Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lawyer groups say these 3 judges should be benched

Deciding what votes to cast for governor, Congress and Cook County Board president is just the beginning today.

At the bottom of the ballot -- an entirely separate ballot for suburban voters -- will be the names of 70 Cook County judges running for retention.

If history is any guide, most voters will skip it. Of those who tick "yes" or "no" for the judges, about 20 percent will vote "No" on all and 60 percent will vote "yes" on all.

But judges can have a direct impact on voters' lives. They can single-handedly take away a voter's driving privileges, house, even children in a contentious divorce case.

The only way to remove a bad judge from the bench is to force a candidate below 60 percent "Yes" votes. But that hasn't happened since 1990.

The Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Sun-Times and Tribune editorial pages agree three judges should not be retained: Cynthia Brim; Amanda Toney; and Marcella Carmen Lipinski.


The judge found "not recommended" by the highest number of bar groups -- 10 -- is Robert Kowalski. The council said Kowalski made "offensive remarks in open court based on gender and national origin" but refused to offer examples. Kowalski denied that, and 51 attorneys who practice before him wrote the Sun-Times defending him.


No comments: