Second Judicial District - Juvenile Court Judge
Honorable D. Brett Woods
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 D. Brett Woods 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 Woods is the Presiding Judge of Denver Juvenile Court. The Commission was impressed by Judge Woods’s initiatives to improve the processes associated with the Court. Judge Woods maintains compassion and respect for the parties in often difficult circumstances. He is knowledgeable and also efficiently manages the numerous parties who appear before him. For the cases open on Judge Woods’s docket as of April 18, 2022, Judge Woods substantially met the Court’s benchmark for completing 90% of cases within 12 or 18 months. Based on the Commission’s interview and observations, the Commission did not identify any evaluation category in which Judge Woods displayed a notable weakness.
The Commission met with members of the Denver District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the Probation Office to discuss Judge Woods’s performance. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Woods and observed him during court proceedings. It also reviewed opinions he authored, comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, recordings from his courtroom, case management data, and judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys that interacted with him. The surveys reflected personal opinions on Judge Woods’s Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the 14 attorneys and 12 non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Woods’s performance to evaluate him, 57% of the attorneys and 42% of the non-attorneys believe that Judge Woods met performance standards. Judge Woods’s combined (attorney and non-attorney) survey scores are substantially below the average for District Court judges in all categories. Judge Woods received a rating slightly below the statewide average for District Court judges from the 10 appellate judges who evaluated his performance. While the Commission used these survey results it its evaluation, this tool was used in conjunction with several others to evaluate his performance. The overall data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Judge Woods be retained.
Governor Ritter appointed Judge Woods in September 2007. He was appointed Presiding Judge in 2014. Judge Woods earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1982 and his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1990. Prior to his appointment, Judge Woods served as a Municipal Judge and then County Magistrate for Denver County.