Twelfth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Michael A. Gonzales
Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees (7-0) that Chief Judge Michael A. Gonzales MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
In making its recommendation, the Commission reviewed surveys from attorneys and non-attorneys, including litigants, jurors, and others who have appeared before Judge Gonzales during the retention period. The Commission also reviewed Judge Gonzales’ self-evaluation and samples of his written work. Finally, the commissioners observed Judge Gonzales’ courtroom and conducted a personal interview. Of the attorneys responding, 100% agreed that Judge Gonzales meets performance standards. Of the non-attorney respondents to the survey, 100% agreed that Judge Gonzales meets performance standards.
The Commission felt that Chief Judge Gonzales’ overall performance as a district court judge was outstanding. Surveys sent out by the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation rate judges in categories of case management, application and knowledge of law, communication, diligence, demeanor, and fairness. The results of the surveys answered scored Chief Judge Gonzales above the statewide district judge averages in all areas. Chief Judge Gonzales’ written and oral decisions are thorough, concise, and communicated efficiently. There were no concerns from the Commission regarding fairness or bias on the part of Judge Gonzales towards any party. That is the area in which Chief Judge Gonzales was rated the highest in the surveys returned. The Commission recognized the unique challenges that Judge Gonzales has had to address with the recent COVID 19 pandemic and managing the district court dockets with two fairly new appointed district court judges. The Commission commended Chief Judge Gonzales’ dedication and hard work he has put forth for the 12th Judicial District.
Chief Judge Gonzales took the district court bench in October 2011 and was appointed Chief Judge January 2020. Prior to his appointment to the district court, Chief Judge Gonzales was the Alamosa County Court judge. Chief Judge Gonzales was also a deputy district attorney for the 12th Judicial District for ten years prior to becoming the Alamosa County Court judge. Chief Judge Gonzales received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Creighton University in 1993. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1996. Chief Judge Gonzales has been involved in local youth sports and has served on the board of directors for the Caring for Colorado Foundation since 2010.