Federal Judges, Judicial Reports, State Judges

Judicial Reports: More Eyes on Judges

judicial reports.jpegA hot new trend in the world of law: websites that turn the tables (benches?) on the judiciary, by placing judges rather than litigants under the microscope.
First there was The Robing Room, which bills itself as a site “where judges are judged.” And now there’s a great new resource called Judicial Reports, published by the Institute for Judicial Studies (IJS).
IJS is an organization with the worthy dual mission of “defend[ing] judicial independence and demand[ing] judicial accountability.” Judicial Reports is part of that effort:

In 2006 the Institute launched JudicialReports.com to cover developments within the state and federal judiciary, starting with the New York metropolitan region. Extending that effort, a deeply detailed, subscription-based service, Judicial Profiles, is available through the Web site. The Blue Book of New York Judges is a digest of that research, focused on major state trial judges in the city.

Anyone seeking a full understanding of a jurist’s performance is urged to delve much further than what is contained here. Gauging judicial performance is a complicated, often subjective endeavor. Individual competence and integrity are foremost considerations. But context is often key, whether it be the sociology of a given jurisdiction, the division of caseload labor among jurists, or the political economy that brokers the allocation of resources for the system.

The Judicial Profiles that are available through the website look tantalizing. They seem to be similar to the write-ups in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, but more detailed and rigorous (and they’re available online). They look like a resource that no law firm will be able to do without.
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