CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – The Missouri Bar has recommended that voters oust a St. Louis County judge in the November election. The recommendation against Associate Circuit Judge Judy Draper came after a Bar survey of attorneys.
It was just the third time the Missouri Bar suggested a judge not be retained, since voters adopted a nonpartisan system of electing certain judges in 1940.
The biennial evaluation focuses only on judges appointed to nonpartisan positions on appeals courts or to trial courts in the St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield areas. Those judges appear on the ballot periodically for yes-or-no votes on whether to keep them in office.
“Attorneys were asked to rate each judge on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score,” the Missouri Bar reported on its website. “More than 300 attorneys responded with respect to Judge Draper. Of the 18 areas surveyed, Judge Draper’s highest scores included treating people equally (3.10) and maintaining proper order and decorum in the courtroom (3.00). The three lowest scores received by Judge Draper include competency in the law (1.83), ruling on dispositive motions (1.97), and understanding rules of procedure and evidence (1.97). The committee believes any rating below 3.00 indicates a need for improvement. Attorneys rated Judge Draper as 3.00 or lower in 16 of 18 categories. …
“The 21st Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee recommends that Judge Judy P. Draper NOT BE RETAINED.”
Positive recommendations were given to Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer and all 60 other judges reviewed this year.