Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome to AZ Judges Review

This blog will provide information on judges in Arizona for voters to make informed decisions on who to vote for. It will attempt to cover as many judges in the state as possible. Because Maricopa County only has retention elections, most voters know very little about our judges. The judges never have to run for initial election since they are appointed solely by the governor, they only run later for retention election in nonpartisan races. Their judicial biographies do not say which party they belong to. The Superior Court bios don't even say which governor appointed them, which would provide some insight into their political persuasions, so we have provided that information.

We hope to provide information on judges that the Arizona Commission on Judicial Review does not, like what a candidate's political views are, and whether they have biases on the bench. For too long the Commission has rubber stamped almost all judges for reelection, which isn't helpful for most voters who would like to know which judges are soft on crime, have been involved in scandals, or are otherwise predisposed. This year, the commission only recommended not retaining one judge, Maricopa Superior Court judge Crane McClennan (who we have a mixed opinion of - he's a lot better than half the other judges). Please email us at azjudgesreview-at-gmail.com if you have any information to contribute. All information will be kept confidential. If you would rather leave us a private comment anonymously instead of an email, please leave a comment after this post. All comments are moderated so if you indicate it's not for publication, we will respect your privacy.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hoag is a conservative. She was appointed by Symington, not Mofford. She is hard nosed, but has a great memory for people. She wants to be fair with people. Came out of the County Attorney's office where she handled some tough cases.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to determine where you got your information as to liberal/conservative, but so much of it is flat out wrong---For example,Sam Myers was a death penalty prosecutor for the last several years and before that was a sex crimes prosecutor;Chris Whitten was a prosecutor and when he went into private practice he specialized in representing victims of crime;Rosa Mroz was also a sex crimes prosecutor;Joe Welty was a tough federal prosecutor who was well regarded by law enforcement;Ray Lee you have as being liberal because he was involved in an association of defense counsel, which is a civil litigation association made up of those who defend against plaintiff's law suits--He's also a conservative criminal judge;Paul Mcmurdie was a career prosecutor who specialized in capital litigation and appeals and represented the state several times before the us supreme court and is extremely well regarded by victims--If you want any credibility with those of us who may be conservative , get your facts straight.

Mr. Prosecutor said...

EXCUSE ME? Paul McMurdie a conservative criminal judge? I think not. Yes he was a prosecutor but he was a LIBERAL prosecutor, and he's continued his liberal leanings as a judge. Let's be honest here - Napolitano's judicial appointments have ALL been liberals. I dare you to name ONE judicial appointee of hers that is conservative.

Just because someone has prosecutorial experience DOES NOT MAKE THEM CONSERVATIVE! Look at former disgraced liberal Democrat Governor/Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. Typical example of a liberal prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Judge Hyatt, Hilliard and Harrison, an a large number of the women lawyers in Arizona, are part of a women lawyers association. Their decisions frequently and conspicuously coincide, either against men or against male lawyers. The cases these judges hear should be watched vary carefully for signs of bias. These women should not be on the bench.

Anonymous said...

By the way, you know that you can look up whether they are a Democrat, Republican, or a independent. Its not just who appointed them. The commissions that weed out candidates before they get to Governors must pick at least 2 of one party and one of another to forward.

For the most part, by the way, you get moderates from those panels because they are stacked with an equal number of GOP and Dems...and then 5 lawyer members or so. The votes are rarely split that much also.

Anyhow...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this wonderful list. I didn't have to keep googling individual judges once I found this site. Your political leanings portions also made it much easier to make sure we have well educated, forward thinking judges on the bench. We need progress, not regress.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information!! It is wonderful to finally NOT be voting blindly. Maybe more people will learn about this site and utilize it when the pain they have to live due to their choices are finally recognized and acted upon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I wasn't sure I was even going to vote for this portion of the ballot because I couldn't find all the information I needed. This helped me make a more informed decision!

Anonymous said...

How can I get an information list for Pima County Superior Court Judges?

Anonymous said...

You have Warren Granville listed as republican, but his name is red. Is the color incorrect or is the republican association?

Anonymous said...

Kristin Hoffman, though appointed by Gov. Napolitano, is a republican. Why do you have her name in red?

AZ Judges Review said...

In response to a couple of the comments....our assessments are based on the opinions of lawyers we personally know and trust who have appeared enough in front of these judges to have formed an opinion. Anyone else who offers information that we can't personally verify will be in the comments.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who gave you favorable comments about Helene Abrams - maybe she wrote in on her own behalf or her defense attorney friends did. She is a defense attorney in a robe and will steer decisions to cut criminals a break at the expense of public safety. As for balance in respecting the crime victims - fuggetta about it! She should be the first booted to establish judicial accountability to the voters.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Sam Goodman's name? Is there a reason? He is a judge at the San Tan Justice Court...

Anonymous said...

alway looking for help with the judges.. what a find, your blog! any mention of j.d. hayworth gives me pause. red all of way for this voter, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all the work you did in getting this information and making it available. Now I feel like I know how to vote!

Anonymous said...

Is the color wrong on Karen Potts and Roland Steinle?

Ronduck said...

How come this is not on the AZ GOP's website? Are they legally prohibited from giving an opinion on judicial elections? There should be a single statewide site covering all elections like this:

www.maricopa.az.gop.com

That way a voter can see the opinion of the Republican party on all candidates in local elections.

Ronduck said...

I forgot to click the subscribe button!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this service to the voters of Arizona. There is no information on the television, radio, or newspaper regarding the judges. If this website has J.D. Hayworth's stamp of approval it has mine.

Victor said...

Thanks for helping us to make better decisions with our picks.

Kathleen - Scottsdale AZ said...

I was linked to your ratings through JD Hayworth's page at KFYI and was astounded to see an '8' rating for Judge Ditsworth.
Your rating of Judge Ditsworth is way way way too generous. Frankly, in my opinion, he's incompetent and should be removed from the court.

First off, you show him as a criminal judge; however, he was the presiding judge on a FC divorce case I was involved in. To say the least, he is an imbecile! Best case scenario, he's a really poor judge of character with extremely poor rationale & no common sense. He made personal judgments in the case with no regard for the evidence in front of him and with utter disregard for the Arizona state guidelines, he allowed himself to be blatantly lied to and held onto pre-formed opinions even when factual evidence to the contrary was presented.

My friend has been in court for over 4 years, spent over a quarter million dollars on legal fees all with no end in sight. Ditsworth, when forced to see the error of his judgment vacated his grossly erroneous support order in the divorce, but completely lacked the judgment or the spine to actually correct his mistake, so he reset the temporary support amount on a final divorce which as you should know is stupid and schloffed it of on another judge to clean up. You can't have temporary orders active on a final divorce, so in effect the temporary amount (which Ditsworth also screwed up by including an $1800 rent allowance twice) became the final amount. Of course with the confusion around the idiotic ruling, both sides seem to believe a different amount is in effect. Further, Ditsworth completely disregarded the 50% of time spent in the father's home under the shared custody agreement and gave no credit for the fact that the father also pays 100% of the girls school tuition and 100% of their medical insurance. My friend is currently waiting on appeal where he will probably spend another quarter million+ dollars to undo Ditsworth's gross incompetence.

It is absolutely amazing how much havoc Ditsworth rained down on these people's lives without a care in the world and simply swept his garbage off to someone else's court. Because they are still fighting without resolution, they haven't even begun to heal relations and move forward which leaves 2 children in a battlefield, being used as weapons and leverage by one parent manipulating the system to maintain her ridiculous stipend.

My friend should have filed a judicial misconduct complaint letter in October 2005 when he first wanted to, but his former attorney talked him out of it, warning against vindictive repercussions and the inability to change judges which could make matters worse. In my personal opinion, it was more to protect his own hide as an attorney when he presented other cases before Judge Ditsworth's court.

In short, it is a travesty that Judge Ditsworth is allowed to have such power over people's lives, wreak such havoc and simply excuse himself from the mess he made.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know did Harriet Chavez get reapointed? I don't know the results of the judges in election 2008. Where do I go to get that info?

Anonymous said...

This is in regards to judge Thomas Wing. Who Recently ruled on a case to put a 5 year old child back into the arms of an abusive grandmother. Hatch vs. Killmeyer, Coconino Co. Three child thea reported abuse by the grandmother after seeing the child. He found the mother in contemp, after Ca took jurisidiction due to the abuse. He took it back base on the fact that the grandmother involved is the cheif public defender of Coconio co.and a personal freind. There is a current complaint on file at the commision. He has a history of putting childern back into abusive homes who are than again abuse. This is one judge that needs to beremove from the bench. For the safty of all kids.

Anonymous said...

i'm so upset with judge garcia, why is she in an area she has no knowledge of, what are my rights to a new judge? the justice system has no justice if i can't request a new judge that has the correct expertise for the matter at hand. the system needs correction & overhaul. i'm mad.

Anonymous said...

This Judge has no business judging other. The evidence are speaking for themselves:

State of Arizona
COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT
Disposition of Complaint 08-302
Complainant: Elizabeth Reeter No.
Judge: Carey Hyatt No.
ORDER
After reviewing the complaint, the evidence gathered during preliminary investigation,
and the judge’s response, the commission finds that the judge’s conduct in this case
violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Canon 3B(4) of the code requires that a judge be patient, dignified and courteous
to litigants. During the hearing described in the complaint, the judge became angry with
the complainant and told her to change her attitude, stating, “I am the judge.” She warned
the complainant that she would not be able to present her evidence if her attitude did not
change. This conduct is unacceptable even though the judge was apologetic about her
conduct. The commission also considered that it had previously given the judge a private
comment regarding her temper.
Accordingly, the judge is hereby reprimanded for her conduct pursuant to Rule
17(a), and the record in this case, consisting of the complaint, the judge’s response and
this order, shall be made public as required by Rule 9(a).
Dated: March 20, 2009.
FOR THE COMMISSION
\s\ Louis Frank Dominguez
________________________
Hon. Louis Frank Dominguez
Commission Vice Chair
Copies of this order were mailed
to the complainant and the judge
on March 20, 2009.

Anonymous said...

Judge Plante in Yuma has no respect for the rule of law. He is a social redistributionialist that always goes for the deeper pocket to give to the less well off, whether they are right or wrong. He doesn't care about the merits of a case or what is supposed to be the rule of law.

Anonymous said...

Spend some time checking out Judge William Brotherton. Judge Brothertonia an angry man who demonstrates substantial self-righteousness, and lacks discernment, a necessary quality for a judge. He openly admits not reading the motions or statements, and threatens incarceration for the smallest perceived infraction. He is a bully in the courtroom, makes snap judgments and does not consider all the evidence. Judge Brotherton also allows evidence, from the person he favors, be admitted even though the evidence has been obviously altered and not previously disclosed. See Robeprobe.com for a long list of opinions on this judge. This judge is destroying good people’s lives.

Jorge said...

Judge Andrew Klein is disturbingly anti-Father's rights. He just took my son away from me, and provided me with almost zero ability to protect him for almost a year, while refusing to even look at the dozens of police reports I have against her and her new husband, and sworn testimony in other trials by her and her new husband regarding their violence towards me, and sworn testimony by her own ex-roommate that SHE subpoenaed to the stand AND police reports about her violent hullucinations! He wouldn't even LOOK at the evidence before doing this! I have no criminal record, and have never even been accused of so much as raising my voice to my son! I have never even been accused of laying a hand on my ex-wife either. How is a monster like this even sitting on the bench? I would like to say, "what is conservative about that?" but unfortunately it has become all-too-traditional to ignore even the most basic respect for Father's Rights.

Anonymous said...

I'm a conservative Republican attorney who has appeared before Judge Paul Katz. While somewhat liberal overall, Judge Katz is exceedingly fair, and takes great pains to make decisions based on what the law and the constitution require. Many times liberal activist judges employ intellectual dishonesty to achieve their desired result. I have never seen Judge Katz do this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of your hard work on this blog, it has really helped me to determine who to vote for this year. I made sure that I voted against your most recommended conservative judges and I voted for every judge who you thought was unfit for office.

You (unintentionally) also created a liberal voter guide by making it clear which judges scare you the most. Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

tioRosa Mroz, a liberal? Hardly!
Rosa was in my law school class at ASU. Smartest person in my class, and IMO, the nicest, and close to the funniest. If "conservative" means always taking the side of the police, then she is no conservative. Rosa is as libertarian as you can get.

Anonymous said...

While I find these articles interesting,I see not mention of Pinal County Judges. I am very disappointed in their ability to administer the law properly. As many other posts the Judical system in Pinal county is broken and the Judges are ruining peoples lives especially in Family court.

Anonymous said...

I know it shows Peter REINSTIEN as a favorable judge. Probably because he politic-ted at ASU to the law students. If this judge gets re-elected it will be a mistake. He is HORRIBLE. He is part of the corruption in the family court room that Dr. Phil was referring to.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting on my early ballot and can't seem to find any info on the judges. the judicial performance review publicity pamphlet mailed out by the az secretary of state's office is of no help. the last thing i want is to vote another liberal judge who will undermine majority voters' voice. therefore, i want to be very informed when it comes to voting for these judges. i'm glad to have found your website. it helps some. however, i live in tucson and need info on pima county judges, i'm sure most of them are liberal democrates. will u consider posting infos on pima county judges in the future? i can really use reliable info on them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this site. It was very helpful to know the liberal or conservative leaning of the judges which helped me decide where to put my vote (conservative, of course). I also appreciated knowing who was a Napolitano appointee. Keep up the good work. I emailed this to many of my friends and the Constitutionalists group I belong to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. I voted exactly opp. of your ratings. Made it very easy to find the good judges.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

There seems to be no helpful info regarding Pima County Superior Court judicial retentions? CAP's AZVoterGuide isn't helpful, especially when judges do not respond to questions. Actually, it's not all that helpful when they do respond with cookie-cutter form letters.

AZStarNet says all 8 Pima judges received *passing* grades by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review. The Judicial Performance Reports do not help me either.

I read through the Pima bios. Only 2 captured my attention:
Ted B Borek (West Point graduate), and Michael Cruikshank (outdoors, shooting sports, fishing). However, I'm wary of Jane Hull's appointments.