October 30, 2007
Bar Association Announces Judicial Ratings, Releases Poll Results
Jane Dalton, Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Shelley R. Smith, Chair of the Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, announced on Oct. 2 the results of the Commission's investigation into the qualifications of candidates for Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court in the Nov. 6 general election.
In addition, the Judicial Commission also released the results of a poll of all Philadelphia lawyers conducted for the Bar Association earlier this year by Votenet. The poll invited respondents to rate specific aspects of the judicial performance of each of the retention judges. Under the bylaws of the Association, the poll is not binding upon the Commission's deliberations, although it must be published with the Commission's findings.
The Chancellor pointed out that the Association's Campaign for Qualified Judges has launched a pop-up window that appears whenever anyone visits the Association's Web site. The window lists ratings that can be printed out and taken to the polls on Nov. 6. The Web site also features a complete "Voters Guide to the Judicial Elections." Dalton said the Association wants voters to know "not just who to vote for but why the judicial elections are so important and why we invest so much time and energy in reviewing and rating these candidates. This is the one place for voters to find thorough, non-partisan, objective ratings of the candidates."
The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention is independent and non-partisan. It includes lawyers and non-lawyers. Among the members of the Commission are the Chief Public Defender, the President Judges of the Common Pleas and Municipal Courts, and representatives from the Asian,
Hispanic and African American legal groups.
The ratings by the 30-member Judicial Commission follow extensive study and investigation by five-member panels of the Commission's own 120-member investigative division, which includes 40 non-lawyer members. Those found Recommended satisfied a cumulative review of criteria including legal ability and training, trial experience, character and integrity, judicial temperament, mental and physical capacity and community involvement. The complete criteria are available from the Bar Association. Go to the Voters' Guide for more information.
The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for retention to the Court of Common Pleas:
|Mark I. Bernstein||Shelley Robins New|
|Gary DiVito||Rosalyn K. Robinson|
|John W. Herron||Peter F. Rogers|
|C. Darnell Jones II||M. Teresa Sarmina|
|Barbara A. Joseph||Edward R. Summers|
The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found RECOMMENDED for retention to the Municipal Court:
|Teresa Carr Deni||Wendy L. Pew|
|Ronald B. Merriweather||Louis J. Presenza|
The following judges, listed alphabetically, were found NOT RECOMMENDED for retention to the Municipal Court:
|Georganne V. Daher||Deborah S. Griffin|
The Commission reiterated its ratings of the following candidates who have been found RECOMMENDED for election to the Court of Common Pleas:
|Linda Carpenter||Joyce Eubanks|
|Alice Beck Dubow||Ellen Green-Ceisler|
The Commission reiterated its rating of the following candidate who has been found RECOMMENDED for election to the Municipal Court:
|Joseph J. O'Neill|
The following judicial candidate, listed alphabetically, was found NOT RECOMMENDED for election to the Municipal Court: