Effort led by Nancy Black Norelli on NC lawyer review of judges surveys for NC Bar
Lawyer Review Of Judges Will Help Voters Make An Informed Choice On Election Day
Huge Effort Led by Charlotte Attorney Nancy Black Norelli for N.C. Bar Association is First in the U.S
On Election Day, when it came to the judicial races, most voters have difficulty knowing much about the candidates. Thanks to Charlotte lawyer Nancy Black Norelli and the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) committee she chairs, this has changed. Voters can now find out how North Carolina lawyers rate judicial incumbents and challengers in the District and Superior Court contested races in the areas of integrity and fairness, legal ability, professionalism, communication, and administrative skills – characteristics essential for good judges.
The non-partisan survey results from active North Carolina lawyers for local judicial races can be found at www.electncjudges.org. The results are presented in separate, easily downloadable pages and organized for voters by county. Publication and distribution of copyrighted materials located at www.electncjudges.org are pre-approved with attribution to the North Carolina Bar Association.
“Almost 4,300 attorneys responded to the survey, leading to 27,700 individual attorney evaluations of those District and Superior Court judges who will be on the ballot this year,” says Norelli, chair of the NCBA Judicial Performance Evaluation (JPE) committee. “The JPE results provide a much deserved ‘pat on the back’ for our many distinguished and highly respected judges, even as it shines a light on ones that are deemed poor performers by survey respondents.”
“Interestingly, the survey has also led to improvement of judges who were alerted to a weakness that he or she was otherwise unable to perceive fully,” adds Norelli. “If judges learned, through the survey, that their ‘knowledge of the law’ was below average, they will be able to add to their knowledge utilizing seminars or even requesting a mentor in a weak subject area.”
The importance of good and excellent judges in the District and Superior Courts cannot be minimized. District Courts include criminal misdemeanor cases, family court matters, civil disputes and juvenile cases where the judge makes the final ruling, without a jury. A Superior Court judge presides at felony trials, is responsible for making sure that a jury is fairly selected, evidence rules are correctly applied, attorneys do not run afoul of those rules and the jury is instructed correctly on the pertinent law before beginning deliberation.
“Trial court judges hold lives in their hands,” says Norelli. “Any person might intersect with these courts – an underage drinking citation, reckless driving ticket, a college prank, an unfortunate lack of cooperation with a police officer, a careless decision to drive after too many beers, a contract dispute or a custody battle can land anyone in the trial courtroom. In all these cases, each party wants a good judge.”
The NCBA judicial review survey is the first in the nation and is already being used as a model for other states who want to have a better informed electorate on judicial races.
About Norelli Law
Norelli Law represents individuals, fiduciaries and businesses throughout the United States. Practice areas include Elder Law, Trusts & Estates, Mediation, Fiduciary Litigation and Family Law. Led by attorney Nancy Black Norelli who has over 30 years of distinguished legal experience, Norelli Law’s team of attorneys, paralegals and business consultants offer clients the highest level of professionalism and knowledge as they navigate complex matters toward resolution. For more information, please visit www.NorelliLaw.com or call 704-376-5484.