Third Circuit judges running for retention receive 'Recommended' ratings in ISBA poll

By Ann Maher | Oct 5, 2012






Four judges seeking retention in the Third Judicial Circuit were rated "Recommended" in a poll of local lawyers and conducted by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

On the question of "meets requirements of office," Circuit Judges Ann Callis, Barbara Crowder, Dave Hylla and John Knight exceeded the minimum 65 percent rating necessary for recommendation.

Hylla and Knight were rated substantially better than their counterparts.

The ISBA sent ballots to 559 lawyers in the Third Circuit; 207, or 37 percent of the total, were returned.

The poll also asks respondents to rate the judges on questions of integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management, health and sensitivity.

The judges were rated as follows:

Meets requirements of office

Callis: 83.64
Crowder: 88.40
Hylla: 94.90
Knight: 98.18


Callis: 86.90
Crowder: 88.52
Hylla: 94.97
Knight: 98.20


Callis: 82.63
Crowder: 85.71
Hylla: 91.19
Knight: 96.40

Legal ability

Callis: 87.95
Crowder: 96.17
Hylla: 96.23
Knight: 97.30


Callis: 88.62
Crowder: 94.05
Hylla: 94.94
Knight: 96.40

Court management

Callis: 91.07
Crowder: 97.28
Hylla: 96.20
Knight: 99.10


Callis: 98.80
Crowder: 97.28
Hylla: 98.73
Knight: 100


Callis: 92.77
Crowder: 97.28
Hylla: 98.09
Knight: 100

In the 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss received a "Recommended" rating in the poll.

When Fiss was sworn into office following his successful retention effort in 2006, it came a day after he and fellow Circuit Judge Patrick Young were involved in an auto accident while returning from a St. Louis Rams football game. The accident, which occurred at the intersection of Frank Scott Parkway and Dutch Hollow Road in Belleville, injured the driver of the other car involved.

Months later, Young was found guilty of DUI by a stipulated bench trial and was sentenced to court supervision for 24 months, fined $1,500 and ordered to complete an alcohol evaluation. Young retired in 2010.

Fiss pled guilty to illegal transportation of alcohol and was sentenced to 60 days of court supervision and fined $500. Fiss had been chief judge, but stepped down after the incident. St. Clair County Circuit Judge John Baricevic succeeded Fiss in that role and remains chief judge.

The ISBA sent ballots to 592 lawyers in the 20th Circuit; 204, or 34 percent of the total, were returned.

Fiss was rated as follows in the ISBA poll:

Meets requirements of office: 91.72

Integrity: 91.67

Impartiality: 91.03

Legal ability: 93.79

Temperament: 97.24

Court management: 90.34

Health: 97.22

Sensitivity: 96.53

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