Ninth Judicial District - Garfield County Court Judge
Honorable Paul H. Metzger
Retention Year: 2006
The Ninth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Paul H. Metzger BE RETAINED.
Judge Metzger was appointed Garfield County Judge in August 2002. Prior to his appointment, Judge Metzger had a civil trial practice and served for approximately 2 ½ years as the Town of New Castle’s municipal judge. Like other judges, Judge Metzger’s ethical obligation to maintain political independence and neutrality toward parties limits his ability to engage in community service activities. He has for years, however, devoted substantial time coaching the local high school mock trial team.
The Commission reviewed the 2006 Judicial Performance Survey of Judge Metzger including the results of responses from attorneys and non-attorneys and the written comments attached to the evaluation questionnaires, his written self-evaluation. The Commission conducted a personal interview with the Judge, and members made a number of visits to Judge Metzger’s courtroom.
The Commission found and the survey results indicated that Judge Metzger demonstrated competence in all areas evaluated in the questionnaires, including case management, legal knowledge, communications and demeanor. He has developed methods since his appointment to improve the timeliness of post-hearing rulings. He is intelligent and articulate and has demonstrated fairness to all parties, counsel and agencies, and insight into his challenges and those of the judicial process. He is concerned that the community should understand the judicial system and perceive it as fair and efficient. The Commission believes that Judge Metzger will continue to develop his judicial skills and case management techniques and act as a vital asset in Garfield County’s judicial system.
The Commission found Judge Metzger to be aware of and concerned about cultural differences and language barriers of some individuals who appear in his court and that he is sensitive to those issues and strives to provide fair and just determinations without regard to race, gender, or other factors.
Attorneys unanimously (100%) strongly recommended that Judge Metzger be retained. Non-attorneys recommended retention by 92 percent. The non-attorney evaluations included responses from litigants, defendants, court employees, jurors, and others. Both of those recommendations exceed the percentage retention recommendations for other county court judges and all trial judges. The Commission members are very impressed with Judge Metzger’s ability and commitment and voted unanimously that Judge Metzger BE RETAINED.