Tenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Thomas B. Flesher
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) recommends that Judge Thomas B. Flesher BE RETAINED.
Judge Flesher was appointed to the District Court in March 2008. Prior to his appointment, he worked for Colorado Legal Services for approximately three and one-half years, the Colorado Public Defender’s Office for approximately 19 years, and private practice for a brief period of time. The Commission reviewed the survey results of lawyers and non-lawyers, heard directly from agency representatives who were familiar with Judge Flesher’s work, conducted a personal interview with Judge Flesher and reviewed three of his written opinions, as well as observed Judge Flesher in his courtroom. Presently, Judge Flesher is assigned 25% of the criminal docket and 100% of the juvenile delinquency docket.
The Commission considered results from the Judicial Performance Survey, interviews with agencies, extensive courtroom observations, reviewed the written opinions, reviewed Judge Flesher’s self-evaluation, and his individual interview with the Commission. Regarding the Judicial Performance Survey, all of the groups surveyed had a sufficient response rate. Of attorneys completing the survey, 94% recommended to retain, 7% recommended not to retain, and 0% made no recommendation. Of non-attorneys completing the survey, 76% recommended to retain, 10% recommended not to retain, and 14% made no recommendation regarding retention.
Judge Flesher takes seriously his responsibilities and is committed to the job. The Commission found Judge Flesher’s greatest strength to be his demeanor and respectful and compassionate treatment of all parties in his courtroom. This specific strength was commented upon by nearly every agency representative and numerous times in his lawyer and non-lawyer surveys. Judge Flesher is well versed in criminal law due to his past experience in that area. Judge Flesher gives all parties an opportunity to be heard and conducts his courtroom with dignity and respect. In particular, Judge Flesher permits litigants sufficient time for jury selection and allows cases to develop and proceed at an appropriate pace. It was also noted by several agency representatives that Judge Flesher is very sympathetic to the difficult issues presented in juvenile proceedings and he is very accommodating to the parties to keep certain issues from being heard by the public; including having the parties approach his bench and turning on his white-noise system, to keep everyone else from hearing the discussion. An area of improvement for Judge Flesher is the timeliness of his written and oral rulings. Timeliness of the rulings affects the litigants and the cases themselves. Judge Flesher acknowledges the importance of this issue and is working on his efficiency in that regard. Overall, Judge Flesher conducts himself, inside and outside the courtroom, in a manner that is fitting of his position as a District Court Judge. Judge Flesher maintains appropriate control of his courtroom and the attorneys that practice in front of him.