Longtime readers of this site may remember attorney Judy Cates of Swansea, Ill., who filed and later settled a defamation lawsuit against St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan over a humorous and disrespectful column McClellan had written regarding a controversial class-action settlement Cates and other lawyers had reached with magazine sweepstakes firm Publishers Clearing House (Nov. 4 and Nov. 30, 1999; Feb. 29, 2000; for other watch-what-you-say-about-lawyers cases from Madison County and thereabouts, see Dec. 23, 2004). More recently, Ms. Cates served as elected president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (Jul. 3, 2006). And now she’s thrown her hat into the ring for a seat on the state Fifth District Appellate Court, which sprawls over 37 counties. She’ll mount a challenge in the February Democratic primary to Jim Wexstten, who was appointed this year to fill a vacancy on the court and who is regarded as a moderate-to-conservative Democrat. The Post-Dispatch’s coverage forgivingly (or perhaps prudently) does not mention her having sued the paper’s columnist (Adam Jadhav, “Swansea lawyer to challenge appointee for judgeship”, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aug. 25; Nicholas J.C. Pistor, “Lawyer’s entry heats up race for appellate court”, Aug. 28; “Not recommended” (editorial), Madison County Record, Aug. 18).