Eighth Judicial District - Larimer County Court Judge
Honorable Katharine "Jenny" Ellison
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees by a vote of 10-0 that the Honorable Katharine “Jenny” Ellison 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 Ellison presides over criminal, traffic, and civil cases. The Commission finds Judge Ellison to be a thoughtful and compassionate judicial officer. She makes court proceedings accessible to self-represented parties, is patient, and ensures those who appear are heard. Specifically, several respondents noted that Judge Ellison takes additional time to make sure non-attorneys appearing before her understand the proceedings. It is important to Judge Ellison that she recognize people as having individual needs and makes appropriate adjustments to help address those needs. While Judge Ellison provides thorough explanations of court proceedings, she maintains an efficient courtroom. Judge Ellison recognizes areas where she is looking to improve and identified steps that she is taking to improve in these areas.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Ellison, reviewed opinions she authored, observed her in court, and reviewed judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who appeared in Judge Ellison’s courtroom. The Commission also met with representatives of the District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender. A total of fifty-six individuals, eighteen attorneys and thirty-eight non-attorneys, believed they had sufficient knowledge to express their opinion of Judge Ellison. When asked whether Judge Ellison meets performance standards: Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 94% answered yes; 6% answered no. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 76% answered yes, 14% answered no; and 10% had no opinion. Judge Ellison received particularly high ratings in the areas of case management and communication.
Judge Ellison was appointed as a County Court Judge in the 8th Judicial District in February of 2020. She received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 1999 and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2004. Prior to her appointment, Judge Ellison practiced civil litigation as a trial attorney at VanMeveren Law Group. She also served in the District Attorney’s Office in the Eighth Judicial District from 2004 to 2018, where her work focused primarily on appeals and juvenile law.