Five current associate judges and 11 lawyers will take the bench in Cook County, after the Cook County Circuit Court’s 252 elected circuit judges selected them to be appointed to serve as associate judges, filling vacancies in local courtrooms until at least next summer.
A 17th judge will be selected at a later date, after new ballots are cast and collected to break a tie.
On May 21, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced the results of balloting conducted this spring to select who from among a group of nearly three dozen finalists would be selected to land the open Cook County judgeships.
According to the AOIC release, the new judges, appointed May 21, will join the ranks of the county’s judiciary, which seats 146 appointed associate judges, in addition to the elected circuit judges.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans
Throughout the year, vacancies can occur in the county’s judiciary for various reasons, including retirements and resignations. The Illinois state constitution allows the Cook County Circuit Court’s elected judges to select and appoint associate judges to fill those vacancies through a vote of the county’s circuit judges. The balloting is overseen by the AOIC, after candidates for the posts are vetted and screened by the Chicago Bar Association and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, which includes nine smaller bar associations, and an official nominating committee, which includes Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans and 10 other Cook County judges.
In April, the chief judge forwarded 34 names to the AOIC to include on ballots to be distributed to the county’s elected circuit judges. Balloting was completed May 16, the AOIC said.
Current associate judges selected to retain their posts include:
Charles S. Beach, 48, of Chicago; Gerald V.P. Cleary III, 53, of Glenview; Myron F. Mackoff, 49, of Chicago; Stephanie K. Miller, 46, of Chicago; and Patrick T. Stanton, 51, of Chicago.
Lawyers selected to serve as associate judges include:
Joel D. Buikema, 46, of Chicago, currently affiliated with Sandrick Law, of South Holland;
Jeffrey G. Chrones, 53, of Glenview, currently affiliated with Johnson & Bell Ltd., of Chicago;
Jean Mary Golden, 65, of Winnetka, currently affiliated with Cassiday Schade LLP, of Chicago;
Sanju Oommen Green, 42, of Chicago, currently serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office;
James E. Hanlon Jr., 58, of Northbrook, currently serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office;
Joan Marie G. Kubalanza, 63, of Palos Heights, currently affiliated with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, of Chicago;
Lisette C. Mojica, 45, of Chicago, currently affiliated with the City of Chicago Law Department;
Margaret Mary Ogarek, 45, of Chicago, currently serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office;
Lori M. Rosen, 47, of Chicago, currently serving in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office;
Daniel A. Trevino, 43, of Chicago, currently affiliated with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, of Chicago; and
William Yu, 49, of Chicago, currently affiliated with Ulmer & Berne LLP, of Chicago.
According to the AOIC release, the new judges will need to be reappointed by July 1, 2019.
After the balloting, the AOIC determined two candidates received the same number of votes for the 17th and final vacant associate judgeship. Under Supreme Court rules, this means candidates Levander Smith Jr. and James Adolph Wright will head to a runoff vote, which will be cast with new ballots.