Colorado Court of Appeals
Honorable Nancy J. Lichtenstein
Retention Year: 2010
The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 10 to 0 that Judge Nancy J. Lichtenstein BE RETAINED.
Judge Lichtenstein is fairly new to the Colorado Court of Appeals, having been appointed in 2008. She graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. She received her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1988. During the past two years, Judge Lichtenstein has served as a visiting lecturer on appellate advocacy at the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She volunteers as a coach for East High School's team in the "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" competition. Since 2005, she has been a contributing author to the Colorado Criminal Practice and Procedure practice series (West Publications). She also has served on the Colorado Senate Judiciary Subcommittee for the Consolidation of Colorado Sentencing Laws and as the Vice President of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association.
Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Lichtenstein was a Deputy State Public Defender in both the Appellate and Trial Divisions of the Colorado State Public Defender's Office (2001-2008 and 1988-1996). She was in private practice from 1997 to 2001.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions indicate that, compared to the other appellate judges, Judge Lichtenstein's performance is somewhat stronger in the areas of being fair and impartial, writing opinions that adequately explain the basis for the Court's decision, and issuing opinions in a timely manner. Many attorneys commented that she is well prepared for oral argument, a good listener, and courteous and respectful on the bench, and that her knowledge of criminal law is extensive. Judges who responded to survey questions indicate that her performance is somewhat weaker in the areas of being fair and impartial, writing opinions that adequately explain the basis of the Court’s decision, and making reasoned decisions based on the law and facts. Judges’ comments include that she is excellent, hard working, and thorough. The Commission reviewed a number of opinions written by Judge Lichtenstein and found them to be well written, organized, and reader-friendly. Her legal reasoning is both thoughtful and clear. Although she came to the bench with far less experience in civil matters, she is working hard to increase her knowledge in areas of civil law.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 86% recommended to retain, 8% not to retain, and 6% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 91% recommended to retain and 8% not to retain. Of all judges surveyed, 67% recommended to retain, 4% not to retain, and 29% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 94% recommended to retain and 5% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)