Frequently Asked Questions
Does it really matter who is elected judge?
While many people may not consider the local judiciary of any importance to their lives…nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you are involved in a minor traffic mishap, own a business, or find a friend or family member in legal trouble, the judiciary will have a major impact on your life. Judges are not only responsible for the trial side of the legal landscape that many people see on television, but they are responsible for decisions that have serious implications long before a trial begins in their courtroom. A judge decides whether to set bail and release a defendant prior to trial, a judge will make a determination as to a person’s estate if there isn’t a will or even who will care for a child during a custody dispute. It is important that the judge hearing your case is qualified and able to make the decisions on issues that come before them.
What makes a good judge?
The Akron Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Candidates evaluates judges on these factors and we think they are a good starting point for voter’s to consider as well:
INTEGRITY – A candidate should be of undisputed integrity, including moral courage and freedom from influence by political considerations and shall demonstrate appropriate conduct in campaigns for elected office.
LEGAL KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITY – A candidate should possess a high degree of knowledge of established legal principles and procedures applicable to the judicial office to which that person seeks election and have a high degree of ability to interpret and apply them to specific factual situations.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE – A candidate shall be a licensed lawyer in good standing and have appropriate experience for the judicial office sought.
JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT – A candidate should possess a judicial temperament, which includes common sense, compassion, decisiveness, firmness, humility, open-mindedness, patience, tact and understanding.
DILIGENCE – A candidate should be diligent and punctual.
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – A candidate should be responsible in his or her personal life, including being financially responsible, abiding by the laws of this state and this country, and being committed to fulfillment of tasks and duties assigned in past positions.
PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY SERVICE – Consideration should be given to a candidate’s previous service, including professional activities, public service and civic and community activities.
Why does the Akron Bar Association evaluate judicial candidates?
The ABA believes in the rule of law and importance of the justice system in our democratic society. As such it is important for qualified candidates to be elected as judges in Summit County. One way the Association can do this is to help the voting public by providing the types of ratings that it provides.