary" at its Thursday, May 26 lunch meeting, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., at Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd.

Tickets for the event are $60 for members, $65 for non-members. (To apply for membership in the Lawyers Club, click here.) To register for the event, click here.

The club will conduct its annual meeting immediately following the program with Judge Evans.

IVI-IPO announces endorsements in Cook County judicial races

The Independent Voters of Illinois - Independent Precinct Organization has announced its endorsements for Cook County judicial candidates running in the June 28 primary.

The IVI-IPO has also endorsed Kane County Circuit Court Judge René Cruz for the Democratic nomination for the Illinois Supreme Court in the newly redrawn Second Judicial District.

In the races for the two open Appellate Court seats in Cook County, the IVI-IPO endorsed Judge Debra B. Walker for the Hall vacancy and Judge John H. Ehrlich for the Harris vacancy.

The IVI-IPO did not make endorsements in every countywide Cook County Circuit Court race, but it has announced these endorsements:
  • Monica G. Somerville
    Cannon Vacancy

  • Deidre Baumann
    Lynch Vacancy

  • Chelsey Renece Robinson
    McGury Vacancy

  • Dan Balanoff
    O'Brien Vacancy

  • Thomas More Donnelly
    Sullivan Vacancy
Similarly, the IVI-IPO did not offer endorsements in every Cook County subscircuit race, but it did make the following endorsements in these subcircuit races:
  • John W. Wilson
    1st Subcircuit, Johnson Vacancy

  • Jerry Barrido
    4th Subcircuit, Rogers Vacancy

  • David L. Kelly
    5th Subcircuit, Portman-Brown Vacancy

  • Timothy W. Wright
    5th Subcircuit, Shelley Vacancy

  • David S. Rodriguez
    6th Subcircuit, Vega Vacancy

  • Owens "Joe" Shelby
    7th Subcircuit, Martin Vacancy

  • Bradley R. Trowbridge
    8th Subcircuit, Gordon Vacancy

  • Sanjay Tailor
    9th Subcircuit, Cleveland Vacancy

  • Barry Goldberg
    9th Subcircuit, Jacobius Vacancy

  • Aileen Bhandari
    11th Subcircuit, McGuire Vacancy

  • Joe Gump
    13th Subcircuit, Groebner Vacancy

Joe Gump campaign website now live

A campaign website has been set up in support of Joe Gump's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for the Groebner vacancy in the 13th Subcircuit. That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the candidate list on this site's Sidebar.

Gump has been admitted to practice in Illinois since 1987, according to ARDC. He currently is self-employed.

But, as his campaign website attests, Gump spent the vast majority of his legal career in the Cook County Public Defender's Office, the last 17 years of which were spent as a felony trial attorney at the Rolling Meadows courthouse. His campaign website also notes that he served as an executive board member of AFSCME Council 31, Local 3315 (the Cook County Public Defender Association) for 28 years.

Gump's website contains the following statement by the candidate:
As a public defender, I have enjoyed working with most States Attorneys and Judges to find appropriate dispositions in criminal cases that take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense, injury to the complainant or to society, and the background of the accused, including prior criminal behavior, mental health history, and drug or alcohol dependence. While I recognize the need for incarceration in some cases, I also believe in the concept of rehabilitative potential, and support the notion of progressive and corrective discipline where necessary. I am a strong believer in specialty courts such as the mental health court, drug court and veterans court, and I support bond reform measures that affirm the presumption of innocence by allowing the accused to remain free on bond or on electronic home monitoring pending the disposition of their cases.
Gump was a previously a candidate for judge in the 13th Subcircuit in 2008 and 2020.

Photo credit (per candidate website): Manfred Pfeifer Photographer

Spring Into Action fundraiser for Judge David L. Kelly on May 17

Supporters of Judge David L. Kelly's 5th Subcircuit campaign are planning a "Spring Into Action" fundraiser for Tuesday, May 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Retreat, 305 E. Garfield.

As an aside, that may be the first time I linked to a venue's Instagram page. Retreat (full name: Retreat at Currency Exchange) also has a Facebook page, perhaps for the benefit of the less hip, such as yours truly.

But to resume: Tickets for the May 17 event are $50 apiece, but sponsorships are available (Friend - $100, Supporter - $250, Ally - $500, Patron - $1,000, Champion - $2,500). To reserve tickets email hello@judgedavidkelly.com. For more information about the event, or for any questions, contact Stephanie Kelly at (773) 454-2103.

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Judge Kelly to the Portman-Brown vacancy in the 5th Subcircuit last July. This is the vacancy he is seeking in the June primary.

Jorge Cazares campaign website found online

A campaign website is now live for 14th Subcircuit candidate Jorge V. Cazares (Jagielski vacancy). That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to this site's candidate Sidebar.

Licensed in Illinois since 1990, according to ARDC, Cazares is a partner in the firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

His campaign website notes that Cazares was the first Latino to serve as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority. After returning to private practice, according his campaign website, Cazares was appointed Chief Ethics Officer for the CHA and Chief EEO Officer for the CHA.

Before joining Hinshaw, Cazares worked for Altheimer & Gray (where, his campaign bio notes, he was the only Latino lawyer in the 250-person firm) and, later, Pugh, Jones & Hubbard, P.C. (which later became Pugh Jones & Johnson, P.C.). According to his campaign website, Cazares' "practice included the representation of clients in contract and business disputes, commercial litigation, employment discrimination, local governmental defense, civil rights defense, products liability, defamation, major personal injury defense, labor disputes and arbitrations, RICO, bankruptcy litigation, and commercial real estate litigation matters."

A graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep, Cazares did his undergraduate work at Yale before 'returning home' to attend the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, according to his campaign bio. Cazares is a member of the Board of Directors of the Gads Hill Center and, according to his campaign bio, a founding member and Director of the Chicago Police Foundation. Cazares is fluent in Spanish, according to his campaign bio, and he and his wife of more than 25 years have raised their two sons to speak Spanish as well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Campaign website launches for Kerrie Maloney Laytin

A campaign website has been launched for 6th Subcircuit candidate Kerrie Maloney Laytin (Vega vacancy). That's a link to the campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the site Sidebar.

Laytin has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2000, according to ARDC. She has served as a Cook County Associate Judge since October 2021. She previously served as a Circuit Court judge pursuant to appointment by the Illinois Supreme Court; she was a candidate for that seat in the 2020 election cycle.

According to her campaign bio, in addition to her judicial service, Laytin has served "the public in government and public interest positions throughout her career, such as Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission and Staff Attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation (now Legal Aid Chicago) representing people living in poverty."

Maloney Laytin's campaign bio states that she "is in her second three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors for High Jump, an organization providing intensive academic enrichment and support to low-income middle school students, primarily of color. She also has volunteered regularly for other community organizations such as the Ark Food Pantry and Stand Up For Kids Chicago, an organization combatting youth homelessness primarily impacting LGBTQ+ youth. She has worked with the Interrupters, an anti-violence organization, and is a supporter of the Jason Foundation, a nationwide not-for-profit dedicated to youth suicide awareness, education, and prevention." Maloney Laytin is also "raising her two children in the 6th Subcircuit and is actively involved in her children’s schools."