First Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Christie A. Bachmeyer
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Christie A. Bachmeyer MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Bachmeyer was appointed to the First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) District Court on August 31, 2009. She started her career as a park ranger at Yosemite National Park. After law school, she practiced as a civil litigator from 1989-1993, and then worked as a deputy district attorney in Jefferson County from 1993-2009, with her last years there as chief deputy. Committed to the community, Judge Bachmeyer serves on various boards and committees, including her most recent appointment on the Governor’s Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. She has consistently taught and presented in public, ranging from judging high school mock trials to a presentation to the First Judicial Bar on plea bargaining.
The Commission reviewed Judge Bachmeyer’s record before making a determination. Such review included a personal interview, observing her in court dealing with a range of cases, reviewing her written opinions, listening to interested parties, and studying extensive evaluation data and comments drawn from attorneys and non-attorneys who had dealings with her as a judge. Responses to surveys came from 40 attorneys, 79% of whom felt she meets performance standards, 15% of whom said she does not meet performance standards, and 5% had no opinion; and 84 total non-attorneys, 87% of whom felt she meets performance standards, 10% said she does not meet performance standards, and 4% with no opinion. Of the non-attorney population, 100% of the jurors responded Judge Bachmeyer meets performance standards. Survey respondents used words such as “professional,” “fair,” “patient,” and “compassionate” to describe her style from the bench.
Judge Bachmeyer has a judicial caseload that is currently 40% civil, 15% domestic relations, and 45% criminal. Aware of the increasingly diverse populations coming to her courtroom, she is vigilant that each person is treated equally, with respect, and gets time to be heard. This is critical because the number of pro se parties, those who represent themselves, is increasing greatly and she makes special efforts to explain the law and process in understandable terms, and to avoid unfair results in her courtroom. Her docket is heavy and growing significantly in the number of cases; this is her greatest challenge as a judge. She routinely works evenings and weekends. With an eye toward better and more efficient management, she has fashioned a team approach with district attorneys and public defenders assigned regularly to her courtroom so that expectations are clear. She refers to the caseload as “our docket.” She has put in place procedures, different for civil, criminal and domestic, to move cases forward carefully but expeditiously. Distinctive among the judges, Bachmeyer mentioned she enjoys the intellectual challenge of the law because it deepens her understanding so that she can serve as a better judge. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agrees that Judge Bachmeyer meets judicial performance standards.