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McGahey, Robert 2002 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable Robert L. McGahey Jr. 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr. BE RETAINED.

Judge McGahey was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in December 1999. Prior to his appointment, Judge McGahey was in private practice, specializing in insurance defense matters. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1971, and his law degree three years later from the University of Denver College of Law. In his first year on the bench, Judge McGahey heard domestic relations matters, and now hears a variety of civil cases.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge McGahey from attorneys and non-attorneys. Respondents were asked to rate Judge McGahey in six major categories: courtesy, impartiality, communication, temperament, diligence and application of the law. Also, the Commission considered a self-evaluation completed by Judge McGahey and conducted a personal interview with him.

In many categories, ratings for Judge McGahey from non-attorneys were below those given by attorneys. The ratings by non-attorneys were generally below those for other Colorado District Court judges being considered for retention this year. Negative comments from non-attorneys regarding impartiality were discussed in Judge McGahey’s interview with the Commission. He attributed these and other low ratings to conditions in Domestic Relations Court, where he sees that any ruling on child custody, support payments, division of marital property or any other unpleasant issue is likely to result in dissatisfaction with the judge by at least one of the two contending parties.

Judge McGahey emphasizes his role as a mediator, getting parties to reach agreement without the stress and expense of a formal trial. Other judges often transfer cases to him to utilize his skill as a mediator. Among attorneys, he was rated highly for management of his docket and promptness in issuing orders and rulings.

Among the attorneys responding to the survey, 88% favored retention, 6% favored non-retention and 5% had no opinion. Among non-attorneys responding to the survey, 69% favored retention, 15% favored non-retention and 16% had no opinion.