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Related Chart: Santa Clara Judge Survey Ticket-fixing allegations can put a pretty big dent in a judge’s reputation for integrity. The Santa Clara County Bar Association released the resultsof its bi-annual survey of area judges, and indicted Judge William Danser didn’t fare too well. Overall, though, the 2003 survey results, based on responses from participating attorneys, read more like a fan letter than a list of complaints. Six judges — Santa Clara Superior Court Judges Richard Turrone, Jerome Brock, Paul Cole, Randolf Rice, Jerome Nadler and Rodney Stafford — received no criticism at all in any of the six categories. Of the 92 judges and commissioners evaluated, nearly one-third were ranked �excellent’ in all six areas — dispute resolution, impartiality, integrity, temperament, legal knowledge and work ethic. But a handful of judges received more criticism than compliments. Danser faces criminal charges as well as judicial discipline proceedings because of allegations he steered tickets and other matters to his courtroom for lenient treatment. He bombed the survey, with many lawyers saying he needed improvement in every category. Of the 25 attorneys who sounded off about Judge Joyce Allegro, most found the former prosecutor needed improvement in impartiality, temperament and dispute resolution. Since being elected in 1999, Allegro said she can’t shake her pro-prosecution reputation, which she said could account for the survey results. “I don’t know what I can do to change that perception. I think I am fair. I know I work hard,” Allegro said. Judges Richard Loftus Jr., Diane Northway, Eugene Hyman and Kevin Murphy received mixed marks on temperament, with at least a quarter of the attorneys voting that it needed improvement or was unsatisfactory. Judge Gregory Ward, a civil judge, was dinged for his dispute resolution and temperament. Judge Katherine Lucero, a family law judge, received mixed marks on impartiality, temperament and knowledge of the law. Judge Rise Pichon was knocked on knowledge of the law. It was a love fest for San Jose’s three federal judges, who all received “excellents” across the board. Santa Clara Superior Court’s civil judges Robert Baines, William Martin, William Elfving and Thomas Edwards also enjoyed high marks. Criminal judges Raymond Cunningham, Joseph Huber and Sharon Chatman also got good reviews. About 300 attorneys answered the survey, with the number of respondents for any particular judge varying from a high of 139 to a low of seven. The Santa Clara County Bar Association, which conducts the survey every two years, stressed that the point was not to compare judges, but to provide individual feedback and “assist each judge in evaluating him or herself.” Santa Clara Superior Court Presiding Judge Thomas Hansen said the survey can provide useful guidance, but doesn’t really reflect a judge’s true reputation. “The Santa Clara County bar has over 4,000 members. You know how many are represented — slightly over 300. In my personal case, it was something like 35 attorneys,” said Hansen, who scored mostly “excellents.” “It’s hard to take that as a valid evaluation.” The survey is available on the Web at www.sccba.com.

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