Judicial Candidate Ratings in Question

By Schroedter, Andrew | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 4, 2006 | Go to article overview

Judicial Candidate Ratings in Question


Schroedter, Andrew, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Andrew Schroedter Daily Herald Staff Writer

Republican judicial candidate Martin C. Kelley received a "recommended" rating from the Chicago Bar Association.

Jill C. Marisie and Cary J. Collins, Kelley's fellow candidates in the GOP primary for the Cook County Circuit Court 13th judicial subcircuit seat, were "not recommended."

Kelley, however, is a former investigator for the Chicago Bar Association's judicial evaluation committee, the same panel that rates judicial candidates.

He resigned from the committee when he decided to run for the seat being vacated by Judge Janice L. Bierman. "Mr. Kelley is even tempered, fair, and possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a circuit court judge," the evaluation said.

Kelley didn't enjoy the same support elsewhere. Only five of 10 groups that make up the Alliance of Bar Associations thought him a strong candidate. He was "not recommended" by the Illinois State Bar Association, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.

In justifying its "not qualified" rating, the Chicago Council of Lawyers expressed concerns about the depth of Kelley's legal practice.

"He has little actual trial experience as the primary practitioner," said the evaluation. "In general, he lacks experience in complex litigation matters."

It was just the opposite for Collins and Marisie. All 10 groups in the alliance rated Collins "recommended" or higher. Nine of the 10 called Marisie "recommended" or higher. Only one, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, said she was "not qualified."

The GOP primary election is March 21. There is no Democratic primary.

On Friday, Kelley said his work as an investigator had no influence on the Chicago Bar's favorable rating. …

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