Click here for the ACS report, Justice at Risk.
Remember to join us in Room 570 at noon on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, for lunch and discussion on the troubling influence of money in state judicial elections. Our chapter’s attention to this issue was spurred by a recent ACS report, Justice at Risk. Make sure to check out the report and continue the discussion in your own circles and through our social media channels: Twitter (@ACSChicagoKent) and Facebook.
David Melton, the Executive Director at the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, is a cheesehead and a recovering lawyer, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an undergraduate degree in history and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an active participant in the law school’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. He spent his initial ten years in practice focusing mainly on commercial litigation, before shifting his focus to intellectual property litigation (consisting mainly of patent cases) for the last twenty years of his career, which he spent practicing with large law firms in Chicago. He largely retired from the active practice of law in 2009 but he remains active in bar association and law reform efforts in the intellectual property, civil liberties and election law areas.
Throughout his career David has also been active in a variety of law reform efforts and related litigation. In 1981 he participated in litigation challenging Illinois litigation that first authorized multi-bank holding companies in Illinois. (They lost.) In 1988 and 1989 he represented David Orr in litigation aimed at requiring Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer to hold a special mayoral election in Chicago in 1989. (They won.) Between 1994 and 1996 he represented Cook County Clerk David Orr in litigation in cooperation with the League and others to force the State of Illinois to comply with provisions of the National “Motor-Voter” legislation. (They won twice and five lawyers, including David and a young Barack Obama received an award for their efforts.) Between 1996 and the present, David has actively participated in evaluating judicial candidates in contested and retention elections, while holding various positions with the Chicago Council of Lawyers, including President of that organization from 2001 to 2003. Earlier this year, he participated as amicus counsel in a federal lawsuit defending the constitutionality of the Illinois campaign finance limits on behalf of three law reform organizations. (They won again.) David is also an active member of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (which focuses on campaign finance and other issues in Illinois) and the Chicago Council of Lawyer’s Civil Liberties Committee.
David is a resident of Evanston where he lives with his wife Nancy and they raised their two children. For the past 30 years he has also played basketball in a weekly pick-up game, primarily for the amusement of his friends.
Nick Daggers is a Vice President at Campaign Finance Officers, LLC. He has worked on campaigns throughout the Midwest and helped raise millions of dollars for Democratic candidates. After starting his career as a field organizer in Iowa for Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign, Nick returned to Illinois to start raising money for Debbie Halvorson’s successful campaign for Congress in 2008. In 2010 he was the Finance Director for Congressman Bill Foster whose campaign raised over $3.8 million, the most of any Democratic incumbent in Illinois that year.
Now in his second year with CFO he served numerous campaigns including; two aldermanic campaigns in Chicago, four congressional campaigns, and three sitting Illinois State Senators. He has worked with those clients to reach their fundraising goals and has also assisted in numerous other capacities including general consulting, budgeting, and establishing long term campaign plans.
Nick holds a degree in Politics & Government and History from Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois. His campaign experience and knowledge of political fundraising make him an ideal member of your next campaign team.
He lives in the Chicagoland suburbs with his wife Christina.
Elizabeth Monkus leads the research team for the Judicial Performance Commission and generally focuses on judicial reform projects at Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor at the American Criminal Law Review and a member of the Federal Legislation Clinic. Prior to joining Chicago Appleseed, she worked both as a criminal defense attorney in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil litigation. Elizabeth has been an adjunct professor of Constitutional Law at Governors State University and a writing advisor at The John Marshall Law School Writing Resource Center.