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Adams Case Shows the Need for Bar Evaluation

November 17, 2002

Now that judicial candidate John Adams has been revealed as a ne'er-do-well businessman with minimal if any legal experience masquerading as an experienced lawyer, those duped into endorsing him should commit that the next time they endorse a judicial candidate, they will require the candidate to agree to be evaluated by the Orange County Bar Assn.'s judicial evaluations committee.

The bar committee uses a three-person team of respected litigators, each with at least 10 years' experience, to interview the candidate, his former opposing counsel, judges before whom he or she has appeared, and other references, which the candidate is required to identify on a comprehensive questionnaire.

The investigative team reports its findings to the committee, which numbers 20 to 30 lawyers. They sometimes require further investigation. The investigators include prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers, and civil lawyers from both the plaintiff's and defense bar.

Mistakes do happen. Persons with private maladies can sneak through the system. But by and large the system works well. The system only comes into play, however, when the candidate agrees to be evaluated. Adams refused to be evaluated. Now we know why. Adams knew his checkered past could not withstand the scrutiny of his peers.

Stuart P. Jasper

Irvine

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