State bar association members give Madison, St. Clair associate judges high marks

Amelia Flood May 26, 2011, 7:30am




With the vote for their retention coming shortly, Madison and St. Clair Counties' associate judges can take comfort in an April 2011 poll showing that their colleagues from the state's bar association believe all 26 of them should continue on the bench.

The poll was conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA.)

All of Madison and St. Clair County's associates were recommended for retention by the
ISBA members polled.

All 26 judges are up for a reappointment vote set later this month.

In Madison County, of 542 ballots mailed, 216 were returned from the bar association's members.

In St. Clair County, 629 ballots were sent out and 270 were returned.

The judges were evaluated by their colleagues on eight qualities:

- Meets the requirements of office
- Integrity
- Impartiality
- Legal ability
- Temperament
- Court management
- Health
- Sensitivity

Madison County associate judges Kyle Napp and Thomas Chapman scored the highest for overall meeting the requirements of the office.

Napp received a score of 95.93 percent.

Chapman tallied in at just under Napp's score with 94.92.

Madison County Associate Judges Ellar Duff and Duane Bailey had the lowest percentages in the meeting the requirements of office category.

Bailey came in at 75.54 percent while Duff came in at 74.25.

St. Clair County's associate judges were also all recommended for retention in the ISBA poll.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Julie Katz was the most highly recommend with a 98.96 rating, although St. Clair County Associate Judge Eugene Gross was not far behind with 98.84 percent of those polled in his favor.

St. Clair County Associate Judge Laninya Cason had the lowest percentage of respondents agreeing she met the requirements of the office at 71.58 percent.

While the poll measures how the associate judges' colleagues gauge their abilities, ISBA members are not those voting to reappoint the associate judges nor are members of the
counties citizenry.

The circuit judges in both counties will ultimately vote and decide which of the 26 associates will get another term as judge.

For the complete breakdowns of the ISBA poll, visit

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