Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee (JCEC)

2018 Judicial Candidate Ratings

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The Detroit Bar Association is pleased to announce its 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.

The rating given to each candidate or the fact or no rating shall be made public by the Committee.

We plan to conduct interviews on May 14, May 15, and May 23rd at SMART Detroit, 13th Floor, Penobscot Building. If you have any questions about this initiative please contact Darlene Trudell at dtrudell@detroitlawyer.org.

Donn Fresard
Committee Chair