First Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Diego G. Hunt
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Diego G. Hunt MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hunt was appointed to the District Court in the First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) in April of 2016. Prior to his appointment, Judge Hunt was director of the Community Justice Unit at the Denver District Attorney’s office and in private practice with the Harris Law Firm PC, Allen, Nunemaker & Hunt LLC, and Holland and Hart LLP. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 1994 and earned his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1997. Prior to his appointment, Judge Hunt had an active pro bono practice and was active in community outreach – serving on the executive committee of Our Courts conducting Spanish language presentations. Judge Hunt continues to serve his community through Colorado’s high school mock trial program, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and the Sonia Sotomayor Inn of Court.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hunt, reviewed opinions he authored, observed him in court, interviewed interested parties with experience with Judge Hunt and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Hunt. Among the survey questions was, “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the judicial performance criteria, do you think Judge Hunt meets judicial performance standards?” Of the 56 attorneys that responded to the survey, 89% answered yes, meets performance standards; 4% answered no, does not meet performance standards; and 7% had no opinion. Of the 38 non-attorneys responding to the survey, 68% answered yes, meets performance standards; 19% answered no, does not meet performance standards; and 14% had no opinion. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding).
During the performance evaluation period, Judge Hunt presided over domestic relations and other civil cases, comprising 70% and 30% of his total caseload, respectively. Judge Hunt performed well in all categories surveyed, despite having a caseload with a high percentage of pro se (unrepresented) litigants. Among attorney and appellate judge evaluations, Judge Hunt outperformed his judicial peers in every category: case management, application and knowledge of law, communication, demeanor and diligence. Among non-attorney evaluations, Judge Hunt underperformed compared to his judicial peers in every category: demeanor, fairness, communications, diligence, and application of the law. Non-attorneys responding to the surveys were more critical of Judge Hunt’s overall performance than attorneys; however, these comments suggest much of the criticism came from pro se litigants who were dissatisfied with the outcome of their case. Nevertheless, Judge Hunt is committed to addressing these criticisms. Survey comments describe Judge Hunt as fair, impartial, patient, compassionate, respectful and well versed in the law. Courtroom observations of Judge Hunt by members of the Commission confirm the survey comments. Based upon the Commission’s evaluation and review of all relevant materials, Judge Hunt has met all six statutory performance standards: integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance and service to the legal profession and public.