The Washoe County Bar Association released its judicial performance survey this week, with Sparks judges receiving grades that suggest they should be retained.
The bar association conducts the survey to provide the public with information on the judge’s abilities gathered from the lawyers who practice in the courts and to offer constructive feedback to the judges.
“Since 1994, the WCBA judicial performance survey has been a credible source of information for citizens on their courts and judges” said Craig Denney, president of the Washoe County Bar Association. He noted: “All but two of the justices, judges and court masters received cumulative scores at or above a ‘satisfactory’ rating (2.0). That demonstrates that our citizens are getting good justice from the judges who serve them.”
He also noted: “The appellate court was intentionally left off of the survey because we felt it was too new to be fairly evaluated.”
However, ultimately, the voters must decide who will preside in courtrooms and we hope these results are of utility both to the judges, as an anonymous critique, and to the public in making that decision,” said Robert Dotson, chairman of the survey.
The twenty-three specific questions were answered on such topics such as: knowledge and application of substantive law; ability to perceive factual/legal issues; management and control of trials and hearings; behavior free from bias regarding gender; efficiency in docket management; and promptness in rendering decisions, among others. The final question is a yes or no question: “Should this judge be retained?” In each category, attorneys were asked to rate each of the judges on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “very poor,” 3 being “satisfactory,” and 5 being “excellent.” The survey asks for a response to only one question for justices of the Nevada Supreme Court: “Should this Justice be retained?”