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0000017b-f971-ddf0-a17b-fd73f4140000Coverage of the 2018 Elections in Spokane, throughout the region, and across the country. Support for SPR Election reporting is provided by Spokane Journal of Business, Express Employment Professionals, and SPR members.Click here for a list of 2018 Election Coverage Special Events

Bar Poll Rating Spokane Judicial Candidates Released

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Voters who aren't lawyers often don’t have good ways to evaluate judicial candidates. One way is to see how their fellow attorneys rate them, which is one reason why bar associations evaluate candidates.

The Spokane County Bar Association recently released the results of its annual judicial candidates’ poll.
The poll has two components. There are interviews with the judicial candidates and there’s a survey of bar association members.

David Gardner is the president-elect of the county bar and a partner at Winston and Cashatt. He was the chairman of the committee that conducted the interviews.

“There’s are lots of really critical issues with respect to access to justice and the efficiency of judicial administration, fairness and bias and all those kinds of things," Gardner said. "The community needs to feel ample trust in its judicial system. That’s what those questions are designed to discuss with those candidates.”

Then there’s a questionnaire that’s sent to the bar association members. The results from both components are tabulated by the Washington State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

And the results? The Superior Court race features the incumbent, Judge Shelley Szambelan and attorney Dennis Cronin. Szambelan was rated exceptionally well qualified in the interview and well qualified by her peers. Cronin refused to participate in the interview and was rated qualified in the poll.

The District Court race features deputy prosecutor Patrick Johnson and former Judge Randy Brandt. Johnson was rated well qualified in both the interview and poll. Brandt refused to participate in either the interview or the poll.

You can read more at the Spokane County Bar Association website. Gardner suggests that if you more information about how to evaluate judicial candidates that you call an attorney.