Nominating Committee announces names of 62 associate judge candidates
Released on 5/9/2012 8:09:39 PM

The ten-member Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County announced today the names of the 62 candidates who will appear on the ballot from which the circuit judges will select the 31 new associate judges. The Nominating Committee comprises the following individuals:

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

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

Honorable Patricia Martin Bishop, Presiding Judge of Child Protection Division

Honorable Henry A. Budzinski, Presiding Judge of Probate Division

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

Honorable Moshe Jacobius, Presiding Judge of Domestic Relations Division

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

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

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

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

The Nominating Committee interviewed 242 applicants over a period of two-months. A total of 267 persons submitted applications for consideration.

The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, comprising 10 bar associations, conducted separate screenings for this current associate judge process. Each bar association issued its own ratings for individual associate judge applicants. However, not all applicants were interviewed by the associations during the current process due to the extension of the legal effectiveness of the applicants’ previous bar ratings by the associations. The Chicago Bar Association did not reevaluate those applicants who had been evaluated within the last two years, and allowed those applicants evaluated between two and six years ago and found "Qualified" or "Highly Qualified" to keep their ratings. However, for those individuals who were last evaluated as candidates for circuit judge and were rated "Highly Qualified," the official rating applicable to their current candidacy for associate judge is "Qualified" which is the highest rating that the CBA gives to associate judge applicants.

The Alliance has extended the legal effectiveness of its positive ratings to five years; negative ratings are in effect for three years, with applicants given the opportunity to appeal. 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 Illinois State Bar Association, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association.

Under Supreme Court Rule 39, the Nominating Committee must select twice as many qualified candidates as there are vacancies to be filled. In this case, 62 qualified candidates have been selected. The Chief Judge must then notify the Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts of the names of the candidates selected by the Committee and request the Director to begin the balloting process. Within 14 days after the Chief Judge’s notification, the Director mails a secret ballot comprised of the names of each candidate to each circuit judge. The judges then vote for one candidate for each vacancy to be filled. In this case, 31 vacancies are to be filled. The judges must return the ballots to the Director within 14 days of the date the ballots were distributed. The director then counts the ballots which are accompanied by a signed card, tabulates the results and certifies them to the Chief Judge, at all times maintaining the secrecy of the ballots.

The 31 associate judgeships encompass 22 vacancies and an additional nine (9) positions created as a result of the 2000 federal census and authorized by the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Noting that the selection of the 62 candidates by the Nominating Committee was unanimous, Chief Judge Evans said, "I am grateful to the members of the Committee for their dedication to the interview process and for their superior work." Evans added, "These finalists represent our collective efforts to name distinguished candidates who are rich in diversity and who demonstrate a history of excellence in the law."

Below is the list of the 62 candidates chosen by the Circuit Court of Cook County Nominating Committee that was forwarded to Cynthia Y. Cobbs, Esq., Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts:

Araujo, Mauricio Boris Andres

Atkins, David B.

Baird, Callie Lynn

Ball-Reed, Patrice Munzel

Bourgeois, Yolande M.

Bowden, Darron Edward

Calabrese, Anthony John

Carr, John Thomas

Ceko, Theresa Christine

Chiampas, Peggy

Clarke, Robert Gerard

Cooper, Donna Lynn

Curcio, Lisa R.

Delort, Mathias William

Devane, Sheila King

Edidin, Lauren Gottainer

Epach, Thomas Edward, Jr.

Finley, Michael Jonathan

Gardner, Camela Annette

Gembala, Bettina Rosemary

Gillespie, Pamela Hughes

Goebel, Steven J.

Grazian, Lawrence Leonard

Greenblatt, Joel Leslie

Gubin, Deborah Jean

Hampton, Charisse LaShelle

Harris, Sheldon A.

Hughes, Bridget Jane

Jackson, William Richard

Joyce, Timothy Joseph

Katz, Stuart Paul

Kuriakos Ciesil, Maria

Lebovits, Yehuda P.

Logue, Patricia Marian

Luque-Rosales, Mercedes

Mandeltort, Ellen Beth

Marsalek, Diann Karen

Martinez, Maritza

Mills, Martha A.

Moltz, Martin Paul

Murray, Leonard

Panarese, Joseph D.

Panozzo, Kathleen Ann

Petrone, Angela Munari

Prince, Jesse Lee

Quinn, Marguerite Anne

Reynolds, Jeanne Marie

Ruiz, Robert J.

Salita, Susan Carol

Schleifer, Andrea M.

Schuster, Naomi Hornick

Skryd, David A.

Smith, Eugene Marlon

Stephenson, Domenica A.

Storcel, Susan Marie

Swanson, Alfred Melvin, Jr.

Trew, Mary Susan

Valderrama, Franklin Ulyses

Walker, Debra B.

Walsh, Neera Lall

Wilson-Freelon, Sheila Mae

Zenoff, Alan H.

The Nominating Committee had established receptions for the candidates to meet the circuit judges to minimize the disruption of court proceedings caused by the unscheduled visits of candidates to judges.

The receptions will be held as follows:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Richard J. Daley Center

Jury Assembly Room, 17th floor

50 West Washington Street

Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, February 8, 2007, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cook County Juvenile Court Center

The Atrium, 2nd floor

1100 South Hamilton Avenue

Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Criminal Court Administration Building

Jury Assembly Room

2650 South California Avenue

Chicago, Illinois