Associate Judge finalists announced

Released On 04/18/2018

The Nominating Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County today announced its selection of the 34 candidates who will seek appointment to 17 Associate Judge vacancies by a vote of the Circuit Judges.

All of the candidates received across-the-board positive ratings from the bar associations.

“This process continues to assist our court in finding excellent Associate Judges in the Circuit Court of Cook County,” Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said. “All 34 of these finalists earned excellent ratings from the bar associations, and the Nominating Committee worked diligently to select a field of finalists who are all ready to serve the public as a member of the judiciary.”

The Nominating Committee employed a comprehensive approach in the selection process that considered multiple aspects such as legal excellence, a variety of legal experience in the public and private sectors, and diversity of race, ethnicity and gender.

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

  • Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge
  • Honorable Mary Ellen Coghlan, Presiding Judge, Probate Division
  • Honorable Grace G. Dickler, Presiding Judge, Domestic Relations Division
  • Honorable James P. Flannery Jr., Presiding Judge, Law 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 LeRoy K. Martin Jr., Presiding Judge, Criminal Division
  • Honorable Sharon M. Sullivan, Presiding Judge, County Division
  • Honorable Shelley Sutker-Dermer, Presiding Judge, Second Municipal District
  • Honorable E. Kenneth Wright Jr., Presiding Judge, First Municipal District

A total of 272 licensed attorneys originally submitted applications for consideration, and 24 applicants withdrew from the process before interviews. The Nominating Committee interviewed 248 applicants, and post-interview withdrawals decreased the number to 232 applicants. The selection of the 34 candidates was unanimous.

Below is the list of the 34 candidates that was forwarded to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts:

  • Amee Elizabeth Alonso
  • Marina E. Ammendola
  • Charles Stanley Beach
  • Lloyd James Brooks
  • Joel David Buikema
  • Jeffery George Chrones
  • Gerald Vernon Patrick Cleary III
  • John S. Fotopoulos
  • Jean Mary Golden
  • Sanju Oommen Green
  • James Edward Hanlon Jr.
  • Michael James Hogan Jr.
  • Nathalina A. Hudson
  • Joan Marie G. Kubalanza
  • Myron Franklin Mackoff
  • Celestia Laurene Mays
  • Stephanie Kathryn Miller
  • Lisette Catherine Mojica
  • Tisa Lynne Morris
  • Margaret Mary Ogarek
  • Diane Marie Pezanoski
  • Leo Steven Rakowski
  • Travis Richardson
  • Lori Michele Rosen
  • Curtis Bennett Ross
  • Robin Denise Shoffner
  • Levander Smith Jr.
  • Trina Smith
  • Patrick Thomas Stanton
  • Lisa M. Taylor
  • Daniel Alexander Trevino
  • Lynn Karyl Weaver Boyle
  • James Adolph Wright
  • William Yu

Circuit Judges have the constitutional authority to fill associate judge vacancies and are required to follow the procedures outlined in Rule 39 of the Rules of the Illinois Supreme Court. 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, 34 candidates were selected to fill 17 vacancies.

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 with the names of each candidate to each circuit judge. The judges vote for one candidate for each vacancy 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.

Bar evaluations were issued for all of the associate judge applicants by The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, at the request of Chief Judge Evans. The Alliance is made up of 11 minority and ethnic bar organizations 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 of Illinois.

Each bar association issued its own ratings for individual Associate Judge applicants. Attached with this press release are the evaluations of the 34 candidates. Chief Judge Evans thanks The Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance for the considerable time and resources that were expended to produce the ratings. 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 in Chicago for Circuit Judges to meet the candidates. The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, April 24,2018, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Richard J. Daley Center

Jury Assembly Room – 17th Floor

50 West Washington Street


Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Cook County Juvenile Center

The Atrium, 2nd Floor

1100 South Hamilton Avenue


Thursday, April 26, 2018,  4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Leighton Criminal Court Building

Jury Assembly Room

2650 South California Avenue, 3rd Floor

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


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