May 23, 2005

Chief P.D. to judges: micromanage me!

Another morale-builder for the colleagues at the Pima County (AZ) public defenders office:

Judges asked for critique of attorneys: A new public defender submits a list of 17 areas in which to judge the work of attorneys before the county's Superior Court.

Judges are being asked to evaluate attorneys on ethics and integrity, interaction with the judge and other attorneys, creativity and imagination, management of court appearances, courtroom demeanor and appearance, strategy and tactics, trial skills, voir dire..., opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, use of evidence law and objections, motion practice and hearings, effectiveness of presentations, jury instructions, final arguments and quality of judgments.

Yes, their bosses are inviting judges to do this. Top management would be in the courtroom making these evaluations themselves, if they weren't so busy getting custom-fitted shirts and inter-personal skills training. Perhaps next in the pipeline will be a public defender popularity contest, to be voted on by prosecutors and cops. That'll motivate them!