Eighth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Laurie K. Dean
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance votes 10-0 that Judge Laurie K. Dean 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 Dean presides over criminal, domestic relations, adoption, and juvenile relinquishment cases. The Commission finds Judge Dean to be a thoughtful and compassionate judicial officer. In survey comments, Judge Dean was noted as being a well-prepared, knowledgeable and patient judicial officer, who genuinely cares about the cases before her. During her interview, Judge Dean noted that she ensures self-represented parties before her understand the process. It was clear from the interview with Judge Dean that she enjoys being a judicial officer and sees her role to help bring structure and order to parties facing personal challenges and conflict. Judge Dean recognizes being a judge requires constant learning and adjustment to balance the interests of the community with the individual needs of those appearing before the Court. The Commission believes that Judge Dean will continue to be a strong judicial officer.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Dean, reviewed opinions she authored, observed her in court, and reviewed judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who appeared in Judge Dean’s courtroom. The Commission also met with representatives of the District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender. A total of twenty-five individuals, sixteen attorneys and nine non-attorneys, believed they had sufficient knowledge to express their opinion of Judge Dean. When asked whether Judge Dean meets performance standards: Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 93% answered yes and 7% answered no. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 88% answered yes and 13% had no opinion (survey results were rounded, so that accounts for results totaling more than 100%). Judge Dean received particularly high ratings in the areas of case management, communication, diligence, demeanor, and knowledge and application of the law.
Judge Dean was appointed as a District Court Judge in the 8th Judicial District in January of 2020. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 2003 and her Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School in 2007. Prior to her appointment, Judge Dean worked as Associate Legal Counsel at Colorado State University, where she practiced employment law and general litigation. She has also practiced criminal law as a Deputy District Attorney in the 8th Judicial District and appellate law as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Colorado. She was in private practice earlier in her career with O’Melveny & Myers in San Francisco.