April 14, 2006
2006 Judicial Performance Poll: judges rated by attorneys
The judges of four Franklin County courts received generally favorable ratings for their skills on the bench from the attorneys who appear before them, according to the poll released by the Columbus Bar.
The poll was conducted by Hausser and Taylor. Ballots were mailed to over 7,000 central Ohio attorneys and over 900 responses were returned.
Unlike prior years, all sitting judges were evaluated, including those who have not served on their bench for a full year. The evaluations of the new judges are omitted from the published poll, but were provided to them for informational purposes only.
Judges who have held office for at least one year were rated on a scale of one to five. Common Pleas and Domestic Relations judges are rated for performance in five categories: objectivity, judicial temperament, legal knowledge, sentencing and timeliness. The categories for sentencing and timeliness are excluded from the ratings of the judges in the court of Appeals, who not do hand down sentences, but a rating for quality of opinions is added. Likewise, the Probate Court rating does not include the sentencing category.
The Columbus Bar sponsors the judicial performance poll annually, producing a grade card between elections that helps both voters and judges. Voters can watch their elected court officers, and judges can note how they are perceived in the legal community. The project has been so successful that attorneys have asked the Bar to consider adding visiting judges to future polls.
The Performance Poll was developed by the Columbus Bar in an effort to help maintain the high quality of our judiciary and to educate voters during an election year. The results are also an element considered by the Columbus Bar's Judicial Screening Committee when interviewing judicial candidates prior to the fall elections.
Every spring the Columbus Bar releases its Judicial Performance Poll of sitting judges, in odd years rating the Franklin County Municipal Court and in even years rating the Tenth District Court of Appeals, along with the Common Pleas, Domestic Relations, and Probate courts of Franklin County. In the fall, the Judicial Preference Poll is taken, surveying local attorneys for the judicial candidates preferred, and the results are released in time for the election in November.