Primary day is Tuesday. There are a lot of judges on the Philadelphia ballot.
There are so many that The Inquirer and Daily News do not have the resources to interview all the candidates and make an informed decisions.
The Philadelphia Bar Association, however, does. There are 34 people on the judges commission, and 120 volunteers. Candidates were sent a 12-page, 32-question survey. They had to discuss their most significant litigated matters, and examples of their written work.
Any candidate who did not submit these materials was deemed “not recommended,” one of only two evaluations the bar offers.
A team of investigators were assigned to analyze every candidate.
The Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention interviewed 20 people about the candidate, at least eight of whom were not suggested by the candidate.
Candidates were graded in 10 separate categories including trial experience, judicial temperament, and a record and reputation for excellent character and integrity.
And still, the Democratic City Committee and the various powers that be, few of them lawyers, went ahead and made their own judicial endorsements independent of the bar’s conclusions.
Because, in Philadelphia, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
A minor miracle is that only three of the City Committee endorsements are not recommended by the Philadelphia Bar: Dawn M. Tancredi and Leon A. King III for Court of Common Pleas, and Henry Lewandowski for Municipal Court.
Here are the recommended candidate from the bar:
Philadelphia Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention
Final Ratings for 2013 Primary Candidates
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Recommended (Voters pick no more than six):
Derrick W. Coker
Anne Marie Coyle
James C. Crumlish
Daine A. Grey, Jr.
Daniel D. McCaffery
Kenneth J. Powell, Jr.
Stephanie M. Sawyer
Philadelphia Municipal Court
Recommended (Voters pick no more than three):
Daine A. Grey, Jr.
Robert M. Kline
Best of luck.