The lawyers of the Eighth Judicial Circuit have a vital interest in attracting and retaining judicial officers with the highest possible qualifications, so that our courts demonstrate trust, respect and honor for our laws. This duty and responsibility of lawyers is recognized in the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern lawyers in Florida.
To assist and educate the public about this circuit’s judicial officers, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association surveyed lawyers who practice law in our circuit. Our circuit comprises Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties.
The poll is intended to reflect the composite opinion of the local lawyers concerning the judicial abilities demonstrated during the past year for each of the judicial officers listed. Lawyers were instructed to disregard political considerations, and vote their conscience and opinion. If a lawyer did not have knowledge or experience as to a judicial officer’s experience or capability in any one area sufficient to form a reasoned opinion, the lawyer was instructed to vote “No Opinion” as to that area.
The poll captured the lawyers’ opinions in three broad categories:
· Legal acumen;
· Communication skills; and
Within each of these categories were more specific categories, as follows:
1. Demonstrates knowledge of the law;
2. Listens to legal arguments;
3. Comprehends legal concepts;
4. Analytically reaches decisions in unsettled areas of the law; and
5. Willing to make decisions based on established law.
1. Able to articulate question and decisions;
2. Decisions are well reasoned;
3. Decisions are clear and concise; and
4. Decisions address issues raised.
1. Shows courtesy/civility;
2. Shows patience/temperament;
3. Shows industry/promptness;
4. Has integrity/ethics;
5. Shows impartiality;
6. Shows preparedness; and
7. Participates in professional activities.
The scale used by the lawyers to evaluate each judicial officer was as follows:
6 – Strongly agree;
5 – Moderately agree;
4 – Slightly agree;
3 – Slightly disagree;
2 – Moderately disagree;
1 – Strongly disagree.
While the EJCBA is providing you with all of the results, please carefully note that the results become significantly less meaningful as the number of lawyers who responded to any single judicial officer decreases. For example, if only 10 people responded to a judicial officer, one voter has the ability to significantly impact the outcome, making the overall results for that judicial officer less reliable.
The Association included federal area judicial officers and administrative hearing officers, even though these are appointed positions, rather than elected.
In addition to the detailed results, poll summary results are presented for each judicial officer based on averages as well as the most frequent response for each category.
In 2017, 225 lawyers participated in the poll.
During the active polling of our members, Hearing Officer and former Gilchrist County Judge, the Honorable Edward Philman, passed away; we give our condolences to his family for this fine jurist who served our community for many years.
2017 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2016 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2015 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2014 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2013 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2012 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2011 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download
2010 JUDICIAL POLL – Click here to download