How does LegalClimate work?

LegalClimate.com was specifically designed as a research tool to supplement a lawyer's practice and to benefit the public at large. LegalClimate allows members to anonymously comment, rate and grade trial judges, venues and expert witnesses. LegalClimate's unique system allows comments to be posted under certain types of case categories thereby allowing each member to locate information relevant to their specific case. Moreover, LegalClimate is completely anonymous so there is no fear of retaliation for an unfavorable review of the bench. LegalClimate literally allows you to see what your area's legal climate looks like.

Who all can join LegalClimate?

Anyone can join LegalClimate.com. However, judges may only view comments and report cards and cannot comment or grade themselves in order to keep the comments and grades unbiased. Attorney's otherwise have full access to the system and can review, comment, and grade any judge or venue.

Are my comments and grades completely anonymous?

Yes. All comments and grades are completely anonymous and confidential. We will not disclose your information to anyone.

What about defamatory or untrue comments on a judge?

LegalClimate was created by a licensed attorney and was designed to provide attorneys with a user-friendly forum to critique and review their respective judges. Accordingly, we believe that each member has an ethical duty not to publish knowingly untrue or defamatory statements about a judge, venue or expert witness. If you find a comment that you feel abuses our policy, you can click on the "report abuse" link and bring it to our attention. We will review it and determine whether it violates our policy and take the appropriate action. However, LegalClimate is not responsible for the comments that other users make.

How do judges and venues get on LegalClimate?

While we are making the painstaking effort to manually enter in all court and judge information in the United States, and beyond, Members are allowed to enter judges and venues into the database that correspond to their appropriate venue and state. We are in the process of manually entering every single venue in America into the LegalClimate system so that the member does not have to. Please bear with us during this process. That said, it is possible that venue information may be inadvertantly ommitted or incorrect. If you find that to be the case, you can email us your correction request.

Can I go back and edit or delete past comments or grades?

LegalClimate allows the user to edit or delete past comments after they have been posted. Grades for judges, experts and venues cannot be edited or deleted. So, please grade wisely and fairly. The spirit that went into this website was not just to call out substandard judges, but to salute those who are exceptional as well.

How much does membership cost?

Nothing. LegalClimate.com is absolutely free!

How does the information on LegalClimate differ from what I can get on Westlaw® or Lexis®?

LegalClimate differs from all other legal research tools because the information contained on LegalClimate comes straight from the bar itself! Thus, LegalClimate creates a compendium of knowledge previously unavailable to practicing attorneys. LegalClimate allows each lawyer to become the judge.

What jurisdictions does LegalClimate cover?

Currently, LegalClimate is in the process of populating the general jurisdiction trial courts of the states of Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Marianas Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Legal Climate will allow the user to review, grade and rate judges in these states.  LegalClimate is in the process of adding other jurisdictions in other countries as well.

How do the case categories work?

LegalClimate has developed a unique and proprietary rating and sorting system for each member's comments and grades for a particular judge, venue or expert witness.  When an attorney comments on a particular judge, they can select from one of four preset case categories: criminal, domestic, other civil or personal injury.  This helps each member filter out any irrelevant comments and view only those comments that are relevant to their case.

For example, suppose you are a lawyer with a case that involves probating a will and want to comment on the judge's actions in that case.  You would simply select the appropriate year of the judge's decision and would then select "other civil" as your case category since a probate case does not fall into any of the other three categories.  The "domestic" category is intended to cover all of the cases which involve family law, such as adoption, custody and divorce cases.  The "criminal" and "personal injury" case categories are self-explanatory. 

While we could have made an exhaustive list of nearly all possible case types that a lawyer might handle, reducing the number of case categories makes it easier for the lawyer to navigate through the system.

How does LegalClimate track damage awards in personal injury cases?

LegalClimate has incorporated an innovative damage and injury tracking feature into the judge comments section of the site that allows attorneys to record and review damage amounts and injury types in personal injury cases.  For example, suppose you are an insurance defense attorney in Dallas and just received an unfavorable jury verdict in a personal injury case.  You can record the amount of the verdict and injury types under that judge's name so that it can be later reviewed by you or another insurance defense attorney.  

Why Should I Use LegalClimate.com?

LegalClimate is a tool that allows attorneys to track and measure judicial:

- consistency

- activism

- competence

- adherence to the law

- ethics and integrity

- fairness to the parties

LegalClimate.com allows lawyers and business people to develop and access a compendium of knowledge about the judiciary, from the very sources who work in the field and who are closest to the action. Have you ever wondered what the legal climate was for your community? Now you can know what attorneys think of their courts!

Who should use LegalClimate.com? Defense lawyers for starters. For example, insurance companies need defense counsel to comment and grade judges and venues in order to track damage awards by court and judge for future reference. LegalClimate was specfically tailored to let attorneys post damage awards, and specify the types of injuries at issue, so that the defense bar could know what they are getting into when going to court in front of a particular judge. Likewise, the plaintiff bar needs to see whether a particular judge routinely grants summary judgments or whether they give the minimum or maximum range for damage awards.

Moreover, with LegalClimate's unique report card grading system, you can rate and grade the competency of judges and juries. LegalClimate also allows you to create a "Bias Report" for each judge to indicate whether that judge is defendant or plaintiff oriented. Our goal is to marshall and organize relevant information in order to provide you, the practicing attorney, with the knowledge that you need in order to properly make decisions and advise your client.

Finally, judges and courts serve a public function and are ultimately accountable to the taxpayer. Therefore, the public is entitled to see what others say about a judge or court.

LegalClimate.com. Developing the science and art of rating the judiciary.
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