First Judicial District - Jefferson County Court Judge
Honorable Thomas Vance
Retention Year: 2006
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Thomas Vance BE RETAINED.
Judge Vance was appointed to the Jefferson County Court bench in July, 2004. Prior to his appointment he served for 10 years as a County Court magistrate. Judge Vance enjoyed a very positive reputation while serving as a magistrate. This is Judge Vance’s first occasion to be reviewed by the Commission and his overall performance evaluation is extremely positive.
The Commission reviewed written Performance Surveys of Judge Vance from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written verbatim comments attached to the Performance Survey. The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Vance and conducted a personal interview with Judge Vance. Unannounced courtroom observations were also conducted in Judge Vance’s courtroom.
Judge Vance received very high ratings from both attorneys and non-attorneys in virtually every category. Most significant is that non-attorney ratings for Judge Vance were much higher than those of other judges who were rated state-wide. Among attorneys he was rated particularly high in “Giving all participants an opportunity to be heard” and “Treating everyone involved politely”. Among the attorney comments provided, the most frequently occurring comment concerned Judge Vance being a fair and impartial judge. In response to the question concerning the retention of Judge Vance, 95% of the attorneys recommend that Judge Vance be retained, 5% recommend not retaining Judge Vance, for non-attorneys 91% recommended retention while 8% recommended Judge Vance not be retained.
Judge Vance is involved in his community and recognizes the value of community service in broadening his horizons and staying in touch with the people that he serves as a judge. He is involved with the youth of the community by serving as a youth baseball coach, serving as the accreditation chairperson at an elementary school and serving on the board of directors of the Youth Alcohol Intervention Program.
Judge Vance is aware that he is a new judge and is committed to continuing his education and development as a judge. He exhibits an extremely positive attitude about being a judge and the responsibility that comes with that position.