Judicial Selection By-laws Print

JUDICIAL SELECTION

&

RETENTION COMMITTEE 

 

RULES, REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDS

FOR EVALUATION OFJUDICIAL CANDIDATES AMENDED AND APPROVED: DECEMBER 2011

 

ALL JUDICIAL SELECTION RETENTION GUIDELINES, RESOLUTIONS, EVALUATION MEMORANDA, AND AMENDMENTS PRIOR TO DECEMBER 2011 ARE HEREBY RESCINDED AND REVOKED BY ORDER OF THE COMMITTEE.

 

Lake County Bar Association

300-A Grand Avenue

Waukegan, IL 60085

TEL 847-244-3143

FAX 847-244-8259 

Website: www.1akebar.org

 

 

INDEX OF RULES, REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDS

FOR JUDICIAL CANDIDATES AMENDED AND APPROVED: DECEMBER 2011

 

I.          Definitions

II.         Formation

III.       Purpose

IV.       Membership and Appointment

V.        Meetings

VI.       Vacancies

VII.      Termination, Suspension, and Reinstatement

VIII.     Quorum

IX.       Rules

XX.      Confidentiality

XI.       List of Candidates and Questionnaires

XII.      Notice of Evaluation

XIII.     Assignment of Files to Investigators

XIV.    Disqualification

XV.      Panels

XVI.    Hearing

XVII.   Panel Voting

XVIII.  Re-evaluation or Re-hearing Procedure

XIX.    Publication of Findings

XX.      Criteria

XXI.    Conclusion

 

 I.          DEFINITIONS

 Unless it shall appear otherwise from the context, terms shall have the following meaning:

 1.1       Board: The Executive Board of the Lake County Bar Association.

 1.2       President: The President of the Lake County Bar Association.

 1.3       Resolution: The Resolution of the Lake County Bar Association concerning the formation of the Judicial Selection & Retention Evaluation Committee was adopted by the Executive Board on November 23, 1987. All Judicial Selection & Retention guidelines, rules, regulations, memorandums, and amendments from November 23,1987 have hereby been rescinded and revoked, and all rules, regulations, and standards are only included herein.

 1.4       Candidates: Any person whose name has been submitted to, nominee, selectee, or contestant for, or seeker of an appointment as an Associate Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, or appointment or election as a Circuit Court Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. However, a judge who is to be considered for reappointment or election to the same judicial office shall not be considered to be a candidate. (Example: An Associate Judge who seeks to be retained is not a candidate, but an Associate Judge who seeks to become a Full Circuit Judge is considered to be a candidate.)

 1.5       Primary Election Candidate: A candidate whose name may appear on the ballot for an evaluated office at a primary election.

 1.6       General Election Candidate: A candidate whose name may appear on the ballot for an evaluated office at a general election.

 1.7       Retention Candidate: A sitting judge of the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit or Appellate Court who is eligible to stand for retention in office at the next general election.

 1.8       Days: When these rules require action to be taken within a specific number of days, if the last day falls on a weekend or court holiday, said action may be taken by the close of the next available date that court is in session.

 1.9       Evaluated Office: Any judicial office and other office for which candidates are to be evaluated as determined by the Board.

 1.10     Panel Hearings: Hearing conducted by the Committee at which a candidate is scheduled to appear, whether he appears or not.

 1.11     Assigned Investigators: A member of the Committee assigned to the file of a candidate for investigation.

 1.12     Findings: The result of the vote of the Hearing Panel at the evaluation hearing provided for herein shall enter one of three possible evaluation findings, being "Highly Recommended,” "Recommended,” or "Not Recommended”

 II. FORMATION

There is hereby created a Committee on candidates to be called the "Judicial Selection and

Retention Committee” hereafter "Committee."

III. PURPOSE

3.1       The Committee shall, except as otherwise provided in this Resolution, investigate, conduct hearings and polling consistent with the Association bylaws as to the qualifications of candidates who seek or who may be considered for election, retention or appointment to, judicial office in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, or other such offices as directed by the Board.

3.2       There shall be no other candidate evaluation by any other Committee or section of the Association.

IV. MEMBERSHIP AND APPOINTMENT

4.1       Membership and Appointment: The membership of the Committee shall consist of sixteen (16) members, including a Chairperson. All Committee members shall be members of the Association in good standing. They shall represent a broad spectrum of the profession. Each member shall be appointed by the President of the Bar Association. The Chairperson shall be appointed by the President for a three (3) ·year term, commencing on January 1" of the first year of service. The other members of the Committee shall also be appointed for three (3)-year terms commencing on January 1" of the first year of service. There are no term limits or prohibition to either the Chairperson or any member of the Committee being reappointed to multiple consecutive or nonconsecutive three (3)-year terms.

4.2       Holders of an evaluated office shall be ineligible for appointment during their tenure.

4.3       There shall be a Chairperson of the Committee who will serve as presiding officer.

4.4       In the event the Chairperson is not present, the members present will elect a Chairperson pro tem who will serve as presiding officer.

V. MEETINGS

5.1 Meetings of the Committee shall be at the call of the Chairperson.

VI. VACANCIES

6.1       Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner provided for original appointments from members of the offices or Committees designated in 4.1 and shall be for the remaining term of the vacancy filled.

6.2       The President may fill the place of a suspended, terminated, resigned, or ineligible member.

VII. TERMINATION, SUSPENSION AND REINSTATEMENT

7.1       Automatic Termination: Membership on the Committee shall automatically terminate upon the member's attaining an office or post which would make him ineligible for appointment or upon the member's submission of his or her name for election or appointment to any judicial office.

7.2       Termination or Suspension for Cause: For good cause shown, membership on the Committee may be suspended or terminated by the Committee at a meeting at which the matter appears on the agenda, or at a special meeting called for this purpose.  The member shall be given at least seven (7) days prior notice of the meeting, the action to be considered, and the cause alleged. He shall be afforded a hearing upon request.

7.3       Termination for Absences: Absence from two consecutive hearings or six absences from regular meetings within any twelve-month period may be sufficient cause for termination of a member of the Committee.

7.4       Reinstatement: Upon written petition by a suspended member, showing good cause filed within fourteen days of delivery of notice of the suspension, or within such additional other time as the Committee may allow, the Committee may reinstate such member. Upon failure to file a petition within the time allowed, or upon denial of the petition by the Committee, membership on the Committee shall immediately terminate.

VIII. QUORUM

8.1       A majority of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business at a meeting of the Committee including evaluation hearings.  Assuming that the Committee has a full membership roster of sixteen (16), the quorum shall be met when at least nine (9) members of the Committee are present.

IX. RULES

The Committee by majority of those voting at a meeting may adopt rules not inconsistent with this Resolution, subject to Board approval.

X. CONFIDENTIALITY

All information obtained by the Committee, including but not limited to information in the questionnaire, information from physicians, information from Illinois Courts Commission or Attorneys' Registration and Disciplinary Commission, information obtained during personal interviews, opinions of any Committee Member or candidate, and vote or failure to vote by any Committee Member, is confidential. This rule of confidentiality applies to members of the Committee and staff of the Lake County Bar Association.  Any violation of these rules of confidentiality may be cause for termination of a committee member.

XI. LISTS OF CANDIDATES AND QUESTIONNAIRES

11.1     The names of candidates to be evaluated shall be reported promptly to, or obtained by the Committee. The Committee shall obtain the names of persons who are or may be considered for election, nomination, or appointment to office.

11.2     Each candidate shall be asked to fill out a questionnaire form authored by the Committee and the Release forms attached hereto as Exhibit "A". This completed questionnaire shall be the starting point for the investigation and hearing regarding each candidate. The failure or refusal of any candidate to fill out or to complete the prescribed questionnaire and authorization, and release forms within the time prescribed by the Committee may result in the Committee making a finding without any further investigation or hearing. Such a finding shall have the same force, effect, and duration as a finding made pursuant to Rule 17 after investigation and hearing.

XII. NOTICE OF EVALUATION

12.1     Notice that a candidate will be evaluated shall be given by posting in the quarters of the Association, delivery to each member of the Board, to each member of the Judicial Selection and Retention Committee, publication in the Waukegan News Sun and in such manner as shall be determined by the Board.

12.2     It is policy of the Committee to seek wide participation by the legal profession, the judiciary, and the public, in the evaluation of candidates. Other bar associations, public interest groups, and the public at large shall be encouraged to provide information touching upon the qualifications of persons to be evaluated.

XIII. ASSIGNMENT OF FILES TO INVESTIGATORS

13.1     Members of the Committee may be assigned to the file of each candidate.  It is recommended that the vetting process included speaking with the candidate, with his/her references, and with other persons that can provide information on the candidate’s qualifications and background.  This would include a review of any professional writings that may be relevant to a candidate’s judicial performance.

13.2          The Committee may appoint investigation teams, and may reconstitute them from time to time.

13.3          If information is received on a candidate that should, in fairness, be disclosed to the candidate in advance of a hearing, that information should be given to the candidate within a reasonable amount of time prior to the hearing.

XIV. DISQUALIFICATION

14.1     A Committee member shall withdraw as to a candidate to be heard by the Committee if he or she has made any written public endorsement of the candidate for judicial office, if the member believes that he or she cannot be impartial, or if the member believes his or her vote will constitute any appearance of impropriety. Attendance at a candidate's political or judicial rally or fundraiser shall not, in and of itself, disqualify a member. Withdrawal under this section shall not defeat the quorum.

14.2     A member shall resign from the Committee immediately if he or she intends to become a candidate for judicial office.

XV. PANELS

15.1     The Committee shall constitute the panel and conduct all hearings. A quorum must be present.

XVI. HEARING

16.1     The order of candidates may be assigned to the Committee by lot.

16.2     The presiding officer shall commence the interview of the candidate. He shall conduct the hearing with fairness, decorum, and dispatch. Members may be permitted to question the candidate. The candidate shall have the right to seek clarification of a question and to make a statement.

16.3     No person other than the candidate, members of the Committee and an employee of the Association designated for the purpose of assisting the panel in ministerial functions may be present during the hearing or voting. Only Committee members, including the presiding officer, may vote.

XVII. PANEL VOTING

17.1     The affirmative vote of 60 percent of the Committee members voting on any particular judicial candidate shall be required to receive a "highly recommended" finding. If a candidate does not receive 60 percent of the votes to be "highly recommended," the candidate then must receive at least 60 percent of the votes to be "recommended." A failure to receive the affirmative vote of at least 60 percent of the "highly recommended" or "recommended" ballots shall result in the finding of "not recommended."

17.2     An individual Committee member's vote on a candidate shall be cast by filling out a form approved by the Committee which shall be anonymous. The Committee Chair or the substitute Chairperson shall tally the votes and provide a confidential numerical count to the Committee members only.

17.3     If a Committee member finds a candidate to be "not recommended" he or she must list on the ballot the specific itemized reasons for the vote for the Committee member's vote to be counted No such requirement shall exist if a Committee member's vote is for a "highly recommended" or "recommended" rating.

17.4     Once the Chairperson has tallied the votes and verbally presented the final rating by the Committee, it is required that the Lake County Bar Association Executive Director  shall keep possession of all of the original ballots for three years after the vote.

17.5     Neither the confidential individual ballots of each Committee member nor the numerical tally of the final vote shall be disseminated to any individual outside of the Committee, including the Executive Director of the Lake County Bar Association, Executive Board, or any individual candidate. The Executive Director of the Lake County Bar Association, Assistant Executive Director of the Lake County Bar Association, any Committee member, or any Executive Board member shall not discuss with any judicial candidate who has completed the review process by the Committee any aspects of the deliberation or answer any inquiries regarding the deliberation or vote by the Committee. Any and all such inquiries from any judicial candidate shall be immediately directed to the Chairperson of the Committee or the substitute Chair who presided over that particular candidate's Committee review.

17.6     If a candidate who has received a "not recommended" rating by the Committee makes an inquiry to the Chairperson as to the reasons for that rating, the Chairperson may, at his or her discretion, disclose such comments by Committee members as the Chairperson deems appropriate. Such disclosure may be verbal or in writing, but under no circumstances shall the identity of the members of the Committee whose comments are disclosed be divulged to the candidate or any other person.

17.7     If a judicial candidate receives a "not recommended" rating and presents a petition for review of that rating, the Committee Chair may, in addition to the information noted in § 17.6, verbally or in writing notify the candidate of the policies and procedures for review of the rating as delineated in §18 (below).

XVIII  . RE-EVALUATION OR RE-HEARING PROCEDURE

18.1 Re-evaluation of Associate Judge Candidates:  An evaluation of a candidate for associate judge shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of hearing.  Provided however, that each candidate shall re-affirm the statements made in the candidate’s prior application, or indicate significant changes to the prior application, each time that the candidate reapplies for the office of associate judge.  A form for the reaffirmation is attached hereto as Exhibit B.  Unless a majority of the committee members who originally voted on the rating of a candidate, vote to the contrary, there shall be no re-evaluation or re-hearing of a candidate evaluated for the office of associate judge within three years from the date of that candidate’s committee rating. 

18.1(a)  Re-evaluation of Circuit Judge Candidates:  An evaluation of a candidate for Circuit Judge shall be valid only through the date of the general election or appointment.  A candidate for Circuit Judge shall be re-evaluated each time he or she stands for election or appointment for such office. However, an evaluation under this subsection shall be valid for the purposes of candidacy for associate judge in accordance with subsection 18.1 for a period of three years from the date of hearing.

18.2    No appeal shall be allowed from any committee rating.

18.3     RESERVED.

18.4    If newly-discovered evidence or information not previously known or considered by the Committee at a candidate's hearing becomes known to the Committee Chair or any voting member as relevant and material, then said information shall be immediately brought to the attention of the Committee Chair. It will then be the Committee Chair's duty to immediately inform all of the voting members of the Committee of the newly-discovered evidence or information, and request a vote as to whether a further hearing should be held limited solely to the newly discovered evidence or information.  If a majority of the Committee votes that a further hearing be held, then that decision shall be immediately communicated to the candidate. The candidate shall be allowed to attend the further hearing.  . Such further hearing shall take place within five days from the date of the Committee's majority vote to hold such further hearing. It is presumed that said action of the Committee would only be undertaken under extraordinary circumstances.

18.5     RESERVED

18.6     If a candidate receives a “not recommended” rating, such rating shall be immediately communicated by the Chair to the candidate( but not to any other person, public, or private entity, the Circuits Judges, the LCBA Executive Board, or the press for 3 days after the day of the rating).  The candidate shall have the right to withdraw as a judicial candidate within three days after receipt of said rating by written notification delivered or faxed to the Chairperson or the Bar Office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the third day after receipt of the rating, and may request that the “not recommended” rating not be published or communicated to anyone outside the committee.  Upon such written request and verification that the candidate has withdrawn his or her candidacy for judicial office the “not recommended” rating shall not be communicated in any manner whatsoever.  However, if the candidate chooses to continue to seek the office he or she shall not have the right to prohibit dissemination of the “not recommended” rating.

XIX. PUBLICATION OF FINDINGS

19.1     Primary and General Election Candidates: Findings as to all the candidates, whose names are to appear on a primary or general election ballot, shall be widely disseminated among the bar, the judiciary, and the public, if no request or notices have been received pursuant to Sections 18.2, 18.6 and 19.2.

19.2     Associate Judge Candidates: Findings as to all Associate Judge-Candidates by the Committee shall be communicated to the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court and all Circuit Judges of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. All findings shall be published in local media. However, prior to any Publication of any findings or reasons for such findings, a candidate for Associate Judge shall be notified that such a finding has been made.

If the candidate elects to withdraw as a judicial candidate within three days after receipt of said rating by written notification delivered or faxed to the Chairperson or the Bar Office no later the 5:00 p.m. on the third day after receipt of the rating, and may request that any rating not be published or communicated to anyone outside the committee. Upon such written request and verification that the candidate has withdrawn his or her candidacy for judicial office, his or her rating shall not be communicated in any manner whatsoever.

19.3     Prior Findings: A prior finding which is to serve as the finding for a subsequent candidacy shall be published in accordance with this Section.

19.4     Publication of Reasons for Findings: If a judicial candidate elects to publicly denounce a published finding, and violates § 10 and publishes otherwise confidential information, then the Committee, upon majority vote, may elect to publish the reasons for its findings. Otherwise, the reasons for the findings shall remain confidential, except for the provisions of § 19.2.

XX. CRITERIA

The criteria for evaluation shall include but shall not be limited to (further defined below):

• Integrity (20.1)

• Legal Knowledge and Legal Ability (20.2)

• Judicial Temperament (20.3)

• Diligence (20.4)

• Punctuality (20.5)

• Professional Experience (20.6)

• Courtroom and Litigation Experience (20.7)

• Past Professional Conduct (20.8)

• Financial Responsibility (20.9)

• Political Activity (20.10)

• Character (20.11)

• Patience (20.12)

• Common Sense (20.13)

• Tact (20.14)

• Social Consciousness (20.15)

• Association and Public Service (20.16)

• The Judicial System (20.17)

• Other elements of character and ability which Committee believes are relevant to help evaluate any individual candidate.

These guidelines shall be applied to the two (2) groups which will appear for evaluation, being:

New candidates for Associate and Circuit Judges of the Circuit Court.

These guidelines for candidates shall include:

  • Personal characteristics and attributes
  • Professional preparation for judicial position
  • Judicial performance and judicial responsibilities in cases of sitting judges.

20.1     Integrity: Webster's Dictionary' defines integrity as a "rigid adherence to a code of behavior" and equates it with honesty.

Expanding on the definition referred to would require that the candidate have the capacity to be "fair" and unbiased. Moreover, instinct toward self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, prejudice, bias, and selfishness should be completely eliminated or suppressed as far as is humanly possible in decisions to be made by a judge.

Analysis of the deportment, rulings, decisions, and attitude of a sitting judge should bring to light and answer these questions:

(1) Does this judge allow bias or prejudice to dictate decisions?

(2) Is the judge honest in his formulation of the decision?

(3) Does the judge base the decision on the evidence of the facts and the laws without regard to who the             parties or the lawyers are that are involved?

(4) Is the judge able to disregard partisan political interests and other forms of influence and to act             independently?

Generally, when evaluating a lawyer with no previous history as a judge, the reputation of the individual in the legal community and in activities not related to the practice of law has to be analyzed. Taking into consideration the traditional role of a lawyer as an advocate presenting his or her client's view in the best possible light, certain questions can be asked:

(1) Does he manipulate facts or evidence?

(2) Does he deliberately misapply or misquote the law?

(3) Can the representations made by counsel to other members of the bar be relied upon?

(4) Is his emotion controlled, so that reason prevails?

(5) Is justice the main objective?

An individual with the "integrity" necessary to qualify must be one who is most able to put aside self-aggrandizement, prejudice, and bias; who can ignore personalities and parties to the greatest degree; who can base the decision on the facts and the law applicable to the facts.

20.2     Legal Knowledge and Ability:  Legal knowledge, in its simplest form, may be defined as familiarity with established legal concepts and procedural rules. Legal ability may be defined as the intellectual capacity to interpret and apply established legal concepts to the facts and circumstances presented. Legal ability also involves skill in communicating, orally and in writing, the thought processes leading to a legal conclusion.

Legal knowledge and ability are acquired by the experience of a person and by the continual learning process involved in keeping abreast of changing concepts through education and study.

Commentators in their discussion of criteria for the selection of judges note that "knowledge of legal procedure, keeping abreast of legal developments, level of skill in communication, and level of skill in written communication" are important elements of a judge's qualifications. (American Judicature Society 64, August 1974).

Aside from the foregoing qualifications, there are other elements which enhance legal ability. These are human qualities such as moral courage, consideration of others, courtesy, patience, and a reputation for fairness.

20.3     Judicial Temperament:  The qualities which characterizes judicial temperament  are patience, open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, firmness, understanding, compassion, and humility.  Because the judicial function is essentially one of facilitating conflict resolution among competing interests, judicial temperament implies the ability to deal with counsel, jurors, witnesses, and parties calmly and courteously, and the willingness to hear and consider what is said on all sides of a debatable proposition. It requires the ability to be even-tempered, firm, open minded, willing and able to reach decisions confidently without being egocentric.

Because of the range of topics and issues which a judge may be required to consider, judicial temperament presumes the willingness and ability to assimilate data outside the judge's own experience without bias. It presumes, moreover, an even disposition, buttressed by a keen sense of justice, which enables an intellectual serenity in the approach to complex decisions, and forbearance under provocation.  Judicial temperament also implies a mature sense of proportion: reverence for the law, but appreciation that the rule of law is not static and unchanging; understanding of the judge's important role in the judiciary process, yet recognition that the administration of justice and the rights of the parties transcend the judge's self-importance.  Judicial temperament requires an "uncommon touch, commonly applied".

In contrast to these elements of judicial temperament, the factors which indicate a lack of such temperament are also identifiable and understandable. Judicial temperament implies an absence of arrogance, impatience, pomposity, irascibility, arbitrariness, or tyranny.

20.4     Diligence: Under Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct a judge should perform the duties of his office impartially, and "diligently."  It entails adjudicative responsibilities, order, and decorum in proceedings. A judge must show patience and courtesy to the persons who appear before him and possess an efficient and business-like attitude.

20.5     Punctuality: Webster's Dictionary describes a punctual person as one who acts or habitually acts at an appointed time or at a regularly scheduled time. "Punctuality" also means being prompt.

Canon 3 (A) (5), states that a judge should dispose promptly of the business of the court. This has been referred to also as an element to be considered in the criteria for diligence. A judge should be prompt and punctual.

Measuring the punctuality of a sitting judge is much easier than applying it to the lawyer who seeks a judicial position. The criterion of punctuality applies equally to the lawyer and to the judge. The lawyer should have a reputation which indicates that he does not procrastinate in his law practice, and that he meets procedural deadlines, keeps commitments, and respects the time of other lawyers and his clients, as well as of the court.

20.6     Professional Experience: "No person shall be eligible to be a Judge or Associate Judge unless he is a United States citizen, a licensed attorney-at law of this state, and a resident of the unit which selects him. No change in the boundaries of a unit shall affect the tenure in office of a Judge or Associate Judge Incumbent at the time of such change". (Ill. Const., Art. VI, § 11 (1970).

While exceptions may from time to time be recognized, a significant degree of experience as a lawyer active in courtroom practice or the equivalent should usually be required when recommending a person for the trial bench. The extent of such experience of the individual at the time the lawyer is under consideration for a judicial position shall be an important factor to be considered by the Committee.  An element of this experience is demonstrated administrative ability.

The number of years that a lawyer has practiced is a valid criterion for screening applicants for an associate judge. Unless such applicant exhibits unusual qualifications and maturity, it should be an exception to recommend anyone who has practiced law less than twelve years.

In evaluating the experience of associate judges who apply for full circuit position, the nature of their assignments, frequency of contested hearings, and the legal complexity of their caseload should be considered in determining whether this experience has prepared the candidate for full circuit court judge.

The foregoing is not intended to eliminate from consideration outstanding persons who have demonstrated ability in teaching and who have contributed to the literature of the .profession, or who have significant legal experience in government or private agencies.

20.7     Courtroom and Litigation Experience: Except where unusual competence and experience are demonstrated, a candidate should have some litigation experience before being selected for the trial bench. At the same time, it is recognized that extensive litigation experience may not be as essential-to a trial judge as broad experience with people. 'This includes the capacity to understand people coming from many different environments.

In addition to the traditional concept of service as counsel for a party in civil or criminal litigation, litigation experience may be credited for representation of parties in adversary proceedings before administrative tribunals as well as service as an associate judge.

The academician and government or corporate attorney should not be held unqualified on this ground alone. To require that all or substantially all of a candidate’s professional career be spent in litigation would disqualify some otherwise outstanding candidates. '  The extent and complexity of the experience as a litigator should be given weight when awarding ratings to the prospective candidates. There may be many other attributes and characteristics which will provide a sound foundation for selection for a judicial position.

By the same token, a trial lawyer should not be accepted as a candidate without looking for some other characteristics which may be detrimental to his "on the job" training as a judge. Such traits as arbitrariness may be evident in his relationship with other lawyers, employees and others with whom he has any contact. A person's reputation may also disclose a bias which may disqualify him. There should be available unbiased sources of information to avoid acceptance of unfounded rumors.

20.8          Past Professional Conduct: Past professional conduct of an applicant is a valid subject of inquiry to determine the present qualifications of a candidate.

Proceedings before the Judicial Inquiry Board, the Illinois Coutts Commission, and the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission may be a valid consideration in evaluating a candidate.

In the case of a candidate who has been disciplined, the degree of rehabilitation and reputation of the individual should be reviewed in applying this guideline.

20.9     Financial Responsibility: The financial responsibility of a candidate is one of the factors to be considered in determining ability to properly serve. All candidates, including sitting judges, should be financially responsible.

20.10   Political Activity: Illinois Supreme Court Rule 67 (Canon 7) on the subject of partisan politics shall be read and studied by every candidate before appearing before the Committee:

The nature and quality of political service by a candidate may be a valid consideration. Political service may add a desirable dimension to a candidate's qualifications. On the other hand, a candidate's political career may be such as to demonstrate a likelihood that he will not act independently on the bench.

There is no objection to a candidate for judicial office being active politically but there is everything wrong with his continuation as a participant in partisan politics after receiving a judicial election or appointment.

20.11   Character. Good moral character is something that must be determined from the entire personal background of a candidate.

20.12   Patience: Humility, tolerance, and the ability to exercise forbearance under provocation are traits which must be found in the candidate. These are essential dements in ascertaining judicial temperament.

20.13   Common Sense: This is the ability to make practical and reasonable judgments. It includes using a sense of proportion as to each problem and finding an appropriate solution within applicable law.

20.14   Tact: This involves sensitivity to the feelings of others. It means a capacity to deal with others without giving offense, an ability to create reciprocal good feelings.

20.15   Social Consciousness: Some effort should be made to ascertain if the candidate is sensitive to human rights and needs. Many social problems receive the attention of judges. The candidate should have an appreciation for these situations and sensitivity to the uses and limitations of law as a tool for correction of social problems.

20.16   Association and Public Service: The degree to which bar association work on Committees provides an insight into the qualifications of the candidate varies in each individual. It may enhance a personal background

Likewise, participation in public service adds another dimension to the personality of the candidate. The degree of participation in such activities may indicate fairness, honesty, industriousness, diligence, social consciousness, and consideration for others.

20.17   The Judicial System: The judicial system is an integral part of our governmental system of representative democracy. It is essential that our judges not only posses the professional competence and integrity to perform their function, but also that they earn and inspire the confidence of the public and the bar in the performance of their duties.

XXI. CONCLUSION

The Committee and candidates for judicial office who will appear before the Committee are bound by the rules, regulations, and standards identified herein. No exceptions or changes can be made to these rules, regulations, and standards, except by a majority vote of the Committee when a quorum is present and after sufficient time for due consideration of any proposed changes. If any changes or amendments are made to these rules, regulations, and standards hereafter, they must be primed herein as amendments and widely disseminated and publicized to all members of the bench and bar with sufficient time before any future evaluation of any potential judicial candidate is held by the Committee.

EXHIBITS

Questionaire for Judicial Candidates

A -- Questionaire for Judicial Candidates

B -- Re-attestation of application

 

 

December 2011 -- Lake County Bar Association

Judicial Selection & Retention Committee

Rules, Regulations and Standards for Judicial Candidates

300-A Grand Avenue Waukegan, IL 60085

TEL: 847-244-3143 FAX: 847-244-8259  www.lakebar.org

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2013 14:53
 
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