Second Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Kandace C. Gerdes
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 Kandace C. Gerdes 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 Gerdes presently presides over a criminal docket and previously presided over a civil docket. Judge Gerdes meets all aspects of the performance criteria and writes in a clear, concise, and well-reasoned manner. Her demeanor is generally described as fair, thoughtful, and well-prepared in the courtroom. The management of her courtroom is described as highly efficient and thorough. Commission members observed these qualities during their evaluation and interview. Judge Gerdes is frequently considered a mentor for other judges. The Commission appreciates Judge Gerdes’ leadership efforts in this regard. The Commission did not identify any evaluation category in which Judge Gerdes displayed a notable weakness.
The Commission met with the Chief Judge of Denver District Court regarding Judge Gerdes’ 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 Gerdes 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 Gerdes’ Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the 24 attorneys and 14 non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Gerdes’ performance to evaluate her, 74% of the attorneys and 79% of the non-attorneys believe that Judge Gerdes met performance standards. Judge Gerdes’ combined (attorney and non-attorney) survey scores are slightly below average for district court judges statewide in all categories. Judge Gerdes received a rating slightly below the statewide average for district court judges from the 11 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 Gerdes’ performance. All data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Judge Gerdes be retained.
Governor Hickenlooper appointed Judge Gerdes in November 2013. She earned her undergraduate degree from Creighton University, her law degree from Creighton University School of Law, and her LL.M. from the University of Denver. Prior to that, she was in private practice and served as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver assigned to the economic crime and grand jury units, as well as several task forces. Judge Gerdes is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and Rhone-Brackett Inn of Courts.