Second Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Catherine A. Lemon
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Catherine A. Lemon MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Lemon was appointed to the Denver District Court in January 2004. Prior to her appointment, Judge Lemon practiced law for more than 20 years, the last 16 years at a private law firm in Denver in the area of business litigation. Judge Lemon received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1982. Judge Lemon continues to demonstrate a commitment to service within the judiciary. Judge Lemon worked on two jury instruction committees (Criminal Jury Instructions and Plain Language) and the Civil Rules Committee.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Lemon, reviewed opinions she authored, observed her 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 Lemon. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Lemon meets or does not meet performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 67% answered yes, meets performance standards, 24% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 10% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Lemon meets or does not meet performance standards. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 79% answered yes, meets performance standards, 16% answered no, does not meet performance standards, and 5% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Lemon meets or does not meet performance standards. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding). A total of 45 attorneys and 19 non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinion of Judge Lemon’s performance. Fourteen appellate judges who responded to the survey gave Judge Lemon a higher rating than the average of district court judges standing for retention.
Judge Lemon presided over both civil and domestic relations during this term. Judge Lemon currently is the presiding judge in the domestic division. In past years, while presiding over criminal and civil dockets, Judge Lemon received much higher scores in all performance areas. The Commission is sensitive to the fact that judges who handle only domestic cases historically are given lower survey scores. Judge Lemon has asked to stay on the domestic relations court longer than most judges, in order to guide changes that will make the court more efficient and more attentive to the needs of litigants. Based on its review and findings the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Lemon meets judicial performance standards.