A new survey of attorneys by the King County Bar Association gives positive evaluations to the vast majority of judges serving on King County Superior Court. Results show that 78% of the judges received evaluations of "very good" or "excellent" on every surveyed criterion by attorneys who appeared before them.
"A well-respected judiciary ensures that all citizens can count on a fair and just decision when they appear in court," said Joseph E. Bringman, KCBA President. "The survey results confirm our perception that, as a general rule, the judges of Superior Court are serving our community very well."
The Superior Court Judicial Evaluation Survey, first conducted in 1948 and now published every four years by the King County Bar Association, summarizes practicing attorneys’ subjective assessments of the judges who heard and decided their clients' cases during 2010 and 2011. The survey was conducted during February and March 2012, and includes over 4,274 evaluations. Respondents included government prosecutors, public defenders, and members of the private bar, with 75% of all respondents being very skilled members of the bar with 10 or more years of experience. Thirty-eight percent of respondents appeared before the judge they reviewed 4 or more times, allowing for multiple observations of the judge's performance.
KCBA's survey focused upon behavior-based measures for all King County Superior Court judges. Criteria included legal decision-making such as applying rules of evidence; demeanor and temperament; administrative skills such as maintaining order in the courtroom; and integrity and impartiality. The bar association's survey was conducted under the supervision of Professor David Brody of Washington State University. Professor Brody is a nationally recognized expert on judicial performance.
A summary of the KCBA survey findings is available at www.kcba.org/judicialsurvey. Detailed individual reports on each judge will be available in May.
Founded in 1886, KCBA is the largest voluntary bar association in the state of Washington, representing over 14,000 attorneys in King County including attorneys, judges, and law professors. Its mission is to support its diverse membership by promoting a just, collegial, and accessible legal system and profession; to work with the judiciary to achieve excellence in the administration of justice; and to serve the local community through organized pro bono legal services.