Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Kandace C. Gerdes
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 10-0, recommends that Judge Kandace C. Gerdes BE RETAINED.
Judge Gerdes was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper in November 2013 for a term beginning in January 2014. Prior to her appointment, Judge Gerdes was a senior deputy district attorney in the economic crimes unit for the 2nd Judicial District. Previously she was in private practice specializing in state and federal civil tax controversy resolution. Judge Gerdes earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Creighton University and earned a master’s degree from the University of Denver. Judge Gerdes engages in community service activities including mentoring high school students through Denver Kids and volunteering in continuing education seminars as a presenter, group leader, and panelist.
Judge Gerdes has served in the domestic relations division and currently presides over criminal matters. The Commission reviewed survey results of attorneys and non-attorneys who have appeared in her courtroom as well as of appellate judges. The Commission also conducted a personal interview with the judge, reviewed her self-evaluation and several written opinions. Selected members of the Commission observed Judge Gerdes in court. Of attorneys completing the survey 63% recommended retention and 37% recommended not to retain. Of non-attorneys completing the survey 84% recommended retention, 13% recommended she not be retained, and 3% made no recommendation.
The Commission notes that Judge Gerdes’ overall ratings from attorneys for case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, demeanor, and diligence are significantly below the average combined ratings of all district judges standing for retention. Non-attorneys, however, rate her nearly on par with the average of her peers. Of concern to the Commission is the fact that 60% of attorneys surveyed indicate that Judge Gerdes is very biased in favor of the prosecution and 10% of the attorneys believed that she was somewhat biased in favor of the prosecution. In contrast, 81% of the non-attorneys believe that she is completely neutral. Judge Gerdes has acknowledged this perception and has taken proactive steps to improve her performance. Because Judge Gerdes is a relatively new judge, the Commission believes these efforts are appropriate and supports her retention.