Each year, the Bar Association of Erie County issues ratings for candidates seeking election or re-election to judicial office in Supreme Court, Erie County Court, Erie County Family Court and Buffalo City Court. The Bar Association considers the ratings of candidates one of its most important public services and it endeavors to aid voters in electing the most qualified candidates.
Judicial candidates are rated on criteria including, but not limited to, integrity, experience, professional ability, education, fairness, reputation and industry. Judicial ratings are based on a process that includes interviews with those in the legal community who have had interaction with the candidates, as well as personal candidate interviews. A rating of Qualified is considered a measure of qualification for judicial office that is greater than that required for the private practice of law. To be rated "Qualified" the applicant must meet each of the listed criteria to a reasonable degree. A rating of "Well Qualified" requires qualifications to a high degree, and a rating of "Outstanding" requires qualifications even beyond that high standard.