Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee (JCEC)

Upcoming Dates

June 7 (5 p.m.) – Questionnaire and Interview Sign Up Deadline
June 10, 11 , 12  – Judicial Candidate Interviews
June 18 – Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee Deliberations

Candidate Interviews and Scheduling

Every two years, the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee (JCEC) of the Detroit Bar Association (DBA) evaluates candidates for election to judicial office by the electorate in the Wayne County and the City of Detroit Courts.

For those who have filed for re-election or election for a judicial seat, kindly be advised that you are being invited to participate in the JCEC evaluation process. Find links below to a questionnaire and scheduler to sign up for an interview. The interviews will be conducted over zoom.

Please sign up for an interview and return the completed questionnaire along with any supplemental information to Tracey Cooley at tcooley@detroitlawyer.org no later than by 5:00pm on Friday, June 7, 2024.

For questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Co-Chairs: Donn Fresard and David Winter; or the Executive Director, Tracey Cooley.



JCEC Committee Participation

Download the JCEC Bylaws
Join the JCEC – Membership Agreement

The Detroit Bar Association is pleased to announce its 2024 Evaluation Process for Judicial Candidates.  We have a long-standing custom of providing this important service. The media and voters look forward to our review, and it is a civic function of the highest calling.

All deliberations are confidential, with judicial ratings announced to the public at the end of the evaluation process. If you are interested in serving on this year’s Committee, please do the following:

  1. Review the JCEC Bylaws; and review and agree to the JCEC membership agreement. Please note that you must be a member of the Detroit Bar Association to be eligible. If you are not currently a member, you may go to https://www.detroitlawyer.org/join/ to join. A signed JCEC membership agreement must be submitted by May 3, 2024. Once officially appointed to the Committee, you will receive a sign-up document to indicate what time slots you are available during the 3 days of interviews.  Judges and Judicial Candidates cannot serve on this Committee.
  2. We plan to conduct interviews on June 3, 4 and 5 via Zoom. There will be a final in-person (or remote) meeting with all Committee Members on June 18th or 19th at 4:00 p.m. to make final candidate recommendations.
  3. Please plan to participate in a training conference call May 22, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. Call-in details will follow. The purpose of this call will be to review the interview process and answer any questions you may have about Committee service. Panel assignments will be circulated no later than May 22, 2024.

Please note the dates may be subject to change.

Nobody knows more what qualifications a Judge needs to adequately perform their duties than their fellow lawyers.  It is up to us to do this.  If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Tracey Cooley at tcooley@detroitlawyer.org.

Donn Fresard, Committee Co-Chair  |  David Winter, Committee Co-Chair



The Detroit Bar Association is conducts a biennial evaluation of judicial candidates. All deliberations are confidential, with judicial ratings announced to the public at the end of the evaluation process. Judicial ratings are:

  • Outstanding: To be rated “outstanding,” an individual must stand at the top of his/her profession; and must rank among the very best qualified judges or lawyers available for judicial service. S/he must have outstanding legal ability and background, and wide experience, wisdom, intellect, insight, and impartiality. To be accorded this highest rating, a candidate should generally also have the breadth of vision and outlook which derives from participation in the civic, charitable, religious or political activities of the community and the work of the organized bar of other professional organizations. In short, s/he should be a person whose preeminence in the law and as a citizen is widely acknowledged and whose qualifications for the position are virtually unanimously hailed by judges and lawyers.
  • Well Qualified: To be rated “well qualified,” a candidate must exhibit essentially those qualities indicated for the rating of “outstanding.” Although this is a rating which is 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 which s/he seeks. A candidate given this rating would be considered average on an overall analysis of the factors set forth in (a) 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 in (a) above. The “not qualified” rating indicates that a candidate is not qualified 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 qualifications as an attorney.
  • No rating, Did Not Participate: If a candidate does not submit a questionnaire or attend an interview and the Association Secretary certifies, in writing, to the Committee that written notice was provided to the candidate, then the Committee may issue a “No Rating; Did Not Participate”. 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.