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The Bar Association of San Francisco Releases Evaluations for Superior Court Candidates

May 4, 2018 – San Francisco, California – The Judiciary Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) today released its evaluation of the nine candidates appearing on the June 5 ballot for four contested Superior Court seats.

Following the Judiciary Committee’s investigation, interview of the candidates, and deliberations, the committee finds the candidates:

Seat 4
Judge Andrew Y.S. Cheng, Seat 4 — “Exceptionally Well-Qualified”
Phoenix Streets, Seat 4 — “Not Recommended for Appointment/Election At This Time”
Seat 7
Maria Evangelista, Seat 7 — “Well-Qualified”
Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow, Seat 7 — “Exceptionally Well-Qualified”
Seat 9
Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee, Seat 9 — “Exceptionally Well-Qualified”
Kwixuan Maloof, Seat 9 — “Qualified”
Elizabeth Zareh, Seat 9 — “Not Qualified”
Seat 11
Judge Jeffrey S. Ross, Seat 11 — “Well-Qualified”
Nicole Solis, Seat 11 — “Well-Qualified”

The Judiciary Committee is charged with the task of evaluating candidates seeking appointment and election to the Superior Court for the State of California, in and for the City and County of San Francisco.

The Judiciary Committee, chaired by Khari Tillery, a partner at Keker Van Nest & Peters LLP, is composed of a diverse cross-section of the San Francisco legal community. Members come from large, medium and small law firms; government legal offices; and corporate legal departments.

Each candidate was asked to complete and submit the same questionnaire used by the Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) Commission, in addition to appearing for a personal interview with the Committee. The Committee also conducted its own investigation by interviewing judges, lawyers and others having knowledge of the candidate’s attributes. The Committee’s investigation and deliberations are completely confidential.

The Committee inquired into, among other matters, the following attributes: (i) integrity and character; (ii) judgment and intellectual capacity; (iii) professional experience; (iv) industry and diligence; (v)  judicial temperament, including whether the candidate would be courteous and considerate of counsel, parties, witnesses, and jurors, and whether the candidate is even-tempered; (vi) decisiveness; (vii) ability to transcend personal biases; (viii) professional ability and knowledge of the law; (ix) health; (x) general reputation in the community; and (xi) civic activities.

In assessing the qualification of a candidate, the Committee members assign one of following categories defined in the bylaws:

(i)      “Qualified” – meaning that the candidate possesses the attributes listed above so as to indicate the ability to satisfactorily perform the judicial function for which she or he is being considered.
(ii)     “Well-Qualified” – meaning that the candidate possesses all the attributes required for a rating of “Qualified” and possesses one or more of those positive attributes to such a high degree as to be indicative of superior fitness to perform the judicial function for which he or she is being considered.
(iii)    “Exceptionally Well-Qualified” – meaning that the candidate possesses all the attributes required for a rating of “Well-Qualified” and possesses several or all of those positive attributes to such an extremely high degree to be indicative of exceptional fitness to perform the judicial function for which she or he is being considered.
(iv)   “Not Recommended for Appointment/Election At This Time” – meaning that the candidate lacks one or more of the attributes required for a rating of “Qualified” at the time of evaluation but that the Committee considers the deficiency capable of correction in the future, e.g., lack of experience.
(v)    “Not Qualified” – meaning that the candidate lacks one or more of the attributes required for a rating of “Qualified” to such an extent that the Committee doubts the candidate’s fitness to perform satisfactorily the judicial function for which he or she is being considered.
(vi)   “No Action” – meaning that a majority of the Committee consisting of at least eight members has been unable to assign one of the other categories to the candidate.

 

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The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. Through its board of directors, its committees, and its volunteer legal services programs and other community efforts, BASF has worked actively to promote and achieve equal justice for all and oppose discrimination in all its forms, including, but not limited to, discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.