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Vacancy of Edward R. Jordan

For Cook County Circuit Judge - 12th Subcircuit

Democratic Candidate:

- James L. Kaplan
     - Present Duties: Cook County Circuit Judge - Domestic Relations Division
     - Website: http://www.judgekaplan.com/
     - Campaign Committee: Committee to Elect Judge James L Kaplan

     - Chicago Tribune Profile
     - Candidate Statement (Cook County Clerk's Website)
     - 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

Republican Candidate:

- James Paul Pieczonka
     - Present Duties: Attorney in private practice
     - Website: http://www.pieczonka4judge.com/
     - Campaign Committee: James Pieczonka 4 Judge

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

ENDORSEMENTS:
- Independent Voters of IL (IVI-IPO) - James L. Kaplan (Primary Endorsement)
- Jewish Chicago - James L. Kaplan (Primary Endorsement)

Chicago Council of Lawyers & Chicago Bar Association Analysis:

- James L. Kaplan

CCL: Judge James L. Kaplan was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. He was admitted to practice in 1971. Before becoming a Circuit Judge, he was senior partner with the law firm of Kaplan & Sorosky Ltd., and served as a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims. His practice primarily involved workers’ compensation matters. Judge Kaplan was considered to be a good lawyer with good legal ability and temperament. As a judge, he is reported to demonstrate a good temperament and ability to manage a courtroom. The Council finds Mr. Kaplan Qualified for the Circuit Court.

CBA: Judge James L. Kaplan is “Qualified” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Judge Kaplan was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1971 and was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2010. Judge Kaplan is thoughtful, possesses a good demeanor, and has performed well on the bench.

- James Paul Pieczonka

CCL: James Paul Pieczonka was admitted to practice in 1983. He has spent most of his career as a sole practitioner doing both transactional work and litigation. In addition to his legal practice, he has been involved in real estate development matters. From 1985 to 1996, he also worked as an Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Department of Revenue in the Hearings Division. Mr. Pieczonka has limited litigation experience. Some question his litigation skills. Much of his career has been related to transactional work and real estate development. The Council finds him Not Qualified for the Circuit Court.

CBA: James Pieczonka is “Not Recommended” for the office of Circuit Court Judge. Mr. Pieczonka was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1983 and is currently a solo practitioner concentrating in Taxation, Real Estate and Condominium Law. Mr. Pieczonka’s practice and court experience is limited. Mr. Pieczonka held a real estate broker’s license from 2004-2007 and was actively involved as a broker during this period. The candidate owns a number of properties that are currently in foreclosure and is personally involved in several residual court actions. Mr. Pieczonka needs to gain additional practice experience and resolve these financial responsibility concerns before reapplying to serve as a Circuit Court Judge.

 

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