Seventeenth Judicial District - Adams County Court Judge
Honorable MaryAnn "Mariana" Vielma
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
Judge Vielma was appointed on July 17, 2020, after serving two years as a magistrate in Adams County. Her docket is 25% criminal misdemeanor, 65% traffic (including DUI/DWAI), and 10% felony (pleas/sentencing/legacy docket). She received a 95% rating among attorneys for meeting performance standards, and also received above-average marks on case management, application and knowledge of law, diligence, demeanor, and communication skills. Observations of Judge Vielma by the Commission during hearings showed that she has an exceptional judicial temperament even when dealing with difficult situations. She did, however, score below average in the survey responses from non-lawyers on making the reasoning behind her rulings known and, on her willingness, to make decisions without regard to possible outside pressure. There was also a notable difference in how she was perceived, in some survey areas, by attorneys as contrasted with non-attorneys. This raises concern that non-attorneys appearing before her may not fully understand court proceedings.
The Commission recognizes that there may be multiple reasons for the survey differences between the perceptions of attorneys and non-attorneys, including that Judge Vielma has only served on the County Court Bench since July of 2020. The Commission believes that some of the differences between the perceptions of attorneys and non-attorneys is due to the nature of the County Court docket she is handling and that the positive qualities identified in her surveys will address the concerns of non-attorneys going forward. In her self-evaluation, Judge Vielma indicated that since being appointed to the Bench she has engaged in extensive study which the Commission believes will be of benefit in future rulings. During her interview Judge Vielma spoke of her involvement in the community and informed the Commission of her 2022 Colorado Women’s Bar Association Judicial Excellence Award. The Commission believes this award was well deserved and reflects her standing in the community. Her willingness to pursue continued education and accept constructive criticism during her interview from the Commission positively reflect on her service to the legal profession and her integrity as a judge.
Judge Vielma is a 2009 graduate of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program. She is a native of Denver and earned her J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. Prior to becoming a magistrate, she was an Assistant County Attorney and a Sr. Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District.