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Smith, Robert 2006 Evaluation


Thirteenth Judicial District - Logan County Court Judge

Honorable Robert B. Smith

Retention Year: 2006
Recommendation: Retain

The Thirteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Robert B. Smith BE RETAINED. The vote to retain Judge Smith was 7-2.
Judge Smith was appointed to the Logan County Court bench in April, 2000. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Smith was in private practice in Sterling. Judge Smith presently hears civil, traffic, and misdemeanor cases, and served as the Sterling Municipal Judge for 24 years.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Smith from both attorneys and non-attorneys, including written comments from the questionnaires. The Commission also considered the written self-evaluation completed by Judge Smith and conducted a personal interview of Judge Smith.

Judge Smith enjoys being a County Judge and continually works to improve his performance through attendance at various conferences and trainings. Judge Smith believes that it is important to work hard as a County Judge and indicates a desire to give his best to the position.

Both attorneys and non-attorneys surveyed scored Judge Smith below the average for all county judges. The area where he scored the lowest on both surveys was his courtroom demeanor. Judge Smith’s ratings by non-attorneys averaged 3.0, or a grade of “B”. The attorney rankings were lower, but could have been distorted by the small number of attorneys (only eleven) responding to the questionnaire.

Despite the relatively low rankings, a majority of both attorneys and non-attorneys recommended that Judge Smith be retained. Of the attorneys responding to the questionnaires, 36% recommended not retaining Judge Smith while 63% recommended retaining Judge Smith. Of the non-attorneys, 79% recommended that Judge Smith be retained, and 21% recommended non-retention.

Judge Smith seems to be unaware of how he is perceived by both attorneys and non-attorneys who have been in his courtroom. The Commission recommends that Judge Smith use the results of this year’s judicial survey to develop an improvement plan that will focus upon strengthening areas of identified weakness.