Monday, June 30, 2014

Here's the Judicial Poll That Counts! from the Memphis Bar Association

(Most) incumbents do very well indeed in this most reliable index of opinion: lawyers' verdicts on candidates for judgeships, clerkships, and other law-related offices in the election ending August 7. (And, yes, there are some surprises!)

Posted By on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 7:56 PM

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There have been endorsements of various sort for candidates in the numerous judicial races on the Shelby County ballot, which has 81 candidates listed, altogether — more of them challengers or open-seat seekers tan incumbents.

But, to put it bluntly, most of the endorsements or polls heard from so far have been by self-serving organizations, some of them with little credibility to begin with and others which have diminished such credibility as they had by the manner and mode of their endorsements.

The one poll that almost everyone can take seriously — especially those who labor in the legal vineyards — was released Monday by the Memphis Bar Association.

The corresponding release from the MBA tells more:

The poll was sent to all licensed, practicing attorneys in Shelby County and 1383 attorneys participated. Participants were not required to answer every question. The poll asked attorneys to select the one candidate in each race whom they felt was best qualified to serve. If an attorney did not know the candidates’ qualifications or had no opinion, he/she was instructed to mark “no opinion.”

The poll also asked Shelby County attorneys to vote on whether the judges from the Western Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Tennessee Supreme Court should be retained in their current positions. Those retention elections will also be on the August ballot.

“The poll was distributed to all practicing attorneys and judges in Shelby County, and the response was outstanding,” said MBA President Kirk Caraway. “The results reflect the collective opinions of the poll participants, and the MBA is not taking a position regarding or endorsing any particular candidate,” he continued.

“The work of our judges ranks at the very top of importance for the stability of the American System of Justice. Lawyers appear every day in our courts and are best able to determine who is most qualified to preside over the cases brought by citizens seeking justice,” added David Wade, chair of the Judicial Practice & Procedures Committee which oversaw the poll.

Most of the incumbent judges seem to have done well enough to have earned endorsement from their legal colleagues. For that matter, the poll addresses the matter of all those appellate judges up for Yes/No votes on August 7, and they, too, seem to have done well. Also evaluated were the contestants for clerkships and other law-related offices.

Contestants in the open-seat races of all kinds are bunched more closely than those in incumbent/challenger situations, as is surely to be expected.

Without further ado, here is how the judicial poll came out. The poll results are also available at www.memphisbar.org. And the Flyer will publish them again in forthcoming print issues:


2014 Memphis Bar Association Judicial Qualification Poll — What candidate is best qualified to serve? Only contested and retention races were polled. 1383 active Shelby County attorneys participated in this survey. They were instructed if you do not know the candidates' qualifications or have no opinion as to whom is best qualified, please mark "no opinion".

Chancellor of Chancery Court, Part 1
Walter L. Evans 42.2%
Michael Richards 34.7%
No opinion 23.1%

Chancellor Chancery Court, Part 2
Ken Besser 4.3%
Jim Kyle 28.1%
Jim Newsom 35.3%
Paul A. Robinson, Jr. 3.2%
No opinion 29.1%

Judge of Circuit Court, Division 1
Julie Dichtel Byrd 8.2%
Felicia Corbin-Johnson 8.0%
Leah J. Roen 20.8%
Kyle Wiggins 34.2%
No opinion 28.8%

Judge of Circuit Court, Division 2
Kevin E. Reed 14.9%
James F. Russell 47.3%
Robert A. Wampler 21.7%
No opinion 16.1%

Judge of Circuit Court, Division 3
D'Army Bailey 36.0%
Lee Ann Pafford Dobson 42.0%
No opinion 22.0%

Judge of Circuit Court, Division 4
Gina Carol Higgins 55.5%
Matthew Steven Russell 19.5%
No opinion 25.0%

Judge of Circuit Court, Division 5
Joseph E. "Joe" Garrett 9.9%
Rhynette Northcross Hurd 59.7%
Dwight T. Moore 3.8%
No opinion 26.6%


Judge of Circuit Court, Division 8

Venita Martin Andrews 8.5%
Charles W. McDonald 3.5%
Robert "Bob" Weiss 66.4%
Cedrick D. Wooten 4.7%
No opinion 16.9%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 1
Michael G. Floyd 3.1%
Nigel R. Lewis 5.8%
Paula Skahan 64.2%
No opinion 26.9%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 3
Latonya Sue Burrow 15.8%
Bobby Carter 58.5%
No opinion 25.7%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 5
Jim Lammey 62.8%
Mozella T. Ross 8.4%
No opinion 28.8%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 6
John W. Campbell 62.0%
Alicia Howard 9.2%
No opinion 28.8%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 7
Kenya Brooks 8.1%
Lee V. Coffee 63.4%
No opinion 28.5%

Judge of Criminal Court, Division 9
Christine Cane 6.0%
Mark Ward 72.4%
No opinion 21.6%

Judge of Probate Court, Division 1
Damita Dandridge 4.1%
Kathleen N. Gomes 60.7%
Richard Parks 4.6%
No opinion 30.6%
>

Judge of Probate Court, Division 2

Danny W. Kail 23.6%
Karen D. Webster 46.6%
No opinion 29.8%

Judge of General Sessions Civil Court, Division 1
Sheila Bruce-Renfroe 10.7%
Lynn Cobb 68.6%
No opinion 20.7%

Judge of General Sessions Civil Court, Division 2
Phyllis B. Gardner 82.4%
Myra May-Hamilton 4.8%
No opinion 12.8%

Judge of General Sessions Civil Court, Division 3
John A. Donald 49.9%
David L. Pool 25.4%
No opinion 24.7%

Judge of General Sessions Civil Court, Division 5
Ellen Fite 44.2%
Betty Thomas Moore 35.0%
No opinion 20.8

Judge of General Sessions Civil Court, Division 6
Christian Johnson 6.7%
Lonnie Thompson 64.3%
No opinion 29.0%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Division 7
Bill Anderson 53.1%
James Jones, Jr. 9.1%
No opinion 37.8%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Division 8
Tim J. Dwyer 77.0%
J. Nathan Toney 5.2%
No opinion 17.8%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Division 9
Melissa Boyd 3.0%
Joyce Broffitt 27.9%
Gerald Skahan 39.8%
No opinion 29.3%


Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Div. 10

Cathy Anderson-Kent 17.2%
Chris Turner 44.5%
No opinion 38.3%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Div. 11
Mischelle Alexander Best 14.2%
Karen Lynne Massey 44.2%
No opinion 41.6%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Div. 12
Bryan A. Davis 11.6%
S. Ronald Lucchesi 37.2%
Gwen Rooks 17.5%
No opinion 33.7%

Judge of General Sessions Criminal Court, Div. 14
Kim Gilmore-Sims 7.5%
Larry Potter 75.6%
No opinion 16.9%

Judge of Juvenile Court
Dan Holman Michael 47.6%
Tarik B. Sugarmon 31.3%
No opinion 21.1%

Shelby County District Attorney General
Joe Brown 15.3%
Amy Weirich 79.4%
No opinion 5.3%

Circuit Court Clerk
Rhonda Banks 8.3%
Jimmy Moore 70.5%
No opinion 21.2%

Criminal Court Clerk
Richard DeSaussure 52.4%
Wanda Halbert 14.6%
No opinion 33.0%

Probate Court Clerk
Paul Boyd 43.1%
William Chism 10.2%
No opinion 46.7%

Juvenile Court Clerk
Henri Brooks 6.0%
Morrie Noel 2.2%
Joy Touliatos 63.1%
No opinion 28.7%


Shall Cornelia A. Clark be retained as a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court?

Yes 78.3% No 7.3% No opinion 14.4%

Shall Sharon G. Lee be retained as a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court?
Yes 78.2% No 7.0% No opinion 14.8%

Shall Gary R. Wade be retained as a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court?
Yes 79.3% No 6.7% No opinion 14.0%

Shall J. Steven Stafford be retained as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals?
Yes 77.7% No 4.9% No opinion 17.4%

Shall Alan E. Glenn be retained as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals?
Yes 77.6% No 3.2% No opinion 19.2%

Shall Roger A. Page be retained as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals?
Yes 70.6% No 4.5% No opinion 24.9%

Shall Camille R. McMullen be retained as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals?
Yes 70.4% No 8.6% No opinion 21.0%

Shall John Everett Williams be retained as a Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals?
Yes 69.3% No 4.0% No opinion 26.7

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