Montgomery, Lael 2004 Evaluation


Twentieth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Lael Montgomery 

Retention Year: 2004
Recommendation: Retain

The Twentieth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Lael Montgomery BE RETAINED.

The Commission's recommendation is based upon surveys completed by persons having experience in Judge Montgomery's courtroom, information received at a public hearing, courtroom observations by members of the Commission, a personal interview with the Judge conducted by Commission members, and other materials. The vote by the Commission to retain was unanimous.

Judge Montgomery was appointed to the District Court in 2001 after having served as a County Court Judge from 1997 until her current appointment. Prior to this, she served as Deputy District Attorney in the Twentieth Judicial District for fourteen years. She graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1982.

Judge Montgomery's caseload to date has been civil cases, with the majority of these being domestic relations. She has also volunteered to be the Probate Judge during her current rotation.

Both attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Montgomery rated her highly in all areas. She was seen as particularly strong in communication skills, demeanor on the bench and promptness in issuing rulings. While some of the substantive law in her current position was initially less familiar to her than criminal law, she has continued to learn the information needed to be effective in this role. She has become involved with two committees related to family law to further enhance her understanding and leadership in
this area. This year Judge Montgomery was honored by receiving the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Of 59 attorneys surveyed as part of this procedure, 89% favored retention, while 7% were opposed. The rest of the attorneys responding were undecided. There were 87 non-attorney respondents, of whom 83% favored retention, with 16% opposed and the rest undecided.