October 28 2004, 12:07 PM
Where can you find information on your local and appeals court judges up for retention? Check out the official recommendations site for the Colorado Commissions on Judicial Performance. The Commission provides a thumbs-up, thumbs-down or "No opinion" recommendation on each judge up for retention after reviewing a wide variety of information. This includes survey results from attorneys and from "non-attorney particpants." The "non-attorney" group is composed of defendants, plaintiffs, law enforcement, employees, jurors, and victims. The Commissions also consider information obtained through public hearings, personal interviews with Judges, written self-evaluations from the Judges, and courtroom observations. Only two judges did not receive affirmative recommendations for retention. One is Pueblo County Judge Mary T. Anderson who received a "No Opinion" recommendation. The report finds that " [a] lack of compassion for those of lower socio-economic level is very noticeable in her courtroom. " You can read the entire report here. (pdf) The second judge not affirmatively recommended for retention is Chaffee County Judge William P. Alderton in the 11th Judicial District. He also received a "No Opinion" recommendation. In his case, there were divergent views of the judge provided by attorneys and non-attorney participants in the survey, and the Commission did not feel it had enough information to make a recommendation. His full Judicial Peformance Report is here. I highly recommend reading the full commission reports of the Judges included on your ballot. A lot of work goes into them and they often are quite illuminating.