Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge
Honorable Olympia Z. Fay
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance agrees by a vote of 8-0, with two Commissioners absent from voting, that Judge Olympia Z. Fay MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Fay presides over a criminal docket in Denver County Court. Judge Fay meets all aspects of the performance criteria and writes in a clear, concise, and well-reasoned manner. Her demeanor is described as compassionate, fair and pleasant in the courtroom and her case management is described as excellent. The Commission did not identify any evaluation category in which Judge Fay displayed a notable weakness. Commission members observed these qualities during their evaluation and interview.
The Commission met with the Presiding Judge of Denver County Court to discuss her interactions with Judge Fay, as well as with members of the Public Defender’s Office and Probation Department to discuss their impressions of Judge Fay’s performance. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Fay, observed her during court proceedings, reviewed decisions she authored, case management data, comments received from interested parties, and judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys with sufficient interaction with Judge Fay in the courtroom to meaningfully respond. The surveys reflected personal opinions on Judge Fay’s Case Management, Application and Knowledge of Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the 15 attorneys and 15 non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Fay’s performance to evaluate her, 85% of the attorneys and 93% of the non-attorneys believe that she meets performance standards. Judge Fay’s combined (attorney and non-attorney) survey scores are slightly above or equal to the statewide average among county court judges in the areas of Case Management, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness and slightly below the statewide average for Application and Knowledge of Law. As a result of procedural irregularities in the distribution of these surveys, the response rates for the 2022 survey were not as robust as compared to prior evaluation cycles. While the Commission used these survey results in its evaluation, limited weight was given to these survey results and the results were used in conjunction with several other tools to evaluate her performance. All data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Judge Fay be retained.
Mayor Hancock appointed Judge Fay in September 2014. Judge Fay earned her undergraduate degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and her law degree from the University of Denver. Prior to her appointment, she served as a Denver Assistant City Attorney. Judge Fay began her legal career as a civil litigator in the private sector, then served as a Deputy District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District. She is a member of the Colorado Women’s and Sam Cary Bar Associations, the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, and the American and Hispanic Bar Associations. Judge Fay serves as Chair of the Denver County Court Resource Committee and on the Magistrate Judge and Budget Committees for the Court. Judge Fay received the 2019 Judicial Excellence Award from the Colorado Judicial Institute.