Tenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Amiel J. Markenson
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees by a vote of 9 to 0 that Judge Amiel J. Markenson 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. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Markenson on June 1, 2022, and also reviewed opinions he authored and personally observed him in court. In addition, the commission interviewed Chief District Court Judge Deborah Eyler, District Attorney Jeff Chostner, and Chief Public Defendant Albert Singleton. Judge Markenson is described as professional in his courtroom, knowledgeable of the law, able to communicate effectively, and timely in issuing his decisions.
The commission reviewed judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had interactions in Judge Markenson's courtroom. Judge Markenson's scores were lower than those of other District Court Judges throughout the state in all categories, particularly in the areas of demeanor and fairness as it relates to the application of law to similar cases. Judge Markenson understands that these are areas of continued improvement and has taken steps to improve in these areas by attending additional training in procedural fairness as well as several other training courses. He actively seeks advice from senior judges when needed and he specifically requested the Chief Judge and others to review tapes of him in the courtroom to critique his demeanor. It should be noted that none of the commissioners during their observations and none of the judges who reviewed his tapes saw any issues of concern with regard to his demeanor and, in fact, commissioners who had reviewed Judge Markenson in previous years saw a marked improvement. Judge Markenson had reasonable explanations as to the perceived lack of fairness in the application of law to similar cases and the commission was satisfied that he is properly addressing that issue.
Among the survey questions was "based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance criteria, do you think Judge Markenson meets judicial performance standards?" Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 47% answered yes; 41% answered no; and 12% had no opinion. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 81% answered yes, 19% answered no and 0% had no opinion. A total of 19 attorneys and 16 non-attorneys responded to the survey regarding Judge Markenson. Judge Markenson's current docket is 100% criminal cases. His written decisions are clear, concise, and well-written. His opinions reflect his knowledge of the law and clear communication style. Judge Markenson maintains a strong work ethic and works hard to track new developments in the law, expand his practical and legal knowledge, and enhance the administration of justice in his court.
Judge Markenson was appointed to the District Court in Pueblo, Colorado. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Philosophy, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He previously served as a Public Defender in the Pueblo Regional Office prior to his appointment.