Fourth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Eric Bentley
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (5-0) agrees that El Paso County District Judge Eric Bentley MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Bentley was appointed to the El Paso County District Court in October, 2016. Judge Bentley received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. After graduating, Judge Bentley worked as a journalist. Judge Bentley graduated from Yale Law School in 1993. After law school Judge Bentley served as a law clerk for a Federal District Court judge and for a Federal Circuit Court Judge at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After clerking, Judge Bentley worked as a criminal prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice in both Philadelphia and Washington D.C. He practiced civil/corporate law in Colorado Springs for fifteen years before his appointment to the District Court.
The Commission reviewed Judge Bentley’s self-evaluation, a number of his written decisions, and evaluations provided by both attorneys and non-attorneys. The Commission found the evaluations of Judge Bentley by both attorneys and non-attorneys to be strong. Specifically, attorneys noted Judge Bentley is above average in the areas of case management, application and knowledge of the law, communication, demeanor and diligence. Non-attorney scores were slightly lower. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria do you think Judge Bentley meets judicial performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding to the survey 86% answered yes, meets performance standards 11% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 4% had no opinion. Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 65% answered yes, meets performance standards and 35% answered no, does not meet performance standards. However, the Commission notes that because Judge Bentley had been on the bench for only a little over one year when the evaluations were done, the sample size of respondents was small. Specifically, only 25 non-attorneys and 41 attorneys completed evaluations of Judge Bentley.
The Commission was impressed by the comments and self-reflection of Judge Bentley at his interview, and in his self-evaluation. The Commission believes that Judge Bentley presently meets performance standards, and as he gains more experience he will become an exceptional jurist on the El Paso County District Court.