Saturday, September 30, 2023

Arab American Bar Association to host judicial reception on October 25

Updated 10/21/23 to advise of event postponement.
The following statement was copied from the AABAR website this morning:
Out of respect for the tragic loss of life and those that have been impacted by the recent events, the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois’ Judicial Reception that was to be held on October 25, 2023, will be postponed to a date certain to come. We intend to hold a press conference to address the legal issues that have been affecting our community. Details to follow.
The Arab American Bar Association of Illinois will hold its 2023 Judicial Reception on Wednesday, October 25, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at the Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph Street.

The AABAR will honor five individual judges at this event, Judge Michael B. Betar, Judge Rouhy J. Shalabi, Judge Mohammad A. Ahmad, Judge Lakshmi E. Jha, and Judge Monique N. O'Toole.

All sitting judges will be admitted gratis. Until October 18, the ticket price for non-judges is $100; the price increases to $125 on October 19. Law students will be admitted for $25.

Sponsorships are available as well. Sponsorship levels and benefits for this event are as follows:
  • Bronze - $250
    Includes one event ticket, acknowledgement in AABAR email blasts and on the AABAR website

  • Silver - $500
    Includes two event tickets, acknowledgement in AABAR email blasts and website, and an acknowledgement in the program

  • Gold - $1,000
    Includes all benefits of Silver Sponsorship, plus an additional three event tickets (5 total) and an acknowledgement in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

  • Platinum - $1,500
    Includes all benefits of Gold Sponsorship, plus an additional three event tickets (8 total)

  • Diamond - $3,000
    Includes all benefits of Platinum Sponsorship, plus an additional four event tickets (12 total) and a poster board acknowledgement at the event.
Tickets and sponsorships may be purchased via this Eventbrite link. Service charges can be avoided by using Zelle and sending to Judges need to register here

Questions about this event may be directed to

PRBA plans reception for new Appellate Court Justice Ramon Ocasio III

The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois has scheduled a reception honoring newly appointed Appellate Court Justice Ramon Ocasio III for Friday, October 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge. Beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Justice Ocasio is a former PRBA President.

The suggested donation for this event is $20. Payment will be due at the door or by Zelle to Registration is required; use this form to register.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Jewish Judges Association of Illinois to hold installation dinner on October 18

The Jewish Judges Association of Illinois will hold its 19th Annual Awards and Installation Dinner on Wednesday, October 18 at the Hilton Doubletree, 9599 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. A 5:30 p.m. reception precedes the 6:30 p.m. dinner.

This year's honorees are:
  • Judge Jerry Esrig
    Hon. Seymour Simon Justice Award

  • Federal Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole
    Hon. Ilana Diamond Rover Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Judge Mark Levitt
    Hon. Richard J. Elrod Public Service Award

  • Justice Marvin Leavitt (Ret.)
    Emeritus Award
Tickets for this dinner are $175 each, or $1,750 for a table. The last day to purchase tickets for this event is October 11. For reservations, email

Advocates planning annual scholarship fundraiser November 30, looking for silent auction donations now

Here's a great oppotunity to ditch your December Bears tickets!

OK, admittedly, that's not particularly civil. And I apolgize unreservedly for same, at least to the Advocates Society, which, after all, is trying to raise money for its Polish-American Advocates Scholarship Foundation at a November 30 dinner, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., at Maggiano's, 516 N. Clark Street.

It's just... well, I'm a White Sox fan as well as a Bears fan, and for a brief while this Summer I'd dared to hope that the abject misery of this awful White Sox season might be assuaged by an improved Bears squad....

Also, the Advocates are looking for donations for the silent auction that will be featured at the November 30 dinner. In most years, Bears tickets would be a welcome donation.

Would be. Would have been?

But perhaps you, Dear Reader, can think of something useful for the cause. Theater tickets, perhaps, or gift certificates, jewelry items, sports memorabilia -- donations are bounded only by a donor's budget, imagination, and generosity. Persons with items to donate for the event should email Eryk Wachnik, at Donors should include a copy of their logo to be displayed with the silent auction item.

The Advocates are also trying to line up sponsors for the dinner. Sponsorships are $300 and include one dinner ticket, inclusion of the sponsor's name or logo in the program book, placement of said name or logo on the Advocates website in connection with this event, and a shout-out on social media. Potential sponsors should also contact Eryk Wachnik, at

For the well-organized, there is also an opportunity to purchase tickets for this event at early bird prices. From now through October 31, tickets for this event are $150 each; a table of 10 may be had for $1,250. From and after November 1, tickets will be $175 each; a table of 10 will cost $1,500. All tickets are available at this page of the Advocates website.

CBA releases biographical sketches of Stevens Awards winners; awards luncheon Monday

The 2023 Justice John Paul Stevens Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Monday, October 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., at the Union League Club of Chicago. Tickets for the luncheon are still available. Tickets costs $75 apiece; tables of 10 may be purchased for $750. Tickets may be obtained at this page of the Chicago Bar Association website.

Established in 2000, the award recognizes lawyers and judges who best exemplify Justice Stevens’ legacy of pro bono and public service in his career and his commitment to ensuring our justice system is fair and accessible for everyone in the community. An active member of the CBA during his long residence in Chicago, Stevens retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 after 35 years of service and died in 2019.

“We are so proud to honor this phenomenal, diverse group of lawyers and jurists with the John Paul Stevens Awards,” said CBA President Ray J. Koenig III. “Each has impacted our legal community and city through their leadership and generous service to The Chicago Bar Association, The Chicago Bar Foundation, and our community. They exemplify the ideals our profession and community work to uphold.”

Here are the biographies of this year's Stevens Awards winners, as provided by the CBA:
  • Dan L. Boho is a lifelong Chicagoan who attended undergrad and law school at Loyola. He has practiced with Hinshaw & Culbertson since his start as a summer associate when the firm consisted of two Chicago area offices through its growth to 25 offices nationally. He served on the Executive Committee for 33 years and is in his 35th year as a practice group leader of the personal injury defense practice nationally. He is a Fellow of the top three national trial organizations: The American College of Trial Lawyers, which he also served as State Chair, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and ABOTA. Locally, he has served as President of the Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago and later as President of the Illinois Society of Trial Lawyers. In the CBA, Dan has served as a volunteer General Counsel, Board Member, and Officer. He served as volunteer General Counsel and Vice-Chairman for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the General Assembly for the IBA. Dan is a national trial lawyer in his practice, having tried cases from coast to coast in State and Federal Courts. He has acted as trial counsel for the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Fire. He was lead defense counsel in the 69 West Washington fire case with 300 depositions and the John Hancock case with 150 depositions. He also represented the producer of the Indiana State Fair in its stage collapse litigation. He has served on the Board of PILI and the Heartland Alliance and was Board Chairman for the Polish American Association.

  • Patricia Brown Holmes is a Managing Partner at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP. A former state court judge, experienced prosecutor, and defense lawyer, Patricia is renowned for impeccable judgment, brilliant strategy, and sage counsel. She is a trusted advisor to clients facing high-stakes commercial disputes and litigation, class actions, investigations, and white-collar criminal matters; environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) issues; and reputational crises. She is the first Black woman to manage and have her name on the door of a national law firm that is not women- or minority-owned. Before serving as an associate judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, she was an assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant State’s Attorney. She is the Past President (1997-1998) of the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. and the Past President (2015-2016) of The Chicago Bar Association. Often described as a force of nature for her boundless energy and powerful presence, she has received countless accolades for her professional excellence and dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Recently, she was honored with the Chambers USA 2023 Diversity & Inclusion Outstanding Contribution Award, the American Constitution Society Abner J. Mikva Award, the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Philanthropic Award, the ABA Diversity Leadership Award, and named to the CCBA Hall of Fame. She is the Co-Chair of the National Football League Diversity Advisory Council.

  • Daniel M. Kotin is a founding shareholder and trial lawyer in the firm of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman. He handles personal injury and wrongful death cases in transportation, product liability, medical malpractice, and construction. In 2017, he completed his term as President of the Chicago Bar Association, became involved in the National Conference of Bar Presidents, and was elected to its Executive Council. He has also been selected for the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers fellowships. He sits in the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association and serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is an American Board of Trial Advocates member and has served as President of The Society of Trial Lawyers. He serves as the Immediate Past President of the prestigious Chicago Inn of Court. At the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, he is a member of the Board of Managers. In addition, he has been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and to its Committee on Character and Fitness. He is on the faculty at Loyola University School of Law, where he teaches a course in Civil Procedure and served as a National Mock Trial Team coach. He was the President of the Board of Governors for Loyola Law School and serves as the co-chair of its Circle of Advocates.

  • Professor Ann Lousin was born and reared in Chicago and received a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1964. She studied in Heidelberg for a year and then returned to study at The University of Chicago Law School. Shortly after receiving her J.D. in 1968, she was a research assistant at The Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention. She was a staff assistant to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for the next four years, including being Parliamentarian of the House from 1973 to 1975. Upon joining the faculty of The John Marshall Law School in 1975, she began teaching both commercial law and constitutional law. She currently teaches Sales Transactions, Contracts, and Illinois Constitutional Law. Outside the law school, she has served in several governmental positions, notably Chairman of The Illinois State Civil Service Commission. She has also served on charitable boards and lectured abroad. Within the legal community, she has been the Chairperson of The Armenian Bar Association and is a founding member. She is especially active in The Chicago Bar Association, which she has served for fifty years, including three terms as Chair of the Constitutional Law Committee. In 2009, she was elected to The American Law Institute. Acknowledged as an expert on the Illinois Constitution, she wrote The Illinois State Constitution: A Reference Guide and writes columns for The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

  • Mary Smith is President of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is the first Native American woman in this role. She is an independent board member and former CEO of the Indian Health Service. She currently serves on the board of PTC Therapeutics, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company, and HAI Group, a leading member-owned insurance company for the affordable housing industry. She is also Vice Chair of the VENG Group, a national consulting firm. She served on the senior team of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice and as General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Insurance. Earlier in her career, she served in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President and Associate Director of Policy Planning. She served in a senior role at Tyco International (US) Inc. and as Special Counsel & Estate Trust Officer at the Office of Special Deputy Receiver. She was a Partner in the Chicago office of Schoeman, Updike & Kaufman, a women-owned firm, and an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington, D.C. In bar activities, she is a past ABA secretary and was the first Native American to serve as one of 13 commissioners on the Commission on Women in the Profession. She has held leadership positions in both the ABA Section of Litigation and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Responsibility. She also served as an ABA representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and is a past president of the National Native American Bar Association. She was co-chair of the Litigation Section in the District of Columbia Bar Association and also served on the Board of Managers for the Chicago Bar Association. In her civic activities, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of Chicago, the International Women’s Forum, and the National Association of Corporate Directors. She founded and serves as President and Chair of a foundation named after her mother and grandmother, respectively, the Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, to train Native American girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

  • Barry Taylor is the Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation at Equip for Equality, where he has worked since 1996 to advance the human and civil rights of people with disabilities in Illinois. At Equip for Equality, he has overseen many individual and systemic disability discrimination cases, including successful federal ADA suits against the National Board of Medical Examiners, the Chicago Police Department, and the Chicago Transit Authority. He is currently counsel in six class actions, including lead counsel in Ligas v. Eagleson, a class action on behalf of people with developmental disabilities who are seeking community services. Over 20,000 people with disabilities have received community services as a result of the three community integration class actions. He has been the Chairperson of the Disability Rights Consortium, Chairperson of Season of Concern, Chairperson of the Legal Committee for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Legal Aid and Mental Health and Disability Law Committees, and Co-Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Pro Bono Week. He has served on the Governor’s Task Force for Employment and Economic Opportunity for People with Disabilities, the Disability Court Access Committee for the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, the Board of the Public Interest Law Initiative, and Senator Dick Durbin’s Judicial Selection Committee. In 2001, Chicago Lawyer Magazine named Barry one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch.” Barry is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches Disability Rights Law. He was the AIDS Project Attorney in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal, working to advance the civil rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. His caseload included a successful challenge to discriminatory inquiries by the Chicago Public Schools on teacher applications. From 1988-1993, Barry was a litigation associate at the Chicago law firm of Peterson & Ross. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he also received his undergraduate degree in 1985. Barry and his husband, Marv Pollack, have two children. They have been active at the Francis W. Parker School, where Barry facilitated the SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) program for six years.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Caroline Glennon-Goodman seeks 10th Subcircuit vacancy

Career Assistant Public Defender Caroline Glennon-Goodman is planning a run for a 10th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2024 Democratic Primary. A campaign website has been established in furtherance of this effort. That's a link to the site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the Sidebar on this site. There is also a campaign Facebook page.

Licensed in Illinois since 1996, according to ARDC, Glennon-Goodman's campaign bio states that her "passion for law and justice began in downstate Illinois, as the daughter of a judge and librarian." The campaign bio describes Glennon-Goodman as "a criminal defense attorney and homicide attorney working in juvenile and felony court."

Glennon-Goodman has been a resident of Glenview for more than 20 years, according to her campaign bio. She resides there with her husband, Dr. Paul Goodman, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon with Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, and their two children. Glennon-Godman's campaign bio also notes that she has served as a court-appointed gaurdian to her special needs nephew for the past dozen years and is herself a breast cancer survivor.

A past president of the District 225 Glenbrook South Parent Association, according to her campaign bio, Glennon-Goodman has also participated in projects with Women Everywhere and served as a moot court judge for the North Suburban Bar Association and Empire Mock-Trial competitions for both high school and law students.

Glennon-Goodman has not run for judge previously, but she was a Short List finalist in the 2021 associate judge selection process.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Cong. Jan Schakowsky announces several Cook County judicial endorsements

Updated 9/27/23 to add additional endorsement not included in initial list provided by Cong. Schakowsky's office

Cong. Jan Schakowsky has announced endorsements in several 2024 Cook County Judicial races, according to Ben Head, Schakowsky's Political Director.

The list is incomplete, Head told FWIW, and additional endorsements may (and likely will) be made later in the election cycle.

But, at this point, Schakowsky has endorsed Justice Joy V. Cunningham for the Illinois Supreme Court, Judge Celia Gamrath for the Illinois Appellate Court, and Judge Debjani Desai for the Cook County Circuit Court.

Schakowsky has also endorsed Loveleen Ahuja in the 8th Subcircuit, Liam Kelly and Caroline Glennon-Goodman in the 10th Subcircuit, Alon Stein in the 12th Subcircuit, and John Hock in the 18th Subcircuit, according to Head.

UPDATE: Systems coming back at Daley Center... and maybe across the county, too

This morning's Internet outage impacting the Daley Center was apparently countywide, according to multiple sources.

What happened, and why, is still unknown, but it seems that the entire Cook County WAN developed problems with Internet traffic -- slow-loading pages to the point of pages timing out, the kind of stuff that happens on my ancient laptop and even-older desktop on most days ending in -y. Outlook apparently continued to function. Phones, too. But the problem, whatever it was, was not confined to one office or one building.

None of the people I've communicated with this morning are technical people, so I can't provide any information about why this may have happened.

But the problems are apparently subsiding.

Of course, now I'm trying to confirm that, too. *Sigh* (Updating this update to add that multiple sources are saying all the technology is working again.)

If I get anything reasonably plausible from anyone who has knowledge about the cause of the problem (the morning rain or the almost-full moon are probably not to blame here) I will pass it along.

BREAKING: No Internet at Daley Center this morning?

BREAKING -- or, better perhaps, broken -- Internet service seems to have gone out at the Daley Center this morning, jeopardizing the morning Zoom calls.

I have this on good authority... but I am seeking confirmation and details. Can't say for certain, at this point, that the outage impacts the entire building.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Celia Gamrath website launched; fundraiser tomorrow evening

A campaign website has been launched in support of Judge Celia Gamrath's candidacy for the Illinois Appellate Court. That's a link to the website in the preceding sentence; there's no Sidebar list yet for Appellate Court candidates, but when one is established, this link will be there, too.

Gamrath's supporters are throwing a fundraiser for their candidate tomorrow evening, Tuesday, September 26, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at the offices of Amari & Locallo, 734 N. Wells St.

Tickets for this event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available ($250 - $1,000 - $5,000). Campaign donations are accepted at this page of the candidate website. For more information about tomorrow's fundraiser, or to reserve your spot, email

Judge Gamrath was first elected to the Circuit Court in 2012, but she has served on the Cook County bench since 2010 when she was appointed to fill a vacancy by the Illinois Supreme Court. She was named first alternate for the Appellate Court at the Cook County Democratic Party's recent slate-making session; she automatically succeeded to the Party's endorsement when Judge Ramon Ocasio withdrew his candidacy.

Gamrath's campaign bio states that she "comes from a close-knit family with a strong work ethic, common sense, and a firm belief that with opportunity comes a responsibility to do more for others, improve each day, and 'lift as we climb.'" Gamrath has served as a board member of the Appellate Lawyers Association, a Vice President of the John Marshall (now UIC) Law School, Secretary of the Chicago Bar Foundation, President of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association Women and Law Committee, and Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women. As Co-Chair of the Alliance, Judge Gamrath helped co-found the Women Everywhere Partners in Service Project, according to her campaign bio. Gamrath and her husband, Rob, are the parents of one daughter, an Air Force Cadet.

Campaign kickoff fundraiser Thursday evening for Judge Debjani Desai

Supporters of Judge Debjani Desai's bid to win election to the countywide judgeship she now holds pursuant to Supreme Court appointment are planning a Campaign Kickoff Fundraiser for this Thursday, September 28, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Beatrix, 155 N. Wacker.

Tickets for this event are $100 each, but sponsorships are available (Bronze - $250, Silver - $500, Gold - $1,000, Platinum - $2,500, or Host - $5,000). Tickets and sponsorships are available at this link.

John Hock endorsed for 18th Subcircuit vacancy by local Democratic committeepersons

State Sen. (and Maine Township Democratic Committeeperson) Laura Murphy has confirmed to FWIW that John Hock has received the endorsement of the local Democratic committeepersons for the "A" vacancy in the new 18th Subcircuit.

This is the first subcircuit endorsement that FWIW has been able to verify in this primary season (other candidates in other subcircuits are touting their endorsement claims on Facebook and elsewhere, but this endorsement has been confirmed by one of the committeepersons involved in making the endorsement).

FWIW would like to publish newsworthy endorsements, where made, by whomsoever made -- but, adhering as closely as we can to the old City News Bureau motto ("if your mother says she loves you, check it out"), FWIW will not typically publish endorsement claims that we can not independently verify. (Aside to candidates: If Rep. Smith or Cong. Jones or the Butchers, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers Union say they endorse you, they should be willing to say so publicly -- but too often they do not. Go figure.)

Although there do not seem to be as many of these in recent years, some subcircuits may (should) hold public endorsement sessions. If you know of one of these being set, feel free to email me at Tips about endorsements (or politicians or unions just bustin' with pride over their endorsement of Candidate X) should be sent to that address also.

Dawn Gonzalez campaign announces two campaign events

Eleventh Subcircuit candidate Dawn Gonzalez has announced two upcoming campaign events.

The first, set for this Saturday, September 30, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., is a meet-and-greet at a private residence in Norridge (FWIW typically does not publish addresses of private residences used for campaign events). There is no cost to attend this event (although donations will be welcome) but registration is required. Light snacks and desserts will be provided. To register for this event, click here.

The second event is a campaign fundraiser, set for Wednesday, October 25, at the Chicago office of the Benesch Law Firm, 71 South Wacker. Tickets are $100 each, and sponsorships are available (Supporter - $250, Benefactor - $500). To register for this event, click on this link.

Loveleen Ahuja announces 8th Subcircuit judicial bid

Loveleen Ahuja has announced plans to run for one of the vacancies in the redrawn 8th Subcircuit. A campaign website has been launched in furtherance of this effort. That's a link to the new campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to the Sidebar on this site.

Licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2005, according to ARDC, Ahuja has spent her entire career in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. Since 2019, Ahuja has been assigned to the Homicide Task Force in that office; her résumé notes that she has also served in the Felony Trial Division, the Domestic Trial Division, and the Child Protection Division.

Ahuja's campaign bio describes extensive community service, including service on the Foundation Board for the South Asian Bar Association and as Co-Chair of the Mentor/Mentee Committee for the Women’s Bar Association. She has volunteered for a number of community organizations, including St. Leonard's Ministries, according to her campaign bio. Ahuja describes herself as a first-generation daughter of immigrant parents, the first in her family to be born in the United States, and the first to practice law.

Ahuja sought slating for a countywide vacancy at the recent slate-making meeting of the Cook County Democratic Party. She was named the Party's fifth alternate at that time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Illinois Latino Judges Association announce date for Holiday Party

Thursday, December 7. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. At Mi Tierra, 2528 S. Kedzie.

Ticket information to come.

The battlements have been breached. The first leaves have only begun to turn... but the Christmas season has already begun. Of course, Christmas began at your local Costco... what? Six weeks ago?


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Judge not, lest ye be... no, wait a minute, moot court judging opportunities available

The Appellate Lawyers Association and the Chicago Bar Association are both looking for moot court judges and brief graders to help out with upcoming competitions.

The ALA is holding its annual Donald C. Hudson Memorial Moot Court Competition on Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4, 2023. The competition will be staged at the DePaul University College of Law on Friday, November 3. The location of the November 4 session will be announced later.

Attorney volunteers (ALA members or other attorneys with significant appellate experience) are needed to judge oral arguments at 9:30 a.m., noon, and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3, and at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 4. CLE credit is availalbe for moot court judges.

Actual Appellate Court Justices will assist in judging the semi-final and final rounds. Past judges of the Semi-Final and Final rounds have included Justice Donald C. Hudson, Justice William E. Holdridge, Justice Nathaniel R. Howse, Jr., Justice Margaret Stanton McBride, Justice Michael B. Hyman, Justice Mary K. Rochford, Justice Maureen Connors, Justice Sharon Oden Johnson, Justice Cynthia Cobbs, Justice Jesse Reyes, Justice Mary L. Mikva, Justice Judy Lynn Cates and Justice Mary Anne Mason of the Appellate Court of Illinois.

Volunteers are also needed to grade briefs submitted by law student contestants in October. Unfortunately, Illinois MCLE rules do not allow the award of CLE credit for grading briefs.

There are also sponsorship opportunities available for this tournament. To volunteer to serve as a grader and/or judge, or for more information about sponsorship opportunities, email

The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section's 41st Annual Moot Court Competition is set for Thursday, November 16 through Saturday, November 18. As with the ALA competition, attorney volunteers are needed to serve as brief graders and judges. Also, as with the ALA competition, MCLE credit is only available for moot court judges.

Graders need a stronger union.

Judges are needed for these sessions:
  • Thursday, November 16 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 16 - 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 17 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 17 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 18 - 11:00 a.m.
Each brief grader will receive approximately four or five briefs, brief score sheets, and a summary of the case law and arguments expected from petitioner and respondent on both major issues. This year, the briefs will be e-mailed to volunteer graders on or about October 16. All brief score sheets are due by November 6.

To volunteer as a judge for the CBA YLS competition, complete and email this Google Doc form to Volunteer graders should complete and return this form. Questions about this event should be directed to

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Alliance wants you! (And that means pretty much all of you, too)

Yes, that's a clickbait headline on this post, but it's done with the purest of motives: The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening is urgently looking for judicial candidates who have not yet submitted to screening.

The Alliance would like to remind prospective candidates that proper screening takes time -- time to contact references -- time to schedule hearings. The concern is, an Alliance spokesperson told FWIW, that someone may file for a vacancy and then reach out. But if too many candidates do that, it would place an inordinate strain on the ability of the Alliance to conduct timely screenings.

The message, the Alliance says, is forget deadlines. Consider the deadline to be today. If you are circulating petitions, or even if you're still thinking about circulating petitions in this cycle, and if you don't have current ratings, or if you've never been screened at all, contact Joyce Williams, the Alliance Administrator, at and request a candidate questionnaire.

(Williams' counterpart at the Chicago Bar Association is Angie Cruz. If you don't have Alliance ratings, you probably don't have CBA ratings either, do you? While you're emailing Joyce Willias, email, too.)

The Alliance is not merely looking for hitherto unknown judicial candidates, however. The headline did not lie: The Alliance is also looking for members of its many constituent bar associations to volunteer for service on judicial evaluation committees. Any member of an Alliance bar association can volunteer to serve on that association's JEC. Email Joyce Williams, the Alliance Administrator, at, if you are interested. (And CBA members should strongly consider reaching out to Ms. Cruz as well. The more the merrier.)

See, readers? We really did mean pretty much everyone.

One more thing: In this election cycle, the Alliance will be bigger than ever before. A new bar group has been welcomed into the Alliance, namely, the Black Men Lawyers' Association. That's another group to share the burden of candidate investigation and interviews... and one more group to coordinate for scheduling. So, please, act soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Pretrial Fairness Act takes effect Monday; here's what our elected leaders are saying on the eve of this occasion

Updated 9/18/23 to add new statment released by President Preckwinkle

In Rowe v. Raoul, 2023 IL 129248, the Illinois Supreme Court found Public Acts 101-652 and 102-1104 (eff. Jan. 1, 2023) to be constitutional, but stayed implementation of these measures for an additional 60 days, until September 18.

That's tomorrow.

One of the reasons for this delay was to give all judges and elected officials, even those who had argued against the constitutionality of these statutes, time to adapt and implement. While activists and academics and politicians dreamed these statutes up and got them on the statute books, it is the judges of our State who will be on the front lines of their implementation and who will be the first ones blamed if the wonders promised by the aforementioned activists, academics, and politicians do not materialize. But (while some judges had input and many support it) judges generally are not responsible for this new regime, they are merely responsible to follow it, as best they can, and as the new law permits.

In Cook County, of course, our most prominent elected officials have been foursquare behind the SAFE-T Act and the related Pretrial Fairness Act right from the start. They say they are ready -- and this means that they think we are ready, too -- for Monday.

Here is the press release issued Thursday by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle celebrating the forthcoming elimination of cash bail:
On September 18, the Pretrial Fairness Act will take full effect in Illinois, eliminating the use of money bond and redesigning pretrial processes to increase transparency in release and detention decisions. Cook County stands ready to implement all aspects of the Act, including the new initial appearance and detention hearing processes.

Since the Pretrial Fairness Act was signed into law in February 2021 as part of the larger SAFE-T Act, Cook County’s court system stakeholders have been engaged in an unprecedented collaborative planning process to ensure Cook County is prepared to implement the law. As September 18th approaches, Cook County leaders remain united in their commitment to a successful launch of the new procedures and hearing process.

“As a result of nearly two years of thoughtful and collaborative preparation, Cook County is ready to implement the new procedures required by the Pretrial Fairness Act,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We are immensely proud of the collaboration that has brought us here and we stand united as we move into this new phase of increased pretrial fairness. As our court system transitions to the new procedures, my administration will continue to provide resources and support to ensure our continued success.”

Cook County’s implementation planning process has centered on active participation and collaborative problem-solving. The process brought together representatives from each of the County’s criminal justice agencies to participate in consistent working groups alongside local law enforcement, advocacy groups and community representatives. Following implementation, the working groups will continue to meet to identify best practices and to ensure nuances and challenges are navigated quickly and collaboratively.

"With the elimination of cash bail, Cook County stands as a beacon of justice where decisions are made on safety, not dollars. Together, with all our agencies and community stakeholders, we are confident in the successful rollout and the enduring positive impact of the Pretrial Fairness Act," said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

“The judges and staff of the Circuit Court of Cook County are fully prepared to fairly implement the requirements of the Pretrial Fairness Act. We will work with all stakeholders, as well as with litigants and lawyers who appear before us, to follow the law and both ensure justice for the accused and promote safety in the community,” said Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

“As we embark on the historic implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act here in Illinois, our office is fully prepared and will continue to engage and participate in the collaborative planning process with all of our criminal justice partners to ensure there is a successful outcome. We remain committed to serving the residents of Cook County and the participants in the judicial system in an efficient, equitable, and ethical manner,” said Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Iris Y. Martinez.

Following the Illinois Supreme Court’s July 18 decision upholding the Pretrial Fairness Act, Cook County’s criminal legal system agencies actively reengaged staff in meetings, trainings and interagency court scenario walkthroughs. These efforts have helped ensure countywide preparedness for implementation by allowing court stakeholders to collaboratively troubleshoot new processes and confirm logistical details.

“The Cook County Public Defender’s Office welcomes this new day of greater pretrial fairness for the clients we represent. We are proud of the extensive interagency efforts to prepare the county’s criminal legal system for implementation of the law. Our office has created a Pretrial Division to staff Initial Appearances and Detention Hearings, and our expert criminal defense attorneys and other staff are fully trained in the law and the new processes,” said Cook County Public Defender Sharone R. Mitchell, Jr.

“The full implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act does not simply end the use of money bond as a condition of pretrial release, but it initiates a more equitable pretrial process designed to be more fair, transparent and effective,” said Avik Das, Executive Director of the Justice Advisory Council. “As we transition to the implementation phase, we will continue to work closely with Cook County’s court stakeholder agencies as well as partners from the research, advocacy and system-impacted communities. We will continue to observe and improve how our system functions, to best serve the residents and communities of Cook County.”

This month, Illinois becomes the first state to completely end the use of money bond and adopt a more equitable system for pretrial detention grounded in safety, not access to money. Under this system, money will no longer be a condition of release. Good faith participation in our planning process and a strong commitment from leaders and staff at all levels, have enabled our agencies to come to this moment feeling confident and prepared to implement the Pretrial Fairness Act. Cook County leaders are proud to stand united and are committed to working together to ensure successful implementation of the new procedures in the coming weeks and beyond.
Adding... statement issued by President Preckwinkle on September 18:
The full implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act and the end of money bond is a critical milestone on the path toward economic and racial justice in Cook County and Illinois. This important reform is long overdue. Today, we finally end the harmful practice of wealth-based pretrial incarceration and welcome a new system that centers community safety to better guarantee equal justice for all.

In the last ten years, Cook County has made significant progress in addressing mass incarceration and advancing pretrial fairness. We safely decreased the population of Cook County jail, limited the use of money bonds and increased investments that support residents and communities most impacted by crime, violence and incarceration. The implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act is the next step on this journey.

I am immensely proud of the intentional collaboration that has brought us to this day. I stand in solidarity and support of our court system stakeholders and system impacted residents and communities as we implement the new court procedures and move into this new phase of increased pretrial fairness.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Winners of the 2023 Justice John Paul Stevens Awards announced; awards luncheon set for October 2

The Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Foundation have announced the winners of this year's Justice John Paul Stevens Awards.

The award is meant to celebrate Illinois attorneys "who have demonstrated extraordinary integrity and service to the community throughout their careers," according to the CBA. This year's winners are:
  • Dan L. Boho,
    Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

  • Patricia Brown Holmes,
    Managing Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

  • Daniel M. Kotin,
    Founding Shareholder, Tomasik Kotin Kasserman

  • Professor Ann Lousin,
    University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

  • Mary Smith,
    President, American Bar Association

  • Barry C. Taylor,
    Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation, Equip for Equality
These awards will be conferred at the 2023 Justice John Paul Stevens Award Luncheon on Monday, October 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., at the Union League Club of Chicago. Tickets for the luncheon are $75 apiece; tables of 10 may be purchased for $750. Tickets may be obtained at this page of the CBA website.

There will be an Awards Program book distributed at the luncheon. Ads congratulating one or more award recipients are available, but the deadline for purchase is this coming Monday, September 18. Ads cost $500 each for a full-page (4.25" width by 7.5" height) and must be submitted in a high-resolution .pdf format. For questions about advertising, contact Michele Spondarek at

A list of past Stevens Awards winners is available in this post.

North Suburban Drug Courts get $2,000,000 federal grant

A new $2 million federal grant will boost two existing north suburban court programs that help adults diagnosed with substance use disorders, according to an announcement yesterday from the Office of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

Here is the rest of press release from the Chief Judge's Office:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the five-year grant to support program operations in north suburban drug treatment courts in the Second (Skokie) and Third (Rolling Meadows) Municipal Districts.

The funds will allow the drug courts to expand access to substance abuse disorder treatment services, using a network of providers. Funds will also support one court coordinator and two clinical case managers.

“Our drug treatment courts exercise compassion in the pursuit of justice,” said Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. “For certain non-violent offenders, treatment, not punishment is the best option. This federal grant will increase the help that our Skokie and Rolling Meadows courts can offer, so that these individuals can become useful, healthy members of society.”

Drug Treatment Courts are part of the Circuit Court of Cook County’s network of “Problem-Solving Courts,” which also includes Veterans’ Treatment Courts and Mental Health Treatment Courts. These courts are in the Leighton Criminal Court Building as well as all the suburban municipal district courts.

Also known as specialty or therapeutic courts, these courts help prevent high-risk, high-need individuals suffering from an underlying mental health, social or substance use disorder from becoming repeat offenders. To achieve this goal, problem-solving courts provide counseling, treatment, and intensive supervision.

Drug court participants, who are charged with non-violent crimes, are typically in the program for two years. Participants enter these programs voluntarily. Combined, there are currently 45 active participants in the Skokie and Rolling Meadows drug courts – six graduated last year.

Since the Circuit Court of Cook County budget does not cover everything needed for problem-solving courts, various grants are essential to their operation.

“The grant will literally change the lives of dozens of participants and their families,” said the Hon. Joseph Michael Cataldo, who oversees the Rolling Meadows drug treatment court. “This grant will not only affect the individuals directly involved in the court, but is an investment in our entire community.”

Shmoozing & boozing in the Sukkah on October 3

The High Holidays are just beginning (and Shana Tovah to all who observe), but the Decalogue Society of Lawyers is already looking ahead to the end of the holiday season with a "Shmoozing & Boozing in the Sukkah" event on Tuesday, October 3, from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., at Base Logan Square, near Palmer Square, a short walk from the California stop on the CTA Blue Line. (Registrants will get the exact address in a reminder email shortly prior to the event.)

The event is billed as a student and young lawyer social, but free for all Decalogue members... and limited to Decalogue members... so interested persons have an incentive to join or reinstate their membership (and membership is free for law students and new lawyers in their first year out of law school). Registration is required and is available from this page of the Decalogue website.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Judge released from Judge's Jail

Associate Judge Gregory E. Ahern, Jr. has been returned to active judicial duty.

In an Order entered Tuesday (Special Order No. 2023-126), the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County stated, in pertinent part:
The Executive Committee of the circuit court of Cook County having convened to consider the request of Hon. Gregory E. Ahern, Jr., pursuant to Ill.S.Ct.R. 56(c), that Cook County Cir. Ct. Special Order 2023-121 (eff. Aug. 25, 2023) be vacated and that Judge Ahem be returned to his previous judicial assignments;

The Judicial Inquiry Board having informed this court, on September 11 ,2023, that it had concluded its investigation of the allegations made against Judge Ahern, that no further action is warranted, and that the Board deems the matters that were the subject of Special Order 2023-121 to be closed;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Cook County Cir. Ct. Special Order 2023-121 (eff. Aug. 25, 2023) is vacated....
Ahern had been banished to Judge's Jail on account of allegedly "express[ing] his agreement with, or support for, comments by other persons [on X, f/k/a Twitter] that can reasonably be interpreted as suggesting a bias or prejudice that demeans individuals based upon their race, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation." The content of the Tweet that Judge Ahern may have 'liked' on X were not publicly shared. The identify of the "established local media outlet" that complained about Ahern was likewise not disclosed.

FWIW readers who have not already done so may be interested in reviewing the provisions of the new Code of Judicial Conduct (collected in this post) that potentially apply to a jurist's use of social media.

Auditions for CBA Bar Show set for Tuesday, September 26

When the kids were younger, I could make them distinctly uncomfortable merely by walking around the house belting out show tunes. I thought I did a mean Ethel Merman -- oddly enough, the kids disagreed -- but sing with me now -- There's no business like show business....

Aren't you glad now that I'm not doing podcasts?


But, anyway, in order to maximize turnout for the auditions for this year's CBA Bar Show (f/k/a Christmas Spirits), I will solemnly promise not to show up. Talented people, however, are invited to turn out on Tuesday, September 26, at 6:00 p.m. Bring 16 bars that showcase your best vocal stylings; an accompanist will be provided.

To reserve a spot at the auditions, or for additional information, email the director, Marla Lampert, at

The forthcoming bar show, It's AI Wonderful Life will be staged January 12 and 13 at the Studebaker Theatre, 410 S. Michigan Ave.

ISBA members sought for 2024 Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program

The Illinois State Bar Association is seeking experienced members to participate in a structured mentoring program, sharing their wisdom and experience with young lawyers (defined, for this purpose, as lawyers with less than five years of practice experience).

The ISBA will match prospective mentors and mentees in January. All will have to attend a mandatory orientation and training session on January 25, 2024. Thereafter, mentors and mentees will meet eight times in-person or virtually to complete a structured curriculum.

Mentors who successfully complete the program the program will receive six hours of MCLE/PMCLE credit and a certificate good for six additional hours of MCLE credit. The ISBA says that credits awarded from this program will satisfy one hour of Diversity & Inclusion PMCLE credit and one hour of Mental Health/Substance Abuse PMCLE credit.

Prospective mentors must be in good standing on the Illinois ARDC Master Roll of Attorneys, admitted to practice for no less than five years, with a clean disciplinary record (in Illinois and elsewhere), and active members of the ISBA. The ISBA does not promise to match every prospective mentor with a mentee; persons who are successfully matched with a mentee will be notified in January. The deadline to apply for the program is December 15, 2023. Persons meeting the requirements and interested in serving as mentors can apply via this page of the ISBA website.

Young lawyers wishing to be mentored can apply via this page of the ISBA website. Prospective mentees must be attorneys in good standing on the Master Roll with no more than five years experience. To be matched with a mentor, young attorneys must also be practicing law in Illinois, or planning to. And -- this being an ISBA program -- mentees must also be ISBA members. However, the ISBA noted that all new attorneys receive a complilmentary ISBA membership during their first year of admission to the bar.

HLAI Installation Ceremony and Awards Dinner set for September 29

The Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and HLAI Charities will hold their annual Black Tie Gala, Installation Ceremony and Awards Dinner on Friday, September 29, at the Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

The HLAI Charities Scholarship Recipients will be recognized at the program. The HLAI will also confer its Aguila Award on Miguel A. Ruiz, a partner with Cogan & Power, P.C., at this event.

Tickets for the gala are $300 each (tickets for HLAI members and law students and nonprofit/government employees are $275 each). Sponsorships are also available, ranging from $1,000 to $7,500. The sponsorship packet can be downloaded here; tickets and additional information about sponsorships is available at this page of the HLAI website. Questions about the event, including requests for vegetarian meal options or questions about particular sponsorships, may be directed to

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Liam Kelly fundraiser on September 28

Supporters of Liam Kelly's 10th Subcircuit judicial bid are planning a fundraiser for their candidate on Thursday, September 28, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at the Kerryman Restaurant, 661 N. Clark St.

Tickets for the event are $75 (sponsorships or, in the phraseology of the event organizers, "host opportunities," are available for $150). The ticket price includes an open bar (within specific, limited parameters -- I realize that I shouldn't have to say that... but we are on the Internet here). Tickets are available at this link.

Questions about the event should be directed to campaign Chair/Treasurer Jacqueline Keane-Kelly at

Limited tickets still availabe for LAP's October 5 2023 Awards Celebration

The 2023 Lawyers Assistance Program Awards Celebration will be held on Thursday, October 5, at Brookfield Zoo.

Ticket holders will be admitted to the zoo at 3:00 p.m. Special Tram Tours will be conducted at 4:30 and 5:00 p.m.

A reception will begin at 5:00 p.m. also, complete with food stations, opportunities to meet zoo animals, and a silent auction. The formal awards program will begin at 5:30 p.m. Supreme Court Justice Mary Kay O'Brien will be the guest speaker. Maggie Huisinga and Conrad C. Nowak will serve as co-Masters of Ceremonies.

LAP will confer a number of awards at the event. Honorees include:
  • Hon. John Powers Crowley Award - Clint Hull
    Awarded to a member of the judiciary who has contributed to the goals and mission of LAP

  • Hon. Michael Caldwell Award - Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
    Awarded to firms or agencies that utilize, promote, and support the mission of LAP

  • Executive Director Award - Ross Beacon
    Awarded to an in individual or organization that the Executive Director feels has supported him/her

  • Carl H. Rolewick Award - Kara Brodowski
    Awarded to an attorney who has contributed to the goals and mission of LAP
Tickets for the event are $150 each. Tickets -- available via this link -- must be purchased by September 29.

Sponsorships are also avalable (Friend - $250, Bronze - $500, Silver - $1,000, Gold - $2,500, Platinum - $3,500, and Presenting - $5,000) via this same link. There may still be opportunities for Appetizer, Dessert, Coffee or Animal Sponsorships. Call LAP at (312) 726-6607 ext. 3 for more information.

LAP’s mission is to help, protect, and educate the legal community about addiction, mental health and wellness. If you or someone you know needs support with mental health or wellbeing, contact LAP at or call (312) 726-6607. LAP's services are 100% confidential with immunity.

Kim Przekota announces 11th Subcircuit bid

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Kim Przekota has announced plans to seek a judicial vacancy in Cook County's redrawn 11th Subcircuit. That's a link to Przekota'a campaign website in the preceding sentence; a link has been added to the Candidate List Sidebar on this site. (There is also a campaign Facebook page.)

According to her campaign bio, Przekota has served in the CCSAO since 2009, currently serving as lead prosecutor handling homicide cases in a felony courtroom at the George Leighton Criminal Courthouse. She has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 2008, according to ARDC.

On the personal side, Przekota is an Oregon native who went to college at Iona College (now Iona University) in New Rochelle, New York. She was a two-sport athlete in college, competing on both the women's swimming and water polo teams. She has been coaching water polo at Loyola Academy for the past 13 years.

After getting her M.A. in history from Iona, Przekota came to Chicago for law school at DePaul. She never left. She and her husband, Chris, a Chicago native who also swam and played water polo at Iona, live in Park Ridge with their three children.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Staying out of Judges Jail: New Code of Judicial Conduct provisions that may be of assistance

Last Friday's article about a judge getting reassigned to Judges Jail, apparently on account of 'liking' someone else's Tweet, prompted a lot of attention and also some concern, among other judges, as to how and why the judge's online actions, whatever they were, may have potentially violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Although I have asked for more information from the Chief Judge's Office about the precise conduct that triggered the Executive Committee's action, I haven't received anything new. So I can not talk about that particular case at this time.

But I could, and did, reach out to an actual expert to follow up on the question of how judges generally can avoid getting into similar difficulties in future.

Jim Grogan is the former Chief Counsel of ARDC; he continues to teach ethics and professional responsibility at Loyola University Chicago Law School and, as most FWIW readers probably know, he remains a much-in-demand speaker on legal and judicial ethics at CLE presentations around the country.

While he's very entertaining in person, Grogan's rapid-fire delivery and seemingly inexhaustible fund of relevant anecdotes loses something when reduced to writing... especially when I'm doing the reducing. In our recent conversation, Grogan did try to speak more slowly and use smaller words so that I could follow along (we went to law school together, so he has long known how necessary this is), but what follows are more like slides for a Grogan presentation, with Ben Stein serving as a last-minute fill-in (Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?).

(And, yes, large swaths of text are excised from the following, and the deletions are not always specifically indicated. This is meant to get you to the most relevant language without getting bogged down along the way. Some things you really should be able to figure out from context....)


Relevant Provisions Dealing with Social Media

Preamble & Scope

(4) The Code governs a judge's personal and judicial activities conducted in person, on paper, and by telephone or other electronic means. A violation of the Code may occur when a judge uses the Internet, including social networking sites, to post comments or other materials such as links to websites, articles, or comments authored by others, photographs, cartoons, jokes, or any other words or images that convey information or opinion. Violations may occur even if a judge's distribution of a communication is restricted to family and friends and is not accessible to the public. Judges must carefully monitor their social media accounts to ensure that no communication can be reasonably interpreted as suggesting a bias or prejudice; an ex parte communication; the misuse of judicial power or prestige; a violation of restrictions on charitable, financial, or political activities; a comment on a pending or impending case; a basis for disqualification; or an absence of judicial independence, impartiality, integrity, or competence.

*  *  *

A judge shall not misuse the prestige of judicial office to advance the personal or economic interests* of the judge or others or allow others to do so.

[1] It is improper to use or attempt to use the judge's position to gain personal advantage or deferential treatment of any kind. For example, it would be improper to allude to judicial status to gain favorable treatment in encounters with traffic officials. Similarly, a judge must not use the judicial title in letterhead, e-mails, or any other form of communication, including social media or social networking platforms, to gain an advantage in conducting personal business.

*  *  *

The duties of judicial office, as prescribed by law*, shall take precedence over all of a judge's personal and extrajudicial activities.

[1] To ensure that judges are available to fulfill their judicial duties, judges must conduct their personal and extrajudicial activities, including their use of social media or participation on social networking platforms, to minimize the risk of conflicts that would result in frequent disqualification. See Canon 3.

*  *  *



[2] Commending or criticizing jurors for their verdict, including on social media or social networking platforms, may imply a judicial expectation in future cases and may impair a juror's ability to be fair and impartial in a subsequent case.

*  *  *



[3] The proscription against communications concerning a proceeding includes communications with lawyers, law teachers, or other persons who are not participants in the proceeding and communications made or posted on social media or social networking platforms. A judge must make reasonable efforts to ensure that law clerks, court staff, court officials, and others under the judge's direction and control do not violate this Rule.

*  *  *

(A) A judge shall not make any public statement about a matter pending* or impending* in any court.

(B) A judge shall not, in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office. * * *

[4] Judges who are active on social media or social networking platforms should understand how their comments in these forums might be considered "public" statements implicating this Rule. Judges should be aware of the nature and efficacy of privacy settings offered by social media or social networking platforms.

*  *  *



[7] A judge's use of social media or social networking platforms may create the appearance of a relationship between the judge and litigants or lawyers who may appear before the judge. Whether a relationship would cause the judge's impartiality to "reasonably be questioned" depends on the facts. While the labels used by the social media or social networking platform (e.g., "friend") are not dispositive of the nature of the relationship, judges should consider the manner in which the rules on disqualification have been applied in traditional contexts and the additional ways in which social media or social networking platforms may amplify any connection to the judge.

*  *  *



[3] Discriminatory actions and expressions of bias or prejudice by a judge, even outside the judge's official or judicial actions, are likely to appear to a reasonable person to call into question the judge's integrity and impartiality. Examples include jokes or other remarks that demean individuals based upon their race, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. For the same reason, a judge's extrajudicial activities must not be conducted in connection or affiliation with an organization that practices invidious discrimination. See Rule 3.6.

*  *  *



[3A] A judge may not use social media or social networking platforms to promote the activities of educational, religious, charitable, fraternal, or civic organizations when the judge would be prohibited from doing so using another means of communication. For example, just as a judge may not write or telephone nonfamily members or judges over whom the judge has supervisory authority to encourage them to attend organizations' fundraising events, a judge may not promote those events via social media or social networking platforms.

*  *  *



[2A] Except as may be specifically authorized in the context of judicial election campaigns, Rule 4.1 prohibits judges and judicial candidates from "publicly" endorsing or making "speeches" on behalf of political candidates or organizations. Comments by judges active on social media or social networking platforms may be considered "public" for purposes of this Rule.

*  *  *

Rule 3.1 was the one cited by the Cook County Circuit Court Executive Committee in its recent Order removing Judge Ahern. But, clearly, as Grogan's list demonstrates, there are other provisions that must be considered by a prudent jurist prior to posting anything. Anywhere.

I asked Grogan to summarize. Well, he said, a judge can express an opinion regarding Barbie or Oppenheimer. Pro or con. But a judge needs to refrain from commenting on the news of the day. A candidate for judge, even a sitting judge seeking a different judicial office, has a little more latitude to express opinions than a judge not coming before the voters. But, he said, while a judicial candidate might more freely express some kinds of opinions, because the Supreme Court says he or she has that right, a judicial candidate is nevertheless courting discipline if he or she misrepresents facts, such as, for example, his or her opponent's involvement, or degree of involvement in a particular case.

My mother was not a scholar of legal or judicial ethics. But she might have expressed things this way: If you have to think about whether posting something may run afoul of a rule, maybe you should think again about posting in the first place. Here, certainly, Grogan leads by example: He doesn't have a Facebook account. He doesn't have a Twitter (or 'X') handle. He's undoubtedly happier for it, too.

Polish-American Judges Association initial installation set for September 19

The newly formed Polish-American Judges Association will hold its initial installation on Tuesday, September 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Polish Museum of America, 984 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The initial officer slate consists of:

  • President: Judge Diann K. Marsalek
  • Vice-President: Judge Steven Kozicki
  • Treasurer: Judge James Pieczonka
  • Recording Secretary: Judge Diane Pezanoski
  • Corresponding Secretary: Judge Pamela Stratigakis
Illinois Appellate Court Justice Aurelia Pucinski will serve as one of the new group's initial Directors. Other Directors include Judges Joel Chupack, Jonathan Clark Green, Daniel Kubasiak, Thomas Nowinski, Ursula Walowski, and Michele Gemskie.

While all are welcome to attend, registration is required. In order to register, email by September 15.

Thursday, September 07, 2023

All Bar Social September 14 at a bar in River North

Hundreds of lawyers, law students, and judges are expected to turn out for an All Bar Social on Thursday, September 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard St.

It's kind of a mass membership drive. According to event organizers, each participating bar group in attendance will have a representative who will be available to explain their respective legal organization’s goals and benefits of membership.

As of August 31, each the following orgaizations had committed to participating: the Advocates Society, the American Arbitration Association, the Asian American Bar Association, the Appellate Lawyers Association, the Black Men Lawyers Association, the Filipino American Lawyers Association, the Hellenic Bar Association, the Illinois Creditors Bar Association, the Justinian Society of Lawyers, the Muslim Bar Association, the North Suburban Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. Questions about the event may be directed to

Tickets are $50 each. In addition, a Silver Sponsorship may purchased for another $50, while a Gold Sponsorship is available for $250. I'm not sure what it would cost to get your organization added to the event -- assuming you have an organization and it's not on the list above -- but, then, that might be an appropriate question to direct to

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Red Mass set for October 4 at Holy Name Cathedral

The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago invites all lawyers, judges, and others serving in the legal profession to the annual Red Mass (more officially, the 89th Annual Votive Red Mass of the Holy Spirit) on Wednesday, October 4, at 5:15 p.m., at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street.

Following a tradition that originated in the High Middle Ages, the Red Mass, in the words of the CLG, "brings together members of the community from all faith traditions to pray for all those responsible for the administration of justice." The Chicago Red Mass commences with a procession of judges down the center aisle of the Cathedral (pictured above). Judges wishing to participate in the procession should arrive, with their robes, by 5:00 p.m.

There is no charge to attend the Mass, but there will be a reception, sponsored by the CLG, following the Mass, starting at 6:30 p.m., at Kasbeer Hall in the Corboy Law Center of Loyola University Chicago, 25 E. Pearson St.

The CLG will confer a number of awards are the reception. Retiring Illinois Appellate Court Justice Mathias W. Delort has been named Catholic Lawyer of the Year. Jenner & Block partner Daniel R. Murray will receive the Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Guild will also confer two special service awards, one to Olga Rojas, who has served as counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago since 2008, and Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert F. Harris, the former Cook County Public Guardian.

Tickets for the reception are $75 apiece and are available from this link. Sponsorship opportunities are also available; email for information.

Campaign website found for Audrey Cosgrove

Audrey Cosgrove has announced plans to seek an 11th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2024 Democratic Primary and her supporters have launced a campaign website in furtherance of that effort. That's a link to the new site in the preceding sentence; a link has also been added to this site's Sidebar.

Cosgrove was a Short List finalist in the most recent round of associate judge selection. Licensed as an attorney in Illinois since 1990, according to ARDC, Cosgrove began her legal career in the office of the Cook County Public Defender; she continued to represent criminal defendants during her nearly 19 years in private practice. She also has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois State Police Merit Board, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Tollway.

Cosgrove is currently Deputy General Counsel at the Illinois Lottery. Before that, in 2018-2019, Cosgrove was Deputy Chief General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Labor. A former President of the Advocates Society, Cosgrove was a candidate for a 10th Subcircuit vacancy in the 2020 election cycle.