Supreme Court fills Cook County vacancies on Appellate, Circuit courts
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the assignment of Cook County Circuit Judge Mary L. Mikva to the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial Circuit and the appointment of Chicago lawyer Clare J. Quish as an at-large Cook County Circuit Judge.
Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis recommended to the Court that Judge Mikva be assigned to fill the Appellate Court vacancy that was created by the April 15, 2016, death of Justice Laura Liu. Judge Mikva's assignment is effective on July 15, 2016, and until further order of the Supreme Court.
"I am honored to be given this challenging opportunity to serve on the Appellate Court," Judge Mikva said. "I hope to use it to help strengthen the public's faith that our legal system is fair, efficient, evenhanded, and compassionate."
Judge Mikva, who clerked for a United States Supreme Court Justice after graduating law school, was elected to the Cook County Circuit Court in November 2004 and currently sits in the Chancery Division. She was previously assigned to the Child Protection Division.
Prior to joining the judiciary, Judge Mikva practiced law at several firms, including Abrahamson Vorachek & Mikva, Seliger & Mikva, and the City of Chicago Department of Law. As an attorney, she handled discrimination, class action, and employment-related matters, among other areas of the law.
Judge Mikva, a native of Chicago, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from Beloit College in 1975. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1980.
Following law school, Judge Mikva clerked for U.S. District Judge Prentice H. Marshall and U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
Throughout her career on the Cook County Circuit Court, Judge Mikva has been active in judicial education, serving as faculty for the Advanced Judicial Academy, the Judicial Education Conference, and for Law and Literature seminars.
Judge Mikva is the daughter of Abner J. Mikva, a former U.S. Congressman, federal judge, and White House counsel under the Clinton administration. She is married and has two children.
Appellate Justice Mary Anne Mason said Judge Mikva is "the perfect candidate for the Appellate Court." Prior to her assignment to the Appellate Court in 2013, Justice Mason worked with Judge Mikva in the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court, where their offices were next door to each other.
"Her background is varied and extensive," Justice Mason said of Judge Mikva. "She is an incredibly thoughtful jurist and always well-prepared, if not over-prepared. And the icing on the cake is her marvelous sense of humor."
Also on Tuesday, the Supreme Court appointed Chicago lawyer Clare J. Quish as an at-large Cook County Circuit Judge to fill the vacancy created by the January 1, 2016, retirement of Circuit Judge Michelle D. Jordan.
Justice Theis recommended the appointment of Ms. Quish after a screening process that included an evaluation by the Alliance of Bar Associations and a review by a special judicial screening committee that Justice Theis established in 2013.
"I am very grateful to Justice Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court for the confidence they have shown in me with this appointment," Ms. Quish said. "I am honored and privileged to serve the citizens of Cook County as a judge in the Circuit Court and look forward to doing so with compassion, dedication, and fairness."
Ms. Quish will join the Cook County Circuit Court from Schuyler, Roche & Crisham in Chicago, where she currently practices law as a partner. She has worked there since April 2009 and handles a wide range of commercial and civil litigation, including employment, insurance coverage, and contract-related matters. Prior to that, Ms. Quish practiced at Crisham & Kubes and served as a law clerk for the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial District.
"Clare has an ideal temperament to serve on the Court: be fair, listen carefully, and be mindful," said retired Illinois Appellate Justice Michael J. Gallagher, who co-chaired Justice Theis' judicial screening committee with retired U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen."She is an extremely deep thinker on the law and is a compassionate and empathetic person."
Justice Gallagher said he saw those same qualities in Ms. Quish when she was a law clerk and he was serving as a Justice on the Appellate Court. Justice Gallagher, who clerked for an Illinois Supreme Court justice before he practiced law and joined the judiciary, said Ms. Quish's experience reviewing records on appeal as a law clerk and her time practicing law will be invaluable to her as a judge.
Judge Andersen said, "Clare Quish was universally praised by opposing lawyers for the quality of her work and her integrity. She is an expert in complex commercial matters, which will enhance the work of the Circuit Court. She has excellent judgment."
Ms. Quish received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Northwestern University in 1997 and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2000.
She currently serves as treasurer for the Appellate Lawyers Association and is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character & Fitness for the First Judicial District.
Ms. Quish's appointment takes effect June 28, 2016, and will terminate on December 3, 2018, when the position is filled by the November 2018 general election.