Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Lynne Marie Hufnagel
Retention Year: 1990
Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Be Retained.
Judge Hufnagel graduated from Pomona College, Claremont, Calif., in 1966 and received her law degree (cum laude) from the University of Denver in 1971. She was admitted to the Colorado bar in 1972.
After graduation from college, Hufnagel served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Micronesia and afterward as a counselor for the Neighborhood Youth Corps, a poverty program. From 1972 to 1974 she was a staff attorney and director of the Juvenile Division of the Family Law Center, Legal Aid Society. She worked as an independent contractor with the Department of Institutions from 1974 to 1975, investigating the issue of detention of children, and again in 1980 coordinating a training program to prevent out-of-home placement of children, and again in 1980 coordinating a training program to prevent out-of-home placement of children. She was named as a juvenile court referee in Colorado Springs in 1975, and, after returning to Denver, worked as a deputy district attorney in Jefferson County until 1979.
In 1981, she was appointed to the Denver District Court. Since then, Hufnagel has served six years in the criminal division and one year in the civil division, and currently is serving a second year in the domestic relations division, as presiding judge since January.
Hufnagel enjoys her role as a judge, particularly in assisting to resolve disputes. She feels her strengths are in application of the law and in docket management, a challenge because of the tremendous volume of cases. She enjoys the camaraderie of fellow judges. She feels great pressure in placed on Denver District Court judge because of the lack of technical and staff support to aid judges in dealing with cases and the “paper” volume burdening the court. She is critical of lawyers’ increasing lack of civility to each other and the court and their lack of preparation in some cases.
The questionnaire responses received by the commission give Hufnagel mixed reviews. She received high ratings in knowledge and application of the law and lower ratings in areas such as showing favoritism, prejudging, courtesy, compassion and other characteristics of judicial decorum. She has indicated she knows some lawyers and law enforcement officers view her as arrogant, discourteous, impatient and otherwise lacking in judicial temperament. She is aware of these problems and is committed to working on them. Hufnagel is highly regarded for legal acumen and docket management techniques. Overall, Hufnagel received a fairly low percentage vote favoring retention.