Wed October 10, 2012
Candidate Who? New Source For Info On NC Judicial Candidates
The airwaves - and your mailbox - may be full of campaign messages for U.S. president or North Carolina governor, but further down the ballot you'll be expected to choose judges next month, too.
Trouble is, you're not likely to find much if you search for information about those candidates online. They often don't have much money to spend campaigning, so even a Facebook page for the candidate can be hard to find.
"It's not easy!" admits Nancy Roberson, executive director of the Mecklenburg County Bar. "We had the same dilemma."
Roberson says people keep calling her office looking for information on the dozen Mecklenburg County District Court judge seats up for election and half a dozen statewide judicial races.
That led to an "aha" moment, says Roberson. "We have an opportunity to provide not just the public, but also our lawyers with more information about the candidates and we decided to do it."
The Mecklenburg County Bar invited candidates for local and statewide judicial races to submit information about their legal experience, involvement in the community and other biographical basics.
Most of the candidates in contested races have responded and their information is now online at meckbar.org. But don't expect to find specifics about how a judge would rule on any pending or future case. Candidates aren't supposed to answer questions like that while campaigning.
One option for "inside" information on a candidate is the annual survey of lawyers done by the North Carolina Bar Association. Look for the Judicial Performance Evaluation at ncbar.org to see judicial candidates scored by their peers on things like "impartiality" and "professionalism."
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