Twelfth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Daniel A. Walzl
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (7-0) finds that the Honorable Daniel A. Walzl MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. The performance standards contemplate the judge’s integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.
The 2021 Judicial Survey Report for Judge Walzl had 28 individuals -a mostly even mix of attorneys and non-attorneys providing an overall grade of 3.1, which was less than the average overall grade of 3.4 of all county judges surveyed in the state in 2021. 53% of survey respondents believed he met performance standards as opposed to 40% who stated he did not and 7% who took no position. With that said, 100% of all non-attorney survey respondents stated that he met performance standards and non-attorney respondents overall had very positive grades and comments regarding his fairness, communication skills, promptness, application of the law, and demeanor. Further, apart from diligence (scoring 2.9 out of 4.0), a close breakdown of all survey respondent’s grading of his demeanor, fairness, ability to communicate, case management, and application of the law demonstrated scores that were close to the average for all county court judges in the state. His overall grading supports a judge who meets performance standards.
The Commission reviewed the above-cited survey responses in detail and interviewed Judge Walzl addressing the survey results, particularly the results by a limited number of attorneys who were critical of him in the areas of integrity and judicial temperament. The Commission concluded and found that such critiques were not credible, personally motivated, and primarily the complaints of only one attorney. The survey results from other attorneys and particularly, the public, were positive and demonstrated that he met judicial performance criteria, particularly given his large docket handling all misdemeanors, small claim cases, and evictions. Judge Walzl took his critiques seriously from an interim review completed in 2021 and the commission believes addressed any concerns by undertaking relevant trainings and working to improve his courtroom demeanor. The Commission further concludes that Judge Walzl has appropriate legal knowledge, higher than average communication skills, excellent judicial temperament and integrity of the highest degree, and provides valuable service to the legal profession and the public.
Judge Walzl was appointed as the Alamosa County Court Judge in 2011. He graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and graduated from the University of Colorado with a Juris Doctor degree in 1999. During law school Judge Walzl clerked with the City Attorney’s Office in Boulder and DNA People’s Legal Service in Shiprock, New Mexico. After law school Judge Walzl clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. Jahnke in the Superior Court, First Judicial District, Ketchikan Alaska. Upon returning to Colorado, Judge Walzl worked as a deputy state public defender in Pueblo and Alamosa for eleven years prior to taking the bench as the Alamosa County Judge.