Colorado Court of Appeals
Honorable David Furman
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 9 to 0, with one recusal, that Judge David Furman BE RETAINED.
Judge Furman was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals on December 16, 2005. He received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and received his Master of Social Work degree and his law degree from the University of Denver. Judge Furman practiced trial and appellate litigation with his own firm and served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Appellate Division of the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. He then served as a Magistrate in the Denver Juvenile Court. Prior to his appointment, he was a Magistrate in the Denver District Court, presiding over the Adult Drug Court as well as family law and foreclosure proceedings. He was an adjunct professor at Colorado Christian University and at University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Judge Furman serves on several committees, including the Supreme Court Standing Committee on Family Issues and is currently the Co-Chair of the Colorado Judicial Education Leadership Council. He serves as an instructor for New Judge Orientation and provides training at the annual judicial conference. He volunteers with many community and bar organizations.
The Commission reviewed survey responses from attorneys and judges regarding Judge Furman’s performance, read opinions he authored, observed him in oral arguments, reviewed his self-evaluation, and conducted a personal interview. Among the survey questions was “how strongly do you recommend that Judge Furman be retained or not be retained in office?” Of attorneys completing the survey 87% recommended to retain and 13% made no recommendation regarding retention. Among judges completing the survey 96% recommended to retain, 2% recommended not to retain, and 2% made no recommendation regarding retention.
Attorney survey responses indicate that Judge Furman’s performance is strong in the area of treating parties equally regardless of race, sex, or economic status. Attorneys and judges gave him lower marks than other judges on the court in the area of his writing abilities, especially in the area of writing opinions that adequately explain the basis of the Court’s decision. Some attorneys criticized the length of time it took for him to issue opinions; however, the Commission recognizes that Judge Furman suffered from a medical condition (now resolved) during the evaluation period that could account for those delays. Numerous attorneys and judges noted his expertise in juvenile and family law. The Commission found Judge Furman to be well prepared for oral argument and respectful to attorneys appearing before the Court. The Commission concluded that some of his opinions fail to articulate all the grounds for each decision. Both the Commission and Judge Furman agree that there is a need for improvement in the articulation of his legal analysis. The Commission believes that his background in juvenile and family law represents an important voice on the Court of Appeals. The Commission also commends him for his significant activity in the community.