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Survey: The 12th Circuit's a Cut Above (Sara/Mana)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. April 16, 2004
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Survey: The 12th Circuit's a Cut Above (Sara/Mana)

Sarasota attorneys rated Sarasota County Judge Bonner the best judge in the 12th Judicial Circuit and Judge Barbara Briggs the worst.

By Sean Roth

Real Estate Editor

If it is a question of who judges the judges, at least in the 12th Judicial Circuit, the answer is other judges and Sarasota County attorneys.

The Sarasota County Bar Association recently surveyed its members to measure the effectiveness of the 28 circuit and county judges presiding over the 12th Judicial Circuit, which covers Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties. The survey was based on a five-point scale, with five being outstanding, two below average and one unsatisfactory.

Here are some of the more interesting insights from the survey:

× Only 14% of the members of the bar in Sarasota or 201 attorneys participated in the survey.

× Sarasota County Judge Kimberly Bonner had the highest overall ranking with 4.53 and the highest average for all 10 questions 4.52.

× At the other end, Sarasota County Judge Barbara Briggs received a 2.67 in the overall category and averaged a 3 for all 10 categories. Her lowest score, a 2.6, was for legal ability/knowledge.

× The lowest-ranked circuit Judge was Harry Rapkin with 3.1 overall score and an average of 3.27.

× Overall, the participants gave the lowest scores in temperament/patience and legal ability/knowledge. Still, both categories averaged 3.9.

× On average the judges received their highest marks in integrity/ethics. Only three scores less than 4 were given and the average score was 4.28.

× In the category of impartiality/unbiased, Sarasota County Judge Judy Goldman received the lowest score with a 3.25.

× Judge George Brown received the lowest score of all the Manatee County judges, at an average of 3.83, while Judge Robert Farrance received the highest average at 4.29.

× The sole Desoto County Judge, Don Hall, received an average score of 4.27, but in the category of overall evaluation, he received 4.51, the second highest overall evaluation score behind Bonner.

× Circuit Judge Paul Logan received the lowest mark in the category of preparedness/readiness at 2.82, while Bonner received the highest at 4.47.

The complete results


Legal Ability/Knowledge4.334.584.34.314.






Decisiveness/Timely Decision Making4.54.414.344.334.474.



Overall Evaluation4.534.44.364.254.364.

Averages of 104.524.434.374.334.354.354.324.324.


Legal Ability/Knowledge3.953.983.743.953.823.654.023.533.373.624.053.063.472.6






Decisiveness/Timely Decision Making4.24.13.924.023.753.824.043.423.733.693.832.914.022.85



Overall Evaluation3.943.973.963.823.743.813.753.713.573.493.

Averages of


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