Hon. Kathy M. Flanagan See Rating Details
Circuit Judge
Circuit Court
Cook County
Cook Judicial Circuit
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Attorney Average Rating:   5.5 - 21 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. Kathy M. Flanagan


Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4541
All the comments about her nasty, imperious temperament are spot on. Her goal is obviously not to shepherd cases through efficiently but, rather, to look for or create unfounded reasons to belittle virtually every attorney that steps in front of her. She is indeed a stain on the judiciary. Her nastiness must spring from a deep-seated inferiority complex.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4533
She is ill-suited for the bench, but especially so for the Room 2005 call. For all its talk about the importance of civility in the legal profession, the Illinois Supreme Court permits this petty tyrant to terrorize the lawyers in the room on a daily basis. And all to what end? Day in, day out I watch her abuse everyone and marvel that she never seems to tire of it. Whom does she think she is serving with this schtick?

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4523
Judge Flanagan puts litigants and attorneys down in court. She is offensive, petty, and just plain rude to the attorneys (many of which are simply tying to make a living to support themselves and their families, and try to do a good job for their clients in the process). She is demeaning, angry, and impatient. She will also put attorneys down in court in front of others, often making rude off-handed remarks. She has no experience in or understanding of the medical malpractice world and often takes over the case management of these cases from the already assigned (and very well qualified) motion call judge assigned to the case. She will override other judges orders without second thought. She does not care about the mental health of attorneys or the stress load she is putting on them by forcing them to have 2(+) trials a month EVERY month. She is disliked by many of her peers and many of the motion call judges have even expressed their recent frustration with her dictator-like style as presiding judge. She is a stain on the judicial system and her lack of empathy or respect from others is deeply concerning.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4519
She has created such a toxic and unhealthy environment that the entire Law Division is ready to have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Her general assumption is that all lawyers are lazy liars and have only one case. It’s clear that it’s been decades since she practiced and questionable if she ever did it well. She is generally an angry, aggressive, petty, individual and she makes personal attacks on litigants in open court. Her temperament is unsuitable for the role. In fact, it’s unsuitable for any type of civilized human interaction.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4506
She is a tyrant, who was a real lawyer for about 5 minutes, and cannot comprehend the stresses and complexities of the job. She is the antithesis of justice. It is an embarrassment and anti-democratic that she is the presiding judge of the prestigious law division.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4479
Focused and detailed; very clear in her expectations.
Do what she says and you are fine, which is mostly to keep to the schedule she provides.
She is tough on litigators who are used to talking their way out of their mistakes, delays, failures to take a deposition for over a year, etc.
She is not there to make friends or make you look good.
But I think she is consistent in how she treats everyone.
Come prepared. Come on time. Show respect to the other side.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4368
She is so offensively disrespectful to the litigants that it is counter-productive. She is immediately angry and condescending no matter the situation. She behaves as if everyone is trying to deceive her.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4354
Inconsistent in her rulings, obnoxious, and outright ignorant. People like this who delight in talking down to grown adults and in exerting the tiny bit of power she has are pathetic, and screams of insecurity. She has become more rude and off on rulings in last few years. She should retire and stop embarrassing self and the profession. Consistently proves she is not as smart as she thinks she is and coupled with her terrible judicial temperament explains why she'll never make the appellate court nor will she be greatly missed from Daley center.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL4282
Judge F is unreasonable, prickly, childish, parochial, wholly lacking in appropriate judicial temperament and, most of all, vindictive. She actively seeks to chastise, embarrass and humiliate attorneys. It’s why she has topped-out in the Law Division, and has never advanced higher. Nor should she. She’s toxic. When I think if her exact opposite, I think of Illinois Supreme Court Justice McMorrow, the epitome of dignity, temperament and grace.


Comment #: IL4094
Please call me at 773-220-9807.

Thank you; stay safe!


Civil Litigation - Govt.

Comment #: IL3763
Inexplicably abusive, disrespectful, impatient, curt, and presumptuous - embarrassingly so. Seems to conflate these traits with competence, which is too bad because she might be the hardest working judge on 22.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL2129
Temperament is an issue, though I always was treated fairly. Do not try to BS her! No other motion judge can equal her substantive and procedural knowledge and she has a huge docket to manage.


Comment #: IL1807
I was impressed by her ethics. She's not afraid to speak up when other judges aren't doing their job, and then take action to make it right. Integrity is important to her, and it shows.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL806
Judge Flanagan is a bright, hardworking and fair-minded judge. Unfortunately, her temperament is so bad that it often gets in the way of her legal ability. She appears to be constantly overburdened with respect to her caseload, and is always rushed, and rarely gives the parties the courtesy of a reasonable discussion of the issues.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL461
Unnecessarily mean and rude, almost exactly like Judge Judy. Undoubtedly intelligent and knowledgeable but too focused on letting people know she's smart and in control. Has little patient to hear both side and THEN make a judgment. Sometimes is too focused on moving cases and unwilling to truly hear issues. If she dropped the attitude and calmed down she has great potential. Thumbs up for being unafraid to grant MSJs but her sanctions can be unreasonable.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: IL445
I gave her a "2" on temperament only because I've never seen her use foul language or throw things at people. Otherwise, she's a pretty mean person. But having said that, she knows the law as well as anyone and will move her docket forward, come hell or high water. Interestingly, if you get into a dispute at 3:35 in the afternoon and have to call the courthouse, they will typically direct your call to her for resolution, since she's usually the only one there by that hour of the day. She almost always makes the correct decision during those calls. Notwithstanding the nastiness, she's one of the better judges.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL109
Can be downright mean and berating in open court. I have seen her pick sides based only on allegations and, perhaps, news reports. Very strong legal mind but might let personal judgments sway her rulings.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL94
Were it not for her contemptuous treatment of attorneys, she would be the best motion judge presently in the court and one of the best three judges I have seen in thirty years.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL89
Temper, yes. But she runs her courtroom with supreme efficiency and you almost always get a written ruling - plus, she is one of the few who is not afraid to grant a MSJ. Do your job and you will never run afoul of her good side.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: IL78
Except for her extreme impatience and rudeness she would be a superb judge.