My regular readers know I do my damndest to keep up with our Kane County Judges so I can impart their merit, or lack thereof, directly unto you. Circuit court judges are the highest paid elected officials in Illinois, they’re impossible to remove once elected, and they have an immense impact on the lives of the plaintiffs and defendants who appear before them.
That’s why I consider this kind of due diligence to be a critical journalistic duty. The last thing we need is another incompetent and sadistic man in black like John Dalton, Mike Noland, and Joe Grady.
But before we continue, for full disclosure purposes, after a mutual friend introduced us, I’ve provided Judge Elizabeth Flood with electoral advice throughout her campaign. Rest assured, I have not and will not receive any remuneration for those efforts. If you recall, Judge Flood is not nearly the only candidate I’ve offered to help simply because the stakes were too high not to! The vast differences between her and her opponent are stark and significant, and they start with experience.
Flood started her legal career as a prosecutor in the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office at a time when sexual harassment was prominently posted in job description. But she didn’t simply survive that old boys club, she flourished and thrived!
She quickly moved from those initial traffic and misdemeanor courtrooms to the more demanding abuse and neglect, delinquency, and felony varieties. That included handling serious child and felony sex abuse cases, and trust me, it takes a particularly grounded and composed individual to successfully prosecute child predators.
But here’s what’s so much more important. After those seven criminal courtroom years, Judge Flood moved to the KCSAO civil division where she spent another ten years DEFENDING county employees in State, Appellate and Federal courts.
And that experience is critical because prosecutors and judges who’ve never had to defend a “client” tend to lack the perspective that only comes from facing down the full weight of “The People.” They don’t know what it’s like to be the only one standing between their client and a team of prosecutors, a judge, and some potentially dire consequences.
Meanwhile, despite her best intentions, Flood’s opponent is a mediocre criminal attorney who most folks wouldn’t trust to judge a sixth-grade science fair, much less command a courtroom. But why take my word for it when her peer ratings say it all. You can review the Bar Association’s anonymous Judicial Advisory Poll ratings for yourself.
It’s clear why Elizabeth Flood is “recommended,” and her opponent is not. There’s a really good reason the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously appointed her to fill that departing circuit judge’s seat.
Judge Flood has earned those stellar ratings, too! She’s successfully presided over traffic and misdemeanor courtrooms, felony proceedings, and the family court for the last five of her eight years on the bench. And as often as this journalist has covered family courtrooms, I can tell you they are the most difficult proposition on the planet. Considering the absurdly adversarial nature of divorce hearings, it’s particularly difficult for any family court judge to compile those exceptional ratings.
One family attorney told me that “Judge Flood has been able to maintain that rare balance of consistently ruling on the facts with absolutely no personal bias. My favorite lawyer, Jeff Meyer, added, “Elizabeth Flood possesses that rare combination of courtroom comportment and competence. She’s reflective, even tempered, and she’s one of the few judges you can lose before and still feel good about it.”
High praise indeed!
But here’s the most fascinating thing! You all know that I generally loathe people – and particularly judges – because what’s there not to loathe? How does that old joke go? “What’s the difference between a judge and God? God doesn’t think He’s a judge! But in the time we’ve have been talking, I’ve come to genuinely like and respect Elizabeth Flood.
She’s beyond intelligent, quite perceptive, generally unflappable, and despite my repeated warnings for her not to be funnier than me, she possesses the kind of dry wit that can make me lose it and burst out laughing. In no way has wearing the black dress gone to her head, and that’s exactly the kind of person we need on the bench.
In summation, we, the voters, are too often faced with the lesser of two ballot box evils, but that certainly isn’t the case here. Elizabeth Flood is, by far, the best choice for 16th Circuit Judge and I would wholeheartedly encourage you to cast your ballot accordingly.