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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 4 : Judiciary

Chapter 015 : JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS AND APPOINTMENTS

(Cite as: 4 V.S.A. § 602)
  • § 602. Duties; Justices, judges, magistrates, and the Chair of the Public Utility Commission

    (a)(1) Prior to submitting to the Governor the names of candidates for Justices of the Supreme Court, Superior Court judges, magistrates, and the Chair of the Public Utility Commission, the Judicial Nominating Board shall submit to the Court Administrator a list of all candidates, and he or she shall disclose to the Board information solely about professional disciplinary action taken or pending concerning any candidate.

    (2) From the list of candidates, the Judicial Nominating Board shall select by majority vote, provided that a quorum is present, well-qualified candidates for the position to be filled.

    (b) Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of a Supreme Court Justice, a Superior Court judge, magistrate, or Chair of the Public Utility Commission, or when an incumbent does not declare that he or she will be a candidate to succeed himself or herself, the Board shall submit to the Governor the names of as many persons as it deems well qualified to be appointed to the office.

    (c)(1) A candidate for judge or Justice shall be a Vermont resident and an experienced lawyer who has practiced law in Vermont for a minimum of ten years, with at least five years immediately preceding his or her application to the Board. The Board may make exceptions to the five-year requirement for absences from practice for reasons including family, military, academic, or medical leave.

    (2) A candidate for magistrate shall be a Vermont resident and an experienced lawyer who has practiced law in Vermont for at least five years immediately preceding his or her application to the Board.

    (3) A candidate for Chair of the Public Utility Commission shall not be required to be an attorney; however if the candidate is admitted to practice law in Vermont, the Judicial Nominating Board shall submit the candidate's name to the Court Administrator, and he or she shall disclose to the Board information solely about professional disciplinary action taken or pending concerning the candidate. If a candidate is not admitted to practice law in Vermont, but practices a profession requiring licensure, certification, or other professional regulation by the State, the Judicial Nominating Board shall submit the candidate's name to the State professional regulatory entity and that entity shall disclose to the Board any professional disciplinary action taken or pending concerning the candidate.

    (d) A candidate shall possess the following attributes:

    (1) Integrity. A candidate shall possess a record and reputation for excellent character and integrity.

    (2) Legal knowledge and ability. A candidate shall possess a high degree of knowledge of established legal principles and procedures and have demonstrated a high degree of ability to interpret and apply the law to specific factual situations.

    (3) Judicial temperament. A candidate shall possess an appropriate judicial temperament.

    (4) Impartiality. A candidate shall exhibit an ability to make judicial determinations in a manner free of bias.

    (5) Communication capability. A candidate shall possess demonstrated oral and written capacities, with reasonable accommodations, required by the position.

    (6) Financial integrity. A candidate shall possess demonstrated financial probity.

    (7) Work ethic. A candidate shall demonstrate diligence.

    (8) Administrative capabilities. A candidate shall demonstrate management and organizational skills or experience required by the position.

    (9) Courtroom experience. For Superior Court, a candidate shall have sufficient trial or other comparable experience that ensures knowledge of the Vermont Rules of Evidence and courtroom procedure. For the Environmental Division of the Superior Court, a candidate shall have experience in environmental and zoning law.

    (10) Other. A candidate shall possess other attributes the Board deems relevant as identified through its rules. (Amended 1966, No. 64 (Sp. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1967; 1967, No. 41, eff. March 16, 1967; 1967, No. 306 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1969, No. 125, § 7; 1971, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1975, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1985, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 25, 1986; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2015, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 23, 2016.)