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Vacancy of Richard J. Billik, Jr.

For Cook County Circuit Judge - 4th Subcircuit

Democratic Candidate:

- Brian Joseph Stephenson
     - Response to ICJL Questionnaire (Candidate Statement)
     - Present Duties: Attorney in private practice
     - Campaign Committee: Committee to Elect Brian Joseph Stephenson for Cook County Judge

     - Chicago Tribune Profile
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers

- John J. Mahoney
     - Present Duties: Attorney with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office
     - Website: http://www.johnmahoneyforjudge.com/
     - Campaign Committee: Friends of John Mahoney

     - Chicago Tribune Profile
     - Rated "Highly Qualified" by the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Highly Qualified" by the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Well Qualified" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers

- James J. Ryan
     - Campaign Committee: James J Ryan for Judge

     - Rated "Not Qualified" by the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Not Recommended" by the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Not Recommended" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers

- Daniel Lawrence Peters
     - Present Duties: Cook County Circuit Judge - Municipal Department - District 5
     - Campaign Committee: Citizens to Elect Daniel L Peters

     - Chicago Tribune Profile
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers

- Maureen Masterson Pulia
     - Present Duties: Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission
     - Website: http://www.maureenforjudge.com/
     - Campaign Committee: Citizens for Maureen Masterson Pulia

     - Chicago Tribune Profile
     - Rated "Qualified" by the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Not Qualified" by the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation
     - Rated "Not Qualified" by the Chicago Council of Lawyers

Republican Candidate:

- The filing period has ended and no candidate filed for the party's nomination for this position.

ENDORSEMENTS:
- Chicago Tribune - John J. Mahoney
Chicago Federation of Labor - Maureen Masterson Pulia
- Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7 - John J. Mahoney
- Chicago Police Sergeants' Association - John J. Mahoney
- Independent Voters of IL (IVI-IPO) - John J. Mahoney
- Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters - Maureen Masterson Pulia
- United Hellenic Voters of America - Maureen Masterson Pulia

Chicago Tribune Endorsement:

4th subcircuit (Billik vacancy): John J. Mahoney, supervisor of the public corruption and financial crimes unit of the Cook County state's attorney's office, stands out in a talented field. He was a first chair felony prosecutor and an attorney for Peoples Energy Corp.. He's a co-author of the state's financial crimes law. We admire Brian Stephenson, who has been a prosecutor and a defense attorney, has extensive civil experience and deserves credit for his volunteer work. He runs a nonprofit program for inner city youth called Turn the Corner and conducts summer fishing outings for developmentally disabled people. Judge Daniel Lawrence Peters hears misdemeanor and traffic cases in Bridgeview. Maureen Masterson Pulia is an arbitrator for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. James J. Ryan didn't submit to screening. Mahoney is endorsed.

Chicago Council of Lawyers & Chicago Bar Association Analysis:

- Brian Joseph Stephenson

CCL: Brian Stephenson was admitted to practice in 1988. He has been in private practice throughout his career doing insurance defense, other types of civil litigation, and criminal defense. He is praised for his community service. He reports acting as lead counsel in 15 criminal jury cases, 5 civil jury cases, about 50 civil bench trials, and 25 criminal bench trials. Mr. Stephenson is considered to have good legal ability with a professional demeanor. He is respected as a good practitioner who is diligent and well-prepared. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

CBA: Brian J. Stephenson is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Stephenson was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1988 and is currently in private practice concentrating in civil and criminal law. Mr. Stephenson is an experienced practitioner with varied litigation experience. Mr. Stephenson has a fine temperament and possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

- John J. Mahoney

CCL: John J. Mahoney was admitted to practice in 1984. He serves as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, and currently is the Supervisor of the Public Corruption and Financial Crimes Unit in the Special Prosecutions Bureau. He also supervises the Money Laundering Unit, the Intellectual Crimes Unit, the Mortgage Fraud Unit, and the soon to be formed Insurance Fraud Unit. His former positions include being a lead prosecutor in the Felony Trial Division. Between 1991 and 1997 he was a lawyer with the Peoples Energy Corporation, Office of the General Counsel, practicing before the Illinois Commerce Commission as well as in a variety of divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Mr. Mahoney has had a wide variety of litigation experience in highly complex matters. He has also handled 20 appellate cases as principal counsel. His answers to the judicial evaluation matters were thoughtful. Mr. Mahoney is considered to have very good legal ability with a professional demeanor. He is especially praised for both his litigation skills and his skill at supervising complex litigation. He is the coauthor of the Illinois statute known as the Illinois Financial Crime Law. The Council finds him Well Qualified for the Circuit Court.

CBA: John J. Mahoney is “Highly Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Mahoney was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1984 and is currently serving as Deputy Supervisor of the Public Corruption and Financial Crimes Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Mahoney has extensive criminal trial experience and has handled many complex cases. Mr. Mahoney is well regarded for his knowledge of the law, legal ability, fine demeanor, and temperament.

- James J. Ryan

CCL: James J. Ryan did not participate in the judicial evaluation process. The Council finds him Not Recommended for the Circuit Court.

CBA: The candidate did not participate in the evaluation process and was automatically found “Not Recommended” under the Judicial Evaluation Committee bylaws.

- Daniel Lawrence Peters

CCL: Daniel Peters was admitted to practice in 1991. He was appointed to the bench in 2011 and currently sits in Bridgeview. As a lawyer, Mr. Peters served as a prosecutor for the City of Burbank, and as legal advisor to St. Patricia Parish in Palos Hills. Following his admission to the bar, Mr. Peters served as Administrative Assistant to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and also served as an administrative hearing officer, from 1991 to 1992.From 1991 to 1995, he was an attorney in attendance for the Cook County Pension Board, and also maintained a private criminal trial practice. In addition, Mr. Peters has been an Independent Election Administrator on the Cook County Pension Board, and has represented and defended candidate petition challenges for the Lyons Township Electoral Board. As a lawyer, Mr. Peters was praised for his temperament and acquired litigation experience as a municipal prosecutor of traffic matters, as a bar attorney in misdemeanor criminal cases, and in other less complex matters. The Council was concerned that his litigation practice was narrow. However, lawyers report that he is doing a good job as a hard-working jurist in his current assignment. He is praised for his judicial temperament. He is reported to be courteous to all parties, as well as being impartial and fair. He is also considered to be a good courtroom manager. The Council finds him Qualified for the Circuit Court.

CBA: Judge Daniel L. Peters is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Peters was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1991 and was appointed to the bench in 2011. Judge Peters is assigned to the Circuit Court’s Fifth Municipal District and presides over misdemeanor and traffic calls in the Bridgeview Court. Judge Peters has a calm demeanor and possesses the requisite legal knowledge and experience to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

- Maureen Masterson Pulia

CCL: Maureen Masterson Pulia was admitted to practice in 1994. For the past ten year she has been an arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). From 1994 to 1996 she served as the Director of Access Health. From 1997 to 2003 she served as a staff attorney for the IWCC where she drafted legislation, reviewed briefs, and performed other non-litigation duties. Ms. Pulia is reported to have good legal ability and temperament. The Council is concerned, however, that her practice has been narrow and that she lacks sufficient litigation experience as a practitioner in complex matters. The Council finds her Not Qualified to serve in the Circuit Court.

CBA: Maureen Masterson-Pulia is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Masterson-Pulia was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1994 and has served as an arbitrator for the past ten years in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Ms. Masterson-Pulia manages a large caseload and has handled hundreds of contested hearings. Ms. Masterson-Pulia is highly regarded by lawyers who appear before her for her fairness and knowledge of the law.

 

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