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Butler, Patrick 2014 Evaluation


Twentieth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Patrick Butler

Retention Year: 2014
Recommendation: Retain


2014 Retention Survey Report (PDF)

2013 Interim Survey Report (PDF)


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The Judicial Performance Commission for the Twentieth Judicial District unanimously recommends that Judge Patrick Butler BE RETAINED.

Judge Butler earned a bachelor’s degree from Keene State College in New Hampshire and a law degree from Gonzaga University.  He was a partner at Lamm & Butler from 1987 to 2009, where he focused on civil and criminal litigation.  He was also an instructor of law at Kaplan College in Thornton from 2005-2009. In 2009, Judge Butler became a magistrate in the 18th Judicial District, where he worked until his appointment as a District Court Judge for Boulder County on October 3, 2011.  In his first few years on the bench, Judge Butler has spent approximately half of his time in domestic relations and half of his time in criminal matters.

Judge Butler was evaluated through the following methods: anonymous attorney surveys, anonymous non-attorney surveys, self-evaluation, unannounced courtroom observations, review of several written decisions, and an interview.  The commission also held a public hearing to solicit input on all the judges who are up for retention.  Attorneys and non-attorneys graded Judge Butler very slightly below average relative to all district court judges, statewide.  Of all the attorneys surveyed about retention, 79% recommended to retain Judge Butler, 9% not to retain, and 12% made no recommendation.  Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 85% recommended to retain Judge Butler, 8% not to retain, and 9% made no recommendation.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)

Both attorneys and non-attorneys praised Judge Butler for his calm, respectful, and accessible demeanor.  With respect to weaknesses, some attorneys commented that Judge Butler lacked knowledge in certain areas of domestic relations law and, at times, favored the speedy resolution of matters over reaching a correct result.  The Commission is confident that Judge Butler is cognizant of these issues and is addressing them, and will continue to develop into an excellent jurist.