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Voter Praise for Ratings:

"Judge4Yourself is such a valuable resource. I appreciate the efforts of all who contribute."

- S.S. (Cleveland Heights, Feb. 2016)

"What you and others @ "" are doing for us voters is wonderful and very informative to those of us who do not know whom to and or not to vote for. I will definitely pass your website address on to friends and family members."

- C.C. 2014

"In face of occasional failures of the justice system, I have been aggravated because of the grave consequences to the lives of those in court and our community in general. In aimless frustration I have asked myself, "What can you do?" It all starts with casting an intelligent vote. How can we find out which candidate holds a qualified record or simply a catchy name? Your ratings provide a resource that I depend on each election. Please keep it up. Thank you."

- P.H. (Euclid, May 2010)

"I just want to say despite many of the recommended judges not being elected, the Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition idea with all the bar associations, etc. weighing in is such a HUGE godsend to help with evaluating the large number of judicial candidates we seem to face every election. Please don't give up, yours is one of the most helpful websites we have. THANK YOU–THANK YOU."

- M.W. (South Euclid, May 2010)

"WOW, you weren't kidding there's some big differences in the race I can vote for. Will you publicize these rankings, I hope that every voter gets to see do a great service for the community. Thanks!"

- G.H. (10/5/09)

“This website is pure gold! This is the first time in a long time that I was able to research candidates for Judges. Information is clear and concise and unbiased. A great resource. Thanks!”

- A.C. (10/29/06)

“Thank you so much for the link to I am so tired of people telling me how to vote - as if I have no capacity for independent thought or decision-making. It was refreshing to get a non-partisan link with just the facts - allowing me to make my own choices.”

- T.A.K.

“I for one think this is the greatest idea. Last election I took your printout with me and was able to use it in the booth. Thank you very much. I already have my copy for this election, and have made copies for all my friends. Thank you.”

- K.S.

“Just a note to thank you all for the information on judicial candidates. I cut it out from the West Side Sun newspaper and took time to look over each candidate’s qualifications and circled my choices. I relied heavily on the recommendations when I was not personally familiar with the candidates. It is the first time I feel that I voted intelligently for all the candidates. Their job is so important. You have provided an excellent tool and I am going to recommend that family and friends also take it into the voting booth. Thank you again.”

- D.M. (11/8/06)

“This is such an excellent web site. In past elections I never had a clue who most of these people were, so it is very nice to be able to get this kind of information in an easy-to-follow format.”

- S.B. (Willoughby)

“Thank you sooooo much for the time you took to put this together...I took my mailer to the polls and passed it on. At work I shared the website. Great idea! Thanks again.”

- J.M. (11/7/06)

“I used the website material last night to make recommendations for my neighbors. It's superb.”

- R.T. (10/23/06)

“Thanks for the info sent to me by a friend. I sent the e-mail to 46 people on my list.”

- I.B. (10/22/06)

“My church in Solon had a booth set up this past weekend with info on issues and candidates. The JCRC grid from PD was posted and there were copies for people to take with them!”

- R.H. (10/23/06)

“When I went to vote Tuesday, I noticed that everyone in line — EVERYONE — had a Judge4Yourself print-out. How cool is that? Your hard work made voting in the judicial races easy — it was confusion-free, for the first time ever. Thanks.”

- J.C.

“Wow, incredible results! My best guess is that Judge4Yourself made a huge difference this year. Anecdotally, I observed several people with their "cheat sheets" at our polling place yesterday, and several people told me they observed the same thing. Congratulations on making a big improvement in the process and improving the quality of our bench.”

- T.L. (10/8/06)

“I got a call from a friend who had accessed the website with all the bar association recommendations and she found it very enlightening. It caused her to reconsider and changed her vote for several of the races. She heard about it on the radio. I think it is a great service and I am glad there was publicity. I hope other voters looked at the outcomes.”

- D.H. (11/8/06)

“This is the best way we have of evaluating judges. Again, thank you.”

- M.Z. (11/8/06)

Media Praise for Ratings

From Cleveland Scene, October 6, 2010 editorial, "VOTE FOR RUSSO — PLEASE":

" is a promising start to help voters cut through the confusion in a county with nearly 90 judicial slots to be filled." (Click here for complete article)

From Crain's Cleveland Business, April 26, 2010 Editorial, "U b the judge":

Crains Editorial Cartoon -

Few people have a clue about the qualifications of the judicial candidates they are asked to choose from when they step into the voting booth. But thanks to the earnest work of a handful of local law organizations, Cuyahoga County residents don't need to cast their ballots for judgeships blindly.
A new web site,, provides voters with the ratings of 23 judicial candidates as determined by four bar associations — The Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the Ohio Women's Bar Association, the Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

The site is easy to use and easy to understand. Just click on “Judicial Candidate Ratings” on the home page and it calls up a grid that breaks down the candidates by the courts for which they're running. It then provides a single score of zero (the lowest) to four (the highest) that represents the average score for that particular candidate from the four bar groups.

But it goes one step further. Under the names of each of the bar groups, it indicates whether that group believes a candidate is excellent, good, adequate or not recommended.

Deborah Coleman, chairwoman for Judge4, is correct when she says the only way to assure that better qualified judges are elected “is ask the candidates a lot of tough questions and share that information with voters so they can stop playing "The Judicial Guessing Game.'”

“You don't buy eggs without looking inside the carton,” Ms. Coleman said. “We shouldn't pick judges without asking them a whole lot of questions.”

Of course, not everyone is a fan of the web site. Michael Dolan, who is running for a seat on the county Domestic Relations Court, told The Plain Dealer he found the vetting process “to be a bit arbitrary.” That could be because Mr. Dolan received a “zero” and “not recommended” rating from all four groups.

We'd give credence to Mr. Dolan's lament if a big disparity existed in the groups' ratings. However, the bar groups largely were in sync with their candidate assessments, which is revealing given the different points of view from which they come.

Voters should take advantage of this insightful service and tap into the wisdom of these groups so they, too, can make wise choices on these important judicial posts.

From The Plain Dealer, October 27, 2009 Editorial, " Helps":

"As they have since 2002, ...local bar organizations...have interviewed the candidates and published their independent evaluations side by side. Grades from this Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition can be found at and in ads in The Plain Dealer.

For voters who want credible information on judicial candidates, this service is a godsend. The ratings confirm the high caliber of candidates in the Cleveland race, but the findings should be required reading for voters in the eight municipalities served by the Parma court and the 16 covered by the Bedford court."

From Northern Ohio Live magazine October 2007 "Awards of Achievement" issue, which honored JCRC as a finalist:

"For the past six years, the Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition has taken a unique approach to empowering area voters through its website, is composed of the Cleveland Bar Association, the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Ohio Women's Bar Association. The coalition has allowed these organizations to jointly interview candidates, exchange views on candidates' qualifications and - for the first time - create a uniform rating system. While each organization rates candidates separately, their research results are compiled and available to the public at, as well as many area media outlets and direct mailings, allowing the chart to be reproduced millions of times, arming the public with the knowledge to elect the right civic leaders."

From "Guide to the Candidates: Special Election 2006 Issue":

Judge for Yourself Confused by all the judges you'll be voting for? Here's the criteria for a good judge: impartiality, integrity, temperament, diligence, professional competence. This non-partisan site should help. It lists all the various bar association rankings for all the judges running for office in Cuyahoga County, with endorsements and ratings from the Cleveland Bar Association, the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, the Cuyahoga County Defense Lawyers Association, The Norman S. Minor Bar Association and the Women's Bar Association, along with endorsements from the Call & Post and the PD.

From The Plain Dealer, November 10, 2006 editorial, "Piercing the Fog":

Voters of Cuyahoga County, give your selves a hand.

On Tuesday, you refused to fall for the "name game" that has so corroded this county's elected judiciary. Instead, you elevated Cleveland Municipal Judge Joan Synenberg to the Common Pleas bench by a solid margin. You opted for quality over an empty suit with a golden ballot name. And you sent a stinging rebuke to the political "leaders" who rely on your inattention and confusion.

You fooled them by doing your homework. Many voters went to the polls armed with grids from the consortium of bar associations and legal groups known as the Judicial Candidates Ratings Coalition ( The Message there was crystal clear: Each of the five organizations gave Synenberg their highest rating, and her opponent the lowest.
(Click here for complete article)