2015 Judicial Survey Results for Pinellas and Pasco Counties

Criminal Defense

PINELLAS AND PASCO JUDICIAL SURVEY RESULTS

Methodology: Judicial Survey of judges (in both Civil and Criminal divisions) in the 6th and 13th Circuits covering Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties. The survey was open to private Attorneys (both civil and criminal defense), prosecutors, assistant public defenders, and government attorneys. There are approximately 10,000 lawyers practicing in these three counties. Last year 3,200 invites were emailed to 6th Circuit attorneys. This year about 5,000 invites were sent to 13th Circuit attorneys. Ballots were sent to attorneys requesting ballots last year from the 6th Circuit and to those requesting ballots this year from both circuits, total approximately 382 (attorneys from the three counties).  120 attorneys cast a ballot.  Below is the survey results for Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Each judge was rated on 5 categories and attorneys were given an opportunity to provide positive feedback (negative comments are published below (after results) for Pinellas and Pasco counties with a committee note ). Voters were made to certify prior to being allowed to participate in survey that they would, 1) Not provide a rating if they were unfamiliar with a judge; 2) Cast a rating devoid of any personal feelings towards any judge and based only on the categories.

* This is not a scientific survey. All the encrypted ballots were cast electronically. Six attorneys accepted appointment to act as polling officers to oversee the integrity of the survey process and results. The individual ratings are anonymous and polling officers only had access to overall scores  in each category.  The polling officers were unable to link ratings and comments to participants.

This is the second annual judicial survey sponsored by the Committee Promoting Judidical Excellence (“CPJE”).

CPJE is non-partisan group of attorneys that seeks to conduct annual judical surveys for the Tampa Bay area in order to provide some information to the public about our local judiciary.  Additionally, the committee seeks to work towards providing some feedback to the judges and improving the justice system.

SCALE: 1-Poor 2- Average 3- Good 4- Very Good 5- Excellent

Judge Linda R. Allan

Judicial Demeanor:  4.56

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.44

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.58

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.47

Application of the Law:  4.28

Comments:

 *  Excellent judge, knowledgeable and professional demeanor.

She’s great.  Truly a pleasure.   Professional.   An example of how judges should treat people.

Very good judge–she sometimes has a low frustration level, but probably because she cares a lot about what she is doing

Judge Michael F. Andrews

Judicial Demeanor:  3.41

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.84

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.25

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.36

Application of the Law:  3.61

Comments:

Definitely maintains control over his courtroom and docket.

Need more judges like him.

Role model judge, both to defendants and attorneys appearing before him.

excellent judge

Judge Linda Babb

Judicial Demeanor:  3.52

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.37

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.74

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.56

Application of the Law:  3.74

Comments:

Judge Babb takes the time to read and understand the pleadings and exhibits attached. She is decisive and accurate. Excellent demeanor.

Judge Susan Bedinghaus

Judicial Demeanor:  2.45

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  2.83

Punctuality and Diligence:  2.95

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.14

Application of the Law:  2.52

Judge Bruce Boyer

Judicial Demeanor:  4.06

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.94

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.09

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4

Application of the Law:  3.97

Comments:

Civil Court is the least civil of all the courts.That’s a result of how the lawyers behave towards each other.Judge Boyer gets that and he brings the civil back to civil court.

Judge Boyer is always well prepared. He is fair in his decisions.

Judge Boyer is very intelligent. He fairly and accurately applies the law to the facts. It’s a pleasure to be in his courtroom.

Judge Joseph A. Bulone

Judicial Demeanor:  4.02

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.33

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.47

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.98

Application of the Law:  4.09

Comments:

Judge Bulone is a fair and efficient judge who maintains a pleasant atmosphere in his courtroom.

*Judge Bulone is an example of the our constitutional system of law at work. He was the inspiration for my law career.

*    One of the best.

One of the smartest & wittiest judges on the bench.  Great courtroom demeanor and maintains his docket well.

Smart and hard-working

Witty, intelligent judge.

excellent judge. conducts court sessions promptlyand efficiently.  fair in sentencing and excellent knowledge of the law

Judge William H. Burgess

Judicial Demeanor:  3.42

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.93

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.02

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.23

Application of the Law:  3.58

Comments:

One of the best.

Very fair, change of plea’s are extremely long!!!

Very professional.

Judge Kim Campbell

Judicial Demeanor:  4

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.14

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.95

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.33

Application of the Law:  4.1

Comments:

Although Judge Campbell is fairly new to the bench, her demeanor is professional and unbiased, and she accurately applies the law to the facts.

Excellent job for being relatively new to the bench.

Judge Campbell’s judicial demeanor is exemplary and should serve as the standard for all judges.  Every attorney and litigant who appears before Judge Campbell can be assured that she will be fair to all parties and free from any bias in her decisions.

Judge Pamela Campbell

Judicial Demeanor:  3.75

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.75

Punctuality and Diligence:  4

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.56

Application of the Law:  3.53

Comments:

Great courtroom demeanor.  Very prepared and willing to listen to both sides.

One of the best!

excellent judge

Pleasant.  Strong desire to do what is right.

Judge John Carassas

Judicial Demeanor:  4.06

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.81

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.09

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.75

Application of the Law:  3.66

Judge John Carballo

Judicial Demeanor:  4.1

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.86

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.07

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.64

Application of the Law:  3.62

Judge Sherwood Coleman

Judicial Demeanor:  4.13

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.13

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.07

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.93

Application of the Law:  3.67

Comments:

great start for a star on our bench.

Judge Thane Covert

Judicial Demeanor:  4.15

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.17

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.37

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.8

Application of the Law:  4.05

Comments:

Extremely fair and reasonable.

One of the best judges in Pinellas county.

excellent judge

Judge Shawn Crane

Judicial Demeanor:  3.95

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.81

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.84

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.57

Application of the Law:  3.95

Comments:

Definitely an asset to the bench.  Very smart and considerate of all parties.

Judge Jack Day

Judicial Demeanor:  3.55

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.58

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.61

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.94

Application of the Law:  3.61 

Comments:

The judge does not hesitate to research an issue or request additional information to make sure the application of the law is correct.

Judge Daniel D. Diskey

Judicial Demeanor:  4.17

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.94

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.94

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.94

Application of the Law: 4

Comments:

Judge Diskey is the most consistent and fair fact finder on the family-law bench.  I have always been impressed by his genuine concern for the best interests of children in his decision-making process.

Judge Robert Dittmer

Judicial Demeanor:  3.61

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.72

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.89

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.19

Application of the Law:  3.56

Comments:

Overall is fair and competent.

Judge Dee Anna Farnell

Judicial Demeanor:  4.21

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.07

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.67

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.77

Application of the Law:  3.77

Comments:

Huge asset to the bench.  Truly cares about what goes on in her courtroom.  Cordial and fair to both sides.

No one could replace her.  A gift to Pinellas addicts.

excellent judge

Judge Philip J. Federico

Judicial Demeanor:  4.48

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.5

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.48

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.33

Application of the Law:  4.38

Comments:

Best judge on the criminal bench.

Great judge!  Smart and fair to both sides.  Considers all arguments before making a final ruling.  His sense of humor and demeanor are appreciated in (most times) a tough courtroom.

It’s always a pleasure to practice before Judge Federico.

One of the best.

Our best judge.

Judge Paul Firmani

Judicial Demeanor:  4.53

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.26

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.42

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.58

Application of the Law:  4.58 

Comments:

Always well-prepared for motion hearings. Pleasant demeanor.

Judge Firmani’s outstanding judicial demeanor and sense of fairness demonstrates that he fully understands the role of a county-court judge.

Judge Thomas Freeman

Judicial Demeanor:  3.07

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.86

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.28

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.58

Application of the Law:  3.91

Comments:

He treats everyone the same.

Several of my clients have commented that Judge Freeman saved their life.  He is scary in the best way.

Treats everyone the same in his courtroom.  Maintains control over his docket.

excellent judge

Judge Walt Fullerton

Judicial Demeanor:  2.96

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.15

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.5

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.27

Application of the Law:  3.27

Judge Susan Gardner

Judicial Demeanor:  4.41

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.18

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.29

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.53

Application of the Law:  4.35

Judge Frank Grey

Judicial Demeanor:  4.54

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.15

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.46

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.23

Application of the Law:  4.15

Comments:

Judge Gray consistently demonstrates his dedication to excellence: for himself and those who practice before him.

Judge Holly Grissinger

Judicial Demeanor:  4.32

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.09

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.18

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.77

Application of the Law:  3.95

Comments:

Great new judge.

Very smart and willing to consider all arguments.  Good courtroom demeanor.

Judge Mary Handsel

Judicial Demeanor:  3.74

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.89

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.48

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.37

Application of the Law:  3.74

Comments:

Judge Handsel should be the mentor for any judge newly appointed to the criminal bench.  Judge Handsel consistently demonstrates fairness in her interactions with both the State and the defense bar.  Her knowledge and application of the law in the cases before her is outstanding.

excellent judge

Judge Chris Helinger

Judicial Demeanor:  2.97

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.5

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.53

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.89

Application of the Law:  3.17

Comments:

Great Judge. 

Judge Jack Helinger

Judicial Demeanor:  3.6

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.8

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.96

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.52

Application of the Law:  3.68 

Comments:

excellent judge

Judge Kathleen T. Hessinger

Judicial Demeanor:  3.04

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.83

Punctuality and Diligence:  4

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.92

Application of the Law:  3.33

Judge Donald E. Horrax

Judicial Demeanor:  4.29

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.25

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.33

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.83

Application of the Law:  4.1

Comments:

 *  Brilliant.  Put him on the DCA.

Great county judge.

Smartest judge on the county court bench.  Maintains control over his docket and fair to both sides.

Judge Edwin Jagger

Judicial Demeanor:  4.44

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.32

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.36

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.2

Application of the Law:  4.2

Comments:

Great courtroom demeanor.  Willing to consider both sides equally.

Judge George M. Jirotka

Judicial Demeanor:  3.92

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.31

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.27

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.85

Application of the Law:  3.46

Comments:

Outstanding judicial demeanor.

Judge Lorraine Kelly

Judicial Demeanor:  4.83

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.5

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.6

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.55

Application of the Law:  4.33

Comments:

As a Hillsborough attorney that practices in Pinellas Judge Kelly is one of the most pleasant,respectful judges I’ve had the pleasure of practicing in front of.Her years as a Public Defender have taught her compassion and fairness.

Judge Paul Levine

Judicial Demeanor:  4.2

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.95

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.95

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.88

Application of the Law:  3.93

Comments:

Maintains control over his courtroom/docket.  Fair to both sides and considers all arguments.

Judge Nancy Moate Ley

Judicial Demeanor:  2.26

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.36

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.47

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.55

Application of the Law:  3.17

Comments:

Amazing, well-prepared, knowledgable Judge. One of the best I have ever encountered.

Most improved judge on the bench.  Excellent job.

Wonderful to practice in front of.  Be prepared and be honest with her.

Judge Philippe Matthey

Judicial Demeanor:  3.85

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.23

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.08

Application of the Law:  3.85

Judge Thomas McGrady

Judicial Demeanor:  4.32

Preparation for Hearings and Motions: 4.17

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.27

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.07

Application of the Law:  4.2

Comments:

Big asset to our judiciary.  Great courtroom demeanor.

If I had a case that could go either way, I would definitely want to appear before Judge McGrady – I know he would be fair and apply the letter of the law, but with compassion.

Judge Cathy McKyton

Judicial Demeanor:  3.34

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.55

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.76

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.84

Application of the Law:  3.24

Comments:

Hard working and intelligent judge

Maintains control over her courtroom.  Very courteous and fair to both sides at all times.

Judge Myra Scott McNary

Judicial Demeanor:  2.86

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  2.86

Punctuality and Diligence:  3

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.95

Application of the Law:  2.73

Judge Keith Meyer

Judicial Demeanor:  4.35

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.47

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.38

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.29

Application of the Law:  4.38

Comments:

Another judge destined for the DCA.

Great job!  exceeding everyone’s expectations and another gem on our judiciary.

Willing to listen to all arguments before making rulings.  Good courtroom/docket control.

excellent judge

Judge Thomas Minkoff

Judicial Demeanor:  3.15

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.27

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.5

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.42

Application of the Law:  3.38 

Judge Patrice Moore

Judicial Demeanor:  3.94

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.25

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.38

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.19

Application of the Law:  4.19

Comments:

Willing to consider all arguments/suggestions.  Maintains control over her courtroom/docket.

Judge Patricia Ann Muscarella

Judicial Demeanor:  4.5

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.28

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.22

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.39

Application of the Law:  4.06

Comments:

Judge Muscarella is well prepared and reads the motions and exhibits attached.

Judge Cynthia J. Newton

Judicial Demeanor:  2.31

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  2.84

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.13

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  1.93

Application of the Law:  2.42

Comments:

 *  Judge Newman will brook no disrespect in her courtroom and treats everyone before her with respect and dignity.

Once you understand her way of doing things, cases flow in her division.

Judge William Overton

Judicial Demeanor:  4.73

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.44

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.96

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.4

Application of the Law:  4.35

Comments:

Great county judge.

One of the best our county court has to offer.  Maintains neutrality in all hearings and considers all arguments/suggestions before making rulings.  Outstanding courtroom demeanor.

excellent judge…best of the lot

Judge James Pierce

Judicial Demeanor:  4.47

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.28

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.3

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.38

Application of the Law:  4.21

Comments:

Good demeanor and fair.  Always respectful towards all who appear before him.

Great county judge.

Willing to make ruling he thinks is best after considering all arguments.  Listens to both sides equally.

excellent judge

Judge Alicia Polk

Judicial Demeanor:  4.33

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.33

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.44

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.44

Application of the Law:  4.56

Judge Frank Quesada

Judicial Demeanor:  4.56

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.42

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.48

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.36

Application of the Law:  4.44

Comments:

A god-send to VOPs!

Best jurist in Pinellas County.

Great courtroom demenaor.  Considerate to both sides at all times.

I think Judge Quesada is one of the finest judges in Pinellas. He just gets it! You always know you will be treated with dignity and respect.

Sees through all the BS (unfortunately).

excellent judge

Judge Peter Ramsberger

Judicial Demeanor:  3.75

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.88

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.12

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.79

Application of the Law:  3.83

Judge Thomas M. Ramsberger

Judicial Demeanor:  4

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.85

Punctuality and Diligence:  4

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.69

Application of the Law:  3.77

Judge Debra Roberts

Judicial Demeanor:  2.47

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  2.87

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.3

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.7

Application of the Law:  2.87

Judge Anthony Rondolino

Judicial Demeanor:  3.52

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.93

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.9

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.83

Application of the Law:  3.86

Comments:

Definitely the smartest/most prepared attorney in the room.  Willing to consider arguments from both sides.  Good courtroom demeanor.

Good luck as Chief.

Simply the best.  Fair, listens to all sides and then makes his decision and rules.  Legally – intellectually the best we have, yet practically speaking does the best job handling and running his courtroom.

Judge Jack R. St. Arnold

Judicial Demeanor:  4.56

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.28

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.39

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.39

Application of the Law:  4.17

Comments:

Can we have him back in probate?  Another great judge.

Judge Marc H. Salton

Judicial Demeanor:  2.69

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.07

Punctuality and Diligence:  2.69

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.86

Application of the Law:  3.24

Judge John A. Schaefer

Judicial Demeanor:  4.29

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.86

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.24

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.05

Application of the Law:  3.81

Judge Walter L. Schafer, Jr.

Judicial Demeanor:  3.74

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.48

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.87

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.48

Application of the Law:  3.39

Comments:

Even when he rules against you….no one ever questons getting a fair hearing or Skip’s integrity.  Usually if not always with a smile on his face and in his voice.  Hard to have a down day being around Skip. 

Judge William G. Sestak

Judicial Demeanor:  3.56

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.88

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.16

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.64

Application of the Law:  3.88

Judge Mark I. Shames

Judicial Demeanor:  3.12

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.48

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.56

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.32

Application of the Law:  3.48

Comments:

Maintains good control over his courtroom/docket.  Fair and considerate to both sides.  Great courtroom demeanor.

Judge Kimberly Sharpe

Judicial Demeanor:  3.45

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.64

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.64

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.27

Application of the Law:  3.18

Comments:

Judge Sharpe has only been on the bench for a short time, but you can tell she is, and will continue to be, a very good judge. She prepares for hearings to understand the issues and if she believes she needs additional time she will reserve ruling until she can do additional research to render the right decision.  I had the pleasure of trying the first case she presided over as a judge and she did a wonderful job of handling the issues that came up during the trial and listening to all issues and applying the law as written.

have hope for her.

Judge Pat Siracusa

Judicial Demeanor:  4.07

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.2

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.24

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.82

Application of the Law:  4.04

Comments:

Judge Siracusa treats all parties and attorneys with courtesy and respect.

This would be me if I were a judge. High praise indeed.   Exactly how someone should be.  Tough but fair.

Judge Susan St. John

Judicial Demeanor:  4.6

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.4

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.8

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  5

Application of the Law:  4.87

Comments:

Excellent Judge

Very unbiased, even tempered judge. Professional demeanor and punctual

Judge James Stearns

Judicial Demeanor:  4.6

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  5

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.8

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4

Application of the Law:  5

Judge Lynn Tepper

Judicial Demeanor:  3.76

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.96

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.6

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.8

Application of the Law:  4.04

Comments:

A courageous judge willign to make hard decisions.

Judge Tepper makes the hard decisions based on the law without regard to political consequences.

Judge Kimberly Todd

Judicial Demeanor:  3.77

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.77

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.86

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.77

Application of the Law:  3.64

Comments:

She works very hard and is becoming a better judge all of the time

Judge Dorothy Vaccaro

Judicial Demeanor:  4.67

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.37

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.42

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.4

Application of the Law:  4.42

Comments:

Absolute pleasure to practice in her courtroom

Judge Vaccaro’s judicial demeanor and her sense of fairness are exemplary.

Very cordial and always willing to listed to both sides.  Good control over her docket.

excellent judge

Judge Candy VanDercar

Judicial Demeanor:  4.3

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.35

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.52

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.26

Application of the Law:  4.26

Comments:

Great judge.  Treats all who go before her with fairness, respect, and courtesy.

The practice of law would be less stressful and more fulfilling if  Judge VanDercar presided in every courtroom.

Judge Anne Wansboro

Judicial Demeanor:  3.48

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  3.77

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.19

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  3.52

Application of the Law:  3.77

Judge William R. Webb

Judicial Demeanor:  2.26

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  2.8

Punctuality and Diligence:  3.14

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  2.09

Application of the Law:  2.66

Judge Amy Williams

Judicial Demeanor:  4.31

Preparation for Hearings and Motions:  4.16

Punctuality and Diligence:  4.19

Freedom from Bias/Fair to Both Sides:  4.12

Application of the Law:  4.03

Comments:

I have appeared before Judge Williams and found her to be very cordial and competent.

Judge Williams runs an efficient – fair courtroom.  She is well respected because she has earned it through the years.

 

NEGATIVE COMMENTS

It is the Policy of the Committee Promoting Judicial Excellence to provide only a description of any negative comments received regarding any Judge without divulging to which Judge those comments may have been directed. We believe that the rating system provides sufficient “constructive criticism” for any specific Judge, and stress that the survey is not intended to be used as a forum for ad hominem attacks or character assassination. Nonetheless, these negative comments are shared so that all Judges reviewing these comments can be aware of the various areas of sensitivity and concern expressed and possibly recognize areas of improvement they may choose to implement in the administration of their judicial responsibilities.

*  His application of the law is too haphazard.

*   is frequently indecisive in his rulings and will often vacillate before making a final ruling.  Even then, he is known to change his mind.  It seems as if he consults with other judges or lawyers about his proposed rulings and then modifies those rulings based on the information he receives from others.

*  Biased against out of towners and very abrupt.  Very unprofessional in dress and was eating during a hearing one time.

*  Has little patience and very biased in her rulings.

*  One of the worst.

*  Quite possibly one of the worst judges I’ve experienced in 25 years of criminal work. Horrible demeanor.  Nasty.  Absolutely no grasp of the presumption of innocence.

*  very poor demeanor towards public, lawyers, staff.  wrong line of work for her and not a good lawyer

*  Nice person, but totally lost attempting to handle a civil section.

*  horrible everything.  judge most likely to be removed for not having the qualities of a judge.

*  Not very knowledgeable and disrespectful in the courtroom.

*  Could work on knowledge of law but good demeanor.

*  Poorly educated in the law.  An embarrassment to the judiciary.

*  Too young to be on the bench.

*  I’ve seen him make arguments prosecutors wouldn’t make.

*  Needs to learn to listen and rule.  Gets himself in most of his difficult situations by talking himself round and round.  Wants to please everyone but instead usually causes himself his own trouble. Late every morning.  Short temperment. Great desire to do well.  Can’t get out of his own way.

*  He could be a robot. No personality, terrible demeanor.

*  One of the most gruff and unfriendly judges on the bench.

*  Giving him a 1 across the board is an act of extreme generosity.   Frankly, he is a joke.  I’m the future, polls should allow negative numbers to be assigned to accurately reflect the appropriate score relative to other judges.

*  seems lost.  poor application of law and evidence.  biased toward “victims” and prosecutors.

*  Nice, but seems State oriented.

*  He is very caring about what he does–but sometimes makes snap judgments without hearing everything first & has a bit of a short temper

*  Judge ___ often states that he is not prejudging anything but his demeanor and rulings belie that.

*  short on knowledge of trial evidence and procedure.  temperament is questionable.  snaps irrationally at odd times.

*  He is a good judge but takes too much time off–his office is closed a lot

*  suffers from being on the bench too long.

*  Horrible.  A shining example of how not to be.   Stop telling everyone how many years you were a criminal defense attorney. No one cares.  It’s obnoxious.   Stop interfering with the relationship between attorneys and their clients.  I wish I could give you negative numbers but scale does not go down that low.

*  She does not respect the defense attorneys who appear before her.

*  a nightmare to be in front of her.

*  judicial demeanor is pathetic.  does not listen.  insists on speaking over others.  righteous attitude and limited knowledge of the law makes for a poor judge.

*  needs to get rid of his state bias.

*  average

*  Does not treat defense attorneys with professionalism and trust.  Has no regard for criminal rules of procedure.

*  knows basically no law.  cannot apply rules of evidence.  very poor temperament.  should not be on the bench

*  Is a law unto herself. Horrible judge.

*  He is a very hard working judge–has a bit of a short fuse and a little bit of “robe-itis”  once he gets past those things he will be excellent in all areas

*  Sometimes he says inappropriate things but he tries very hard to do a good job

*  Seems State oriented.

*  Judge ….. tends to be chauvinistic. For example, contrary to Judge ……. opinion, minor female children do not typically help out more with household chores any more than male minor children do (note: minor children-boys and girls-usually create more clutter and mess in the home than they help to keep it clean and tidy). A single parent mother who works full-time and raises her children single-handedly does not have more time to cook, clean, help with homework, transport children to and from after-school events, etc., etc., any more than a father would (not) do in the same situation. Single parent fathers (especially the ones that don’t really “parent” the children) should not get a “break” and single parent mothers should be given the same considerations equally. Both parents should be equally financially accountable and socially responsible for the children.

*  not comfortable in family law.  too comfortable being in st pete

*  Judge ………..is extremely biased toward the defense and appears to strive for rulings favorable to the defense, regardless of the law or facts. He is rarely informed of the contents of the pleadings prior to hearing motions and usually rules by “flying by the seat of [his] pants.” Judge ……. trial and pre-trial decisions (e.g., bifurcating trials, ordering non-binding arbitrations, etc.) are not well-informed and are obviously not founded on prior personal litigation experience.

*  Very friendly guy but has very little grasp of the law in my opinion.

*  Judge …… denied my motion to set aside a judgment directly in contradiction to the case law & statutory defenses that were on point.

*  Judge …….’s judicial assistant seems to control the access gates to hearing dates and times, giving priority to select law firms staffed with personnel favored/friendly with the JA. In other words, not all law firms have equal access to the judge’s calendar.

*  A biased, lazy judge. One of the worst I have ever practiced in front of. Widely reagrded as unfair and biased to criminal defendants and willing to ignore the law to achieve his wanted result.

*  The worst of the worst.  Ignorant of the law, astoundingly unprofessional.  A petty tyrant who is unfit to serve as a judge.

*  Overall an excellent judge–gets a little flustered in application of the law

 
 
 

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