Understanding the Work of the Commission on Judicial Candidates
Submitted by Lisa Okolish Miller, Co-Chair
Al Schrader, Co-Chair
2016 Judicial Evaluation Committee
The Judicial Evaluation Committee performs important work in evaluating the candidacies of individuals for judgeships in the municipal, common pleas, appeals, probate, domestic, and juvenile courts. As co-chairs of this committee we want to inform members of the Akron Bar Association the committee’s work, and ask your help in evaluating candidates for judge.
The committee is composed of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats with Independent members as well. The notion is to avoid political evaluation of judicial candidates and instead, conduct the evaluations based solely on their merits.
Judicial ratings are, from lowest to highest:
• Not Acceptable
The candidates are evaluated according to the following criterion:
• Legal Knowledge and Ability
• Professional Experience
• Judicial Temperament
• Personal Responsibility
• Public and Community Service
The candidates are evaluated individually and not compared with their opposing candidates for each judicial position on the ballot. Members of the committee are not permitted to donate to or otherwise overtly support any candidate for judicial office during their term as members of the Judicial Evaluation Committee. The ratings are publicized on the Akron Bar Association’s website: www.youbethejudgesummitcounty.com. The website also serves as a source of information about the local judicial candidates appearing on the ballot. In addition to the ratings, links to the candidates’ websites and social media pages can easily be found.
The co-chairs are appointed by the president of the Akron Bar Association. Membership of the committee is appointed as follows:
• Six (6) appointments from the municipal court committee;
• Six (6) appointments from the common pleas and appeals court committee;
• Two (2) appointments by the family law section;
• Two (2) appointments by the probate law section.
The president of the bar association has ten (10) appointments and the co-chairs of the committee appoint two (2) people. The appointments are 3-year terms and are spread out so that approximately one-third of the commission members terms expires each year. Ex-Officio non-voting members are the president, president elect, and immediate past president of the Akron Bar Association.