Seventeenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable John Popovich
Retention Year: 1990
Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Be Retained.
Judge Popovich, a lawyer since 1972, held a variety of positions before he was appointed to the district court bench in 1986. He worked with the Legal Aid Society in Adams County from 1972 until 1974. He was then in private practice for 11 years. He worked as a referee in Jefferson County for about five months before becoming a judge. He previously has presided over domestic relations, juvenile and probate cases. He is currently assigned to the felony criminal bench.
The comments on the questionnaires were divided. On the positive side, a police officer wrote, “Judge Popovich is another judge who is willing to make an extra effort to see that things are handled properly.” One juror commented, “I was very impressed with Judge Popovich; he was very clear in his statements to the lawyers and to us jurors. But, most of all, he showed no favoritism.”
Most of the criticisms of Popovich were aimed at what most respondents viewed as his lack of organization and his indecision. One lawyer said Popovich “does not know criminal procedure or rules, including legal evidence, and is unprepared to handle legal argument.” A staff member noted, “Judge Popovich is very disorganized. He rarely starts court on time, and never has opinions prepared on time. He does not take control of cases, and often lets parties ramble during court. He does try hard, but he cannot get the job done. Judge Popovich has trouble making decisions.”
The commission members felt Judge Popovich did a good job in his interview. He was rated highly in most categories. While some of the commission members were concerned about the comments concerning Judge Popovich’s indecision and disorganization, they felt these were areas he could work upon to improve.