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Nichols, Dana 2010 Evaluation


Nineteenth Judicial District - Weld County Court Judge 

Honorable Dana Nichols 

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain


2010 Retention Survey Report

2009 Interim Survey Report


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The Nineteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a unanimous vote of 10 to 0 that Judge Dana Nichols BE RETAINED.

Judge Nichols obtained her law degree from the University of Colorado, School of Law and has an undergraduate degree in biological science from Colorado State University. She is involved in several community service activities and believes that such participation is an important way to show an investment in the community.

Judge Nichols was appointed to the County Court bench in 2007. Prior to that appointment, she served as Deputy Public Defender in the Greeley, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and the State Appellate offices. She also spent three years in private civil practice with the firm of Kennedy & Christopher, PC.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Nichols from attorneys and non-attorneys, as well as a written self evaluation completed by Judge Nichols. A personal interview of Judge Nichols was conducted by the Commission, and members of the Commission observed Judge Nichols in the courtroom during several proceedings. The Commission is impressed with Judge Nichols’ performance and abilities after only a short time on the bench. She recognizes that because she is relatively new to the bench, she still has a lot to learn. As a former public defender, the survey from the attorney’s reflected some concerns over a bias toward public defenders. That issue was discussed with the Commission. Judge Nichols acknowledged that she was aware of that criticism and was working to change that appearance. Based on attorney’s comments, her rulings are consistent and the sentences handed down are fair and uniform. They also noted she has a good demeanor, maintains strict control over the docket and has a strong knowledge of the law.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 66% recommended to retain, 24% not to retain, and 9% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 73% recommended to retain and 27% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 79% recommended to retain, 8% not to retain, and 13% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 90% recommended to retain and 10% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)