Full Evaluation Details
A judge is scheduled to receive the full evaluation if more than 50 attorneys appear before them during the evaluation period. JPEC collects this data from the Administrative Office of the Courts. Judges in appellate courts, district courts, juvenile courts, and some justice courts receive a full evaluation.
A quantitative, electronic survey is sent to attorneys, court staff, jurors, juvenile court professionals, and others who have conducted business with the judge in the courtroom. Survey respondents answer questions on a 1-5 scale, and results are computed for each judge in each of the minimum performance standard categories.
Minimum Performance Standards
The minimum performance standards the evaluation measures are: Legal Ability, Integrity and Judicial Temperament, Administrative Performance, and Procedural Fairness.
Three minimum performance standards must be passed with a score of at least 3.6:
- Legal Ability: understanding of the law and any relevant rules of procedure and evidence.
- Judicial Temperament and Integrity: behaviors and conduct that promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system.
- Administrative Performance: management of workload and issuance of opinions without unnecessary delay.
One standard must be passed by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means the judge must score at least 3.0 on this standard on the survey and commissioners consider survey comments and detailed accounts by the courtroom observers and then vote to determine if a judge is considered to pass this element:
- Procedural Fairness: treating an individually fairly in the court setting.
Three additional standards are required. The following standards are not included in the survey but are gathered from the Administrative Office of the Courts:
- To participate annually in no less than 30 hours of continuing legal education.
- To hold no cases for advisement for more than two months.
- To not be the subject of more than one public reprimand issued by the Judicial Conduct Commission or the Utah Supreme Court.
In addition to the electronic survey, JPEC volunteers visit the courtroom and observe the proceedings. Courtroom observers are trained to evaluate the judge’s conduct in terms of procedural fairness. Appellate court judges do not receive courtroom observation.
More details about courtroom observation.
JPEC accepts public comments from the public and those public comments are included in a judge’s evaluation report. Public input in the evaluation process is very important. If you or someone you know has an experience with a judge to share with JPEC, please use our public comments page.
Survey Questions – Trial Attorneys
Survey Questions – Appellate Attorneys
Survey Questions – Trial Court Staff
Survey Questions – Appellate Court Staff
Survey Questions – Jurors