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Whitaker, Shay 2018 Evaluation


Eighteenth Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable Shay K. Whitaker

Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard


The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agreed that Judge Shay K. Whitaker MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Whitaker was appointed to the District Court in 2015. Her current docket in Douglas County includes criminal and civil cases. Judge Whitaker earned her undergraduate degree, with magna cum laude honors, and her Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University. Prior to her appointment to the District Court, Judge Whitaker was a criminal defense attorney at Whitaker & Associates in Aurora, in private practice at various law firms, and frequently served as Alternative Defense Counsel representing indigent defendants in criminal proceedings.
The Commission considered the Judge’s written self-evaluation, results from the 2018 Judicial Performance Survey of attorneys and non-attorneys who had been involved in proceedings in her courtroom, written decisions submitted by the Judge, courtroom observations by the Commissioners, input from representatives of the District Attorney and Public Defender’s offices, and an interview with the Judge. The 2018 Judicial Performance Survey results reflected responses from 26 attorneys who completed the survey: 85% indicated that she meets performance standards, 4% indicated she does not meet performance standards, and 12% expressed no opinion (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding). The 2018 survey results also reflect 57 non-attorney responses: 96% indicated that she meets performance standards, 4% indicated she does not meet performance standards, and 0% expressed no opinion. 
Judge Whitaker is a diligent and hardworking judge with a strong commitment to public service. She is organized and prepared to hear and understand the cases before her and strives to treat every person who appears in her courtroom with respect, compassion, and fairness. Her written opinions and orders are thorough and well-reasoned. Survey respondents frequently praised her demeanor and judicial temperament, her preparation, her consistency in sentencing and the application of the law, and her ability to issue rulings in a timely manner. The Commission, composed of 4 attorneys and 6 non-attorneys, found Judge Whitaker to be engaging and personable, with a demonstrated enthusiasm for learning and legal research, and a genuine desire to continue to improve as a judge.

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