How do you like your judges?

At the end of the General Election ballot, voters are asked whether to retain some current Superior Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court judges. The Judicial Performance Commission, getting feedback from attorneys, jurors, litigants and witnesses through surveys, found the four Pinal County Superior Court judges on the ballot meet the standards.

Judges Delia Neal, Daniel Washburn and Kevin White each received 27 votes of “meets judicial standards” and none against.

Judge Steven Fuller received 19 votes of “meets judicial standards” and four votes of “does not meet judicial standards.” Six members of the commission did not vote on Fuller. He was the only judge up for affirmation in the state to receive more than one vote of “does not meet judicial standards.” However, his overall average score was still a high 97.75 percent.

Fuller and Neal received their lowest marks among attorneys in “judicial temperament,” with Neal scoring 91 percent and Fuller scoring 85 percent. On the other hand, Washburn scored 100 percent in judicial temperament, and White 99 percent.

Washburn’s lowest marks came from attorneys rating his communications skills at 92 percent. White’s lowest score came from litigants/witnesses rating his integrity at 93 percent. His lowest mark among attorneys was also in integrity (96 percent).

Washburn and Neal scored 100 percent across all categories with litigants and witnesses.

Average survey ratings
Fuller – 97.75%
Neal – 98.3%
Washburn 98.1%
White – 98%

Arizona Supreme Court judges Clint Bolick and John Pelander III are also on the ballot for retention, and both received 27 votes of “meets the standards” and no votes of “does not meet standards.” Bolick had an average score of 94 percent. His lowest score was in judicial temperament at 83 percent. Pelander’s average score was 99.6. His lowest score was a 98 in communication skills.

In Divisions I and II Court of Appeals, four judges are up for retention. All were found to meet the standards, and none received a ruling of “does not meet judicial standards.”

In Division I, Judge Peter Swann had an average score of 96.1. His lowest mark came in “legal ability” with 91 percent. In Division II, Peter Eckerstrom averaged 97.25 percent. His lowest mark was in “legal ability” at 84 percent. Philip Espinosa’s average was 92.7 percent. His lowest mark, too, was in “legal ability” at 82 percent. Christopher Staring scored 98.86 percent, with the lowest mark of 96 percent coming in “legal ability” and “administrative performance.”


This information appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

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