The Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association has rated judicial candidates for contested elections in the courts of Wayne County for the 2012 election cycle. The Committee is comprised of 32 attorneys from the Detroit Metropolitan area and evaluates the fitness of each candidate for judicial office based upon the candidate’s legal ability (scholarship, analysis, judgment, clarity of expression), trial experience, integrity, honesty, judicial temperament, and reputation, without regard to party affiliation, race or creed. Ratings are given after review of the candidate’s completed questionnaire and/or an in-person interview conducted with an Interview Panel of the Committee. The ratings refer only to a candidate’s qualifications for the position of judge in the court that the candidate is seeking, and do not in any way refer to a candidate’s qualifications as a practicing attorney. The ratings reflect the collective opinion of the Committee and not the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association as a whole.
The ratings for individual candidates are set forth below. Additional information, including links to the written questionnaire responses provided by the judicial candidates to the JCEC, can be found clicking on a candidate's name.
The Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee has four categories of ratings: Outstanding, Well Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified or No Rating. Ratings were provided only in contested races.
The standards for ratings are as follows:
Outstanding: To be rated “Outstanding,” an individual must stand at the top of his or her profession. He or she must rank among the very best qualified judges or lawyers available for judicial service. This candidate must have outstanding legal ability and background, as well as wide experience, wisdom, intellect, insight, and impartiality. To be accorded the highest rating, a candidate should generally have the breadth of vision and outlook that derives from participation in civic, religious, charitable or political organizations of the community, and the work of the organized bar or other professional associations. In short, each should be a person whose preeminence in the law and as a citizen is widely acknowledged and whose qualifications are virtually hailed by judges and lawyers.
Well Qualified: To be rated “Well Qualified,” an individual must exhibit similar qualities indicated for the rating of “Outstanding.” A “Well Qualified” candidate may have less breadth of experience, but shows the promise of all the criteria above. Although this is a rating lower than “Outstanding,” it is nevertheless a high rating. A “Well Qualified” candidate may have less breadth of experience, but shows the promise of all the criteria above.
Qualified: To be rated “Qualified,” a candidate must exhibit a fitness for the judicial office he or she seeks. A candidate given this rating would be considered average on an overall analysis of the factors set forth above.
Not Qualified: To be rated “Not Qualified,” a candidate must be considered well below average on an overall analysis of the factors set forth above.
* A Not Qualified rating indicates that in the opinion of the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee a candidate is not qualified at the present time for the judicial office which he or she seeks, but the rating should in no way be construed as an adverse reflection on the candidate’s qualification as a practicing attorney.
No rating: If a candidate does not submit a questionnaire or attend an interview and there is insufficient information available to the Committee on the candidate’s fitness for the judicial office which s/he seeks, then the Committee does not rate the candidate. However, if there is sufficient information available to the Committee on the Candidate’s fitness for the judicial office which s/he seeks, the Committee may rate such candidate, even in absence of a questionnaire or an interview.