Fourteenth Judicial District - Grand County Court Judge
Honorable Ben W. McClelland
Retention Year: 2010
The Fourteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends, by a vote of 7 to 2, that Judge Ben W. McClelland BE RETAINED.
Background: Judge Ben W. McClelland earned his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming in 1994. Prior to being appointed, Judge McClelland practiced law in both Colorado and Wyoming with a focus on real estate and property matters including water rights and oil & gas. Judge McClelland serves as the Public Administrator for the Fourteenth Judicial District.
Evaluation: The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge McClelland from attorneys and non-attorneys, including verbatim comments attached to the evaluation questionnaires. The Commission also considered a self-evaluation, orders and opinions written by Judge McClelland. Finally, members of the Commission personally observed Judge McClelland in his courtroom and conducted a face-to-face interview.
Survey results showed a majority of non-attorneys felt Judge McClelland to be considerate and made considerable effort to explain processes to litigants and jurors. Judge McClelland took time to answer questions and displayed a calm judicial demeanor. The Commission recognizes that with more experience and opportunities for learning, Judge McClelland should improve his skills in handling criminal matters, preparation of written orders and docket management. The Commission recommends based on courtroom observation that the court should return to a more formal standard with a focus on decorum.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 65% recommended to retain, 30% not to retain, and 6% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 69% recommended to retain and 32% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 79% recommended to retain, 12% not to retain, and 10% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 87% recommended to retain and 12% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)