An e-mail from a friend referred me to a news story on Lawdragon, a web site and quarterly magazine. The web site is billed as an “online searchable database where would-be consumers of legal services can get price and quality-of-service information about attorneys.” Each issue of the magazine, meanwhile, will feature “the Lawdragon 500 — lists of the best lawyers and judges practicing today in a variety of areas as ranked by their clients and peers.”
The latest issue of the magazine (PDF) has The Lawdragon 500 Leading Judges in America. It consists of federal and state judges, plus private judges, arbitrators and mediators selected based on more than 20,000 lawyer nominations and “significant contributions to the legal community.” Interestingly, the three South Dakota judges who made the list are women. Their names are followed by the explanation given by Lawdragon:
Judge Janine Kern, 7th Judicial Circuit, Rapid City — “Smart and hard working, the trial judge receives top ratings from local lawyers.”
Justice Judith Meierhenry, South Dakota Supreme Court — “Always prepared, counsel appreciate the work ethic of South Dakota’s first high court female justice.”
Judge Karen Schreier, U.S. District Court, Rapid City — “Ordered district lines redrawn to stop discrimination against Native American voters.”
Lawdragon evidently doesn’t intend to stop there. According to the news story, the web site plans to let people who have appeared before them rate judges. Next week, the site plans to begin posting “thousands” of evaluations of judges and lawyers.
The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow[.]
Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird