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Montgomery, Lael 2010 Evaluation


Twentieth Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable Lael Montgomery

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain


2010 Retention Survey Report

2009 Interim Survey Report


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

Judge Montgomery was appointed to the District Court in 2001. She was previously on the County Court bench since 1997. Prior to her appointments, she served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Twentieth Judicial District for fourteen years. In 1982, Judge Montgomery received her law degree from the University of Colorado and was admitted to the Colorado Bar.

The recommendation that Judge Montgomery be retained is based upon courtroom observations, a personal interview, a review of three of her written opinions performed by the Commission, and survey results of litigants, court staff, jurors, attorneys, appellate judges, and others who have knowledge of Judge Montgomery’s performance as a judge. The Commission also held an advertised public hearing to solicit additional feedback. Judge Montgomery has primarily handled domestic relations, civil, and criminal matters with some juvenile, mental health and probate cases.

Judge Montgomery received unanimous support in her last evaluation and the Commission believes she continues to be an exemplary judge who serves the public with fairness, respect and efficiency. Judge Montgomery is strongly committed to helping all members of the public access the legal system, showing a high level of compassion and understanding. She is intelligent, well versed in the law and effective. The Commission was impressed by her genuine enthusiasm and interest with her work on the bench along with her commitment to ongoing improvement.

All of the attorneys who were surveyed expressed an opinion about retention, and 94% recommended retention, and 5% recommended not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 91% recommended retention, 4% recommended not to retain, and 6% expressed no opinion. Of those expressing an opinion, 96% recommended retention and 4% not to retain. Attorneys rated Judge Montgomery above the average of district judges throughout the state in 16 of the 17 categories and non-attorneys rated Judge Montgomery above average in each of 19 categories. The 18 appellate judges who responded to the surveys gave her an average grade higher than the average of all district judges. The Commission's observations of Judge Montgomery on the bench and in her interview are consistent with her excellent survey results. Judge Montgomery conveyed to the Commission that she had grown in confidence as a judge during her many years of tenure. As a result, she is open to new solutions in handling complex litigation and is continually striving to learn new means of problem solving. Judge Montgomery’s expertise is sought out not only in Boulder, but throughout the State of Colorado, to train other judges and participate in educational programs in the legal system, such as a program to reduce litigation costs.