Vote for Judges

Here in Cook County we get to vote whether our judges get to keep their jobs. And since it’s a retention election, the judges have all already been doing the work of being judges, and so we can evaluate what kind of job they’ve been doing. And by “we” I mean 10 different bar associations* who have independently evaluated all of the judges that you’ll be encountering on this year’s ballot and posted their recommendations at Vote for Judges.

It’s a nice long list with lots of different detailed reports, and I encourage you to be an educated voter, but I will highlight the only three judges to get less than 70% or less retention recommendations:

Casandra Lewis – 7 of 10 bar associations recommend that she not be retained. The Chicago Council of Lawyers says says “Judge Lewis has adequate legal ability for her current assignment and is praised for her temperament. She receives mixed reviews, however, for her work ethic – many lawyers complain that she is not well prepared and is often not punctual in taking the bench. The Council has received reports that some lawyers will take a substitution of judge rather than appear before her.”

Edward N. Pietrucha – 5 of 10 bar associations recommend that he not be retained. The Chicago Bar Association says “While Judge Pietrucha knows the law, serious concerns were raised about his temperament, which reflects a disregard and disrespect for the litigants and lawyers who appear before him.”

Shelli D. Williams-Hayes – 4 of 10 bar associations recommend that she not be retained. The Chicago Council of Lawyers says “While many lawyers say she is a good jurist, many others complain about the length of time it takes to get to trial in her courtroom. Some lawyers report that she can get frustrated during court and make grossly inappropriate remarks to lawyers and litigants. Some lawyers also complain about her punctuality.”

* Asian American Bar Association, Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Chicago Council of Lawyers, Cook County Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Hellenic Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and Women’s Bar Association of Illinois

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