Judge since: 2006
Before her election as a judge, Flannigan was an attorney for several law firms in Chicago and Tokyo, where she specialized in professional liability law, insurance law, and commercial and securities litigation. She also had a career as a registered nurse prior to becoming an attorney in 1988.
Bar Association ratings
This year: Both the CBA and the CCL rated Flannigan as qualified. The ISBA recommended her for retention. The CCL said “she is described as having good legal ability with rulings that are well reasoned and clearly stated. She is praised for her grasp of the law, for her ability to control the courtroom, and for her temperament.”
Past: During the 2012 retention races, Flannigan was rated positively by all three major bar groups. While the CCL noted that Flannigan was “performing adequately,” they also reported that some lawyers said she was not always well-prepared, and others said she could be insensitive when questioning domestic violence victims.
Notable: Flannigan has twice unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Illinois Appellate Court. Her husband, Thomas W. Flannigan, has unsuccessfully ran for seats on both the Cook County Circuit Court and the Illinois Supreme Court—three times as a Democrat, and once as a Republican. Both Flannigans have publicly stressed they do not take donations for their judicial campaigns. Unlike other judges running for retention, Flannigan does not appear on the Committee for Retention of Judges in Cook County’s website.