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Childress, James 1990 Evaluation


Sixth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable James D. Childress

Retention Year: 1990
Recommendation: Do Not Retain


Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Not Be Retained.

Judge Childress became a member of the New York Bar in 1956 and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1960. He was a deputy district attorney in the Sixth Judicial District from 1966 to 1968 and then was appointed as district attorney, serving in that position until 1977. He served as La Plata County Attorney from 1978 to 1980 and as county judge from 1980 to 1982. He was appointed to the district court in 1982.

Childress handles civil and criminal cases and domestic relations and also serves as the juvenile judge.

In the groups the Judicial Performance Commission believed provided the most representative responses, Childress rated very favorably in such matters as judicial demeanor, courtesy and ability to make decision impartially. However, these groups rated Childress generally unfavorably in other areas based on their observations and experience. For example, probation and social services rated Childress unfavorably with respect to familiarity with case files.

Attorneys rated Childress unfavorably with respect to the substance and form of legal decisions. The courthouse staff rated Childress unfavorably with respect to some administrative matters and clarity of communications. The commission was concerned that groups were in favor of retention in the following percentages: attorneys: 50%; probation and social services: 66.7%; courthouse staff: 62.5%; law enforcement: 36.4%.

Commentary from individual members of the public were generally unfavorable, including complaints that Childress has given their cases inadequate attention.

While these results were not felt to reflect any wrongdoing on the part of Childress, based upon the high standards expected of district court judges, the commission recommended that Childress not be retained.