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Dressel, William 1998 Evaluation


Eighth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable William F. Dressel

Retention Year: 1998
Recommendation: Retain


The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge William F. Dressel BE RETAINED. The Commission recommendation was not unanimous.

Judge Dressel was appointed a District Judge in 1978. From 1966 to 1978 he had a private law practice primarily involving civil litigation. He has been retained by the voters in 1980 and each six years thereafter.

Judge Dressel's court handles felony criminal cases, civil money disputes generally involving more than $10,000, juvenile delinquency and child welfare cases, and dissolution of marriage matters. Judge Dressel is also active state-wide and nationally in conferences addressing court management and efficiency. During his tenure he has brought to Larimer County numerous innovative programs.

Each judge evaluated was personally interviewed by the commission. Written evaluations were requested from a random sample of attorneys, court employees, law enforcement personnel, jurors, litigants, crime victims and other constituents who have been involved in proceedings in the judge's court. Surveys were designed and results compiled by an independent agency to provide confidentiality. Results from crime victims and litigants were unreliable due to insufficient responses.

Judge Dressel received highest ratings for being prepared and using court time effectively. The Commission felt that his abilities in using quality time management techniques provides for fair, competent litigation without loss of personal rights for litigants. Judge Dressel also received high ratings or favorable comment for being unbiased, knowledgeable, and using good judicial reasoning. The lower ratings and critical comments for this judge were primarily in the areas of whether he displayed arrogance and whether he listened to all testimony and arguments before issuing rulings.

Judge Dressel believes those negative ratings arise from those persons who may misunderstand when he rebukes participants for inappropriate behavior or when he insists on all court procedures being conducted in a professional manner.

Of some 23 decisions of Judge Dressel that have been resolved on appeal in the last two years, five were remanded back to him by the Court of Appeals for correction or additional action, eight were affirmed, and ten appeals were dismissed without review.

Overall survey results: law enforcement personnel recommended retention by 97%, with 3% having no opinion; court employees recommend retention by 52%, do not retain by 26%, no opinion by 22%; jurors recommend retention by 92%, no opinion 8%; attorneys recommend retention by 71%, do not retain by 25%, no opinion by 4%; and social services employees recommend retention by 100%.