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Howell, Byron 2010 Evaluation


Seventeenth Judicial District - Adams County Court Judge 

Honorable Byron L. Howell

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain


2010 Retention Survey Report

2009 Interim Survey Report


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The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Byron L. Howell BE RETAINED.

Prior to his appointment as a County Court Judge in July of 2008, Judge Howell served as a Deputy City and County Attorney in Broomfield since 2001. He previously served as a Washington County Attorney, an Assistant Morgan County Attorney and the supervisor of the Pre-Trial Services Unit in San Diego Superior Court. Judge Howell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1978, his J.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1994 and his Master’s in Public Administration from San Diego State University in 2003.

The Commission reviewed responses to questionnaires regarding Judge Howell from attorneys and non-attorneys, which included written comments. The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Howell and three transcripts of tape recorded hearings over which Judge Howell presided. Several Commission members observed Judge Howell during courtroom proceedings and the Commission conducted a personal interview with him.

Attorneys and non-attorneys cite Judge Howell’s strengths to include: intelligence, methodical research and a compassionate, patient and professional demeanor. Judge Howell is genuinely concerned with justice. His courtroom control and proficiency have improved since the beginning of his term. He has implemented a self-improvement plan which includes seeking advice from colleagues to advance his overall effectiveness. Judge Howell’s willingness to overcome his deficiencies, coupled with more experience and education opportunities, supports his retention. The sample size of attorneys who responded to the questionnaire was 24. Among attorneys surveyed, there is a noteworthy disparity between Judge Howell’s overall average grade (2.71) and that of all county judges (3.31) in the areas of case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, demeanor and diligence. The sample size of non-attorneys was 93. Judge Howell’s overall average grade among non-attorneys is consistent with that of all county judges.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 65% recommended to retain, 26% not to retain and 9% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 71% recommended to retain and 29% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed about retention, 81% recommended to retain, 4% not to retain and 14% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 95% recommended to retain and 6% not to retain. These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.) It is the Commission’s unanimous recommendation to retain Judge Byron L. Howell.