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By David Martin

Poll released supporting local judges

1 in 3 attorneys polled oppose Robinson’s retention


October 14, 2020

Similar to voting for city and state officials, residents in Wyoming have the option to retain circuit court, district and state supreme court judges or have them removed from the bench and the Wyoming Bar Association is weighing in through a publicly-available poll surveying its members.

The association releases an advisory poll prior to each general election and surveys attorneys on their opinions of judges they’ve worked with.

Graded on a five-point scale, the survey asks opinions regarding a judge’s ability in 11 categories. Members also voice if they believe the judge should be retained or not if the judge’s name appears on the general election ballot.

In Sweetwater County, voters will have the opportunity to decide if the county’s two district court judges, Richard Lavery and Suzannah Robinson, will be retained.

While the association’s members scored Lavery above the average scored by all district court judges surveyed, Robinson, according to 59 members of the association, is ranked lower than the averages amongst district court judges.

Of the 57 members responding to the question of if Robinson should be retained, one-third believes she shouldn’t be.

Some of the largest deviations between Robinson’s score and the average amongst all district court judges were found in questions related to Robinson’s knowledge of the law, her integrity and ethics and her application of the rules of evidence and procedures.

For knowledge of the law, she averaged 3.09 where the average score for district court judges was 4.15. For her ethics and integrity, Robinson was scored 3.54 while the average was 4.44 and for the application of the rules of evidence and procedures, she scored 3,38 while the average was 4.12.

For Lavery, 101 association members scored him slightly above the average scores received by district court judges. When asked if he should be retained, 97 responded and 91.8% were in favor of his retention.

Lavery replaced judge Jere Ryckman in 2012 while Robinson replaced Nena James last year. District court judges serve for six-year terms.


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