Fifth District Appellate Court candidates Stephen McGlynn and Judy Cates both were rated "highly qualified" in an Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) poll conducted of lawyers within the district.

The poll was conducted by mail and sent to all ISBA members in the district and to non-member licensed lawyers who may have requested a ballot.

In the McGlynn-Cates match-up, the ISBA mailed 1,883 ballots, of which 827 were returned.

For McGlynn, 70.28 percent of respondents said he met requirements of office; For Cates, 70.09 percent said she met requirements of office. Candidates must receive a score of at least 65 percent to be "recommended."

McGlynn, a Republican, is a sitting circuit judge in St. Clair County. He was appointed to the seat following the July 2010 retirement of former Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley.

McGlynn also served on the appellate court, having filled a vacancy after Gordon Maag lost a retention race in 2004. In the general election race of 2006, McGlynn lost the seat to Bruce Stewart of Harrisburg.

Cates, a Democrat, is a Swansea personal injury attorney. She had previously sought a seat on the appellate court, but lost a primary race in 2008 to James Wexstten of Mount Vernon.

On the question of integrity, McGlynn was rated 82.49 to Cates who was rated 77.06 by respondents.

However, on the question of legal ability, Cates was rated 94.21 compared to McGlynn's rating of 74.42.

"Judy Cates is well-respected for her legal knowledge and ability," states a biographical sketch of Cates that accompanied the poll results. "She has served as the president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and has received numerous national and local honors."

On the question of temperament, McGlynn was rated 85.94 to Cates' rating of 66.60.

"As a judge, Judge McGlynn is known for treating persons not represented by counsel with respect, reviewing court files before hearings, and making thoughtful rulings," says McGynn's bio associated with the poll. "He is well-respected by attorneys and parties as an impartial and fair judge."

In other categories, here are how the candidates matched up:


McGlynn: 69.95
Cates: 65.73

Court Management:

Cates: 90.35
McGlynn: 86.68


Cates: 94.76
McGlynn: 94.58


Cates: 87.50
McGlynn: 81.21

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