Mailing Address:

 P.O Box 1873  Seattle, WA 98111

Basic Rating Criteria

 

The following criteria are the individual characteristics that LMBA values in Candidates for the bench. The criteria are not hierarchical, exclusive, nor listed in any relative order, and the Committee assesses these factors based on information gathered about the Candidate from materials submitted by the Candidate, the Candidate’s references, and other relevant sources of information. The criteria shall be published on the LMBA website. When rating Candidates, the Committee shall consider whether the Candidate has:

  • maturity, integrity, courtesy, intellectual honesty, fairness, good judgment, curiosity, and common sense;

  • a demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law, and fairness and open-mindedness with sensitivity to and respect for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, religion, political ideology, creed, age, marital status, or physical or mental handicap, disability, or impairment. This commitment and sensitivity can be evidenced by the individual’s involvement in community affairs and activities, professional practice, and personal and professional background;

  • the courage and ability to make difficult decisions under stress;

  • the competence, ability, and experience to manage pretrial and trial proceedings, including administrative proceedings, arbitrations, settlement conferences, and commissioner or magistrate responsibilities. It should include an ability to address diverse issues, weigh conflicting testimony, apply the law to the facts, understand the dynamics of the trial or conflict resolution process, and command respect from attorneys, litigants, and other participants in the process;

  • the ability to work with a wide variety of subject matters;

  • demonstrated excellence in legal ability and practice;

  • demonstrated capacity for hard work;

  • the potential for ongoing professional development and demonstrated leadership in the profession;

  • the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, orally and in writing, with all participants in the judicial process and other branches of government;

  • interest and commitment to working with other judges, court administrators, and other branches of government to improve the administration of justice;

  • a demeanor conducive to all participants in legal proceedings before the Candidate being treated with fairness and respect, and receiving an opportunity to be heard fairly and without prejudice;

  • a knowledge of issues facing the African American community and a willingness to confront these issues without bias or prejudice;

  • contributed to the African American community by improving access to justice through African American-specific public service, educational activities, or promoting and encouraging the advancement of African American lawyers in the legal profession;

  • demonstrated commitment to public service through professional or community activities, or through pro bono

Rating Categories 

 

After considering the above criteria, the committee shall rate the Candidate based on the following scale:

Not Qualified – A Candidate is “not qualified” if the Candidate fails to meet the criteria above in paragraph 9.1 to a degree sufficient to be considered minimally qualified for the judicial position sought.

Adequate – A Candidate is “adequate” if the Candidate satisfies the criteria above in paragraph 9.1 to a degree sufficient to consider the Candidate minimally qualified for the judicial position sought, but the Candidate fails to demonstrate knowledge of issues facing the African American community and a willingness to confront these issues without bias or prejudice, or the Candidate has failed to contribute to the African American community by improving access to justice through African American-specific public service, educational activities, or promoting and encouraging the advancement of African American lawyers in the legal profession.

Qualified – A Candidate is “qualified” if the Candidate satisfies the criteria above in paragraph 9.1 to a degree sufficient to consider the Candidate minimally qualified for the judicial position sought.

Well Qualified—A Candidate is “well qualified” if the Candidate satisfies some, but not all, of the criteria in paragraph 9.1 to a degree necessary to be considered well qualified for the position. Factors distinguishing a well-qualified Candidate from a qualified one may include, but are not limited to, a particular strength in one or more of the non-exclusive criteria identified above or a commitment to educating oneself about issues of particular concern to the African American community.

Exceptionally Well Qualified—A Candidate may be rated “exceptionally well qualified” if the Candidate satisfies a majority of the criteria above in paragraph 9.1 and, in addition, demonstrates knowledge and understanding of issues facing the African American community, and demonstrates outstanding accomplishments, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Exceptional accomplishments in the Candidate’s professional practice or judicial career;

  • Significant contributions to public service through community service or pro bono work;

  • Exceptional experience in litigation, judicial, or administrative areas;

  • Outstanding personal and professional integrity and a commitment to fairness in the administration of justice;

  • A history of service which has specifically aided the African American community by improving access to justice for the community, educating the public about African American issues, or serving as a mentor or aiding in the professional development of African American attorneys.

No Rating – A Candidate may receive a “no rating” when the Committee has insufficient information to rate or for any other reason the Committee deems appropriate.

Did Not Seek Rating – A Candidate may receive a “did not seek rating” when she or he fails to participate in the rating process.

JUDICIAL RATING CRITERA