An informed electorate is a cornerstone of democracy, and qualified judges are the foundation of a fair, impartial and constitutionally guaranteed system of courts of law known as the judiciary. In order to assist Marion County citizens when they cast their votes at the May 6 primary, the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Judicial Excellence Standing Committee shares the results of its 2014 judicial candidate peer evaluation.
The Judicial Excellence Standing Committee was formed to educate voters on the qualifications of candidates for judge. An electronic survey of the qualifications of judicial candidates who confirmed their interest in seeking election was completed in early 2014.
Nineteen candidates, 11 on the Democratic ballot and eight on the Republican ballot, will vie for eight Marion Superior Court judgeship positions open for each party. Voters will also select the judge of the Marion Circuit Court, with one candidate from each party in that race.
The complete listing of the candidates and the percentage of respondents recommending each candidate for election as a Marion Superior Court or Circuit Court Judge can be found below. Full survey results, including biographical information and responses to additional survey questions, can be found at indyjudges.org.
Candidates for Marion Superior Court: Greg Bowes: 42.4%, Annie Christ-Garcia: 89.7%, Barbara Cook Crawford: 85.2%, Angela Dow Davis: 52.7%, David J. Dreyer: 89.6%, Shatrese M. Flowers: 61.4%, David R. Hennessy: 55.8%, Christina R. Klineman: 89.6%, James B. Osborn: 95.5%, Marcel A. Pratt Jr.: 82.9%, Christopher K. Starkey: 28.1%.
Candidate for Marion Circuit Court: Sheryl L. Lynch: 72.8%
Candidates for Marion Superior Court: Cynthia J. Ayers: 82.3%, David J. Certo: 90.3%, Patrick “PJ” Dietrick: 90.4%, Kurt M. Eisgruber: 95.6%, Gary L. Miller: 82.3%, Marilyn A. Moores: 77.4%, Timothy W. Oakes: 88.8%, Marc T. Rothenberg: 94.7%
Candidate for Marion Circuit Court: Therese M. Hannah: 93.9%
The survey was sent to members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, members of the Marion County Bar Association, attorneys in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marion County Public Defender’s Office, and any other attorney who had entered an appearance in Marion County Courts in the last three years.
The respondents were asked to verify that they had had professional contact with the candidates they evaluated and if they had, the evaluating lawyers were to rate their experience with the candidate(s) regarding each candidate’s; (1) demonstration of sufficient legal experience to be an effective judge; (2) efficiency as an office administrator; (3) conduct appropriate for a judge; (4) knowledge of rules of evidence, procedure and substantive law; and (5) ability to be unbiased, independent and impartial. Complete details are posted at indyjudges.org.
The sole purpose of Judicial Excellence Standing Committee is to conduct and publicize non-partisan evaluations of Marion County judicial candidates to promote the fair and effective selection of qualified judicial candidates in Marion County. The Judicial Excellence Standing Committee is a bipartisan group assisted by bipartisan counsel.
The Indianapolis Bar Association is a voluntary membership organization comprised of more than 4,500 attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students. Founded in 1878, the association's mission is to serve its members, promote justice and enhance the legal profession.