Click here for 2020 Superior Court Survey Results
Click here for prior year surveys
2020 Judicial Officer Survey by Attorneys
for King County Superior Court
The King County Bar Association has released its once-every-four-year attorney survey of judges and commissioners serving in King County Superior Court. According to the report, 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 2019-2020 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 (available via the link at the top of this webpage) 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.
The King County Bar Association has conducted surveys and evaluations of judicial officers since 1948. These survey results are a summary of practicing attorneys’ personal assessments of the judges who hear and decide their cases. The survey provides information to the public prior to judicial elections by presenting assessments of each judge so that voters can make informed decisions by taking into account the collective assessments of those lawyers who practice in front of these judicial officers. It also provides important information to the public, the Bar, and the Bench on performance of the local judicial branch as a whole. Every two years this survey is conducted of attorneys practicing in the King County Superior Court and two years later is conducted of those practicing in courts of limited jurisdiction.
It is important to not confuse this survey with any rigorous, scientific, opinion‐gathering process. It reflects the opinions of those attorneys who choose to express them. The scuttlebutt of the courthouse writ large. Nothing more, nothing less. These opinions have value, but they must be considered along with KCBA judicial candidate ratings, debates and other efforts the bar makes to offer as complete a picture of judicial performance as it can.