2010 District & Municipal Court Evaluations Underway
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KCBA Quadrennial Evaluation Survey
of District & Municipal Court Judges
May, 2010

Dear KCBA Member,

Since 1972, the King County Bar Association has conducted surveys of attorneys’ evaluations of the performance of judges, magistrates and commissioners to enhance judicial performance and inform the public and voters about the local judiciary. The evaluations are designed to educate the public about the many qualities that make a person a good judge, to assist citizens in casting more well-informed ballots in judicial elections, and to help judges become better jurists by providing feedback about their performance from attorneys who have appeared in their court. KCBA hopes that each attorney will take the few minutes that is needed to complete the survey for a judge. Your feedback is essential for providing information to voters regarding those serving on our bench.

These surveys have alternated between one of the King County Superior Court and one of district and municipal courts in King County, every four years. This year our focus is on district and municipal courts. The manner in which the survey is conducted has evolved over the years. As with the 2007 survey of King County Superior Court judges, for the 2010 survey of district and municipal courts, individual attorneys that court records show as having appeared before a particular judge are being sent an email asking them to participate in the survey. The email contains a link to a web-based survey questionnaire for the attorney to evaluate that particular judge. An attorney who has appeared before multiple judges will receive a separate e-mail providing them with a questionnaire to evaluate each individual judge. An attorney who appears before the same judge more than once will only receive one survey email, and will thus evaluate that judge only once.

Each electronic survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Your participation in the evaluation is completely voluntary. If you choose to participate your responses to the survey rating questions will remain confidential and cannot be attributed to you in any manner. Note thought that you also will have the opportunity to provide comments about the judge's performance. These comments will be made available to the judge. You thus should not identify yourself in your comments, nor provide any other information you do not wish to provide to the judge.

The evaluation is being conducted in collaboration with Washington State University. Surveys are being processed through a secure web server, then delivered directly to WSU researchers. Your responses will be anonymous and will not be linked to your email or IP address in any way.

If you appeared before a King County District Court or a municipal court within King County during 2008 and 2009, but do not receive by May 25 a survey e-mail about the judge you appeared before, please send an email to brody@wsu.edu stating your name, WSBA number, and the judge, date, and cause number of your appearance. Your appearance will be verified and you will be sent an email providing you with the survey questionnaire.

All survey responses must be submitted by Monday, May 28 to be included in our final results.

Thank you in advance for participating in this important project.



Michael E. Ricketts
Chair, KCBA Judicial Evaluation Committee

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