Second Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Kenneth Martin Laff
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Kenneth Martin Laff MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Laff was appointed to the District Court in January 2009. Since that time, he has presided over domestic, civil and criminal matters. Prior to his appointment, Judge Laff was a senior deputy district attorney in Denver. Before that he was president of the PLUS Group, LLC, was a principal at Zeigler Ross, Inc. and was a partner at Holme, Roberts and Owen LLP. Judge Laff earned his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1974 and his law degree from Stanford University in 1977. Judge Laff is actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of several organizations.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Laff, reviewed opinions he authored, observed him in court, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Laff. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Laff meets judicial performance standards?” 87% of the forty-seven attorneys responding to the survey indicated that Judge Laff met performance standards, while 13% indicated he did not meet performance standards. Eighty-two percent of the twenty-two non-attorneys responding to the survey indicated Judge Laff met performance standards, 14% indicated he did not meet performance standards and 5% had no opinion (difference due to rounding). Twelve appellate judges rated Judge Laff’s overall performance as a judge higher than the average of all district court judges standing for retention.
In the survey results from attorneys, Judge Laff scored higher than the average for all district judges standing for retention in the areas of application and knowledge of law, communications, demeanor, and diligence. Judge Laff scored slightly lower than average for case management. In the survey results from non-attorneys, Judge Laff scored lower in all areas than the average for all district court judges standing for retention. Comments from attorneys that were critical of Judge Laff were related to case management; in particular, that Judge Laff can sometimes take a long time to issue written orders in complex cases. In his interview, Judge Laff acknowledged the criticism for his case management and explained steps he was taking to improve his performance in this area. Considering all relevant factors, the Commission unanimously concluded that Judge Laff meets performance standards.