First Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Dennis J. Hall
Retention Year: 2010
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a unanimous vote that Judge Dennis J. Hall BE RETAINED.
Judge Hall was appointed to the District Court in 2007. Prior to his appointment as a District Judge he served as a Deputy District Attorney for the First Judicial District. Judge Hall is on the Board of Directors of the First Judicial District Bar Association. Judge Hall has not participated in community service activities outside the judicial system. Upon discussion with the Commission concerning this, Judge Hall understands the importance of community service and is considering what organizations or community activities he could participate in which are allowable within the ethical rules identified for judges. The Commission feels that this is important.
Attorneys who rated Judge Hall identified his strengths in case management. He was described as fair, level-headed and organized. He was also described as well-prepared and having a great knowledge of the law. Non-attorneys overall rated Judge Hall higher than average in almost every category. They commented that he was impartial, fair and composed and competent as a judge. Some attorneys surveyed felt that Judge Hall can appear to be talking down to people or to be impatient and that he needs to learn more about civil matters addressed in his court.
While recommending Judge Hall be retained, we are troubled by comments about his demeanor on the bench. Judge Hall recognized that his understanding of civil law was not as good as his knowledge in criminal matters and has set a goal for himself to improve his knowledge in that area. We recognize that Judge Hall is being evaluated for the first time and we expect improvement in all areas, especially those that relate to judicial temperament and demeanor.
Seventy-four percent of attorneys surveyed and 91% of non-attorneys surveyed recommended that Judge Hall be retained. Considering his strengths and his commitment to improve in areas identified as weaknesses, the Commission recommends unanimously that Judge Hall BE RETAINED.