An independent committee says nearly all of the nonpartisan Missouri judges up for retention votes in November meet performance standards.

gavel on tableThe Missouri Judicial Performance Review Committee says 44 of the 49 judges reviewed have received one hundred percent marks in overall performance standards. One judge did not meet the group’s standards. Committee chairman Dale Doerhoff says the 21-member panel collects information about the performance of judges up for retention.

“The people are interested in retaining good judges who are fair and impartial, prompt and efficient and who provide equal justice for all,” Doerhoff says.

The Review Committee says 48 of the 49 nonpartisan judges involved in November retention elections substantially meet overall performance standards. St. Louis County Associate Circuit Judge Dale Hood’s score from the committee was five percent. Hood has not returned a call from Missourinet seeking comment on the findings.

Doerhoff says the reviews have had a positive impact on the number of people who vote in retention elections.

“We did a study with a grant from the National Center for State Courts, and we found that the people were interested in the performance evaluation information that we provided, but weren’t necessarily interested in having lawyers tell the people how we thought they should vote,” Doerhoff says.

Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman is the only statewide judicial retention seat on the November ballot. Teitelman was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2002 and was retained in 2004 for a 12-year term, which expires in December.

Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District Judges James Dowd and Philip Hess are also up for retention. The rest of the nonpartisan judges up for retention are from St. Louis City and County, Greene County in southwest Missouri and three counties in the Kansas City area: Jackson, Clay and Platte.

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