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Need Help On How To Vote For San Diego Judges? Bar Association Offers Guidance

The San Diego Superior Court is shown in this undated photo.

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: The San Diego Superior Court is shown in this undated photo.

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There are eleven candidates vying for four San Diego County Superior Court judicial seats on the March primary ballot.

Aired: February 20, 2020 | Transcript

Eleven candidates are vying for four San Diego County Superior Court judicial seats on the March primary ballot.

But campaigns for judgeships tend to be low-key affairs, resulting in little information for voters.

In an effort to help voters make an informed choice, the San Diego County Bar Association is out with its judicial voting guide, which provides evaluations on the qualifications of the candidates.

“Given the power and influence that judges have in our community ... they're making life-changing decisions every day in matters ranging from family law to criminal law, probate matters. It’s something we want, to raise the profile of those races so that there’s more information available,” said Johanna Schiavoni, the president of the San Diego County Bar Association.

RELATED: Election 2020: How To Use The KPBS Voter Guide

The Bar Association's Judicial Election Evaluation Committee evaluates candidates on 15 factors, including experience, tolerance and lack of bias, fairness and objectivity, integrity and honesty, judicial temperament and knowledge of the law. The 21-member committee makes the evaluations based on information received from the candidates and other material submitted by Bar Association members and the public. It ranks candidates as exceptionally qualified, well qualified, qualified, lacking qualifications or unable to evaluate.

Below are the Bar Association's evaluations for the candidates on the March 3 primary ballot:

San Diego County Superior Court Judge – Office No. 18

  • CJ Mody - WELL QUALIFIED
  • Roberta Winston - EXCEPTIONALLY QUALIFIED

San Diego County Superior Court Judge – Office No. 22

  • Steve Miller - LACKING QUALIFICATIONS
  • Alana Wong Robinson - EXCEPTIONALLY QUALIFIED
  • Mark Skeels - EXCEPTIONALLY QUALIFIED

San Diego County Superior Court Judge – Office No. 30

  • Mike Murphy - WELL QUALIFIED
  • Pete Murray - WELL QUALIFIED
  • Tim Nader - WELL QUALIFIED
  • Paul Starita - EXCEPTIONALLY QUALIFIED

San Diego County Superior Court Judge – Office No. 36

  • Michelle Ialeggio - EXCEPTIONALLY QUALIFIED
  • Shawn McMillan - LACKING QUALIFICATIONS

Schiavoni joined Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss how the Bar Association determines if judicial candidates are qualified to serve on the bench.

The San Diego County Bar Association is an underwriter of KPBS.

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