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Gunkel, Debra 2014 Evaluation


Fifteenth Judicial District - Baca County Court Judge

Honorable Debra M. Gunkel

Retention Year: 2014
Recommendation: Retain


2014 Retention Survey Report (PDF)

2013 Interim Survey Report (PDF)


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The Fifteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) recommends that Judge Debra M. Gunkel BE RETAINED.

Debra Gunkel received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College, followed by an MBA from the University of Denver, a law degree from Southwestern University and an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University.  Before being appointed to the Baca County Court bench in 2010, she was with the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Her judgeship is classified as a "20 percent position" (in session one day per week).  Judge Gunkel makes herself available to speak at public schools because she feels it is important for young people to learn about the judicial process. She also teaches business law for Lamar Community College.

The Commission voted on its recommendation after observing Judge Gunkel in the courtroom, reviewing opinions she authored, conducting a personal interview, and reading the results of the surveys sent out to a random sampling of people who appeared in her court. On the question of whether or not Judge Gunkel should be retained, 91% of attorneys recommended retaining, 0% recommended not to retain, and 9% made no recommendation. Of non-attorneys surveyed, 61% recommended retaining, 34% not to retain, and 6% made no recommendation. (These percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)

Judge Gunkel’s overall score from the surveys was 3.46 out of a possible 4.0 from attorneys, and 2.56 out of 4.0 from non-attorneys. The areas she scored most highly in on the surveys were appropriate demeanor, fairness, diligence and good communication. Judge Gunkel regularly attends training courses, judicial conferences and online seminars in order to increase her knowledge of law and improve her judicial abilities.