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Judging the judges (access required)

An unprecedented survey based on the opinions of thousands of lawyers across North Carolina seems to paint a rosy picture of the state’s judiciary. The N.C. Bar Association’s judicial performance survey gives a big thumbs-up to almost all of the 168 trial judges who will have to survive this year’s election to remain on the bench. None of the 17 Superior Court and 151 District Court judges who were evaluated received the lowest possible overall performance rating on the survey. Coincidentally, the survey’s glowing results were released Jan. 3, one day before Gov. Beverly E. Perdue announced that she had filled all 18 seats on the state’s new Judicial Nominating Commission. The commission, created by executive order last spring, was trumpeted as a historic step toward improving the quality of the state’s judiciary.

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