Although not required by law to do so, the governor seeks the assistance of the State Bar Committee in evaluating a candidate's legal capability and qualifications. In 1969 the State Bar created the Standing Committee on Judicial Qualifications to evaluate candidates for appointment to judicial vacancies and report its findings in confidence to the governor.
The Committee will not discuss and is not concerned with a candidate's reputation political philosophy or affiliation. The Committee focuses on the candidate's reputation for integrity, legal knowledge and ability, judicial temperament, professional experience, courteousness and consideration.
The Committee's evaluation is determined by a majority vote of those present during the interview, and is limited to one of four categories: well qualified, qualified, not qualified and not qualified, lacks experience.
The committee met on three occasions to interview six candidates from the Hillsdale County Probate Court, 75th District Court, Midland County, 6thCircuit Court, Oakland County. These vacancies were rated and reported in confidence to Governor Engler. Other vacancies were filed from previously interviewed candidates. Listed below are the vacancies filled by Governor Engler:
6th Circuit Court, Wayne—Michael D. Warren, Jr., succeeding Hon. Alice Gilbert
16th Circuit, Macomb—Richard Caretti succeeding Hon. Pat M. Donofrio
75th District Court, Midland—Philip M. Van Dam succeeding Hon. James E. Wilson
Hillsdale County Probate Court—Michael E. Nye succeeding Hon. Albert J. Naukom
Court of Appeals, 2nd District—Pat M. Donofrio succeeding Hon. Martin M. Doctoroff
The Committee has met on three occasions to interview 72 candidates from the 54-A District Court, Ingham County, 17th Circuit Court, Kent County, 3rd Circuit Court, Wayne County, Michigan Court of Appeals, 4th District. These vacancies were rated and reported in confidence to Governor Granholm. Listed below are the vacancies filled by Governor Granholm as of April 10, 2003:
3rd Circuit, Wayne—David Groner succeeding Hon. Robert Evans
3rd Circuit, Wayne—Leslie Kim Hoagland succeeding Hon. Karen Fort-Hood
54-A District Court—Ingham—Amy Krause succeeding Hon. Beverly Nettles-Nickerson