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Meissner-Cutler, Susanna 2002 Evaluation


Eighteenth Judicial District - Douglas County Court Judge

Honorable Susanna Meissner-Cutler

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler BE RETAINED. The recommendation was not unanimous.

Judge Meissner-Cutler was appointed to the Douglas County Court in August 1995. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she practiced law as an attorney specializing in civil litigation and personal injury law.

Seventy-seven percent of the attorneys who were surveyed recommended retaining Judge Meissner-Cutler this year, which was down from 93.5% in 1998. Seventy-eight percent of non-attorneys recommended retaining her this year. Because of a clerical error, no jurors who had served in Judge Meissner-Cutler’s trials were included in the survey. In general, jurors give very positive ratings for trial court judges. This omission of jurors from the survey probably resulted in a lower than expected percentage of non-attorneys who voted to retain Judge Meissner-Cutler as well as other areas in the survey.

The Commission considered this omission when deciding its retention recommendation. This year, attorneys rated the judge below par in 17 of 25 categories surveyed for all county court judges and above par in 8 of the 25 categories. Non-attorneys rated her below par in 19 out of 20 categories.

The attorney and non-attorney comments regarding Judge Meissner-Cutler were mixed. Nevertheless, the Commission was of the opinion that communication problems had contributed to the mixed results for Judge Meissner-Cutler.