Need help with accessibility? Click the link for more information - Accessibility Page


Fernandez-Ely, Erin 2002 Evaluation


Ninth Judicial District - Pitkin County Court Judge

Honorable Erin Fernandez-Ely

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Ninth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely BE RETAINED.

Judge Fernandez-Ely was appointed Pitkin County Judge in January 2000. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Fernandez-Ely was in private practice in Aspen, Colorado for 23 years at a law firm specializing in real estate and land use matters, including litigation. Prior to that she was a prosecutor in Florida for three years. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1973 and the University of Florida Law School in 1975.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Fernandez-Ely from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written comments attached to evaluation questionnaires. The Commission also reviewed her written self-evaluation, conducted two personal interviews with the judge and made a number of visits to Judge Fernandez-Ely’s courtroom.

The Commission was in agreement that Judge Fernandez-Ely is a competent judge and that the matters dealt with in her courtroom are handled fairly and in an expeditious, polite, orderly and competent fashion. The Commission noted that upon the initiation of her duties two years ago, there was a significant backlog of unresolved cases and administrative details and that she is to be commended for resolving the backlogs in an efficient and effective manner.

Of the attorney evaluation surveys, 76% recommended that Judge Fernandez-Ely be retained and 20% recommended that she not be retained. Of the non-attorney evaluation surveys, 59% recommended retention and 31% recommended that she not be retained. The non-attorney evaluations included litigants, court employees and law enforcement but did not include any jurors.

The Commission is aware that Judge Fernandez-Ely has served for only two years and that she will gain confidence in her courtroom as her tenure increases. The Commission voted that Judge Fernandez-Ely be retained with some reservations and would encourage the judge to work on the shortcomings identified in the evaluation process, including her ability to accept constructive criticism.

The Commission unanimously recommends that Judge Fernandez-Ely be retained primarily based upon a more than satisfactory courtroom performance and a more than satisfactory level of professional experience. The Commission felt that a more effective evaluation of her would be possible in four years after a full term is completed and she has gained additional judicial experience and confidence.