Jameika Mangum and Leonard Murray are vying for the same seat on Cook County Circuit Court, both hoping to win the Democratic primary contest in the Fifth Judicial District on Chicago’s South Side.
That is not all they have had in common. Mangum displays on her website a distinctive red and blue logo on a white background, complete with five stars. Murray launched a website more recently with a strikingly similar red and blue logo on a white background, complete with five stars.
— Mangum For Judge (@MangumForJudge) March 8, 2016
Attorney Tom Leavens, who works with trademark issues at Leavens, Strand & Glover, LLC, said after looking at the two logos side by side that unless the candidates had gone to the same source for the logo, something did not look right.
“The test for [trademark] infringement is confusion,” Leavens said. “It’s inevitable here.”
Mangum said she was caught by surprise when she went and checked her opponent’s website, to see if it had been launched, and was struck by the similarity to the image she has used for t-shirts, business cards and signs. She said she was concerned voters who have seen her logo on the street in the past might confuse the two candidates.
We called Murray, who is currently an Associate Judge, to ask about the striking resemblance. “I’m not aware of the similarity,” Murray said. “Certainly that was not the intent.”
Mangum told us she had hired an on-line site, Fiverr, in 2015 to design her logo.
Murray said his website was created by his webmaster, whom he declined to name, in December.
Fiverr did not respond to a request from Injustice Watch.
But Murray said that while he did not see the matter as an issue, he would look into it. He called back later to say the similarity was “just coincidence,” adding, “it’s just something that was available.” He said last evening that he would modify his website; as of Thursday morning, with five days left before the election, the website remained unchanged.
Murray, who has been an associate judge for the past eight years, was found “qualified” for a judicial post this year by both the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Council of Lawyers, and has received the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune. As an attorney, Murray offered help to many poor clients on a pro-bono basis. But he received a rare discipline from the state Supreme Court – suspended for three months, followed by a year of probation — after he failed to take actions on behalf of seven different clients over several years, while keeping each in the dark about their cases.
Mangum was found “not recommended” by both prominent bar groups after she failed to participate in their evaluation processes. She told Injustice Watch that because the associations expect candidates to have had active practices for 10 years of experience, she knew she would not win their support. While she has been out of law school since 2003, Mangum said, she took time off after the birth of her first child, leaving her short of the required experience.
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