Hon. Nancy S. Waites See Rating Details
Associate Judge
Circuit Court
Lake County
Ninteenth Judicial Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 2 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   1.0 - 1 rating(s)
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Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.

General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)

Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)

Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)

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What others have said about Hon. Nancy S. Waites


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL1499
My exposure to probate judges is minimal but I have been exposed to more judges than most lawyers because my practice involves mostly foreclosures which require lots of court appearances and even foreclosure judges are smarter than Nancy Waites, and that doesn't say much. She is severely lacking in intelligence and tries to compensate by being condescending. She's also easy to play once you get to know her as all you have to do is pretend to be nice to her and let her play queen. I've learned more about probate in one case than she seems to know as a sitting judge for a few years now in this area. Really an embarrassment to the judiciary and Lake County.


Comment #: IL1473
I agree completely with the evaluation of the civil litigator. Nancy Waites should not be appointed a probate judge. She delegates the duties to other lawyers, allowing lawyers to create their own orders in court. She is not impartial and favors someone, especially another attorney who can help her career. She's too lazy to investigate anything on her own. She doesn't do any fact-checking into the estate's assets. She doesn't care if a lot of money isn't accounted for. .

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL1257
Our firm regularly practices in front of Nancy Waites and she is widely considered the worse judge to ever sit in probate in Lake County by nearly all the probate bar. She seems to not grasp the most fundamental concept inherent in probate, which is different from all other areas of the law, in that the judge is supposed to act in and toward the best interest of those that essentially cannot speak for themselves. Probate primarly covers estates and guardianships, with a few other collateral areas. In estates, the decedent is dead and cannot act or speak for his/herself. Similarly in guardianship you typically have someone impaired to such degree that they too cannot effectively act or speak for themselves. That is why a special area of the law was carved out where a judge was allowed to sit on a special court, in probate, and to advocate and always act in the best interests for those that cannot act or speak for themselves. That is different from every other type of judicial seat where the judge is neutral with respect to those before the bench and does not advocate, but merely decides issues in balance.

Waites does not seem to understand that it is her role as a judge sitting on a special court, in probate, to advocate and represent the best interests of those that cannot represent themselves. While in guardianship issues she does slightly advocate on behalf of those in need of guardianship, rather than just sit back and decide things neutrally and do what the lawyers tell her to do, in estates she simply does the opposite. She seems to think that a judge in probate can sit back and pretend that cases before the bench are to be presented and filtered through attorneys, and that she can just "decide" things without actively taking a role as a probate judge. She goes so far as to even attack petitioner-side attorneys and administrators, completely abandoning the notion that it is SHE who is primarily responsible to gathering estate assets and that in that role she must be diligent and relentless against third parties and heirs who would seek to cover up their theft of a decedent's money and assets. That is precisely why a probate judge is allowed to appoint an guardian at litem or a special administrator, because they are supposed to ASSIST in carrying out the role of a judge sitting in probate to serve those that can't act or speak for themselves but appointing one does not mean the judge can then sit back and be a neutral and watch with a gavel and a balance. The probate judge's role is clear and is one more of advocate on behalf of a ward or decedent. It is also precisely why a judge was traditionally the one who conducted the examination of a respondents in court. Only lazy judges sitting in probate hand the responsibility and role they are charged with off to attorneys and abandon their own primary responsibility. Those judges should be removed and have no place in probate.

Waites either doesn't get any of that, or doesn't care. Either way, she needs to be removed because the bad results that come out of her court room all originate from her failure to do her job and I can't think of another job on the planet where, when you don't do it, you get to keep your job and keep the money you (haven't) earned.