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The Qualities of a Good Judge – Frank Geraci


What qualities of a candidate for judicial office should be recognized and then pursued? MSBA’s Special Diversified and Balanced Committee, which investigated and deliberated on the matter for two years, concluded that the process for appointing and selecting judges should be based on each court’s diversity, not just race. and ethnicity, but also professional background. Experience must also be maximized. Capabilities. In this context, he concluded that the following qualities should be sought in all applicants to the court.

1. Judicial Temperament: This personality trait includes the ability to apply the law to facts and the ability to understand how a judicial decision affects people who appear in court. It is the ability to communicate calmly and kindly with lawyers, juries, witnesses and parties, as well as a willingness to listen and consider what has been said on all sides of a questionable proposal.

The candidate must demonstrate the following aspects of good judicial disposition: patience, openness, decency, tact, courage, punctuality, perseverance, understanding, compassion, humility and common sense. These qualities must be constantly demonstrated. For applicants already serving as a judge, these qualities must consistently appear to all “interested parties” in court, regardless of life, profession, type of case, representation of the judge or attorney, or the absence of a judge. speak to.

The candidate for the position must be able to show tolerance for provocation, treat others sensitively and without insult, and absorb the external data of the candidate’s experience without bias and without difficulty or pressure. You must be able to. The candidate must be able to manage his or her own stress without exposing it to others; You should be aware that the situation is not only tense, but an official government position that commands the confidence of the public, the business of which is largely done absolutely; This criticism and scrutiny are rooted in the situation. Candidates who are intimidated or unsure about these aspects of the job should be asked to reconsider their position.

2. Intelligence: It is the ability to know and apply legal rules, analyzes and procedures to different facts and situations, and to understand, understand and comprehend new concepts and ideas.

3. Ethics: There should be no doubt about the personal or professional ethics of the candidate.

As an attorney, the candidate must maintain a level of conduct above the minimum standards set forth in the Disciplinary Rules and must not be sanctioned by the Bar Complaint Commission. The candidate must know and follow the ethical principles set forth in the Code as a guide in specific situations.

The candidate must have participated in the daily activities of the union in the areas of legal and professional ethics.

The candidate must demonstrate a personal standard of ethical behavior that stands out from the candidate’s private citizens and fellow practitioners.

4. Courage and Integrity: Legal “courage” is “the will to do what the law requires of a judge, even if the course taken by the judge is uncommon.” “Integrity” is not affected by identity, race, gender, political status, wealth, or kinship of the party or lawyer before a judge. Most importantly, you are not doing what the judge knows is wrong. The judicial applicant must have courage and integrity.

5. Experience and Education: Pre-professional activities, legal education, teaching, bar activities and publications are very important. The type and amount of experience required will vary depending on the judicial situation required.

As a general rule, the candidate must have been an active member of the bar for at least five years.

The first instance court candidate must be involved in active courtroom practice and always have some litigation experience. Extensive experience in representing clients before administrative courts can be considered as litigation experience. However, non-judicial experience (such as education, experience in government or corporate attorney) as well as high scores in other criteria, particularly intelligence and judicial disposition, should not be overlooked.

6. Compatibility with workload: The candidate must demonstrate compatibility with the workload of the court. Those who do not like to write opinions should not be advised of appeal positions. Those who disliked traffic or internal affairs would be a poor choice for county and circuit courts, respectively.

7. The ability to communicate: It is the ability to express oneself in a clear, concise and grammatical manner, either orally or in writing. This includes the ability to listen.

All judicial candidates must have strong oral and written skills. Call-up positions require applicants to have better writing skills. The candidate for the examination platform must be able to express himself well both orally and in writing.

8. Civic and Professional Responsibility: Contributing to the public and the legal profession through organizing organizations for legal and non-legal services, voluntary activities, and civic and cultural organizations.

The candidate must be given positive consideration for his or her personal interest, public service and/or professional activities.

9. Health: The candidate must have adequate physical and mental health to perform the duties of the job in order to provide robust and efficient service for the foreseeable future. A history of illness caused by stress, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, or current low attendance at work should be warning signs, and a candidate with such a history is not generally considered to have the ability to resist conflict and stress and should go. Stress is necessary. The Attorney General’s Office should be required to advise the Registry Commission on how to align these goals with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

10. Character: This most important general characteristic is an important abstract. The candidate must be of good character. It must have a positive reputation in all professional and residential communities. Your background should be free of references to immorality or indiscretion. It should be free from a history of drug or substance abuse, and free from indications of domestic violence, publicly unacceptable behavior, etc. Applicants must be financially stable.

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