Judge Adrien gets lowest rating in Bar poll

Circuit Court Judge Peter Adrien, who faces a re-election challenge, received the worst rating in the Dade County Bar Association's judicial poll, with 55 percent of respondents labeling him unqualified for the bench.

Judges receiving the best ratings included Circuit Judges John W. Thornton Jr., Carroll Kelly and Jennifer D. Bailey, who received the highest "exceptionally qualified" rankings.

The poll, sent by mail to the 14,000 attorneys and judges in Miami-Dade in early June, gave them an opportunity to rate the competency of judges and judicial candidates. Also reviewed were general magistrates, senior judges and some on the 3rd District Court of Appeal and Florida Supreme Court.

Only 1,187 lawyers responded to the poll, fewer than in previous years.

Those polled were asked to evaluate qualifications only of those with whom they are sufficiently acquainted.

Most attorneys had a strong opinion of Circuit Judges Bailey and Adrien - with drastically different results.

High approval ratings went to Bailey, who oversees the civil division and has taken charge of the court's handling of the foreclosure crisis. More than 95 percent of those who responded considered her qualified, placing her second overall.

See the results of the poll

"I am fortunate to have a job I love and I am honored to come to work every day. I hope my enthusiasm for what I do is always evident to the attorneys of the Dade County Bar, and I appreciate their support," she wrote in an e-mail Friday.

Adrien, who had a paltry 12.25 percent of respondents rate him as exceptionally qualified, recently presided over the heavily watched Dwyane Wade civil trial over a failed restaurant partnership. Adrien was rebuked recently by the 3rd District Court of Appeal for refusing to recuse himself from a case involving an attorney who sued him. That attorney, former Florida Bar president Frank Angones, successfully sued the judge six years ago to force him to change his name on a judicial ballot.