Eighth Judicial District - Larimer County Court Judge
Honorable Kraig Ecton
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) recommends that Judge Kraig Ecton BE RETAINED.
Judge Ecton was appointed to the Larimer County Court in January of 2014. As a Larimer County Court Judge, he presides over criminal, traffic, and civil cases, including small claims. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Ecton served as a Deputy District Attorney for Larimer County and Assistant City Attorney for Fort Collins. Judge Ecton received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College, his master’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University and his law degree from the University of Colorado.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Ecton, reviewed opinions he authored, observed him in court, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Ecton. The survey asked “How strongly do you recommend that Judge Ecton be retained in office?” Of the attorneys and non-attorneys completing the survey, 82% of the combined groups recommended retention. Of the attorneys responding, 62% recommended retention, 35% recommended non-retention, and 4% made no recommendation. Of the non-attorneys responding, 91% recommended retention, 10% recommended non-retention, and 0% made no recommendation. A total of 27 attorneys and 67 non-attorneys completed the judicial performance survey regarding Judge Ecton. (These percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)
Survey respondents described Judge Ecton as even-tempered, well-reasoned, and fair. Other respondents commented that Judge Ecton struggled with case management and was too soft spoken, making him difficult to hear. With respect to grades in specific subject areas, including case management and diligence, Judge Ecton scored slightly lower than other county judges, but still mostly in the “3” range (out of a total of 4). Although his scores may be lower in certain areas, Judge Ecton’s in-person interview was superior. During the interview, Judge Ecton addressed all of the concerns of the Commission with a view towards improvement. He presented himself as self-reflective, hard-working, and sincere. Judge Ecton described his efforts to continue expanding his legal knowledge base using multiple resources. Judge Ecton demonstrated tremendous insight during the interview as reflected in his statement, “My best is not quite good enough yet.” The Commission was very impressed with Judge Ecton’s thoughtful responses to interview questions and his willingness to work on improvement in certain areas. Judge Ecton is relatively new on the bench and with additional time and experience will likely develop into a very successful judicial officer.