Twentieth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Thomas Francis Mulvahill
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The 20th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) finds that Judge Thomas Francis Mulvahill MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Mulvahill was appointed to the District Court of the 20th Judicial District on September
16, 2009. Prior to his appointment, he was the managing partner at Chambers Dansky & Mulvahill LLC, a litigation practice in downtown Denver. Before entering private practice, he was a Deputy District Attorney in the Denver District Attorney’s Office and the Chief Prosecutor/Deputy City Attorney in the Lakewood City Attorney’s Office. Judge Mulvahill graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law and St. John’s University. Judge Mulvahill has contributed to the profession by establishing an internship program for law students. He volunteers with the Judges Fighting Hunger pinto bean project. Judge Mulvahill increases public confidence in the justice system by speaking to schools, civic organizations, and bar associations and he was recognized as the 2013 Judicial Officer of the Year.
The Commission evaluated Judge Mulvahill based on the criteria set forth in state law (C.R.S. 13-5.5-107): integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public. Each Commissioner observed Judge Mulvahill in his courtroom. Each Commissioner also reviewed Judge Mulvahill’s self-evaluation, samples of his rulings and orders, a report on his caseload, and anonymous results of qualitative surveys sent to people who appeared in his courtroom during 2017. The Commission met with the Chief Judge, the District Attorney, and the Chair of the Boulder Chapter of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. The Commission held a public hearing on May 15, 2018, to gather input from the community. The Commission also interviewed Judge Mulvahill. Due to concerns about the limited number of survey responses, Commissioners gave less weight to the survey results. Of the 13 attorneys who responded to the survey, 77% said Judge Mulvahill meets performance standards. Of the 45 non-attorneys who responded to the survey, 100% said Judge Mulvahill meets performance standards. The Commission found that court observations (which for all Commissioners totaled 44 hours), meeting with various stakeholders, and interviewing Judge Mulvahill provided the best insights.
During his current term, Judge Mulvahill has presided over a variety of cases including: domestic relations 40%, civil 25%, criminal law 15%, probate 10%, juvenile 5%, and mental health 5%. Respondents used two pages to list Judge Mulvahill’s strengths, which included great leadership qualities, approachability, fairness, efficiency, and impressive legal expertise. Judge Mulvahill has high expectations for himself and diligently seeks ways to improve. He maintains control over difficult proceedings by staying calm and professional. Judge Mulvahill gives each party a full, equal, and fair proceeding by applying a knowledgeable and evenhanded application of the law. Judge Mulvahill clearly enjoys his work. Based on the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Mulvahill has demonstrated that he meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories.