Supreme Judicial Court's Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee Seeks
Lawyer Response in Evaluation of Judges in Norfolk County
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 in Norfolk County. Over the next several months, jurors who participate in trials will also receive questionnaires upon completion of their jury duty. Thirty-four judges will be evaluated in the District Court, Juvenile Court, Probate and Family Court, and Superior Court.
Attorneys whose email addresses are known to the Supreme Judicial Court receive an invitation to use the evaluation website and are given a username and password. Out of the 6,500 attorneys selected for the Norfolk County evaluation, more than 4,000 will be able to complete the evaluation on-line. If attorneys wish the Supreme Judicial Court to have their email addresses on file for conducting evaluations in the future, 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 court multiple times in Norfolk County during the last two years, according to computerized court records, have received questionnaires. The deadline for returning the paper questionnaire is December 7, and the electronic questionnaires should be returned by December 14.
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.
Since the inception of the program in 2001, an evaluation of judges has been conducted in all the counties in the Commonwealth. Judges are now being evaluated for the second time.
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. For other information, please contact Joan Kenney, Public Information Officer, Supreme Judicial Court, at (617) 557-1113, or via email at email@example.com.