Finalists selected for associate judge position

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

The pool of candidates seeking an associate judge position in the 16th Judicial Circuit has been narrowed to two attorneys. Circuit judges selected Christine Downs and Rene Cruz out of a field of 36 candidates, according to a news release.

The candidates seek to replace Judge Robert Janes, who retired Oct. 1. Both candidates have practiced law for 17 years.

Cruz started his law career as an associate with the offices of Morelli, Cook & Peterson in Aurora. He also served as an associate in the Law Firm of Barbosa and Gil.

In 1996, he moved to the office of Eduardo Gil and Associates and was named a partner in the law firm in 2000. Cruz received his bachelor’s degree from Citidel Military College of South Carolina in Charles, S.C. In 1997, he received a law degree from Northern Illinois University’s School of Law.

Downs began her career as a Kane County assistant state’s attorney, where she worked in civil and criminal courts.

She left the state’s attorney’s office in 2010 to become an associate with the office of Collison and O’Connor of Chicago, where she focused on civil litigation. She currently litigates workers compensation cases with the firm.

Downs earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, and in 1997 received her law degree from Loyola University School of Law.

When circuit judges return their final ballots, they will be sent to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts in Springfield to be tallied. The chief judge will then be notified of the results.