Kevin G. Drendel was recently appointed to the KCBA Judicial Evaluation Committee. The KCBA (Kane County Bar Association), is the local bar association for Kane County and surrounding area, having a membership that includes attorneys in all of the counties surrounding Kane County, including Cook County. The Judicial Evaluation Committee was established by the KCBA in 1995. Gilbert X. Drendel, Jr. was the first chairman of the Committee, drafted the original procedural rules for the Committee and served on the Committee until 2005.
The Judicial Evaluation Committee reviews and interviews every candidate for appointed or elected judicial position in Kane County, and every judge who is up for a retention appointment or vote.
Every sitting judge in Kane County today was interviewed and qualified by the Judicial Evaluation Committee, and every new judge to be appointed or elected in the future will be interviewed and qualified by the Committee.
Because Judges are constrained by law from expressing opinions on matters that might possibly appear before and on topics on which they may possibly be called on to address, the public rarely gets a good opportunity to evaluate and form opinions on the judges.
The Judicial Evaluation Committee, comprised of a diverse group of practicing attorneys, is in the uniquely significant position of being able to vet the judicial candidates and rate them on the criteria that are most crucial for the key role that judges play in our society that is governed by the rule of law. those criteria include character, legal knowledge and ability, judicial temperament, diligence, professional experience, litigation experience, professional responsibility, integrity and freedom from bias. Each candidate for judge is rated either highly recommended, recommended or not presently recommended based on the evaluation of the Committee.
The Committee operates under a strict rule of confidentiality. After the background research and interviews of the judicial candidates, and discussion of the research, interviews and criteria for qualification, the Committee members vote on each judicial candidate by secret ballot.