Ninth Judicial District - Garfield County Judge
Honorable Paul H. Metzger
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Judicial Performance Commission for the Ninth Judicial District unanimously (9-0) agrees that Judge Paul H. Metzger MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Metzger was appointed to the Garfield County Court bench in 2003. He is from Littleton, played varsity soccer and tennis at the University of the Pacific, and received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado. He received the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Denver School of Law. While a graduate student, he worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division in Denver. For four years he was Deputy District Attorney with the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office with three of those years prosecuting felony level cases in district court. He was an associate at Scott McInnis, P.C. in Glenwood Springs engaging in general civil practice with a focus on family law and criminal defense. Later he had his own office. He served as Municipal Court Judge for the Town of New Castle from 1999 to 2003. He held positions of Vice President, President, and Board of Governors Representative for the Ninth Judicial District Bar Association and later became a member of the Board of Garfield Legal Services prior to his appointment to the bench. He has been involved with the Glenwood Springs Mock Trial program, acting most recently as a presiding judge.
The Commission reviewed survey data from a cross-section of respondents who had experience with Judge Metzger including attorneys, court staff, law enforcement employees, jurors, and litigants. The Commission also reviewed Judge Metzger’s caseload-management data, a sample of his written opinions, and a self-evaluation he completed. Commissioners observed him in court and interviewed him in person regarding his performance on the bench. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Metzger meets judicial performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 100% answered yes, meets performance standards. Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 85% answered yes, meets performance standards and 15% answered no, does not meet performance standards. A total of 23 attorneys and 22 non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinion of Judge Metzger's performance.
Judge Metzger presides over criminal, traffic, domestic relations, juvenile, small claims, and other civil matters. Judge Metzger impresses all reviewers with his courtroom demeanor – treating participants with respect and fairness. He is proactive in addressing minor criticism regarding the timeliness of his written opinions. Comments included “Judge Metzger was efficient, considerate, and approachable,” “He is patient with people who are pro se [self-represented],” “Judge Metzger was timely, efficient at moving the proceeding along, and thoroughly prepared.” In surveys Judge Metzger was ranked well above other county court judges in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, diligence, demeanor, and fairness. The Commission unanimously agreed that he meets performance standards.