The Task Force on the Evaluation of Candidates for Election to
Judicial Office was appointed in 2018 to review the existing methods of vetting
judicial candidates and propose best practices, guidelines and minimum
standards for review of candidates. The
report and recommendations of the Task Force were adopted at the April 13, 2019
meeting of the NYSBA House of Delegates in Albany.
Link to Report and Recommendations of the Task Force on the
Evaluation of Candidates for Election to Judicial Office: http://www.nysba.org/judicialevaluationreport/
The Task Force, chaired by Robert L. Haig and Hon. Susan
Phillips Read, found that systems utilized by bar associations vary from county
to county, and it concluded that a one-size-fits-all approach for screening
would not work for New York State. Where existing reviews are effective, the
Task Force urged their continuation; in particular, the Task Force noted that
existing systems in place in New York City, on Long Island, and several upstate
urban counties – which comprise over three-quarters of the state’s population –
are currently well served. For those
counties not currently served by existing screening entities, the Task Force
recommended the establishment of regional or district screening committees.
The Task Force developed a set of best practices to guide
local bar and regional screening committees, addressing composition of the
committees; use of questionnaires and the conduct of investigations; evaluation
criteria; and rating and appeals processes. Several useful resources are linked below.
Complete Informational Report
Press Release: State Bar Association Approves New Measures for Evaluating Judicial Candidates
List of Local and County Bar Associations
List of all Bar Associations in New York
Campaign Ethics Center, including Judicial Campaign Ethics Handbook
Committee to Review
Committee on Procedures for Judicial Discipline
Thomas Richards, Esq.
Director of Public Interest and Deputy General Counsel