Second Judicial District - District-Probate Judge
Honorable Elizabeth D. Leith
Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 10-0, unanimously finds that Presiding Judge Elizabeth D. Leith MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
After meeting with Judge Leith, reviewing her work over the last 6 years, observing her in court, and assessing feedback from attorneys and non- attorneys, the Commission concludes that Judge Leith excels in all of the categories of performance standards the Commission reviews. Judge Leith had notably high performance in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, diligence, and demeanor. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Judge Leith utilized technology to ensure her courtroom could continue operations. For instance, Judge Leith has collaborated with Denver Health Hospital and the Denver City Attorney’s office to establish an online remote court to serve the hospital’s mental health unit. Judge Leith also worked with the Denver Health Hospital and the City Jail and Detention facility to establish a remote court in Denver’s Criminal Court.
The Commission reviewed survey results of attorneys, appellate court judges, and non-attorneys, and several of Judge Leith’s written opinions. Commissioners also observed Judge Leith in court and interviewed her as part of their review. Of 61 attorneys who responded to surveys about Judge Leith, 91% indicated Judge Leith met performance standards, 2% indicated she did not meet performance standards, and 7% had no opinion. Of 6 non- attorneys who responded to the survey, 83% indicated Judge Leith met performance standards and 17% indicated she did not. Judge Leith received survey scores above the state average for district court judges in most categories. Written comments with the survey results offer further support for the Commission’s recommendation to retain Judge Leith. Attorneys affirmed that Judge Leith is efficient, polite, impartial, and diligent, and that she has strong communication skills and a good judicial demeanor, is “steadfast in her duty to the public,” knows the law, and maintains good case management. Non-attorneys commented on Judge Leith’s compassion, patience, and kindness.
Governor Hickenlooper appointed Judge Leith to the Denver Probate Court in July 2011. Before her appointment, Judge Leith served as a domestic court magistrate judge in Denver District Court; as an Assistant Denver City Attorney in the Human Services Section; as a Deputy District Attorney; and as a private practice attorney. Judge Leith earned her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State College in 1982 and her law degree from the University of Denver in 1988. In addition to her successful efforts to improve the operations of the Probate court, Judge Leith serves on the Chief Judges Council, on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Probate Rules, Civil Jury Instructions, and Judicial Education Committees, and as Chair of the Probate Advisory Workgroup in the State Court Administrator’s Office. She also engages in community service through her church. During the current term, Judge Leith has presided over the probate court.