Associate Judge Nominating Committee announces names of 40 judicial candidates

Released On 04/01/2005

For Immediate Release

The eleven-member Associate Judge Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County today announced the names of the 40 candidates who will appear on the ballot from which the circuit judges will select 20 new associate judges. The Committee is comprised of the following judges:

Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court

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

Honorable Henry A. Budzinski, Presiding Judge, Probate Division

Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge, Domestic Relations Division

Honorable Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird, Presiding Judge, Chancery Division

Honorable William D. Maddux, Presiding Judge, Law Division

Honorable Patricia Martin Bishop, Presiding Judge, Child Protection Division

Honorable Edmund Ponce de Leon, Presiding Judge, Fourth Municipal District

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

Honorable Joseph J. Urso, Presiding Judge, Third Municipal District

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

The 40 finalists were chosen from a total of 193 applicants. The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, comprising nine bar associations, conducted separate screenings for this current associate judge process. Each bar association issued its own ratings for individual associate judge candidates. However, The Chicago Bar Association did not evaluate applicants who were screened within the past four years, and the Alliance did not evaluate associate judge applicants who were screened within the past three years. The evaluation process included background examinations and interviews of candidates. Bar associations included in the Alliance are 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 Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Chicago, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.

Under Supreme Court Rule 39, the nominating committee must select twice as many names of qualified candidates as there are vacancies to be filled. The Chief Judge has notified the Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts of the names of the 40 candidates. Within 14 days after Chief Judge Evans’s notification, each circuit judge should expect to receive from the Director a secret ballot comprising the names of each candidate. The judges will vote for one candidate for each vacancy to be filled. The judges must return the ballot along with a signed signature card to the Director within 14 days of the date the ballots were distributed. The Director then counts the ballots, tabulates the results, and certifies them to the Chief Judge.

Noting that the selection of the 40 candidates by the Nominating Committee was unanimous, Chief Judge Evans said, "These finalists represent our collective efforts to name distinguished candidates, rich in diversity and with a history of excellence in the law. I am grateful to the members of the committee for their dedication to the interview process and for their superior work."

Chief Judge Evans also thanked The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening for their valuable contribution to the selection process.

The following is the list of the 40 candidates chosen by the Circuit Court of Cook County Nominating Committee that was forwarded to Cynthia Y. Cobbs, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts:

Ashenden, John R.

Axelrood, Larry G.

Barron, Edward J.

Bertucci Smith, Laura

Cesario, Cheryl Donna

Chiampas, Peggy

Clifford, Robert Jeffery

Curran, Christine P.

Demacopoulos, Anna Helen

Desierto, Israel Abaya

Feerick, Maureen Patricia

Goldbarb, Renee G.

Grazian, Lawrence Leonard

Haracz, David E.

Harris, Sheldon A.

Havis, Donald R.

Hennelly, Thomas Joseph

Jones, Leslie Ann

Karahalios, James N.

LaBarbera, Salvatore Joseph

Levinson, Alfred Lee

Logue, Patricia Marian

Masters, Allan W.

Mendoza, Patricia

Mills, Martha A.

Minella, Mary Regina

Mone, Peter J.

Panozzo, Kathleen Ann

Quinn, Carolyn Gerard

Reynolds, Jeanne Marie

Sconza, Joseph M.

Senechalle, Robert E., Jr.

Shelley, Diane M.

Simko, Darryl B.

Simpson, Douglas J.

Tolmaire, Elmer James, III

Valderrama, Franklin Ulyses

Walsh, Neera Lall

Wilson-Freelon, Sheila Mae

Zafiratos, James Albert

To facilitate the selection process, the Circuit Court Nominating Committee has established receptions for the candidates to meet the circuit judges. The receptions will be held at the following times and locations:

Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Chicago Bar Association

Philip H. Corboy Hall, Second Floor

321 South Plymouth Court

Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, April 12, 2005, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Criminal Court Administration Building

Jury Assembly Room, Third Floor

2650 South California Avenue

Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, April 14, 2005, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cook County Juvenile Center

Ground level reception area (adjacent to Children’s Advocacy Room)

1100 South Hamilton Avenue

Chicago, Illinois




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