Twentieth Judicial District - Boulder County Court Judge
Honorable Noel E. Blum
Retention Year: 2006
The Twentieth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Noel E. Blum BE RETAINED. Six members of the Commission voted for retention, three members of the Commission voted against retention, and one member was absent.
The Commission reviewed survey evaluations of Judge Blum from attorneys and non-attorneys who have been in his courtroom, including written comments attached to the questionnaires. The Commission also relied upon the Judge’s written self-evaluation, a personal interview with the Judge, observation of the Judge in his courtroom, and input from the public.
Judge Blum was appointed to the bench in July, 2003. Prior to his appointment, Judge Blum served for 19 years as a Deputy District Attorney for the First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties). Judge Blum presides over a high volume of misdemeanor and traffic cases, preliminary matters on felony cases, civil protection orders, and contested civil cases involving less than $15,000.
The Commission is very concerned by the survey responses about Judge Blum’s courtroom manner. The attorneys indicated that Judge Blum does not manage the courtroom in a way that establishes neutrality, and he does not appear to be neutral himself. They also indicated that he is not respectful or polite to the people appearing before him and can be condescending. Attorneys who regularly appear before Judge Blum rated him below average in these areas, significantly lower than the non-attorneys rated him. Judge Blum also appears to some of the attorneys surveyed to be unwilling to consider errors of fact and law in matters before him. When compared with all county court judges, attorneys rated Judge Blum below average while non-attorneys rated him relatively equal to the other county judges.
Judge Blum has been twice assigned to courtrooms in which the caseload had not been managed well, and he successfully corrected the problems. The Commission is positively impressed by his administrative skills and efficiency in managing a large number of cases.
The Commission recognizes that Judge Blum has been on the bench for only two years and has not had the benefit of any prior evaluation. Judge Blum indicated that he is willing to work on his weaknesses, and the Commission hopes that he can improve.
Survey results indicated that 56% of attorneys and 75% of non-attorneys recommended “strongly” or “somewhat” that Judge Blum be retained.