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Munch, Christopher 2006 Evaluation


First Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Christopher J. Munch 

Retention Year: 2006
Recommendation: Retain


2006 Retention Survey Report 


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The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Christopher J. Munch BE RETAINED. The vote was 8 For Retention, based on the information obtained from surveys, interviews and unannounced courtroom observations. One NO OPINION, the judge seemed too concerned with moving the business of court along at a brisk pace, rather than giving adequate time for all people to be heard completely on their day in court. One ABSTENTION, the reason for abstention is due to a past experience in Judge Munch's court which in fairness required abstention.

Judge Munch was appointed to the First Judicial District Court bench on March 3, 1986, after a private law practice. He is the longest serving judge on the First Judicial District Court. The Commission made its recommendation based on the Judicial Performance Survey results from attorneys and non-attorneys that have appeared in his court, his personal evaluation, unannounced observations by Commission members, a personal interview by Commission members and verbal comments from individuals that have been involved in cases in his court.

Of the attorneys who responded to the Judicial Performance Survey, 92% recommended Judge Munch be retained, and 8% favored non-retention. Likewise of the non-attorneys who responded to the survey, 92% recommended Judge Munch be retained and 8% favored non-retention.

There were an overwhelming number of positive comments from both attorneys and non-attorneys stating that Judge Munch was a fair, impartial and knowledgeable judge. A few of the attorney survey respondents complained that Judge Munch could be perceived as being condescending and adhered to deadlines which were too short and too rigid. Judge Munch, to his credit, recognized these comments and indicated his willingness to work to improve the perception he leaves with attorneys. He has worked hard over the past few years to be more patient and will continue to work to be even more patient. He views his shorter and more rigid deadlines as important to the efficient administration of justice and points to the fact that his docket continually has one of the lowest numbers of open cases.