The Chicago Council of Lawyers Evaluation Report:

Pamela E. Loza – Qualified

Pamela E. Loza has been a lawyer since 1977. She is currently a sole practitioner specializing in family and criminal defense law. From 1984 to 2003, she handled similar cases as a lawyer in the firm of Cameron, Loza & Associates. From 1978 to 1981, she did appellate work as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney. Lawyers report that she has good legal ability and that she is a zealous, but fair advocate for her clients. She has substantial litigation experience. The Council finds her Qualified for the Circuit Court.

Laura J. Morask – Not Qualified

Laura Morask is running to fill a judicial vacancy in the 12th Subcircuit. For the February 2008 primary, she refused to cooperate with any of the ten bar associations comprising the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening. As a result, she was found either Not Recommended or Not Qualified by all of these bar groups. The Chicago Council of Lawyers followed its policy of finding Not Recommended any judicial candidate who refuses to submit materials to the Council for evaluation. However, upon further analysis, it is clear why Ms. Morask refused to be evaluated by the Council – a bar group which has been evaluating judges since 1970. For the past nine years, she has been cited numerous times by both the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court for prosecutorial misconduct. As a career Cook County prosecutor, Ms. Morask has the job of upholding justice – convicting guilty defendants while upholding the ethical framework of the criminal justice system. Based on court opinions she has done the former but has ignored the latter. In 1999, the Illinois Appellate Court found that Ms. Morask "acted contrary to the spirit of discovery rules and that her conduct "troubled" the court." In 2000, the Illinois Appellate Court reversed a murder conviction and remanded for a new trial due to Ms. Morask's "pervasive misconduct" in rebuttal argument. The Illinois Supreme Court rebuked her performance in a 2001 decision. In 2002, the Illinois Appellate Court found that she engaged in "intentional and systematic misconduct" that "called into question the State's commitment to fair and just enforcement of the law." In 2003, the Illinois Appellate Court concluded that Ms. Morask misstated the law, but that her misconduct did not affect the outcome of the case. In 2004 an Illinois Appellate justice described Ms. Morask’s courtroom statements as "uncivil and overly sarcastic, if not downright boorish" and had "no place in a trial." In 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court in an unpublished decision found that Ms. Morask's closing argument mischaracterized the evidence to the jury. The Council believes that Ms. Morask’s history demonstrates that she cannot be impartial as a judge and we change our finding to Not Qualified.