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Kochenburger, John 1994 Evaluation


Eighth Judicial District - Larimer County Court Judge

Honorable John E. Kochenburger

Retention Year: 1994
Recommendation: Retain


Judge Kochenburger was appointed to the county court bench in 1984, following nine months as District Court Referee/Juvenile Commissioner. Before that, beginning in 1957, he was in private practice of law in Larimer County. Judge Kochenburger served in the U.S. Army from 1955 through 1957.

Judge Kochenburger presides over general county court cases including civil, traffic, and misdemeanor criminal cases. Through individual effort and study of the use of computers, Judge Kochenburger is recognized to have significantly enhanced the efficiency of County Court filings. Cases assigned to his court can get to trial within 60 days.

Based on surveys of attorneys (165 responding) Judge Kochenburger was given 80% or greater approval for Sense of Justice, Knowledge of Law, Evidence and Procedure, Clarity of Decisions, Courtroom Control, Diligent Work Ethic, and Promptness. He was rated very high in these same categories by litigants, jurors, courtroom personnel and law enforcement personnel.

Some attorneys responding to our survey gave Judge Kochenburger low ratings citing inappropriate demeanor and lack of courtesy. Critical comments from those attorneys included complaints that Judge Kochenburger is unpredictable, demeaning and insensitive to issues of bias; on the other hand, 69.7% of the attorneys did vote for retention. The judge received superior ratings from the smaller number of responding litigants, jurors, courtroom personnel and law enforcement personnel who apparently did not share the attorneys’ criticism.

Based on our evaluation, the Commission believes Judge Kochenburger is known to bring common sense solutions to the cases before him, with a sense of humor that appears to be appreciated by some and not by others.

The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Kochenburger BE RETAINED.