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ICJL Questionnaire Now Available: Candidates (MS Word & PDF) & Retention (MS Word & PDF)

2014 Illinois Judicial Elections
Last Updated: 7:00am CDT - October 20, 2014

ICJL releases rating of judges in Northern Illinois

Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent” to provide Illinois’ most complete and comprehensive voter education program

The Illinois Civil Justice League released the ratings of judges and judicial candidates running for election and retention in Northern Illinois. The release represents an effort to educate voters about choices for judge in the upcoming November 4th General Election.

“The ratings of the judges in Northern Illinois represent the third and final release of judicial ratings announced by our organization” according to Ed Murnane, President of the Illinois Civil Justice League. “Earlier this month, the ICJL released its ratings of judicial candidates running for retention and election in southern and central Illinois. A complete list of ICJL’s ratings as well as additional information can be found on our website illinoisjudges.net,” he said.

“The rating of Recommended was given to judges or judicial candidates who have demonstrated a satisfactory level of competency in regards to their legal and/or judicial careers, and/or who have demonstrated their commitment to educating the voters about their background, experience and viewpoints on the judicial system,” Murnane continued.

“The Highly Recommended rating was reserved for candidates or judges who have demonstrated a high level of competency based on those criteria,” he said.

“The rating of Not Recommended was assigned to candidates or judges who have judicial records or campaigns that have left the ICJL with questions about the integrity, impartiality, fairness, or conduct of the candidate, judge, or their campaign. Additionally, the ICJL reserved the right to take No Position on a candidate or judge who did not return our questionnaire and/or their candidacy left us insufficient information to assign a rating,” said Murnane.

The ICJL’s ratings for judges and judicial candidates running in the 2014 General Elections are as follows:

For Circuit Judge Election
Cook County – 13th Subcircuit: John Curry (R) – Highly Recommended

Appellate Retention
First District (Appellate): Thomas Hoffman – Recommended
Second District (Appellate): Susan Hutchinson – Highly Recommended

Suburban Circuit Retention
Sixteenth Circuit: Judy Brawka – Highly Recommended
Sixteenth Circuit : James Murphy – Recommended
Seventeenth Circuit: Joseph McGraw – Recommended
Seventeenth Circuit: Ron White – Highly Recommended
Seventeenth Circuit: Gene Doherty – Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: John Elsner – Highly Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: Robert Anderson – Highly Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: George Bakalis – Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: Kathryn Creswell – Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: Blanche Hill Fawell – Recommended
Eighteenth Circuit: John Kinsella – Recommended
Nineteenth Circuit: Christopher Starck – Highly Recommended
Nineteenth Circuit: Jay Ukena – Highly Recommended
Nineteenth Circuit: James Booras – Recommended
Nineteenth Circuit: Valerie Ceckowski – Recommended

Cook County Circuit Retention

Assigned to the Appellate Court:
Michael Hyman – Recommended
Robert Gordon – No Position
Mary Anne Mason – No Position

Assigned to the Law Division:
Joan Powell – Recommended
Eileen ‘Neill Burke – Recommended
Patrick Sherlock – Not Recommended
Eileen Brewer – No Position
James O’Hara – Not Recommended
Margaret Brennan – Not Recommended
Janet Brosnahan – Recommended
Lynn Egan – Recommended
Gregory Wojkowski – Highly Recommended
James Flannery – No Position
Thomas Lipscomb – Recommended
Themis Karnezis – Highly Recommended
Thomas Flanagan – No Position

Assigned to the Chancery Division:
Lewis Nixon – Highly Recommended
Kathleen Kennedy – Recommended
Rodolfo Garcia – No Position

Assigned to the Probate Division:
Mary Ellen Coghlan – Recommended
Ann Collins-Dole – Recommended
Kathleen McGury – Recommended
John Fleming – Recommended
James Riley – Recommended

Assigned to the County Division:
Edmund Ponce de Leon – Recommended
Margarita Kulys Hoffman – Recommended

Assigned to the Domestic Violence Division:
Diana Kenworthy – Recommended
Ursula Walowski – Recommended
Sebastian Patti – Recommended

Assigned to the Domestic Relations Division:
Debra Walker – Recommended
Raul Vega – Recommended

Assigned to the Criminal Division:
Diane Gordon Cannon – Recommended
William Lacy – Recommended
Clayton Crane – Recommended
Kenneth Wadas – Recommended
Evelyn Clay – Recommended
Thomas Byrne – Recommended
Rickey Jones – Recommended
Mauricio Araujo – Recommended

Assigned to the Juvenile Justice Division:
Donna Cooper – Highly Recommended

Assigned to the First Municipal District:
Anita Rivkin-Carothers – Recommended
Jackie Portman – Recommended

Assigned to the Second Municipal District:
Shelley Sutker-Dermer – Recommended

Assigned to the Fourth Municipal District:
Kristyna Ryan – Recommended

Assigned to the Fifth Municipal District:
Patrick Rogers – Recommended
Peter Felice – Recommended

Assigned to the Sixth Municipal District:
James Rhodes – Recommended
Anna Demacopoulos – Recommended
Frank Zelzinski – Recommended

“I think we all recognize that judges have the ability to decide our fate on issues such as freedom or incarceration, however, it is also true that some can have a significant impact on our employment status and the economic future of our children,” Murnane commented. “With such important issues in the balance, it is critical that voters have the opportunity to make informed and educated choices. Our goal is to help voters in that process,” he concluded.

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The ICJL’s ratings for judges and judicial candidates running in the 2014 General Elections in Central Illinois, released on October 17, 2014, are as follows:

Supreme & Appellate Retention
Third District (Appellate): William Holdridge – Recommended
Third District (Appellate): Mary K. O’Brien – Recommended
Fourth District (Appellate): Robert Steigmann – Highly Recommended

For Circuit Judge
Fifth Circuit (Vermilion): Tom O’Shaughnessy (R) – Highly Recommended
Fifth Circuit (Vermilion): Karen Wall (D) – Recommended
Twelfth Circuit (Will) – 1st Sub: Daniel Rippy (R) – Recommended
Twelfth Circuit (Will) – 1st Sub: David Carlson (R) – Highly Recommended
Twelfth Circuit (Will) – 2nd Sub: Dinah Archambeault (R) – Recommended
Fourteenth Circuit (Rock Island): Linnea Thompson (D) – Recommended

Downstate Circuit Retention
Sixth Circuit: Arnold Blockman – Recommended
Seventh Circuit: James Day – Recommended
Ninth Circuit: David Vancil – Recommended
Eleventh Circuit: Charles Reynard – Not Recommended
Eleventh Circuit: Thomas Harris – Highly Recommended
Thirteenth Circuit: Joseph Hettel – No Position
Thirteenth Circuit: Eugene Daugherity – Recommended
Twenty-First Circuit: Susan Tungate – Recommended
Twenty-First Circuit: Adrienne Albrecht – Recommended
Twenty-First Circuit: Gordon Lustfeldt – Recommended
Twenty-First Circuit: Clark Erickson – Highly Recommended

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The ICJL’s ratings for judges and judicial candidates running in the 2014 General Elections in Southern Illinois, released on October 9, 2014, are as follows:
 
For Supreme Court Retention
Fifth District: Lloyd Karmeier – Highly Recommended

For Circuit Judge Election
Second Circuit (Wabash): Cassandra Goldman (D) – Recommended
Second Circuit (Wayne): Michael Molt (R) – Recommended
Third Circuit (Madison): John Barberis (R) – Recommended
Twentieth Circuit (St. Clair): Steve McGlynn (R) – Highly Recommended

Downstate Circuit Retention
First Circuit: James “Randy” Moore – Highly Recommended
Second Circuit: David Overstreet – Highly Recommended
Third Circuit: Dennis Ruth – Recommended
Third Circuit: Richard Tognarelli – Recommended

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New Initiative To Educate Voters In Upcoming Judicial Elections

Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent” to provide Illinois’ most complete and comprehensive voter education program

In an effort to better educate the electorate about choices for judge in the upcoming General Election, the Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL) is announcing a new initiative called Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent. The initiative will examine the qualifications of the 158 sitting judges running for retention and the 69 candidates for judge in Illinois.

“While we recognize that judges have the ability to decide our fate on issues such as freedom or incarceration, some can also have a significant impact on our employment status and the economic future of our children,” according to Ed Murnane, President of the Illinois Civil Justice League. “With such important issues in the balance, it is critical that the electorate has the opportunity to make informed and educated choices. Unfortunately, too many people cast their vote on Election Day will little or no information on their candidates for judge. Some close their eyes and pick; other choose not to vote at all,” he said.

To address this reality, the ICJL is launching the most complete and comprehensive voter education initiative of its kind, designed to assist voters in making informed decisions about the judicial candidates on their ballot. “Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent can be found at IllinoisJudges.net and provides candidate responses to a questionnaire designed by the Illinois Civil Justice League examining the qualifications and demeanor of the judges up for retention,” said Murnane.

“The website also provides biographical information, the current assignment, website and social media links as well as ratings from a variety of bar associations and attorney organizations. It also includes a search tool which allows voters to easily find the candidates for judge running in their communities,” he continued.

In October, the ICJL will begin rolling out the results of their own review of judges running for retention and candidates running for judge. The results of this review will be shared on IllinoisJudges.net, ICJL’s Facebook and Twitter social media platforms and through traditional media outlets.

“The judicial branch of our government is the most overlooked and misunderstood, yet also the most important and most powerful. Consider the fact that the judiciary can overturn actions by the legislative and executive branches of government. With that reality in mind we strongly urge every voter to use Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent as a tool when making their choices for judge in the upcoming General Election,” Murnane concluded.

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CBA: One Judge ‘Not Recommended’ For Retention

From the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Chicago Bar Association issued a “not recommended” rating today to a 30-year veteran of the Cook County bench up for retention in the Nov. 4 election, citing issues with his ability to make decisions quickly.

The CBA said attorneys are troubled with Circuit Judge Thomas E. Flanagan’s trial call in the Law Division.  Flanagan, 78, was first elected to the circuit court in 1984 and was retained by voters in four subsequent campaigns.  The other 72 circuit and appellate judges up for retention this year all received “qualified” or “highly qualified” ratings.

“Judge Flanagan has had a distinguished judicial career and enjoys a fine reputation for his integrity,” the CBA wrote in the explanation of its evaluation.

“However, lawyers who have appeared before Judge Flanagan have expressed concerns about the judge’s ability to make decisions in a timely manner on motions and complex issues and to efficiently and effectively manage a trial call.”

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ICJL Launches 2014 General Election Judicial Candidate Survey And Evaluations

The Illinois Civil Justice League has launched its 2014 judicial candidate evaluations with distribution of candidate surveys to 69 candidates for election. Surveys were mailed to candidates last week and surveys will be sent this week to 158 sitting judges who are seeking retention in November.

Candidate responses will be posted here on IllinoisJudges.net. Candidates who fail -- or refuse -- to respond may be noted and publicized.

In the election, candidates seeking retention must get approval -- or "yes" votes -- from 60 percent of those casting ballots on the retention question. Candidates in contested races much receive more votes then his or her opponent, as is the case in other races.

Terms for Supreme and Appellate justices are ten years each and Circuit court terms are six years each.

One Supreme Court election is on the ballot this year. Justice Lloyd Karmeier is seeking retention in the Fifth Judicial District, which include most of Southern Illinois.

This site will be updated almost daily as judicial candidates -- including sitting judges -- respond to the ICJL questionnaire.

Judges or judicial candidates who do not respond to the ICJL questionnaire -- which was prepared and/or approved by sitting judges, will be noted.

ICJL's evaluations -- and endorsements, if merited -- will be made beginning in mid-September.

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Find candidates running in the November 2014 general election:

Here's a complete list of judicial races in Illinois for the general election on November 4, 2014:

Appellate Court:
1st District - Gordon vacancy
1st District - Murphy vacancy
1st District - Steele vacancy
2nd District - Bowman vacancy
4th District - McCullough vacancy

Downstate Circuits: (denotes Circuitwide or resident county position)
2nd - Sawyer vacancy (Wabash)
2nd - Harrison vacancy (Wayne)
3rd - Callis vacancy (Madison)
4th - Tungate vacancy (Circuitwide)
4th - Middendorff vacancy (Clinton)
4th - Long vacancy (Montgomery)
5th - Clary vacancy (Vermilion)
6th - Carroll vacancy (Douglas)
6th - McCarthy vacancy (Macon)
6th - Shonkwiler vacancy (Piatt)
7th - Zappa vacancy (Circuitwide)
7th - Mitchell vacancy (Morgan)
8th - Greenlief vacancy (Calhoun)
8th - Pope vacancy (Menard)
9th - Danner vacancy (Fulton)
10th - Shore vacancy (Putnam)
10th - Borden vacancy (Stark)
11th - Pacey vacancy (Ford)
12th - Livas vacancy (1st Subcircuit)
12th - Additional Judgeship (1st Subcircuit)
12th - Additional Judgeship (2nd Subcircuit)
14th - Hamer vacancy (Henry)
14th - Stengel vacancy (Rock Island)
15th - Mallon vacancy (Ogle)
16th - Simpson vacancy (3rd Subcircuit)
16th - Additional Judgeship (3rd Subcircuit)
18th - Webster vacancy (Circuitwide)
19th - Additional Judgeship (1st Subcircuit)
20th - Cook vacancy (St. Clair)
22nd - Condon vacancy (2nd Subcircuit)

Cook County Circuitwides:
Cook County - Arnold vacancy
Cook County - Burke vacancy
Cook County - Connors vacancy
Cook County - Egan vacancy
Cook County - Felton vacancy
Cook County - Howse vacancy
Cook County - Lowrance vacancy
Cook County - McDonald vacancy
Cook County - Neville vacancy
Cook County - Reyes vacancy
Cook County - Veal vacancy

Cook County Subcircuits:
2nd - O'Neal vacancy
3rd - Donnelly vacancy
4th - Billik vacancy
4th - Mulhern vacancy
7th - Hardy-Campbell vacancy
7th - Taylor vacancy
9th - Goldberg vacancy
9th - Meyer vacancy
9th - Preston vacancy
10th - Additional Judgeship
11th - Additional Judgeship
12th - Jordan vacancy
13th - Iosco vacancy
15th - Doody vacancy
15th - Sterba vacancy

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Information Sources:

Illinois State Bar Association

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Illinois Association of Defense Counsel

Highly Recommended Website by ICJL:
Jack Lehane's Blog:
"For What It's Worth"

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