Update: A correction was made to clarify that Theresa M. Smith currently works in the City of Chicago's Law Department.


Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans Tuesday announced the court nominating committee’s 30 finalists for 15 associate judge seats.

They are:

  • Amee E. Alonso, sole practitioner;
  • Marina E. Ammendola, Cook County circuit judge;
  • Frank J. Andreou, principal at Andreou & Casson Ltd.;
  • Laura Ayala-Gonzalez, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Fredrick H. Bates, Cook County circuit judge;
  • Aileen Bhandari, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Lloyd J. Brooks, Cook County circuit judge;
  • Jennifer F. Coleman, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • John A. Fairman II, owner at Lee & Fairman LLP in Homewood;
  • Michael A. Forti, Cook County circuit judge;
  • John S. Fotopoulos, owner at Fotopoulos Law Office in Orland Park;
  • Ruth I. Gudino, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Michael J. Hogan Jr., Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Edward J. Maloney, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Celestia L. Mays, owner of Celestia Mays P.C.;
  • Katherine A. O’Dell, partner at Amari & Locallo;
  • Monique L. Patterson, Cook County assistant public defender;
  • Jennifer Joyce Payne, chief litigation officer and director of the children and families practice group at Legal Aid Chicago;
  • Diane M. Pezanoski, deputy corporation counsel, city of Chicago Law Department;
  • Paul W. Plotnick, owner at Paul W. Plotnick, Attorney at Law in Skokie;
  • Leo S. Rakowski, partner at K & R Family Legal Services LLP in Northbrook;
  • Geri Pinzur Rosenberg, chief attorney at Chicago Transit Authority;
  • Curtis Bennett Ross, sole practitioner at Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross LLC;
  • Eric Michael Sauceda, Cook County assistant state’s attorney;
  • Rouhy J. Shalabi, partner at Shalabi and Associates in Oak Lawn;
  • John A. Simon, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP;
  • Levander Smith Jr., litigation attorney at the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services;
  • Theresa M. Smith, City of Chicago Law Department;
  • Daniel O. Tiernan, Cook County circuit judge;
  • Tyria B. Walton, Cook County circuit judge.

Under Illinois Supreme Court rules, sitting Cook County circuit judges will receive ballots from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, then have 14 days to return them. The confidential ballot allows for the selection of 15 finalists’ names.

The court’s nominating committee interviewed 194 applicants, however, one withdrew after being interviewed, leaving 193 applicants, according to a statement issued by the chief judge’s office.

Evans also announced three receptions next week to meet the finalists. They are:

  • Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Daley Center jury assembly room on the 17th floor;
  • Nov. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Leighton Criminal Court Building’s jury assembly room on the third floor;
  • Nov. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the second-floor atrium of the Cook County Juvenile Center, 1100 S. Hamilton Ave.