Thirteenth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Carl S. McGuire III
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Thirteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees (8-0, with two members absent) that Judge Carl S. McGuire, III MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge McGuire was appointed as a District Court Judge in May of 2016. Judge McGuire previously served as District Court Magistrate (2013-2016) and Washington County Court Judge (2004-2016). In April 2012, Judge McGuire returned from a 10-month deployment in Afghanistan. Prior to taking the bench in 2004, he was a Judge Advocate in the Naval Reserve. Judge McGuire studied agricultural economics at Colorado State University and received his law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge McGuire, reviewed a sampling of his written rulings, observed him in court, and reviewed comments and responses from a survey of individuals familiar with him. Of those who completed the survey, 17 attorneys and 63 non-attorneys indicated that they had worked with him enough to evaluate his performance. When asked if Judge McGuire meets performance standards, the responses were as follows: of the 17 attorneys, 94% said “yes”, 0% said “no”, and 6% had “no opinion”; of the 63 non-attorneys, 98% said “yes” and 2% said “no”.
Judge McGuire’s docket consists of primarily of criminal, domestic relations, probate, civil, juvenile, and mental health matters. The Commission found that Judge McGuire meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories (integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and public). When survey results were compared to all District Court Judges in Colorado, Judge McGuire scored equal to or higher than the state average in nearly every category. Survey scores, comments, and courtroom observations all demonstrated strength in the areas of demeanor, fairness, diligence, communications, and case management. Judge McGuire conducts himself in a dignified manner, becoming of a member of the judiciary. He is admired by his peers and reputed as an exceptional judge. His style is best described as structured but fair and, while he maintains control of the courtroom, his demeanor is respectful and pleasant. He is known for having high standards and being hard-working, diligent, and prepared. Attorneys who appear before him appreciate that he does his homework before hearings and takes the time to research legal issues prior to ruling, and they know he expects them to do the same. Judge McGuire is noted to make deliberate efforts to (appropriately) develop a positive rapport with juries, witnesses, and parties to cases, putting them more at ease in what is, for most people, an unfamiliar and intimidating setting, and instilling confidence in the legal process. While not all survey respondents always agreed with his rulings, and some described him as “still learning” with respect to legal knowledge and application, they nonetheless appeared to respect and have confidence in this Judge’s integrity, impartiality, effort, and desire to “get it right”. Judge McGuire is an exemplary judicial officer and committed public servant and the Commission unanimously agrees that he far exceeds performance standards.