The Monroe County Bar Association has released its 2016 rating results of seven individuals seeking judgeships for NYS Supreme Court, Monroe County Court, Monroe County Family Court and Rochester City Court.

The ratings are as follows:

NYS Supreme Court
Hon. Charles A. Schiano, Jr.                 Highly Qualified

Monroe County Court
Melissa L. Barrett                                 Qualified
Matthew D. Nafus                                 Highly Qualified
Hon. Samuel L. Valleriani                     Qualified                                         

Monroe County Family Court
Maritza C. Buitrago                              Highly Qualified*

Stacey M. Romeo                                Qualified

Rochester City Court
Hon. Maija C. Dixon                             Qualified

* Maritza Buitrago was rated Highly Qualified in 2015 as a candidate for Family Court Judge.

MCBA’s Judicial Evaluation Process

The MCBA has a three-tier rating system consisting of "highly qualified," "qualified" and "not qualified." The ratings are based on informational survey results completed by hundreds of lawyers and judges who have had 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.
Thorough and Impartial Evaluation Process
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 an informational element of the evaluation process The survey is 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 of each candidate, including analysis of legal writings and reference checks, along with interviews of peers and adversaries. The committee itself is comprised of attorneys who are diverse in race, gender, political affiliation and areas of practice expertise.                                                        

Please click here for the full rules for the judicial rating process.