Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable John Madden
Retention Year: 2014
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 6-4, recommends that Judge John Madden BE RETAINED. If retained, the Commission unanimously recommends that Judge Madden enter into an improvement plan. Judge Madden voluntarily has agreed to enter into such a supervised improvement plan.
The governor appointed Judge Madden to the Denver District Court bench in July, 2006. Judge Madden earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and earned his law degree from University of Colorado School of Law. Before becoming a judge, Judge Madden was an attorney in private practice. During the current period, Judge Madden has presided over civil and criminal courts. He currently presides over civil matters. Judge Madden is actively involved in many professional activities. He presents at continuing legal education courses and coaches the mock trial teams for the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. Judge Madden also is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of lawyers and non-lawyers, interviewed the judge, reviewed written opinions and selected members of the Commission observed Judge Madden in court. Of attorneys responding to the survey, 58% recommended retention, 33% recommended against retention, and 10% made no recommendation regarding retention. Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 92% recommended retention 4% recommended against retention, and 5% made no recommendation regarding retention. (These percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)
Attorney survey responses indicate that Judge Madden’s performance is below the average of scores for all district court judges standing for retention, and significantly fewer lawyers favored retaining Judge Madden when compared to other district court judges in the state. Non-attorney survey responses indicate that Judge Madden’s performance in all areas is above the average of scores for all district court judges standing for retention, and more non-attorneys favored retaining Judge Madden when compared to other district court judges in the state. A significant concern of attorney survey respondents was Judge Madden’s docket management and their comments indicated concerns about starting late, taking too much time, and delay in issuing orders. Some of these comments indicate that docket delays were the result of Judge Madden allowing the attorneys appearing before him to delay the proceedings due to their lack of preparedness, rather than a lack of preparedness on Judge Madden’s part. Although there are indications that Judge Madden has begun to work on the areas of case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, and diligence, the Commission recommends that Judge Madden gain greater competence in those areas. Both attorneys and non-attorneys commented favorably on Judge Madden’s demeanor and described him as being respectful, polite, and patient.