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Judges Receive Generally Good Ratings From Review Panels

Missouri's judges have received a generally good rating from review panels appointed by The Missouri Bar. Each election, the lawyers association makes recommendations on whether voters should retain the appellate and urban judges who were appointed to the bench. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Of the 42 judges up for retention elections this year, The Missouri Bar committees recommended that only one should be voted off the bench. That was St. Louis County Circuit Judge Dale Hood.

The review process was expanded this year to include not only lawyer surveys, but also juror surveys and committee reviews.

Wallace Squibb, a member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, said the evaluations will aid voters who wouldn't otherwise know much about a judge before voting to keep him or her.

The performance evaluation of each judge is available on the Missouri Bar's website, mobar.org.

This November, Greene County voters will decide whether to adopt the Non-Partisian Court plan for their local courts.

The Non-Partisian Court Plan has been in use in the Missouri Supreme Court and a few counties in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, but has not been implemented statewide.

Supporters of the judge selection plan say its objective is to leave partisianship out of Missouri courtrooms.

Critics of the plan argue that it needs reforming, and that it favors judges who lean left politically.