Fourth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Barbara L. Hughes
Retention Year: 2014
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends, by a vote of 9-0, that Judge Barbara L. Hughes BE RETAINED.
Judge Hughes was appointed to the District Court bench in May 2010. Prior to her appointment, Judge Hughes was a Magistrate handling the Probate docket where she received high marks from the attorneys she worked with. Judge Hughes received her law degree from University of Colorado Law School. Judge Hughes is currently handling 50% Domestic and 50% Criminal dockets. Prior to handling Criminal cases she was handling Civil and Domestic. Judge Hughes has been very active in many community service activities including, "Judicially Speaking", "Green Book", and Teen Court.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hughes, reviewed opinions provided, observed her in court, and reviewed surveys sent to attorneys and non-attorneys. Among the survey questions was how strongly do you recommend that Judge Hughes be retained in office, or not be retained in office?" Of attorneys responding to the survey, 77% recommended to retain, 14% recommended to not retain and 10% made no recommendation regarding retention. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 72% recommended to retain, 20% recommended to not retain and 7% made no recommendation regarding retention. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding).
Judge Hughes was the presiding judge for Probate and is now the presiding judge for Domestic Relations cases. Judge Hughes received higher than average marks in the attorney survey in the areas of overall demeanor, and respect. She received very high marks in the area of neutrality. The Commission feels she needs to be more interactive with the bar and allow for more oral arguments and to help her incorporate those arguments into her decision making. Judge Hughes received below average marks in a variety of areas in the non-attorney surveys, most notably in the areas of compassion, communication, and overall fairness. Despite these scores, the Commission believes Judge Hughes has an enormous capacity to work hard and learn from the results.