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Minority bar ratings of judicial candidates

The Minority Bar Association of Western New York has issued its ratings on the 21 Erie County candidates for State Supreme Court, Erie County Family Court and Buffalo City Court.

Ericka N. Bennett, president of the organization, and Lisa M. Diaz-Ordaz, its recording secretary, said the State Supreme Court candidates given its highest rating of superior are: incumbent Justices Donna M. Siwek and Frederick J. Marshall, Erie County Family Court Judge Kevin M. Carter and Buffalo City Judge E. Jeannette Ogden.

Rated well qualified for State Supreme Court were Former Buffalo Corporation Counsel Alisa A. Lukasiewicz, Buffalo City Court Judges Susan Eagan and Debra Givens, Michael Cooper, Dennis Glascott and Paul Wojtaszek.

Rated qualified for State Supreme Court were John DelMonte, Michael Flaherty Jr., Daniel Furlong, Jon Gorman and Mary Slisz.

The lone Erie County Family Court candidate rated, incumbent Family Court Judge Margaret O. Szczur, was rated superior.

In the Buffalo City Court race Chief City Court Judge Thomas P. Amodeo got the superior rating, City Housing Court Judge Patrick M. Carney, Mara McCabe and Barbara Johnson-Lee were rated well qualified, Phillip Dabney was rated qualified.

Bennett and Diaz-Ordaz said the ratings were based on an evaluation of a written questionnaire completed by the candidates, a personal interview with each, a survey of the membership of the minority bar association and members of the local bar as to their professional experiences with each of the candidates, as well as a report and recommendations by the group’s Judicial Ratings Committee and a final vote by the group’s Executive Board.

They said consideration of each candidate included, but was not limited to his or her history of integrity, experience, professionalism, reputation, known temperament, service in the community, and reflections of their fairness, attitude and punctuality with sensitivity and commitment to minority issues and diversity given particular consideration.