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Nichols, Gail 2010 Evaluation


Ninth Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable Gail H. Nichols

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Ninth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Gail H. Nichols BE RETAINED, with one Commissioner absent.

Background: Judge Nichols was appointed to the District Court in 2008. Before her appointment, Judge Nichols was in private practice and previously served as Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey. She was most recently Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She received her law degree from Vermont Law School in 1980 after graduating with honors from the University of Colorado in 1972.

The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of attorneys, non-lawyers and appellate judges who were familiar with Judge Nichols’ work, interviewed the judge, reviewed written opinions of the judge, heard comments from members of the public in Commission meetings and at a public hearing. In addition, Commission members observed Judge Nichols in the court.

Evaluation: Judge Nichols is a hardworking and dedicated judge who is mastering the substantive law and the processes needed to implement justice in the variety of situations, such as divorce, family law and others that she addresses on an ongoing basis. She is considered to be fair, even handed and a good listener who makes timely decisions. She has impressed attorneys practicing in her court with how quickly she has come up to speed on new areas of substantive law and procedure. The Commission believes that she has a very promising future as a judge and that the citizens of the Ninth Judicial District are well served by her performance. We believe that she will improve her ability to communicate with non-attorneys involved in her court and achieve more acceptance from that sector of those who comment in future evaluations.

Recommendations: Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 93% recommended to retain and 6% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 100% recommended to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 69% recommended to retain, 27% not to retain, and 3% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 71% recommended to retain and 29% not to retain. (Some percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)