Second Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Morris B. Hoffman
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Morris B. Hoffman MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hoffman was appointed to the Denver District Court in December 1990. Prior to his appointment, Judge Hoffman was in private practice in Denver, specializing in commercial litigation, real estate, and bankruptcy law. Judge Hoffman graduated from the University of Colorado and received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1977. Over the past six years, Judge Hoffman has presided over civil and criminal court cases. Judge Hoffman has also presided over the Denver Grand Jury for ten of the twenty-seven years he has served as a judge. He currently is the presiding judge in the criminal division.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hoffman, reviewed opinions he authored, observed him in court, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Hoffman. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Hoffman meets judicial performance standards?” Of the 31 attorneys responding to the survey, 87% answered yes, meets performance standards, 10% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 3% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Hoffman meets or does not meet performance standards. Of the 54 non-attorneys responding to the survey, 91% answered yes, meets performance standards, 4% answered no, does not meet performance standards, and 6% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Hoffman meets or does not meet performance standards. Twelve of the 14 appellate judges surveyed gave him a grade of “A” for overall performance as a judge.
Judge Hoffman’s ranking by attorneys on all categories of judicial performance (case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, diligence and demeanor) were at or near the average for all district court judges standing for retention. Non-attorneys tended to rank him more highly than attorneys. The Commission’s courtroom observation, interview and reviews of written material provide a picture of a judge more consistent with the positive comments of survey respondents. Judge Hoffman has been described by attorneys as “stellar,” possessing “an excellent understanding of the law,” and an “excellent jurist.” Survey respondents noted that he is very organized and detailed and is keen to keep cases moving in his courtroom so justice may be served timely. Based on these findings the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Hoffman meets judicial performance standards in all categories.