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Full Evaluation Details

A judge receives 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.

The Survey

A quantitative, electronic survey is sent to attorneys, court staff, jurors, and allied professionals who have conducted business with the judge in the courtroom.  Survey respondents answer questions on a 1-5 scale, and they do so anonymously. Results are computed for each judge in each of the minimum performance standard categories and viewed only in aggregate form.

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 requires that the judge demonstrate, by the totality of the circumstances, that the judge’s conduct in court promotes procedural fairness for court participants at a level commensurate with the other scored minimum performance standards. The judge’s performance must be the equivalent of at least a 3.6 across all aspects of the evaluation. Commissioners vote to determine whether a judge passes this standard:

  • Procedural Fairness: treating an individually fairly in the court setting.

Four additional standards are required. The first three standards are gathered from the Administrative Office of the Courts. The fourth standard is gathered from the Judicial Conduct Commission.

  • To participate annually in no less than 30 hours of continuing legal education.
  • To not exceed the time standards set by the Utah Judicial Council for timely ruling on cases take under advisement (UCJA Rule 3-101(3)).
  • To be deemed mentally and physically competent for office.
  • To not be the subject of more than one public reprimand issued by the Judicial Conduct Commission or the Utah Supreme Court.

 Courtroom Observation

In addition, 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.

Public Comments

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 important.  If you or someone you know has an experience with a judge to share with JPEC, please use our public comments page.

Related Information

Survey Questions – Trial Attorneys

Survey Questions – Appellate Attorneys

Survey Questions – Trial Court Staff

Survey Questions – Appellate Court Staff

Survey Questions – Jurors