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Steve Berk Spearheads Effort to Increase Judicial Evaluation Survey Response Rate: A Challenge to D.C. Bar Members

Posted in Person of the Week

Steve Berk, as Chairman of the D.C. Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee (“JEC”), has been spearheading the JEC’s efforts to increase the response rate among attorneys eligible to complete a survey  of judicial performance.  In this latest effort, a group of approximately 30 to 35 judges serving on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia are slated for review.  To be eligible, attorneys must have appeared before the selected Judges in the two years prior to the evaluation date.  Steve is determined to get the response rate, currently under ten percent, up signifcantly.  His activities are focused on in an article from Washington Lawyer’s November issue, “A Call to Action.”  Please take a moment to learn more about this important professional responsibility by reading the article, found here.

An excerpt is below:

A Call to Action: Judicial Evaluation Committee Seeks Greater Lawyer Participation

By Kathryn Alfisi

Each year the D.C. Bar Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) reaches out to a segment of the D.C. Bar to conduct its survey on a select group of judges serving on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Approximately 30 to 35 judges in their 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service are evaluated each year, as are senior judges during the second year of their four–year term and once during their two–year term.

The surveys are completed by lawyers who have appeared before the selected judges in the two years prior to the evaluation period. The survey results are then viewed by the D.C. Courts’ chief judges, and finally are considered by the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure in its judicial evaluation process, which determines whether a judge will serve another term or take senior status. The evaluated judges also receive copies of the report.

After a decline in response in the most recent evaluation cycle, the JEC is seeking to increase feedback from Bar members. Steven N. Berk, who served on the JEC before becoming chair of the committee, says getting Bar members to return the surveys has been an ongoing challenge. …

Read the full article here.