Judging the Judges 2016

Judges make rulings that affect people’s lives. They decide who is innocent and who is guilty, who should be compensated and who must pay.

Voters elect judges in Sedgwick County to four-year terms. To give voters more information about the people they are choosing to make such decisions, The Eagle and the Wichita Bar Association developed a survey in 2006. The survey asks lawyers to evaluate judges and candidates on such issues as fairness, ethics and communication skills.

The survey is conducted every two years. This year, June 6 to June 24, lawyers registered to practice law in Sedgwick County District Court were asked to evaluate the performance of judges and challengers running for election. They also were asked to rate judges who are not up for re-election until 2018.

Lawyers were asked to rate only the judges they had appeared before and candidates they could evaluate based on professional experience. The bar estimates that about half of the 1,100 lawyers registered to practice in Sedgwick County District Court actually appear in court regularly. That reduced the number qualified to evaluate judges to roughly 550.

This year, 222 lawyers participated in the survey. The number of responses varied: One judge was evaluated by 118 lawyers, one candidate by 22 lawyers.

The survey was conducted online through the bar association’s website. To access the survey, lawyers logged on using their bar license numbers and a password. This assured that participants were licensed attorneys and that they voted only once. All responses were anonymous.

Because of rounding, some percentages do not add up to 100.

To see the judges' responses to the survey, click here.

To see the results from previous years, click here.

Unopposed races

  • Judge, Division 13
  • Judge, Division 16
  • Judge, Division 20
  • Judge, Division 22

  • Up for re-election in 2018

  • Judge, Division 19
  • D = Democratic, R = Republican, i = Incumbent