Nineteenth Judicial District - Weld County Judge
Honorable John Joseph Briggs
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Nineteenth Judicial District Commissioners on Judicial Performance recommends by a unanimous vote (10-0) that Judge John Joseph Briggs MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Briggs was appointed to the Nineteenth Judicial District as County Judge on January 21, 2011 and was sworn in on January 24, 2011. Upon graduation from Washburn University School of Law in 1993, he worked for the Kansas Court of Appeals until 1996. He has worked as a Public Defender in both Kansas and Colorado for six years and subsequently practiced in a private law office until 2010. Judge Briggs is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Weld Food Bank and related committees, as well as a volunteer judge for the annual high school mock trial competition.
The Commission reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Briggs in the courtroom, conducted a personal interview, read and reviewed written opinions he authored, and observed him in court. In response to the question, “Do you think Judge Briggs meets judicial performance standards?” 91% of all respondents answered yes; 5% answered no; and 4% had no opinion. There were totals of 88 non-attorney respondents and 24 attorneys responding. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 88% answered yes, Judge Briggs does meet performance standards and 13% answered no. Of the non-attorney respondents, 92% answered yes, 3% answered no, and 5% had no opinion.
The bulk of Judge Briggs’ workload involves criminal cases (75%) with the other 25% involving civil cases. Communication skills and demeanor were two areas of strength in the surveys and were also demonstrated as positive skills in the courtroom and in the interview. Non-attorneys rated him higher on demeanor than all other county judges were rated. In another area of high performance, both attorneys and non-attorneys rated Judge Briggs higher in diligence than other county judges were rated. His written cases are clear with his logic and thinking easy to follow. Judge Briggs tries to make sure all in the courtroom understand what the issues are and can follow the proceedings. He makes a special effort to ensure that jurors have a positive experience in the courtroom. He sees the judicial process as a team effort and expresses a strong belief that all who work in the judicial system are treated as equals. Overall, Judge Briggs scored consistently on the survey questions regarding knowledge and application of law, communications, demeanor, diligence, and fairness. For case management, attorneys rated him lower in this area. However, compared to ratings by attorneys regarding case management, Judge Briggs scored only slightly lower than all other county judges. Judge Briggs clearly takes the responsibility of being a judge seriously and tries to make the justice system work for all in the community. Based on these findings the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Briggs meets judicial performance standards.