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Markson, Paul 2002 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable Paul A. Markson Jr. 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Paul A. Markson, Jr. BE RETAINED. The Commission’s recommendation was not unanimous.

Judge Markson was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in January 1981. Prior to his appointment, Judge Markson was a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver. He received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s in Minnesota, and his law degree from the University of Colorado. Following graduation from law school, Judge Markson served in the Army for two years, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Judge Markson grew up in Minneapolis. He has 12 children, 10 of whom are adopted, and 16 grandchildren.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Markson completed by attorneys and non-attorneys. The Commission also considered a self-evaluation completed by Judge Markson and conducted two personal interviews with him.

Judge Markson received well-below average ratings from attorneys, but much better ratings from non-attorneys, though several non-attorneys made critical comments as well. Criticism of the judge appears to stem from his outbursts of temper. Concerns about the judge’s temper have surfaced in prior evaluations. Judge Markson recognizes that his outbursts are inappropriate. Though he believes his temper flares more often when he presides in the Drug Court, Judge Markson makes no excuse for such behavior and claims to have made progress in controlling his temper. The Commission is concerned about a pattern of intemperate behavior demonstrated by Judge Markson in his years on the bench. Nevertheless, considering the entirety of Judge Markson’s judicial performance, and his commitment to improve control over his temper while on the bench, the Commission recommends that Judge Markson be retained.

Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 59% recommended that Judge Markson be retained, 30% recommended that he not be retained and 11% expressed no opinion. Among non-attorneys, 87% recommended that Judge Markson be retained, 6% recommended that he not be retained and 6% expressed no opinion.