Lawyer referral service 2011


Judicial ratings definitions

There are four ratings. They are:

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
The candidate:

1. Exibits preeminence in the law by way of outstanding legal ability and a wide range of experience, either in a specialized field of law or a more varied practice, and has a reputation in the legal community as standing at the top of his/her profession.

2. Possesses a reputation for the utmost integrity and temperament to excel as a judge of the court for which he/she is a candidate.

3. Exibits outstanding citizenship by way of community and professional contributions.

4. Is an exceptional individual who will enhance or has enhanced the competence, dignity, and public perception of the bench.

RECOMMENDED
The candidate possesses a reputation for the utmost integrity and the legal ability, experience, and temperament to excel as a judge of the court for which he/she is a candidate.

NOT RECOMMENDED AT THIS TIME
The candidate's legal ability, experience, and reputation indicate that, at some future time in his/her legal career, he/she may have the potential to excel as a judge, but the candidate is not yet at that stage.

UNQUALIFIED
The candidate does not now possess and is not likely to acquire the ability, reputation, or temperament necessary for a judicial position.

PUBLISHING THE RATINGS
The Allegheny County Bar Association Board of Governors reviews the ratings of candidates prepared by the Judiciary Committee. The ratings are published when authorized by the board of governors.

WHY DOES THE ACBA RATE CANDIDATES AND WHY PUBLISH THE INFORMATION?
When citizens enter the voting booth, they are faced with a long list of judicial candidates to choose. It is the Allegheny County Bar Association Judiciary Committee's job to provide the guidance and information needed to help voters make informed choices when they select candidates for Allegheny County's judiciary.

FOR HOW LONG IS A RATING VALID?
A rating is valid for five years, but a person who has been rated can ask to be re-rated after two years.

Details of the interviews with potential candidates are highly confidential, and the ACBA cannot comment on these proceedings.