New Rules Issued for Colorado’s Judicial Evaluations

Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation posts new standards after hearing public comment

Colorado has new rules on deck that will control its judicial performance commissions and how they evaluate the state’s judges.

The Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation on Thursday posted online the Rules Governing Commissions on Judicial Performance, which outline the procedures for trial, appellate and senior judge evaluations as well as how the commissions generate their retention recommendations for voters.

Colorado is one of six states with judicial performance commissions that evaluate judges and issue recommendations to voters on whether they should be retained. The state and district commissions weigh judges on six categories: integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance and service to the legal profession and public. Colorado’s Commissions on Judicial Performance are brought into being by legislation, which was due to sunset last year. When the General Assembly passed House Bill 17-1303 to renew the commission, it did so with new proposed rules and revisions.

What is different from the previous rulemaking process is that the bill gave the commission the authority to promulgate and approve new rules, and without the Colorado Supreme Court having the final say.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the January 29, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.