Fifteenth Judicial District - Kiowa County Court Judge
Honorable Gary W. Davis
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fifteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance finds that the Honorable Gary W. Davis MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. Five members of the Commission voted that Judge Davis met judicial performance standards, while two members voted that he did not meet judicial performance standards.
After conducting extensive research on Judge Davis’s performance, the Commission found by majority decision that Judge Davis meets the standards as to integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public. The majority of the commission observed Judge Davis during a hearing involving two pro se litigants. Judge Davis clearly explained the law to both parties and helped guide them through the legal process. Members on the Commission believe Judge Davis excels in working with pro se litigants and exhibits good courtroom demeanor, patience, and consideration to those individuals. The Commission has concerns about communication and inefficient docket management, and some commissioners have concerns regarding consistent application of the law. Judge Davis is receptive to improving his communication skills with all parties and has demonstrated his willingness to observe other judges to improve efficiency. Based upon these considerations, the Judicial Performance Commission recommends that Judge Davis meets performance standards.
The Commissioners reviewed the self-evaluation and the written opinions authored by Judge Davis; the 2021 Interim and 2022 Judicial Performance Survey results; comments from representatives of the District Attorney and the Public Defender’s Offices; conducted courtroom observations; as well as a personal interview with Judge Davis. Nine individuals completed surveys, including 5 attorneys and 4 non- attorneys. The five attorneys ranked Judge Davis’s performance below the average scores for all County Judges in case management, legal knowledge and application, communications, demeanor, diligence and fairness. When asked whether Judge Davis met performance standards, 50% responded that Judge Davis meets performance standards, while the remaining 50% responded that he did not. The four non-attorney respondents ranked Judge Davis’s performance in all areas above the average scores for all County Judges. Additionally, 100% of the non-attorneys responded that Judge Davis does meet judicial performance standards. The survey sample size is too small to carry much significance for the Commission. However, the Commission identified two trends comparing the 2021 Interim Survey and the 2022 Survey: attorneys scored Judge Davis lower in most areas in 2022 than in 2021, while non-attorney evaluations increased in most areas.
Judge Davis was born and grew up in Lamar, Colorado. He graduated from Lamar High School (1970), Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois (BA economics, 1974), and University of Denver School of Law (JD 1978). He and his wife, Cheryl, married in 1973. They have three children and one grandchild. He began his law career in 1978 with the Lefferdink and Lefferdink law firm of Lamar, Colorado, first as an intern, then as an associate, and ultimately a partner. He became a solo practitioner in 1987, and maintains a practice in Eads, Colorado. He has served as part-time Kiowa County Judge, while maintaining his private law practice, since June 1, 1992.