How Judges Get Paid Has Nothing to do with Merit nor their Competence.




A. Do You Know Who Decides How Much Your Local Judge Gets Paid?

B. Did you know that Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul De Muniz’s former law partner, John Hemann, is on the Commission that determines how much his buddy, the Chief, gets paid by Oregon taxpayers? Do you know who put him there?

C. Did you know that in the last two years, a time of economic meltdown, a time of  budget-proposed court closures, and in a time of reduced court filings -- Oregon judges have gotten a 38% pay raise?


A. The Oregon Public Officials Compensation Commission (POCC), a creation of the Oregon Legislature, reactivated in 2007, makes the primary findings and recommendations on judicial pay.  Their report is dated November, 2008 and is available in the above link. 

B. True -- Mr. Hemann, a former law partner with Chief Justice Paul De Muniz in their Salem law firm is a member of the Oregon Public Officials Compensation Commission. Mr. De Muniz appointed Mr. Hemann to the POCC which decides his own salary.

C. True -- In 2007 an Oregon Circuit Court Judge’s salary was $95,800. In the 2009-2011 biennium their salary will be $132,000. Chief Justice De Muniz will receive $145,800 up from $107,600.

Oregon's Judicial Department has a 2009-2013 "Strategic Plan".  Goal Two of that plan states that Oregon courts strive to be accountable.  Yet Justice De Muniz refuses to entertain a statewide system of Judicial Performance Evaluations (JPE) even though the American Bar Association endorses the JPE concept for all states.

When will Oregon judges be judged on merit and the performance of their duties?  What are they afraid of??  Perhaps, some of them really aren't doing so good for the citizens of Oregon. 

Posted on Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 03:48PM by Registered CommenterLAUREN PAULSON | Comments9 Comments | References12 References

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Reader Comments (9)

These folks clearly protect their own, rather than serving the citizens of Oregon. As a father who was unfairly treated and abused by Kirsten Thompson (whom you noted as unqualified), how to we ensure justice at all? The Judicial System is a bureaucracy, intent on only maintaining its power. I'm sure there are good judges and there always will be. The tragedy is that the system enables and supports that bad ones. What if a judge is unbiased and unfair? A non-wealthy citizen can't afford an appeal. Every lawyer I've asked told me it was virtually impossible to win an appeal anyway. When we talk about the death penalty, we often rightly recognize that executing 1 innocent man does not justify executing any amount of guilty men. Similarly, if a poor quality judge wrongly limits a man's access to his children, we can't take solace in many correct decisions. The child parent bond is sacred and the priceless time of youth and parenting, life life itself, is temporary and fleeting.

September 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

To Jeff,
Please contact me at tonyabluejeans@gmail.com my husband was also very mistreated by Judge Thompson and continues to be. We are submitting our case along with Adrianna Cram's and the Stott Smith case to the Judicial Review Committe as well as contacting Att General Kroger to investigate her. We would love to talk to you about your case. We don't want Judge Thompson presiding over any more custody hearings ever again. We are also awaiting to file our appeal and we have found a lawyer that states it's close to impossible but we will continue to fight Judge Thompson's injustices.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTonya

Jeff and Tonya please contact me via email joshuatree45@yahoo.com

May 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Great that you created this space for discussing this is really informative and useful.

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