Fifth Judicial District - Eagle County Court Judge
Honorable Terri S. Diem
Retention Year: 1998
The Fifth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Terri S. Diem BE RETAINED.
Judge Diem received her bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1974 and her law degree from the University of Wyoming in1977. She has engaged in private practice in Nebraska and Colorado, and served as a deputy district attorney in Eagle County for six years. She was appointed to the County Court bench in 1994. She hears civil cases up to $10,000, as well as traffic, restraining order, small claims and misdemeanor cases. She also handles felony cases through the preliminary hearing stage.
The opinions of the various groups responding in statistically meaningful numbers to the surveys circulated by the State Commission on Judicial Performance (and the numbers responding) were as follows: Litigants (10): Retain - 90%; No Opinion - 0%; Do Not Retain - 10%. Court Personnel (15): Retain - 60%; No Opinion - 13%; Do Not Retain - 27%. Attorneys (20): Retain - 80%; No Opinion - 0%; Do Not Retain - 20%.
People who responded to the questionnaire were complimentary to Judge Diem for her patience, her attentiveness, and her willingness to take time to explain things to participants in the County Court.
The responses to the surveys established concerns regarding promptness for scheduled court proceedings, difficulty in managing cases and the court docket, contacts with litigants and attorneys when only one side is present, knowledge of the law and fairness to parties.
During interviews with the Judicial Performance Commission, Judge Diem acknowledged the existence of these problems (except fairness to parties, which Judge Diem indicated was not a problem). The Commission was satisfied that, during the past year, she has taken steps to correct these problems and intends to continue these efforts. A majority of the Commission concluded that Judge Diem's continuing effort to correct these problems justifies a recommendation of retention.
On a divided vote, and recognizing that Judge Diem's correction of the identified problems will be subject to a review at the midpoint of her next term in two years, and prior to her next retention election in four years, the Fifth Judicial Performance Commission recommends that Judge Diem be retained in office.