Qualifications of Judges
Applicants for positions on all levels of Nebraska courts must meet a number of requirements in order to be appointed to office. Each person must be a U.S. Citizen, at least 30 years of age, and have had a minimum of 5 years of law practice in the State of Nebraska, which may include prior service as a judge. In addition, the candidate must be currently admitted to practice before the Nebraska Supreme Court.
A Supreme Court justice applicant must have resided in the State of Nebraska at least three years next preceding his or her selection and is on the effective date of appointment, a resident and elector of the district he or she is to represent. Each appellate court judge is appointed from one of the Supreme Court judicial districts and must, at the time of consideration for appointment, be a resident of the State of Nebraska. A district court, county court, or separate juvenile court judge must be a resident of the district to be served on the effective date of his or her appointment and must remain a resident of that district during the period of service. Workers' Compensation Court judges are required to reside in Lancaster County unless permission to live elsewhere in Nebraska has been given by a majority vote of the compensation court.
Qualities of Judges
Evaluation criteria are essential if the commission is to have a standard by which to judge applicants. Without evaluation criteria, the nomination process becomes little more than a contest of personal favorites among the commissioners. Each commissioner should determine, prior to the screening or interviewing of applicants, how he or she personally wants to weigh the various criteria.
For a specific list of qualities and criteria, see the American Bar Association's Standards on State Judicial Selection.