Tenth Judicial District - Pueblo County Judge
Honorable David Lee Lobato
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
Nine members of the Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agree that Judge David Lee Lobato MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. One member of the commission was recused.
David Lobato was appointed to the Pueblo County Court bench by Governor John Hickenlooper in February of 2012 and began his service on March 2, 2012. Judge Lobato had been a Deputy State Public Defender in El Paso County from October 1994 to January 1995, and in Pueblo County from 1995 until his appointment to the bench. Judge Lobato received his undergraduate degree from the College of Santa Fe in 1982. In 1985, he received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and he studied moral theology at the Pontifical Alfonsian Academy in Rome from 1985-1987. Judge Lobato received his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1994.
The commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Lobato, reviewed his judicial opinions and self-evaluation, performed extensive courtroom observations, interviewed local agencies and considered the results of the 2018 Judicial Performance Survey Report and Case Management Reports. On the Judicial Performance Survey, all surveyed groups had a sufficient response rate from those who had experience with Judge Lobato. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 87% indicated that Judge Lobato meets performance standards, 7% indicated that he did not meet performance standards and 7% had no opinion. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 80% indicated that Judge Lobato meets performance standards, 11% indicated he did not meet performance standards and 9% had no opinion.
Judge Lobato presided over misdemeanor and traffic cases during this term. His open caseload is greater than the established goals of completing 80% of all cases within six months. Judge Lobato offered reasonable explanations for this backlog, but he agreed that he is not unmindful that this situation needs improvement. In all major categories of the Judicial Performance Surveys, non-attorneys rated Judge Lobato slightly higher than attorneys. Attorneys generally found that he managed his cases well, has good application and knowledge of the law, communication skills, demeanor and diligence. Non-attorneys found him to have good knowledge and application of the law, as well as good communication skills and diligence. Commission members found courtroom observations generally corroborated these survey findings. Although his attorney approval rating is impressive, some comments made in the survey suggested at times he demonstrated a lack of patience with young attorneys. Judge Lobato reflects daily on the need to be patient, fair and dignified in his courtroom demeanor. In his interview, Judge Lobato impressed the Commission that he enjoys his work and strives to be the best possible judge. He recognizes that there is room for improvement, and he will strive to be better. Based on the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Lobato meets or exceeds performance standards.