• Ronald Wittmeyer
  • March 14, 2014

Your Vote Counts – For Judges Too!

Fact – Judges in Illinois are elected by the public in judicial elections on the ballot with the President, Congresspeople, and state representatives.

Problem – Many voters lack information about judicial candidates.

Solution – Use judicial evaluations conducted by Bar Associations as a reliable source of information in the judicial elections on March 18, 2014 to help you choose qualified judges.

Yes, our law firm has a stake in seeing that good judges are elected, and so do you.  Thousands of rulings and decisions are made in hundreds of courtrooms throughout the state of Illinois every day.  These decisions affect your neighbors, your community, and at some point may directly affect you as well.

Even lawyers who are in the courts regularly don’t know all of the judicial candidates up for election.  As lawyers, many of us have been involved in the judicial evaluation process, and have come to rely on the bar association judicial evaluations as a valuable resource, and you can too.

Please do your part to help improve the quality of those decision makers.  Go to this link by the Illinois State Bar Association. You can also print out judicial evaluations that apply to you here: http://www.isba.org/judicialevaluations.  You could also bring your Smart Phone into the voting booth and reference these evaluations there. Or print out a paper copy and take them into the voting booth.

Bar association evaluations are credible sources for judicial elections

The judicial evaluation process is an in depth and impartial assessment of each candidate.  In Cook County, here is the process that is followed.  First, each candidate is asked to file a detailed disclosure form of approximately 20 pages.  Then an investigator is assigned to each candidate, who contacts random people listed and not listed on the candidate’s disclosure form and gathers information about the candidate’s background, legal knowledge and skills, integrity, and demeanor.  Next a panel of 10 to 15 lawyers review the disclosure form, the investigator’s report, and conduct an in person interview of each judicial candidate.  From being involved in this process, I can tell you that the candidates, investigators, and panelists take this process seriously.  The panel then makes a recommendation.  As you can see from the recommendations, not all judicial candidates are considered qualified to hold the important office of judge.

Please take this opportunity to access the judicial evaluations available from the Illinois State Bar Association, and use them to cast an informed ballot for your/our judges in this upcoming judicial election on March 18, 2014.  Thank you.

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