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Spokane County lawyers rate judicial candidates

generic courtroom.Spokane County
Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio
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The bar association releases scores from candidate interviews and survey of attorneys.

The Spokane County Bar Association has released its annual rankings for the judicial candidates whose names will appear on the November ballot.

This year there are four candidates for two District Court seats. In one race, District Court Commissioner Eric Dooyema faces Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Zappone. In the other, Andrew Biviano is running against Deanna Crull. They are two attorneys in private practice who also serve as pro tem judges in District Court. Biviano is a Spokane Public Radio underwriter.

Bar President April Anderson says the evaluation includes two parts, including face-to-face interviews with each of the candidates.

“The panel consists of multiple different types of lawyers who are in different practices, retired judges, so that we can gauge each of these categories and get a feel for how a person interacts and responds in an interview setting," she said.

The panel gave its highest marks, exceptionally well qualified, to Zappone, Biviano and Crull. It judged Dooyema as well qualified.

The second component is a poll of the 1,100 bar association members with evaluates candidates in five categories, from ability and experience to judicial temperament. Anderson says about 20% participated. The poll was conducted by Washington State University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

FINDINGS:

District Court Judge 3

Eric Dooyema Well Qualified
Jennifer Zappone Exceptionally Well Qualified

District Court – Judge 6

Andrew Biviano Exceptionally Well Qualified
Deanna Crull Exceptionally Well Qualified

Bar Poll:
1 Not Qualified
2 Qualified
3 Well Qualified
4 Exceptionally Well Qualified

The results reported below consist of a) average ratings for the candidate for the five stated categories, and b) specific responses received for the candidate under each criterion.

Andrew Biviano:
Legal Ability: 2.84
Judicial Temperament: 2.78
Integrity: 2.86
Relevant Legal Experience: 2.60
Suitability: 2.65

Deanna Crull:
Legal Ability: 3.05
Judicial Temperament: 3.16
Integrity: 3.19
Relevant Legal Experience: 3.24
Suitability: 3.07

Eric Dooyema:
Legal Ability: 3.07
Judicial Temperament: 3.17
Integrity: 3.24
Relevant Legal Experience: 3.17
Suitability: 3.11

Jennifer Zappone:
Legal Ability: 3.16
Judicial Temperament: 3.22
Integrity: 3.30
Relevant Legal Experience: 3.21
Suitability: 3.09

Anderson says the bar conducts its evaluation to provide information to voters who have little or no legal experience.