The Chattanooga Bar Association released results of its biennial Judicial Poll today.
The bar mailed 747 polls to its members in November; 128, or 17 percent, responded. Of those who responded, only 113 were valid for consideration in the poll, or 15 percent of the bar’s membership.
The poll asks respondents to rate each judge with jurisdiction in Chattanooga in five categories — objective and unbiased, legal ability, good moral character, diligence and judicial temperment.
Attorneys had four responses to choose from for each category — superior, satisfactory, unsatisfactory or no opinion.
General Sessions Court Judge David Bales received the lowest rating among his sessions court colleagues in the “objective and unbiased” category, with 33 out of 66 respondents, or half, ranking him unsatisfactory, 26 as satisfactory and seven as “superior.”
Fifty-two percent of 65 respondents also rated Bales’ “legal ability” as unsatisfactory.
General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck received the highest ratings in the “objective and unbiased” category with 61 of 81 respondents classifying him as “superior” in that category.
He received nearly identical marks and percentages in the “legal ability,” “diligence” and “judicial temperment” categories. in the “good moral character” section nearly 84 percent of respondents ranked him “superior.”
Responses for General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon were not included in the poll. Moon died in January, still a sitting judge.
Bar Executive Director Lynda Minks Hood said the bar’s board decided not to release Moon’s figures out of respect for his family. The bar would not release such results whether the results were positive or negative.
For more see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...