Seventeenth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Robert Walter Kiesnowski Jr
Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance agreed unanimously (8-0) that the Honorable Robert Walter Kiesnowski Jr. MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. Two Commission members did not participate in the voting.
The Commission is impressed with Judge Kiesnowski’s down-to-earth and honest approach to managing cases. He invests in the cases before him a sense of dignity, fairness, and impartiality and strives to ensure that cases are handled respectfully. Parties are treated with compassion and a calm demeanor. It is also noteworthy that Judge Kiesnowski ensures his written decisions are understandable and fair. He reviews court opinions, methods of practice, and rules of civil procedure to ensure he is up to date. His written opinions are well formed, clearly stating summaries of the parties’ positions, and the reasoning behind his decisions. Judge Kiesnowski is keenly focused on managing court case loads, not only for his docket, but across the entire judicial district. The commission was impressed with Judge Kiesnowski’s willingness to provide direction and suggestions to his peers in the 17th Judicial District. His determination to manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are focused on ensuring that the 17th Judicial District fulfills the right to a speedy trial for criminal defendants.
For the first four years of his current term, Judge Kiesnowski’s docket consisted of 100% criminal cases in Adams County. For the fifth year of his term, Judge Kiesnowski’s docket consisted of 100% civil cases, also in Adams County. Beginning July 2019, the sixth year of his current term, Judge Kiesnowski rotated to the Broomfield District Court. In Broomfield, Judge Kiesnowski’s docket consists of 48% civil cases, 48% domestic relations cases, and 4% mental health cases. The Commission observed Judge Kiesnowski in court, reviewed transcripts of his proceedings, reviewed select written decisions, interviewed Judge Kiesnowski via video link, read his self-evaluation, and analyzed survey results from attorneys and non-attorneys who indicated they had knowledge of Judge Kiesnowski’s performance. Judge Kiesnowski received higher rankings than did other district judges for case management and communications, and comparable rankings for application and knowledge of law, diligence, and demeanor. Eighty-three percent of attorneys rated Judge Kiesnowski as meeting performance standards.
Judge Kiesnowski was appointed as a District Court Judge in 2011 by Governor Bill Ritter and retained by voters in 2014. He graduated from Regis College in 1987 and received his JD from the University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1990. Prior to his appointment as a District Court Judge, he was the in-house counsel for the Denver Police Protective Association.