Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sedgwick County attorneys rate judges

A Wichita Eagle article reports about a recent survey of Sedgwick County attorneys rating Sedgwick County judges. Judges Pilshaw and Kennedy came in at the bottom of that rating. I have no comment whatsoever. It will be interesting to see if that would make any difference in the eyes of the voters in Judge Kennedy's upcoming election.

On a related note, this last session, the Legislature enacted a new independent commission of the Judicial Council called the Commission on Judicial Performance. Here is the bill itself and here is the conference committee report that nicely summarizes the bill. I used to practice in Arizona and it has an active evaluation process for retained judges. This is a good process for the retained judges. Occassionally, judges get someone mad at the regarding a particular case (i.e. Paula Martin in Douglas County re giving a departure sentence) and those persons stir a campaign to not retain the judge. An evaluation by the commission saying that, in general, the judge is doing a good job is very useful to a judge in that situation. And bad judges have lost retention elections in Arizona after poor evaluations (rare, but it happened). So make sure to take an interest in the evaluation process as it develops here in Kansas.

[Note: the link to the Wichita Eagle article has expired.]

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