2018 Judicial Officer Survey by Attorneys
for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
Appendix A--Committee Members
Appendix B--Sample Blank Survey
Appendix C--Individual Detailed Reports
For Immediate Release
February 23, 2018
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 serving on King County District and Municipal courts.
The report provides survey results for 48 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 major focus of the King County Bar Association is on the administration of justice," Andrew W. Maron, KCBA President noted. "A high quality judiciary is a key aspect of that system."
KCBA has evaluated and rated judicial performance since 1948 through surveys, ratings, and candidate forums. This multiple attribute survey is conducted every two years, alternating between the King County Superior Court and District/Municipal courts. In that way, the two levels of court are evaluated every four years. The next survey will be of the Superior Court in 2020.
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 December 8, 2017 to January 3, 2018, the survey was sent to over 3,500 attorneys who, based on court records, appeared before municipal and county district courts over the past four years. 443 surveys were completed. Over 70% of all respondents have 10 or more years of experience, and 68% of respondents appeared four or more times 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.