Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee (JCEC)

The Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association has rated judicial candidates for contested elections in the courts of Wayne County for the 2016 election cycle.  The Committee is comprised of 34 attorneys from the Detroit Metropolitan area and evaluates the fitness of each candidate for judicial office based upon the candidate’s legal ability (scholarship, analysis, judgment, clarity of expression), trial experience, integrity, honesty, judicial temperament, and reputation, without regard to party affiliation, race or creed.  Ratings are given after review of the candidate’s completed questionnaire and/or an in-person interview conducted with an Interview Panel of the Committee.  The ratings refer only to a candidate’s qualifications for the position of judge in the court that the candidate is seeking, and do not in any way refer to a candidate’s qualifications as a practicing attorney.  The ratings reflect the collective opinion of the Committee and not the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association as a whole.  The ratings for individual candidates are set forth below.  

 

The Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee has four categories of ratings:  Outstanding, Well Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified or No Rating.    Ratings were provided only in contested races. 

 

The standards for ratings are as follows:

Outstanding:   To be rated “Outstanding,” an individual must stand at the top of his or her profession.  He or she must rank among the very best qualified judges or lawyers available for judicial service.  This candidate must have outstanding legal ability and background, as well as wide experience, wisdom, intellect, insight, and impartiality.  To be accorded the highest rating, a candidate should generally have the breadth of vision and outlook that derives from participation in civic, religious, charitable or political organizations of the community, and the work of the organized bar or other professional associations.  In short, the candidate should be a person whose preeminence in the law and as a citizen is widely acknowledged and whose qualifications are virtually hailed by judges and lawyers.

 

Well Qualified:  To be rated “Well Qualified,” an individual must exhibit similar qualities indicated for the rating of “Outstanding.”  A “Well Qualified” candidate may have less breadth of experience, but shows the promise of all the criteria above.  Although this is a rating lower than “Outstanding,” it is nevertheless a high rating.

 

Qualified:  To be rated “Qualified,” a candidate must exhibit a fitness for the judicial office he or she seeks.  A candidate given this rating would be considered average on an overall analysis of the factors set forth above.

 


Not Qualified:  To be rated “Not Qualified,” a candidate must be considered well below average on an overall analysis of the factors set forth above. 

* A Not Qualified rating indicates that in the opinion of the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee a candidate is not qualified at the present time for the judicial office which he or she seeks, but the rating should in no way be construed as an adverse reflection on the candidate’s qualification as a practicing attorney.

 

No rating:  If a candidate does not submit a questionnaire or attend an interview, and there is insufficient information available to the Committee regarding the candidate’s fitness for the judicial office which s/he seeks, then the Committee does not rate the candidate.  However, if there is sufficient information available to the Committee concerning the Candidate’s fitness for the judicial office which s/he seeks, then the Committee may rate such candidate, even in absence of a questionnaire or an interview.

 

WAYNE Judge of Probate Court Incumbent 6 Year Terms (2) Positions

Lisa Marie Neilson - No Rating

Lawrence J. Paolucci - Well-Qualified

Click here to read background information on candidates

 

1st District Judge of Court of Appeals Incumbent 6 Year Terms (2) Positions

Cynthia Diane Stephens - Outstanding

Kurtis T. Wilder - Outstanding

Click here to read background information on candidates

 

1st District Judge of Court of Appeals Non-Incumbent

Nicole James - Qualified


Third Circuit Judge of the Circuit Court Non-Incumbent 6 Year Terms (4) Positions

E. Lynise Bryant-Weekes - No Rating

Delicia Taylor Coleman - No Rating

Rebekah R. Coleman - No Rating

Felicia Courtright - Well-Qualified

Melissa Anne Cox - Qualified

Matthew M. Evans - Well-Qualified

Wanda A. Evans - No Rating

Robert A. Ficano - Not Qualified

Tracy E. Green - Qualified

Thomas John Hathaway - No Rating

James Humphries - No Rating

Kenneth J. King - No Rating

Michelle Letourneau-McAvoy – Well-Qualified

Karyn L. Macdonald - Qualified

Brian L. Morrow – Well-Qualified

Kelly Ann Ramsey - Well-Qualified

Isaac Robinson - No Rating

Ron D. Robinson - No Rating

Suzette Samuels - Well-Qualified

Regina Thomas - No Rating

Michael Thomas Woodyard - Well-Qualified

Click here to read background information on these candidates

Click here to read background info on candidates - Part 2

 

36th District Judge of District Court Incumbent 6 Year Terms (8) Positions

Lydia Nance Adams - Outstanding

Deborah Geraldine Bledsoe Ford - No Rating

Izetta F. Bright - Outstanding

Ruth C. Carter - No Rating

Austin W. Garrett - No Rating

B. Pennie Millender - Outstanding

Cylenthia LaToye Miller - Outstanding

David A. Perkins - Outstanding

Larry D. Williams, Jr. - No Rating

 

36th District Judge of the District Court Non-Incumbent 6 Year Terms (2) Positions

Christopher M. Blount - No Rating

Richard J. Bowers, Jr. - Qualified

Kahlilia Yvette Davis - Well-Qualified

Kenyetta Stanford Jones - No Rating

Kristine Longstreet - No Rating

Millicent Sherman - Qualified

Click here to read background information on candidates

 

36th District Judge of District Court Incumbent – Partial Term Ending 1/01/2021 (1) Position

Adrienne Hinnant-Johnson - No Rating

Coral Watt - No Rating

 

 

19th District Judge of the District Court Non-Incumbent 6 Year Term (1) Position

Abbie Bazzi - Well-Qualified

Susan A. Dabaja - No Rating
Gene Hunt - No Rating

 Click here to read background information on candidates

 

About the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association:  Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association is a membership organization of more than 2,500 attorneys, judges and industry partners.  It is the oldest Bar Association in Michigan and the second oldest in the country and serves Detroit’s legal community through networking, practice development and community service.  For more information contact: Executive Director Darlene Trudell, dtrudell@detroitlawyer.org, 313 961-6120, ext. 201, www.detroitlawyer.org.