Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Nikea T. Bland
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance agrees by a vote of 9-0, with one Commissioner absent from voting, that Judge Nikea T. Bland MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. The Colorado statutory judicial performance standards are integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.
Judge Bland presides over a domestic relations docket. Judge Bland meets all aspects of the performance criteria and writes in a clear, concise, and well-reasoned manner. Judge Bland is described in survey results as incredibly smart, fair, impartial, and knowledgeable in the law. Commission members observed these qualities during their evaluation and interview. For the cases open on Judge Bland’s docket as of April 2022, Judge Bland met the court’s benchmark for completing 80% of cases within 18 months. Judge Bland has described efforts to improve case management and has presented on family law topics to improve her knowledge of the law.
The Commission met with the Chief Judge of Denver District Court regarding Judge Bland’s performance, as well as with members of the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office and Probation Department. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Bland and observed her during court proceedings. It also reviewed opinions she authored, comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, recordings from her courtroom, case management data, and judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys that interacted with her. The surveys reflected personal opinions on Judge Bland’s Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the 23 attorneys and 44 non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Bland’s performance to evaluate her, 95% of the attorneys and 62% of the non-attorneys believe that Judge Bland met performance standards. Judge Bland’s combined (attorney and non-attorney) survey scores were below the average for district court judges in all categories. Judge Bland received ratings significantly higher than the statewide average among district court judges from the eight appellate judges who evaluated her performance. While the Commission used these survey results in its evaluation, this evaluation tool was used in conjunction with several others to evaluate Judge Bland’s performance. The overall data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Judge Bland be retained.
Governor Polis appointed Judge Bland in November 2019. Judge Bland earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond and her law degree from the University of Colorado. Prior to her appointment, Judge Bland spent most of her career practicing as a criminal defense attorney. Judge Bland began her legal career as a Deputy State Public Defender with the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender.