Judge Watson rated ‘highly-qualified’ by bar association

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Bar Association recently screened five judicial candidates to evaluate their qualifications for election to the office they are seeking.  This year, candidates for Family Court and Supreme Court were screened for the November elections.

The screening process includes a questionnaire of several pages that are reviewed by a panel of six practicing attorneys.  For judges seeking re-election, they are required to submit ten decisions that they have authored, that are reviewed by the panel.  Candidates that are not judges submit ten writing samples that are reviewed by the panel of their peers.

The Dutchess County Bar Association has four levels of ranking qualifications that are used to grade the candidates:  Highly-qualified, Well-qualified, Qualified, and Not-qualified.

The ratings of the 2021 judicial candidates are as follows:

  • The Hon. Denise Watson, Dutchess County Family Court Judge has been rated “Highly-qualified”.
  • Rachel Saunders, Watson’s opponent has been rated “Qualified”.
  • Thomas Davis, Esq. candidate for the Supreme Court has been rated “Well-qualified”.
  • Hon. Christie D’Alessio, Greenburgh Town Justice is running for the Supreme Court, has been rated “Well-qualified”.
  • James Hyer, Esq., President of the Westchester County Bar Association, has been rated “Well-qualified”.