ICJL Releases Rating Of Judges For March Primary Elections

Voters in Illinois have many good options; Cook County voters warned of disqualified candidate

In an effort to better educate voters about choices for judge, the Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL) today released the ratings of judges and judicial candidates running in the March 20th Illinois Primary Election. The ICJL judicial ratings are a part of the most complete and comprehensive voter education initiative of its kind, designed to assist voters in making informed decisions about the judicial candidates on their ballot. The initiative called Judges: Good and Bad-You Can’t Afford to be Indifferent can be found at illinoisjudges.net.

The ICJL judicial ratings show that voters throughout the state have some good options with a number of candidates with Highly Recommended or Recommended ratings. That good news, however, is tempered by the fact that one judicial candidate in suburban Cook County has received a Not Recommended rating due to questions about his integrity.

“The ICJL invited judicial candidates and judges running in the Primary Election to submit answers to questions about their careers and candidacies in their own words which the ICJL then published in unedited form on its website, illinoisjudges.net,” according to John Pastuovic, President of the Illinois Civil Justice League. “In addition to providing this information to voters, the ICJL also evaluated the questionnaire answers, judicial and career records, media accounts, bar ratings, campaign contributions, and other sources of information about each judge and judicial candidate to establish individual ratings,” he added.

Judges and judicial candidates were considered for ratings of Highly Recommended, Recommended, Not Recommended, or No Position.



Editorial: Legal Reform Requires Careful Negotiations

From the Bloomington Pantagraph and Decatur Herald & Review

The state of Illinois either has one of the nation’s worst judicial climates, or is a state where the ordinary plaintiff has a fair chance to win against corporate giants.

It just depends on who you ask. More importantly, it depends on where the money is located.

That’s the result of the news last week that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was proclaiming the Illinois lawsuit climate was one of the worst in the nation.

According to a survey conducted for the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform by Harris Poll, the chamber said only Louisiana and West Virginia have worse lawsuit climates.

The results are based on questionnaires asked of senior company attorneys about how a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to affect important business decisions. So, at best, the results of the survey were pretty predictable.

However, Gov. Bruce Rauner lent his support to the issue, saying the lawsuit environment in the state is hampering economic growth.

“You come here, you open yourself up to attack and excessive judgment against your company,” the governor said.

Rauner has proposed legislation that he says will put the system more into balance. Those reforms include medical awards based on charges rather than actual payments, changing overly inclusive liability standards and limiting venue shopping by plaintiffs.

View the full editorial at the Bloomington Pantagraph…

News Update

Illinois Will Delay Pension Payment, Citing Cash Shortage

From Crain’s Chicago Business

Illinois will delay payments to its pension fund as a prolonged budget impasse causes a cash shortage, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said.

The spending standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders has extended into its fourth month with no signs of ending. Munger said her office will postpone a $560 million retirement-fund payment next month, and may make the December contribution late.

“This decision is choosing the least of a number of bad options,” Munger told reporters in Chicago on Wednesday. “For all intents and purposes, we are out of money now.”

Munger said the pension systems will be paid in full by the end of the fiscal year in June. The state still is making bond payments, and retirees are receiving checks, she said.

“We prioritize the bond payments above everything else,” Munger told reporters.

The pension payment delay was inevitable, said some who have been watching the budget gridlock.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, which monitors Illinois finances.

“Every month they go without resolving the impasse on the budget means it’ll cost more to ultimately resolve it,” Martire said. “This is a natural, predictable consequence if you do something called math.”

Read more in our daily News Update…