Most Iowa lawyers back retention of all 66 judges on the Nov. 8 ballot

By: Rox Laird on September 29th, 2016

Voting begins officially today when Iowans can begin casting absentee ballots at county auditor offices.

That will be the first time many voters will see the complete General Election ballot – including the names of 66 Iowa appeals court and trial court judges standing for retention.

Voters often wonder how to vote on judicial retention if they have no idea how well an individual judge is performing in his or her job.

To help them out, the Iowa State Bar Association asks the lawyers who know these judges best.

The Bar Association surveys the lawyers who frequently appear before the judges standing for retention, asking them to rate their performance and say whether they should be retained on the bench.

The vast majority of the 1,495 Iowa lawyers who participated in the Bar Association’s 2016 Judicial Performance Review said all judges on the Nov. 8 ballot should be retained.

That includes the three Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention: Chief Justice Mark Cady (with 91 percent retention support) and Associate Justices Brent Appel (82 percent) and Daryl Hecht (88 percent).

It also includes four judges on the Iowa Court of Appeals up for retention – Chief Judge David Danilson (94 percent) and Judges Richard Doyle (94 percent), Amanda Potterfield (92 percent) and Gayle Vogel (91 percent).

An average of 92 percent of lawyers participating in the survey supported retention of all 59 Iowa District Court judges on this year’s ballot.

Complete results may be found on the Iowa State Bar Association website. The Iowa Judicial Branch website has a voters guide. And the Iowa Secretary of State website has a complete list of judges on the ballot.

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On Brief is devoted to appellate litigation, with a focus on the Iowa Supreme Court, the Iowa Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
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