An Unqualified Candidate for Judge

I've urged you to vote for Democrats from the top of the ticket (JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton) to the bottom of the ballot, where you'll find our three candidates for Judge in the Thirteenth Judicial Subcircuit. One of those fine candidates is Judge Samuel J. Betar III. Judge Betar is running against Christine Svenson, who has been active in Republican politics for years. She's the lawyer who threatened to disclose allegations against State Treasurer Dan Rutherford. According to Rutherford, Svenson was acting on behalf of Bruce Rauner (who he was running against). Rutherford said that "Christine Svenson is an attorney making demands on behalf of the accuser and is directly linked to my opponent Bruce Rauner," Rutherford said. "Svenson demanded payment of $300,000 dollars for the employee to 'walk away and keep it under wraps.'"

More importantly, she's not a very good lawyer.

Christine Svenson was the lead attorney for the Plaintiff in McCann v. Dart,  2015 IL App (1st) 141291. The case involved a challenge to Cook County’s “sanctuary county” ordinance. (¶5.) Her co-counsel was Paul J. Orfanedes of Judicial Watch, Inc., a notorious right-wing Washington think tank. The circuit court dismissed the complaint (¶10), and the Plaintiff appealed. Here’s a link to the Appellate Court’s opinion:

The Appellate Court never reached the merits of the case, dismissing the case because Svenson's "brief is deficient and fails to comply with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 341" (¶1.) The brief filed by Svenson “consist[ed] of a scant eight pages.” (¶11.) The Court found "that plaintiff’s opening brief fails to conform with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 341(h).” (¶12.) "Plaintiff’s opening brief violates several Rule 341(h) requirements. First, . . . his opening brief does not contain any indication of what statutes or ordinances he may have invoked in the circuit court.” (¶13.) "Plaintiff’s brief also fails to comply with Rule 341(h)(6), which requires that the appellant include a “Statement of Facts[.]” (¶14.) 

"Here, plaintiff failed to establish any of the requirements for a grant of this extraordinary remedy [mandamus] in his opening brief. He does not once reference the federal immigration statutes and he does not cite any authority suggesting that the unnamed statutes require defendant to follow the directives within.” (¶¶15-16.)
(¶18.) "Here, plaintiff does not name his injury or a legally cognizable interest; he does not name the specific injury that plaintiff, as a citizen, suffered and he does not refer to the specific legal duty he is alleging the defendant failed to fulfill. Plaintiff never cites to his complaint for mandamus and he does not analyze why he has standing for the extraordinary relief he is requesting. The subject of plaintiff’s actual argument is completely and conspicuously missing from his opening brief. The appellate court is “not a depository in which the burden of argument and research may be dumped.” Holzrichter, 2013 IL App (1st) 110287, ¶ 80."

¶19. "Additionally, plaintiff’s reply brief highlights his complete failure to provide any reasoned argument about the facts of the present case in his opening brief. . . . Plaintiff did not argue the merits of his underlying claim in his opening brief and has, therefore, waived consideration of the merits on appeal."

(¶20.) "For the reasons outlined above, we find that plaintiff’s opening brief is completely deficient and fails to comply with Rule 341. Although we seldom enter an order dismissing an appeal for failure to comply with supreme court rules, our sound discretion permits us to do so. Holzrichter, 2013 IL App (1st) 110287, ¶ 77. Therefore, in our discretion, we strike plaintiff’s brief and dismiss the appeal."

That’s some bad lawyering. You don’t often see the Appellate Court slap down a lawyer like that. And she wants to be a judge?

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