Appellate judge candidates on ballot

There are two judicial candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot for one seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court due to a vacancy created when David K. Overstreet, a Republican, succeeded retiring Justice Lloyd Karmeier on the Illinois Supreme Court.

The candidates vying for the appeals court judgeship are Brian L. Roberts of DeSoto, a Democrat, and Mike McHaney of Marion County, a Republican.

The Fifth District Appellate Court is comprised of Alexander, Bond, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Macon, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Moultrie, Perry, Piatt, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Shelby, St. Clair, Union, Vermillion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson counties. 

Roberts has practiced law in the Carbondale area since 1997, representing clients in DUI, criminal, divorce and personal injury cases.

Per an Illinois State Bar Association, Roberts is listed as “not recommended” in a judicial evaluation because he “untimely submitted his materials so that an investigation could not be completed,” per the ISBA.

An ISBA judicial advisory poll rated Roberts as “not recommended,” with 138 lawyers responding to rate him at 51.56 percent for meeting requirements of office, 61.90 percent for integrity, 62.60 percent for impartiality, 66.67 percent for legal ability, 69.29 percent for temperament, 58.47 percent for court management, 58.97 percent for health and 77.31 percent sensitivity. 

McHaney, who has served as Fourth District Circuit Court judge since 2010, previously served as associate judge in that circuit from 2006-2010, Marion County public defender from 1998-2006 and was a trial attorney from 1982-1998.

McHaney is also listed as “not recommended” in the ISBA’s judicial evaluation, although the committee did not provide a narrative on its evaluation.

McHaney is also “not recommended” in the judicial advisory poll, with 210 lawyers rating him at 44.44 for meeting requirement of office, 59.07 percent for integrity, 61.88 percent for impartiality, 68.37 percent for legal ability, 41.71 percent for temperament, 74.74 percent for court management, 76.47 percent for health and 55.26 percent for sensitivity.

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