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By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Bar Association’s Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee (JEEC) has issued ratings for candidates in five contested judicial races.  The ratings rank three candidates – Ken Gosselin, Michele Hagan, and Douglas Crawford, as “lacking qualifications.”

Two of those have been embroiled in controversy.  Gosselin was required by a court to change statements on his ballot regarding his experience and education that a judge found to be misleading.  Crawford is appealing suspension of his law license due to passing along a threat made by a client to initiate an IRS audit of an opposing party in a lawsuit. 

The third candidate who received the “lacking qualifications” rating, Michele Hagan, appears to have an extensive resume.  The Bar does consider other factors such as judicial temperament and fairness, but did not respond to our inquiry as to its specific reasons for her ranking. (See details on standards used in the JEEC’s ratings in our story, below the rankings for the candidates.)

The JEEC gives rankings of well qualified, qualified, and lacking qualifications.  Two races, seats 25 and 44, have no candidates ranked “well qualified.” 

Seat 9        

Douglas Crawford  Attorney/ Recycler                 L Q

Ronald S. Prager    Judge of the Superior Court    W Q


Seat  19        

Paul Ware    Justice Department Attorney                Q

Michael J. Popkins    Judge of the Superior Court  W Q


Seat  20        

Carla Keehn     Federal Prosecutor                      Q

Lisa Schall    Judge of the Superior Court         WQ


Seat  25        

Michele Hagan       Attorney/ Fraud Examiner    L Q

Ken Gosselin          Attorney/ Court Volunteer     L Q

Brad A. Weinreb     Deputy Attorney General     Q

Seat 44        

Joseph Adelizzi            Attorney                               Q

Jacqueline M. Stern     Judge of the Superior Court    Q


The JEEC is comprised of  21 attorneys and retired judges who represent a cross section of the legal community by gender and ethnicity and political affiliation, including lawyers from the public and private sectors, civil and criminal law practitioners, corporate counsel, sole practitioners, and members of small, medium and large firms.


Information is collected from the legal community and is used to rate the candidates on the following criteria:

  • Judicial temperament
  • Intellect and ability
  • Knowledge of the law
  • Writing and Research Skills
  • Trial experience
  • Professional reputation
  • Industry and work habits
  • Decisiveness
  • Fairness and objectivity
  • Courtesy and patience
  • Judgment and common sense
  • Compassion and understanding
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Administrative ability
  • Physical and mental health
  • Courage
  • Writing and research skills
  • Any other factor that might affect the candidate's ability to serve as a judge


During the evaluation process, the Committee may also consider any violation of the Judicial Election Campaign Code of Ethics, which governs all judge elections within San Diego County.

The rating scale is defined as follows:

Well Qualified: Possessing professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament indicating exceptional ability to perform the judicial function with a high degree of skill and effectiveness.

Qualified: Possessing professional ability, experience, competence, integrity and temperament

indicating satisfactory ability to perform the judicial function.

Lacking Qualifications: Lacking one or more of the essential abilities or skills to satisfactorily perform the judicial function.

 Please click here to view the 2014 Judicial Election Evaluation Committee Rules.