Melissa Mulliken
Campaign Manager
Jill Karofsky for Judge

Attorneys Surveyed by Dane County Bar Association Regarding Qualifications of Candidates Running for Judge

Attorney Jill Karofsky, a candidate for Dane County Judge, was rated more highly than her opponent in every category, and across all respondent groups, in the just released Dane County Circuit Court Branch 12 Judicial Candidates Poll.

The survey, conducted by the Dane County Bar (Lawyers) Association, asked respondents to rate the candidates, on a four-point scale, for “ten objective criteria the DCBA’s Judicial Selection Committee determined to be important characteristics of a good judge:” character and integrity; promptness and efficiency; preparedness; range of legal experience; courtroom experience; temperament and demeanor; legal knowledge; decisiveness; fairness; and oral and written communication. Out of the approximately 1250 attorneys who received the poll, 198 completed the survey.

Karofsky’s overall average was 3.37 while her opponent, Marilyn Townsend, averaged 2.62.

Karofsky was rated almost one-full point higher than Townsend in the key area of courtroom experience (3.39 – 2.42) and by .93 in decisiveness (3.44 – 2.51)

Among attorneys responding to the poll who have had direct legal experience with Townsend, 20% rated her “unsatisfactory” in the areas of courtroom experience and temperament and demeanor. Full results can be viewed at

“Attorneys in Dane County who responded to this poll, have spoken clearly about which candidate they think is better suited to be a Dane County Judge,” said Melissa Mulliken, campaign manager for Karofsky for Judge. “These attorneys, who know how courts work and what it takes to be a good judge, rated Jill more highly than her opponent in every single one of these 10 benchmarks. Evaluating judicial candidates is always difficult for voters. This survey gives voters an important perspective as they go into the voting booth on Tuesday, April 4.”

  Karofsky Townsend
Character and Integrity 3.48 2.97
Promptness and Efficiency 3.25 2.44
Preparedness 3.35 2.66
Range of Legal Experience 3.17 2.38
Courtroom Experience 3.39 2.42
Temperament and Demeanor 3.41 2.67
Legal Knowledge 3.43 2.78
Decisiveness 3.44 2.51
Fairness 3.42 2.78
Oral and Written Communication 3.37 2.62
Total Overall 3.37 2.62


Methodology, from the DCBA: “This year’s poll categorized respondents based on their familiarity with the candidates and asked members to evaluate each on a sliding scale for ten objective criteria the Committee determined to be important characteristics of a good judge. For each criterion, respondents provided a rating of 0 for “No information,” 1 for “Unsatisfactory,” 2 for “Satisfactory,” 3 for “Good” and 4 for “Excellent.” The Committee then calculated the average responses overall and for each characteristic, including an additional breakdown based on respondents’ familiarity with each of the candidates. Responses of “No information” were not included when calculating the candidates’ averages. Out of the approximately 1250 members who received the poll, 198 completed the survey.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email