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Judges' challenge

A ''judicial enhancement committee" appointed by the state's chief administrative judge, Robert Mulligan, recommended in a recent report ways to improve the performance of judges deemed deficient. But a number of Superior Court judges criticized the report and came up with their own.

Judicial Enhancement Committee report (April 4)

Establishes minimum performance standards for judges and disciplinary procedures for those who do not complete a required remediation program.

States that a judge may be required to submit to counseling or seek medical or psychological attention in any number of areas that form the basis of performance issues.

Allows the chief justice of a department (such as Juvenile Court or Land Court) to select a mentor judge to sit on the bench with a judge deemed in need of guidance.

Superior Court response (May 17)

Calls the tone of the report ''unduly negative."

States that the committee's proposals for disciplining those who fail to comply with enhancement measures are unnecessary: ''It is expected and generally accepted that if such a problem exists the chief justice of that particular court will take the appropriate and necessary steps."

Says that no judge should be required to submit to counseling or ''medical or psychological attention" unless an issue affects judicial performance.

Says that a proposal to have an underperforming judge sit on the bench with a mentor may be ''unnecessarily humiliating."

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