The Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA) has released the rating results for seven judicial candidates vying for various seats this year; it also released, for the first time, the rating result for Monroe County Court candidate Christopher S. Ciaccio.
The ratings are as follows:
Rochester City Court
Hon. John Elliott – Highly Qualified
Caroline Morrison, Esq. – Highly Qualified
Monroe County Court
Christopher S. Ciaccio, Esq. – Qualified
Paul Irving, Esq. – Qualified
Monroe County Family Court
Juan Nevarez, Esq. – Qualified
Hon. Dandrea Ruhlmann – Highly Qualified
Nathan Van Loon, Esq. – Qualified
James Walsh, Esq. – Qualified
2013 Judicial Evaluation Results
Judicial Evaluation Process
The MCBA has a three-tier rating system consisting of “highly qualified,” “qualified” and “not qualified.” The ratings are based on an evaluation by hundreds of lawyers and judges who have professional experience with each person being evaluated, along with in-depth research and interviews by the MCBA’s Judiciary Committee. The evaluation process is designed to be fair and unbiased and is intended to be a public service to provide voters with useful information on a person’s qualifications in seeking judgeship. The MCBA encourages the public to assess each person seeking judgeship independently and make up their own mind come Election Day.
The MCBA evaluates candidates in six categories that are important to being a good judge – experience, legal analysis, judicial temperament and demeanor, ethics and integrity, communication skills and sensitivity to discrimination.
The evaluation process balances two elements that combine to provide a thorough and impartial evaluation.
Evaluation by peers. A survey, representing a cross-section of the legal community, is a key element of the evaluation process. This year, 388 lawyers and judges who have regular professional contact with at least one of the persons being evaluated participated in the survey. The survey was completed electronically through third-party vendor Metrix Matrix, and paper evaluations were made available for those without access to a computer.
In-depth interviews and research. The Bar Association’s judiciary committee conducted an in depth interview and research process, including analysis of legal writings and reference checks, along with interviews of peers and adversaries. The committee is composed of 27 voting members, who are diverse in race, gender, political affiliation and areas of practice expertise.