PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The May 17th Pennsylvania primary election has one often-overlooked facet: judicial candidates.

The Philadelphia Bar Association has investigated the local candidates and issued its recommendations.

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Richard  Seidel, chair of the association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, says this is an exhaustive process, determining a candidate’s legal ability, integrity, and judgment.

Information is passed to a panel of both lawyers and non-lawyers, and it’s sort of pass-fail.

“We’ve put out evaluations of 25 people, 19 of which have been found ‘recommended,’ ” Seidel told KYW Newsradio this morning.

That’s for candidates running for the Court of Common Pleas.  Three of six candidates for Municipal Court are recommended; the other three are not.

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The Philadelphia Bar Association has the list on its web site, philadelphiabar.org.  Seidel says that without the list, voters often go by less reliable evaluations.

“Ballot position or name recognition.  And we’re hoping at the Bar Association, quite frankly, that these recommendations will be taken serious by the voters, which is why we’re doing what we do and why we spent the hours that we do, putting this together,” he said.

Additional judicial candidate rankings are expected shortly.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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