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Breese, James 2002 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge

Honorable James B. Breese 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge James B. Breese BE RETAINED.

Judge Breese was appointed to the Denver County Court bench in February 1987. Prior to his appointment, Judge Breese was in private practice in Denver and served as a clinical professor of law at both the University of Denver and the University of Colorado Schools of Law. Judge Breese received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1969 and his law degree from Northeastern University in 1973. Judge Breese currently hears traffic matters. For the past two years, he heard juvenile cases.

Judge Breese is married and has two adult sons. He enjoys being with his family and outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and camping. He is active within his religious congregation and was recently president of the Marsh Inns of Court, an organization intended to improve ethics, civility, professionalism and competence amongst attorneys. Judge Breese founded and currently chairs the Judge-Sheriff Committee, which works to resolve matters of common concern. While within the Juvenile Division he enhanced the relationship between the courts and the schools and helped implement many new programs to help deter juveniles from future crime.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Breese from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written comments. The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Breese and conducted a personal interview with him.

Judge Breese received high ratings from both attorneys and non-attorneys in virtually every category, although he was criticized for management of the docket and inefficient use of time. That criticism came from attorneys, of which only seven responded to the survey. The survey took place when Judge Breese was in the Juvenile Court, which had extremely heavy
dockets. Judge Breese explained that very few of the juveniles had attorneys. He therefore took time to make sure that those before him understood their rights and the consequences of decisions that are made in the courtroom. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 86% recommended that Judge Breese be retained in office, 0% recommended non-retention and 14% had no opinion. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 94% recommended retention, 3% recommended non-retention and 3% had no opinion.