Frequently Asked Questions About Judicial Evaluations

  1. How do we ensure that confidentiality is protected?
  2. What is the Judicial Performance Program?
  3. Is there a policy on confidentiality of judicial evaluations turned in by attorneys?
  4. What happens to the evaluations?
  5. What is the review process?
  6. Who else sees the judicial evaluations?
  7. Are individual judicial evaluation reports seen by the Supreme Court Rule 19 Special Committee on Judicial Performance?
  8. Who is on the Rule 19 Committee?




How do we ensure that confidentiality is protected?

Because Hawai`i Information Consortium administers the process, attorney identification information is not provided to the Hawai`i Judiciary. The identities of the attorneys making comments are not provided to the Judiciary by the third party survey vendor. Comments are provided to the judges in numerical order. In general, the comments are verbatim. They are edited to remove identifying information and statements. Individual attorneys need to keep their comments anonymous themselves since, according to Supreme Court Rule 19.6, staff cannot be held liable for editing decisions.

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What is the Judicial Performance Program?

Here is a link to information on the Judicial Performance Program.

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Is there a policy on confidentiality of judicial evaluations turned in by attorneys?

According to the Supreme Court staff attorney, the policy is expressed in Rule 19.5 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai`i.

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What happens to the evaluations?

The evaluations are tallied by eHawaii.gov, which is managed by Hawai`i Information Consortium. The number of responses for each category is provided to the Judiciary Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts. Judiciary staff work with the Chief Justice of the Hawai`i Supreme Court to prepare the results for the judges. A minimum of eighteen completed questionnaires is needed for an evaluation to be prepared for a judge.

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What is the review process?

The Judicial Evaluation Review Panel meets with the justices and judges and counsels them about their results. The six members of the evaluation panel are organized into three separate groups. Each group consists of one former judge, one non-practicing attorney, and one member of the public knowledgeable in the law. Depending on his schedule, the Chief Justice may join the Review Panel at the session.

Who else sees the judicial evaluations?

When the Judicial Selection Commission is in the process of reviewing an application for appointment or retention, the Commission may send a letter to the Chief Justice requesting information on the judge. If a judicial performance report exists, the Chief Justice will forward a copy of it to the Chairperson of the Commission. Otherwise, only Hawai`i Information Consortium, the Judiciary staff preparing the report, the Chief Justice, the Review Panel, and the individual judge have access to the report.

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Are individual judicial evaluation reports seen by the Supreme Court Rule 19 Special Committee on Judicial Performance?

Individual judicial evaluation reports are not seen by the Rule 19 Committee. However, yearly summary reports on the Judicial Performance Program are available to the public at law libraries in each circuit.

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Who is on the Rule 19 Committee?

Judge Derrick H.M. Chan is the Chair of the Committee. The other Committee members are Judge Rhonda I. L. Loo, Judge Clarence A. Pacarro, Claire K. S. Cooper, Rosemary T. Fazio, Jeen H. Kwak, Rodney A. Maile, R. Patrick McPherson, James C. McWhinnie, Stephanie A. Rezents, Audrey L. E. Stanley, and Janice Yee.

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