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Mitchel, John 2006 Evaluation


Seventh Judicial District - Montrose County Court Judge

Honorable John J. Mitchel

Retention Year: 2006
Recommendation: Retain

The Seventh Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge John J. Mitchel BE RETAINED, with one abstention.

Judge Mitchel presides over the largest case load in the Seventh Judicial District (approximately 4,300 new cases last year, in Montrose County alone), including cases that require immediate judicial intervention. In addition to County Court, Judge Mitchel presides over small claims court, drug court, and periodically sits as a district court judge by special appointment. Judge Mitchel’s workload consists of: 26% civil; 21% criminal; 17% traffic; 9% felony; 26% misdemeanor; and, 1% domestic relations.
The Commission found Judge Mitchel to be a hard worker, a good listener, readily available, and ethical. His integrity as a judge is unquestionable. He acknowledges that the volume of cases in his court may lead to delay and some negative comments from litigants. He is a clear, plain speaking communicator who works hard at being prepared and loves his job.

Judge Mitchel describes his strengths as his thoroughness and accurate research skills together with his ability to communicate with all types of people regardless of background, gender, or nationality. Judge Mitchel’s goals are to maintain fairness and impartiality, improve explanations of decisions and maintain his patience in spite of an ever increasing caseload. His overall objectives include staying abreast of the constant changes in the law and improving efficiencies in the court.

Aside from his work on the bench, Judge Mitchel participates in public education projects and community work, but has withdrawn from some community service due to conflicts that arise with people appearing in his court.

Judge Mitchel is a graduate of The Catholic University of America where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado. Judge Mitchel was admitted to the practice of law in Colorado in 1982. He spent sixteen years in private practice where he specialized in the defense of criminal cases, commercial and real
estate law; before that he served two years as a deputy district attorney. He served two years as a substitute Montrose Municipal Court Judge before being appointed Montrose County Court Judge in June of 2000.
The Judicial Performance Commission conducted a personal interview, reviewed Judge Mitchel’s self-evaluation and the results of the Talmey-Drake survey. 80% of attorneys responding to the survey recommended that Judge Mitchel be retained in office. Of the non-attorneys, 72% recommended retention.

The Judicial Performance Commission of the Seventh Judicial District recommends that Montrose County Court Judge Mitchel BE RETAINED.