Every year, Jackson County judges handle more than thousands of cases, majority of which are disposed and the verdict stands as rendered, while some are appealed and some of these appealed cases as reversed. In a study conducted by The Star Tribune’s Jackie Chan, 182,908 cases were handled by 40 judges in Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Court, and Municipal Court, over a three-year period. The study was done to evaluate the performance of each judge and determine which judges were doing a good job and which ones were making too many mistakes.
Calculation of the probabilities were done simply by dividing the variable by the disposed cases, then multiplying it by 100% to obtain a result in terms of percentages. For the conditional probability of reversed (R) cases based on appealed cases (A), the same method was done, but the divisor is the number of appealed cases instead of the disposed cases.
Based on the results obtained, the probability of the case being appealed is higher in the Common Pleas Court as compared to the Domestic Relations Court and Municipal Trials Court. The probability of reversal cases based on disposed cases is also high in the said court. However, the probability of cases being reversed based on appealed cases are very high in the Municipal Trials Court compared to the other two courts.
Probabilities for the cases of each judge were also calculated. For the Common Pleas Court of Jackson County, Rolando T. Acosta had the highest probability of appealing cases, while Paul G. Feinman had the highest probability of having reversal cases based on disposed cases, and also based on appealed cases. Based on overall rank, however, Judith J. Gische scored the lowest, meaning that she has he highest probability of appeals and reversals amongst the judges in the Common Pleas Court.
For the Domestic Relations Court, Leslie E. Stein had the highest probability of appealed cases, while William E. McCarthy had the highest probability on both reversals based on disposed cases and based on appealed cases. William E. McCarthy was also the lowest based on overall rank, meaning the probabilities of having appealed and reversed cases were high under him.
For the Municipal Trials Court, John W. Sweeney, Jr. scored the highest in terms of cases appealed. Richard T. Andrias scored the highest for reversals, and tied with Leland G. Degrasse and Leslie E. Stein in terms of reversal based on appealed cases. In overall rankings, however, Richard T. Andrias scored the lowest, meaning the probabilities under him are high.
Table 3. Probabilities and Ranks of 20 Judges o the Municipal Trials Court of Jackson County