Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee Seeks Response in
Evaluation of Superior Court Judges in Suffolk and Middlesex Counties
As part of the ongoing program to evaluate and enhance judicial performance, the Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee has sent questionnaires to attorneys and court employees to evaluate 36 Superior Court judges in Suffolk and Middlesex counties. Jurors who participate in trials will receive questionnaires upon completion of their jury duty for the next several months.
In this round of evaluation, both paper and electronic questionnaires are being utilized. Attorneys whose email addresses were known to the Supreme Judicial Court received an invitation inviting them to use the evaluation website and were given a username and password. Out of the over 6000 attorneys selected for this evaluation, more than 4000 will be able to complete the evaluation on-line. If an attorney wishes the Supreme Judicial Court to have their email address for conducting an evaluation, email addresses can be registered at http://judeval.sjc.state.ma.us/?go=reg.
The Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee requests that attorneys who receive questionnaires complete and return them to the Supreme Judicial Court as soon as possible, as the success of the evaluation program depends upon timely responses. A high rate of participation enables the Committee to provide judges with fair and complete evaluations. Lawyers who have appeared in Superior Court multiple times in these counties in the last two years, according to computerized court records, have received questionnaires. If an attorney who has appeared in Suffolk and Middlesex Superior Courts in the last two years did not receive a questionnaire, he or she should contact Mona Hochberg, SJC Judicial Performance Evaluation Coordinator, at email@example.com and request either a paper or electronic version of the questionnaire.
The deadline for returning the paper survey is June 23, 2006 and for the electronic survey is July 21, 2006.
Among the categories covered in the evaluations are: a judge's knowledge of the law; temperament on the bench; courtroom control; treatment of litigants, witnesses, jurors, and attorneys; fairness and impartiality; and, timeliness in issuing written decisions.
All questionnaires are confidential and do not request the names of respondents. The resulting reports are also confidential and are given only to the judge being evaluated and to the appropriate Chief Justices.
The first phase of the evaluation program ran from the inception of the program in 2001 through March 2005. This evaluation is the fourth round of evaluating judges in Phase II.
Please direct any inquiries concerning questionnaires and evaluations to Mona Hochberg, Supreme Judicial Court Judicial Performance Evaluation Coordinator, at (617) 557-1156, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org