Law Offices of Geoffrey Burg Blog

(206) 467-3190

Judging Judges

Posted by Patricia Fulton | Mar 06, 2013 | 0 Comments

What is the hallmark of a good judge?  Is it a keen intelligence and legal mind? The ability to spot a liar at 20 yards?  A passion for bureaucracy?  The patience to listen to lawyers blather on and on for hours?  Today I witnessed an example of what I consider the key trait of a good judge: a willingness to hear constructive criticism about their performance on the bench.

This morning prosecutors and defense lawyers around the Seattle area received an email request to participate in a survey of three judges currently sitting on the bench in Seattle Municipal Court.  I received this email myself and followed the link to a Survey Monkey survey requesting feedback on the performance of Seattle Municipal Court Judges McKenna, Donahue, and Rosen and the court in general.  This anonymous survey was initiated by the judges themselves and completely voluntary.  While judges in King county are regularly evaluated by the King County Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Survey – Judges Rosen, Donahue and McKenna are the first judges in my knowledge to initiate such a survey and participate voluntarily.

As someone who regularly requests that clients review my performance via Survey Monkey, I understand that initiating such feedback takes courage.  While the positive reviews feel great – it is never easy to hear criticism of your performance.   However, without a willingness to listen to others with an open mind, it is too easy to become complacent and stagnant in our legal practice.  This is true of judges as well, who also must fight the inevitable isolation that results from leaving a law practice to take the bench.

Kudos to Judges McKenna, Donahue, and Rosen for their initiation of this survey.  Regardless of what results this survey brings, these judges have shown a key trait of judicial excellence – a willingness to hear how they are doing as judges and a desire to improve the Court.

About the Author

Patricia Fulton

Patricia Fulton devotes her practice to defending people accused of crimes. Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Washington Law and Politics, Patricia has earned a reputation as an articulate, thoughtful, and passionate advocate.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

We will not try to "hard sell" you.

Finally, we will not try to “hard sell” you to hire us. We know choosing an attorney is a big decision and one you must make carefully – not under pressure. Because an effective attorney-client relationship requires a lot of communication and trust, we really only want to represent people who feel comfortable with us and have complete confidence in our abilities. If you don't, then you have the right to an attorney that you do feel would be a better fit.

Thank you for taking the time to look through this web site. Please contact us if you would like to meet and further discuss how we may assist you.

Contact Us Today

Burg Criminal Defense is committed to answering your questions about DUI, Domestic Violence, Assault, Hit & Run, Reckless Driving, Theft/Shoplifting, Harassment, or Patronizing a Prostitute legal issues within the Seattle, Washington State area.

We offer a Free Initial Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today at 206-467-3190 to schedule an appointment.