Nominating Committee announces candidates for 13 associate judgeships

Released On 03/28/2014

Chicago, IL, March 28, 2014 - Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and the Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County today announced the names of the 26 candidates that they selected to appear on the ballot from which the circuit judges will vote to fill 13 associate judge vacancies. 


The Nominating Committee is made up of the following circuit judges:


Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge

Honorable Paul P. Biebel, Jr., Presiding Judge, Criminal Division

Honorable Mary Ellen Coghlan, Presiding Judge, Probate Division

Honorable Sophia H. Hall, Administrative Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Resource Section

Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge, Chancery Division

Honorable Raymond L. Jagielski, Presiding Judge, Fifth Municipal District

Honorable Marjorie C. Laws, Presiding Judge, Sixth Municipal District

Honorable William O. Maki, Presiding Judge, Third Municipal District

Honorable Edmund Ponce de León, Presiding Judge, County Division

Honorable Shelley Sutker-Dermer, Presiding Judge, Second Municipal District

Honorable E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., Presiding Judge, First Municipal District


Chief Judge Evans said the Nominating Committee interviewed 240 applicants over a seven-week period that concluded March 25, 2014, and that the selection of the 26 candidates was unanimous. A total of 277 attorneys originally submitted applications for consideration, and 41 applicants withdrew from the process.


At the request of Chief Judge Evans, all applicants were evaluated by The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, which is made up of 11 bar associations. Each bar association issued its own ratings for individual associate judge applicants. Attached are the evaluations of the 26 candidates and a summary of the number of applicants found qualified and not qualified by each bar association.


Current Alliance members are as follows: the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area, the Black Women Lawyers= Association of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, the Cook County Bar Association, the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the Women=s Bar Association.


Chief Judge Evans thanked The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance for their work in evaluating the associate judge applicants and said, “The bar ratings are helpful throughout the entire process, both to the Nominating Committee during its final deliberations and to the circuit judges when casting their ballots.”


Evans added, “I appreciate the considerable resources that the bar association members and staff devoted to performing this task. It is an invaluable public service.”


In announcing the names of the candidates, Chief Judge Evans said, "The Nominating Committee worked diligently to ensure that any one of these 26 individuals will be an asset to the bench if ultimately elected by the circuit judges. My colleagues and I were guided in our deliberations by a comprehensive approach that considered multiple aspects such as legal excellence and variety of legal experience as well as diversity of race, ethnicity and gender. We also examined the applicants’ bar ratings, career achievements and whether they could be fair and impartial adjudicators.”


“These candidates are capable, talented individuals. All of them were found either “Qualified” or “Recommended” by all of the bar organizations participating in the process,” Chief Judge Evans added.


Below is the list of the 26 candidates chosen by the Circuit Court of Cook County Nominating Committee that was forwarded to Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts:


 Ahern, Jr., Gregory Emmett  Lee, Kevin Thomas
 Aimen, Julie Bess  Mackoff, Myron Franklin
 Boliker, Shauna Louise  Maldonado, Alfredo
 Bowes, Karen J.  Mebane, Adrienne Denise
 Carmody, Matthew James  Nicolau, Mary Terese
 Carroll, James Robert  Oommen, Sanju David
 D’Souza, Geraldine Ann  Otto, Michael Francis
 Durkin, Melissa Ann  Pauel, Linda Johanna
 Ferguson, Tiffany Mary  Robles, Edward N.
 Fernandez, Rossana Patricia  Rosenblum, Steven Jay
 Forti, Michael Angelo  Schoop Devlin Joseph
 Gillespie, Aleksandra Nikolich  Seaton, Debra Ann
 Hood, Michael James  Stern, Stephen

During the next few weeks, the candidates will present their credentials to the circuit judges. The Nominating Committee, in an effort to assist the process, has established three receptions for circuit judges to meet the candidates. The schedule is as follows:


April 1, 2014, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Richard J. Daley Center

Jury Assembly Room, 17th floor

50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois


April 2, 2014, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cook County Juvenile Center

The Atrium, 2nd floor

1100 South Hamilton Avenue, Chicago, Illinois


April 3, 2014, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Criminal Court Administration Building

Jury Assembly Room, 3rd floor

2650 South California Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

To further minimize disruption of court proceedings, set times also have been established in additional courthouses for judges to meet the candidates.

Attached are a fact sheet that explains the associate judge selection process, the bar ratings of the candidates and statistics on the pool of applicants from which the candidates were selected.



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