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Catanzarite, Nicholas 2018 Evaluation


Fourteenth Judicial District - Grand County Judge

Honorable Nicholas Catanzarite

Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard


Recommendation: The Fourteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (9-0) voted that Judge Nicholas Catanzarite MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.

Background: Nicholas Catanzarite received his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and later received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver in 2011. He was appointed judge to the Grand County Court in 2015. Prior to Judge Catanzarite’s appointment as a judge, he practiced law in Grand County for three years with a focus on criminal defense, real estate, and family law. In the community, Judge Catanzarite previously served on the 14th District Judicial Performance Commission and currently is involved with the National Sports Center for the Disabled, volunteering his skills with new sit skiers. He also participates in Law Day at the Grand County Combined Courts.

Evaluation Methods: Judge Catanzarite was evaluated as to Integrity, Legal Knowledge, Communication, Judicial Temperament, Administrative Performance (Management) and Service to the Legal Profession. The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Catanzarite, which included verbatim comments from attorneys and non-attorneys. The non-attorney responses were from jurors, law enforcement, social services, courthouse personnel, and self-represented litigants who have appeared in front of the judge. Of all attorneys surveyed, 70% found Judge Catanzarite to meet performance standards and 30% found he did not meet performance standards. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 88% found Judge Catanzarite to meet performance standards, 8% found he did not meet performance standards, and 5% expressed no opinion. (Rounding of percentages leads to greater than 100%.) The Commission also considered a self-evaluation by Judge Catanzarite, orders and opinions written by him, observations of the judge in his courtroom, and his responses in a face-to-face interview.

Performance: Survey results and courtroom observations show high marks for Judge Catanzarite for integrity and temperament. Many respondents commented on Judge Catanzarite’s respect for those appearing before him as well as his polite and professional demeanor in the courtroom. The Commission suggested some recommendations for Judge Catanzarite to provide more in depth findings of fact and conclusions of law in his oral and written orders as well as opportunities to strengthen his knowledge of the law. Judge Catanzarite appears committed to identifying and taking advantage of these opportunities. Overall the Commission found that Judge Catanzarite received higher marks than many other county court judges across the state, performed at or above average overall, and performed well as a new judge on the bench.

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