2020 Judicial Officer Survey by Attorneys
for Superior Court
Appendix A--Committee Members
Appendix B--Sample Blank Survey
Appendix C--Individual Detailed Reports (244 pages)
For Immediate Release
January 6, 2020
KING COUNTY LAWYERS PUBLISH SURVEY ON JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE
SEATTLE -- The King County Bar Association released a report today of its once-every-four-year attorney survey of judges and commissioners serving in King County Superior Court. Attorneys found no decline in the overall quality of judicial performance during the four year survey period, despite a 40% turnover of judicial positions in that same time..
"A major focus of the King County Bar Association is on the administration of justice," Jennifer J. Payseno, KCBA President noted. "A high quality judiciary is a key aspect of that system, and with today's survey results KCBA can confirm that average scores overall for judges remain "very good" for our local bench."
The report provides survey results for 61 judicial officers on four judicial criteria: legal decision making; integrity and impartiality; demeanor, temperament, and communication; and administrative skills. It is published to provide the public with information about the performance of individual judicial officers, and to provide feedback to the judges so they can improve their performance. The survey results are not designed to compare the performance of one judge against another. A complete copy of the KCBA survey findings is available at www.kcba.org/judicialsurvey.
KCBA has evaluated and rated judicial performance since 1948 through surveys, ratings, and candidate forums. The evaluation survey is overseen by a KCBA committee of private attorneys, government prosecutors, public defenders, and retired judges, which reviews the findings before publication of the report. The survey represents the subjective assessments by practicing attorneys of the judges who heard and decided their clients' cases.
Conducted from October 8, 2019 to October 31, 2019, the survey was sent to over 8,300 attorneys who, based on court records, appeared in Superior Court over the past four years. 1,518 surveys were completed. Over 73% of all respondents have 10 or more years of experience, and 73% of respondents appeared more than one time before the judge they reviewed, allowing for multiple observations by very experienced lawyers of the judge's work.
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 promote and support a diverse and collegial membership; work with the judiciary to achieve excellence, equity, and accessibility in the administration of justice; and benefit the community through public service and engagement in public policy.