Seventeenth Judicial District - Adams County Court Judge
Honorable Michael A. Cox
Retention Year: 2010
The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Michael A. Cox BE RETAINED.
Prior to his appointment to the Adams County Court on January 31, 1995, Judge Cox was engaged as a private practitioner. Presently his docket consists of 50% criminal, 25% misdemeanor and 25% traffic. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University Of Denver and his law degree from the University Of Denver College Of Law in 1979.
Judge Cox is very involved in community activities, but also noted that over time his abilities to be as involved as in the past have been restricted given his desire to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. For the past 20 years Judge Cox and his family have been involved in the Adams County 4-H program. He works as a volunteer at DIA helping scores of passengers and the public as they travel through Colorado. He is involved in the “Every Fifteen Minutes” program helping students realize the consequences of drinking and driving and also serves as an Associate Board member of Almost Home in Brighton.
The Judicial Performance Commission is compromised of attorneys and non-attorneys who are Adams County and Broomfield County residents. Each Commission member has attended courtroom sessions and observed the operations of the court throughout the year, conducted at least one personal interview with the judge, reviewed the professionally obtained survey results that have been collected by an independent surveyor and taken into account the judge’s strengths and weakness before making a recommendation to the public. In this regard, Judge Michael A. Cox has been found by the Commission to be a highly qualified, competent and a respected member of the Adams County judiciary. Judge Cox has been criticized in the past for his “fast talking” style which he has tried to address. This continues to be an area that needs attention and he related several techniques that he is utilizing in order to overcome this deficit. Both attorneys and non-attorneys give the judge his lowest marks in regards to communication. However, the judge is also commended for his demeanor in court, his knowledge of the law, the ability to control his docket and to keep the process moving at an appropriate and fair pace. Additionally, for those responding to the survey, a large population feels that the judge is neutral in his dealings with both the prosecution and the defense. In regard to sentencing, Judge Cox promotes a “scared straight” type sentencing, but when it is apparent the offender is not responding he does not hesitate to reconsider his position.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 89% recommended to retain, 5% not to retain and 5% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 94% recommended to retain and 6% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed about retention, 90% recommended to retain, 3% not to retain and 7% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 96% recommended to retain and 3% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.) It is the Commission’s unanimous recommendation to retain Judge Michael A. Cox.