Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge
Honorable Judith Smith
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 Judith Smith MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Smith presides over criminal cases. Judge Smith excels in all aspects of the performance criteria and writes in a clear, concise, and well-reasoned manner. The Commission was impressed by Judge Smith’s demeanor, diligence, and case management. The Commission commends Judge Smith on her commitment to increasing efficiency across the courts by leveraging technology. The Commission did not identify any evaluation category in which Judge Smith displayed a notable weakness.
The Commission met with the Presiding Judge of Denver County Court to discuss her interactions with Judge Smith, as well as with members of the Public Defender’s Office and Probation Department to discuss their impressions of Judge Smith’s performance. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Smith, observed her during court proceedings and reviewed decisions she authored, case management data, comments received from interested parties, and judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non- attorneys that self-reported they had sufficient interaction with Judge Smith in the courtroom to meaningfully respond. The surveys reflected personal opinions on Judge Smith’s Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the eight attorneys and eight non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Smith’s performance to evaluate her, 100% of the attorneys and 86% of the non-attorneys believe that she meets performance standards. Judge Smith’s combined (attorney and non-attorney) survey scores are substantially above average for county court judges in the categories of Case Management, Application and Knowledge of Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. The comments from attorneys and non-attorneys about Judge Smith’s performance were nearly all positive. 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 Smith be retained.
Mayor Hancock appointed Judge Smith in September 2018. Judge Smith earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado and her LL.M from Columbia Law School. Prior to her appointment, Judge Smith was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, serving as the Chief of Cybercrime and National Security Section for the District. Judge Smith spends time volunteering with Freedom Service Dogs and JFK Partners for Autism.