Twenty-First Judicial District - Mesa County Court Judge
Honorable Bruce R. Raaum
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twenty First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees that Judge Bruce R. Raaum MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, by a vote of 9 – 0.
The Commission evaluated Judge Raaum in the context of the following judicial performance criteria identified by State law: integrity; legal ability; communication skills; judicial temperament; administrative performance; and community service. The Commission reviewed Judge Raaum’s self-evaluation and noted he divided his workload into 3 categories: 50% misdemeanor; 40% traffic; and 10% civil. In the self-evaluation, Judge Raaum stressed his desire to treat all litigants, including both pro se litigants and represented litigants, with the utmost fairness. He recognized the need to be sensitive to the schedules of attorneys, while also ensuring that unrepresented litigants fully understand not only the court process, but also the reasoning behind his rulings. Commission members were able to observe Judge Raaum in Court. The members appreciated his calm demeanor and the manner in which he handles a large caseload.
The Commission reviewed survey responses of attorneys and non-attorneys in the following areas: case management; application and knowledge of law; communications; demeanor; diligence; and fairness. Across the board, he rated higher in survey responses than other county court judges. Further, his overall grade was significantly higher than all other county court judges. Significantly, his highest grades were in the areas of case management, demeanor, and fairness. Favorable comments included: “he is fair, efficient and exactly what you want in a judge;” “Judge Raaum is always fair and efficient in the courtroom;” “he’s efficient and predictable;” and, “he is firm, fair and consistent and shows compassion to offenders when appropriate.” The survey comments were largely devoid of negative comments. During his interview with the Commission, Judge Raaum stressed not only his commitment to handling his caseload with the utmost efficiency, but also his commitment to running a courtroom that is known for its fairness. The Commission believes that Judge Raaum is innovative in terms of running an efficient courtroom. The Commission heard positive comments about Judge Raaum from both the elected District Attorney and the head of the local Public Defender’s Office.
Judge Raaum has been a County Court Judge since January 9, 2007. Over the course of the past 15 years, Judge Raaum has gained a reputation for integrity, efficiency and fairness. Judge Raaum reported serving on state-wide committees to address issues with probation and the Senior Judge program. He also participated in a weighted caseload study to determine the need for more judicial officers. He regularly speaks to groups that tour the Justice Center, and has spoken to foreign exchange students, girl scouts, boy scouts, and a variety of classes at Colorado Mesa University. He has presided over mock trials for the local Peace Officers and Standards Training Academy (POST), and volunteers with his church.