So how do you determine who you should vote for in the judicial elections? Glad you asked, here are my Five Rules for Selecting Judges:

Five Rules for Selecting Judges

One: VOTE. If you don’t vote, don’t complain.

Two: Ask attorneys who practice before the Judges and Justices and who have to deal with the court clerks on a weekly basis. These are people who have a working knowledge of what is good and/or bad and deal with the consequences of both. They should be able to tell you who they would support and why.

Three: Read the mailers. Any decent literature will list the candidates’ accomplishments and biography. Here is what sends up red flags for me. Any candidate who touts that they are going to be tough on criminals, get rid of frivolous lawsuits, be more Republican or Democratic than their opponent, etc., etc. I know that political parties are a necessity for the backing and support of candidates (including judges) but I want an elected official who is fair to all. I want a judge who is going to have one job and that is to enforce the laws as they exist and treat everyone equally. I want a judge who believes in innocence until guilt is proven.  Not one who brags about putting people in jail or being tough on crime. If a judge enforces the law then usually the right thing happens.  If a candidate has an agenda they should run for congress and not the bench.

Four: Select who you would want to decide your case if everything went wrong and if you had to sue someone or were sued even if you were charged with a crime. Is that judge you are voting for someone you would want sitting up on the bench? I hear clients say all the time, that they never thought they would need a lawyer or be involved in litigation, i.e. I’m not one of those people (see my blog )

Five: You are allowed to take information into the voting booth. After you have done your research and made your decisions on who you will be voting for, make a list and take it with you when you vote so you don’t get forget for whom you decided to vote.  And please make sure you finish the entire ballot.  Every race is important.