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Kuenhold, O. John 2002 Evaluation


Twelfth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable O. John Kuenhold

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge O. John Kuenhold BE RETAINED.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Kuenhold completed by individuals appearing in his courtroom, considered Judge Kuenhold’s written self-evaluation that included two of his written opinions, held three public hearings and conducted a personal interview with the judge.

Judge Kuenhold was appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Court in February 1981. Prior to his appointment, Judge Kuenhold practiced law in the San Luis Valley, both in private practice and for Colorado Rural Legal Services. Judge Kuenhold received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

Judge Kuenhold is highly respected by both attorneys and non-attorneys, receiving A’s from attorneys in 21 of the survey’s 25 categories. Judge Kuenhold received particularly high ratings in the areas of judicial temperament and communication, achieving ratings 20% to 30% higher than the state average for district judges in many of the survey’s categories. Judge Kuenhold is known for his intellectual abilities and knowledge of the law, which was noted frequently by both attorneys and non-attorneys in the survey results. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 97% recommend retention and 3% had no opinion. Eighty-nine percent of the non-attorneys recommended retention, 6% recommended non-retention and 4% had no opinion.

Judge Kuenhold’s interests off the bench equally demonstrate his commitment to excellence in the court system. He is a frequent presenter at both state and national judicial education programs, and will be teaching in the National Judicial College’s new judge orientation program in the coming years. In 1996, Judge Kuenhold initiated the Colorado Courts website, dedicating thousands of personal hours to its development. The site is now the single most important source of information for the public regarding the courts, providing information, on-line forms and research materials. The site is now the State Court Administrator’s official web site, with Judge Kuenhold continuing to serve as web-master.