Thirteenth Judicial District - Morgan County Court Judge
Honorable Dennis L. Brandenburg
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Thirteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees (8-0, with one member absent and one vacancy) that Judge Dennis L. Brandenburg 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 Brandenburg was sworn in as the Morgan County Court Judge in January of 2019. He is the only full-time County Court judge in this judicial district. His docket consists primarily of traffic, misdemeanor, and civil cases, and a limited number of small claims matters. Judge Brandenburg also runs a Sobriety Court program, which he finds particularly rewarding. Judge Brandenburg has a calm, thoughtful, and kind temperament. While some might misconstrue Judge Brandenburg’s demeanor as a weakness to be exploited, he is able to be firm when necessary and in fact can be strict at times. He is particularly known for and mindful of moving cases through the system in an expeditious manner. While that is a laudable goal, it has at times drawn complaints from attorneys who appear before him about what they perceive as arbitrary, rigid, or unreasonable deadlines. However, Judge Brandenburg does make his expectations clearly known in advance and fairly applies them.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Brandenburg, reviewed a sampling of his written rulings, observed him in court, and reviewed comments and responses from a survey of individuals familiar with him. Of those who completed the survey, 14 attorney and 6 non-attorney respondents indicated that they had worked with Judge Brandenburg enough to evaluate his performance. Judge Brandenburg scored higher than the statewide average for all County Court judges in almost every category assessed. Of attorney’s surveyed, 92% said that he meets performance standards and 8% said that he did not. Of non-attorneys surveyed, 100% said that he meets performance standards. This is considerably better than the statewide averages. Based upon the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Brandenburg has demonstrated that he meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories (integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and public).
Judge Brandenburg was raised in Brush, Colorado and graduated from Brush High School in 1977. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, where he is a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. He worked 9 years in the aerospace industry before attending law school. In 1994, he earned his law degree from the University of Colorado, where he is a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school he returned to Morgan County to practice law. He has served as treasurer for the Salvation Army post in Brush, Rotary Exchange Officer for the Brush chapter, and volunteer firefighter on the Hillrose-Snyder Volunteer Fire Department, and currently serves as clerk for the Snyder Bible Church Board.