Eighth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable James H. Hiatt
Retention Year: 2006
The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge James H. Hiatt BE RETAINED. The Commission voted nine in favor with one absent.
James H. Hiatt received his undergraduate degree in 1969 from the College of William and Mary. In 1973, Judge Hiatt received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law.
He was appointed as District Court Judge in April 1986. Before his appointment to District Court, he served as a District Court Magistrate and prior to that had a private practice. In January, 2000, Judge Hiatt was appointed Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District. In addition to his administrative duties as Chief Judge, Judge Hiatt maintains a full docket of cases.
Judge Hiatt has been evaluated by four Judicial Performance Commissions over the span of his judgeship and has been unanimously recommended for retention each time.
The Commission interviewed representatives from the District Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office and law enforcement. The Commission reviewed evaluations of Judge Hiatt received from respondents to a professionally conducted survey of both attorneys and non-attorneys who have been in his courtroom. The Commission considered statistical responses as well as written comments dealing with courtesy, impartiality, communications skill, judicial temperament, diligence, application of the law, and retention. Further, the Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by the judge and conducted a personal interview with Judge Hiatt.
Judge Hiatt received high survey ratings from survey respondents. Attorneys responding to the survey recommended he be retained by 90%. Ninety-eight percent of the non-attorneys responding to the survey also recommended that Judge Hiatt be retained. He received high marks from both attorneys and non-attorneys in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, demeanor and diligence.
The commission believes the citizens of the Eighth Judicial District are well served by having Judge Hiatt on the bench. The commission overwhelmingly approved of his retention.