Twenty-Second Judicial District - Montezuma County Court Judge
Honorable JenniLynn E. Lawrence
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Commission on Judicial Performance for the Twenty-Second Judicial District finds that Judge JenniLynn E. Lawrence MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, by a vote of 7 – 0. 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.
The Commission found Judge Lawrence’s commitment to administering a busy court docket and her efforts to learn and grow as a judge as evidence of her integrity. It was noted that Judge Lawrence has exceeded the requirements for continuing education. The Commission reviewed several of the opinions she authored and found them to be thoughtful, well-reasoned and clearly written. During our courtroom observations, we found Judge Lawrence offers clearly spoken communications and actively listens. Commissioners observed Judge Lawrence's verbal communication skills adapt to each individual litigant. We found Judge Lawrence well prepared for cases and was willing to take a moment to review a litigant’s record to stay within precedent. We commend Judge Lawrence on appreciating the judicial learning process and staying informed about updated and amended laws. Judge Lawrence demeanor on the bench toward all court participants is respectful.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Lawrence, interviewed the Chief Judge, read a selection of legal opinions authored by Judge Lawrence, observed the Judge in court, reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Lawrence, and reviewed a self-evaluation prepared by Judge Lawrence for the Commission. Based on these materials and activities the Commission finds Judge Lawrence meets performance standards and is an asset to the Courts and the State of Colorado.
Judge Lawrence has served as the Montezuma County Judge for 12 years. During her tenure on the bench, she was named a Colorado Bar Foundation Fellow, she has served as the President of both the Colorado County Court Judge’s Association, and the Four Corner’s Bar Association, as well as serving on many committees, including Judicial Education, Access to Justice, and Judicial Wellbeing. She presides over a certified DUI Problem Solving Court and has taught various courses to fellow judges including a state-wide seminar on the evidentiary challenges presented by social media, bench basics video presentations on the judicial role in a DUI case and how to conduct a criminal jury trial, as well as a webinar for the National Judicial College. She is the current author of the sentencing chapter for the DUI Bench book and is working with a committee to create a county court civil trial bench book. Prior to being appointed to the bench she worked as a trial lawyer, litigating complex commercial cases before various courts. She is admitted to practice in Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Florida and has an A.V. Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubble. Judge Lawrence was born in Cortez, Colorado, graduated from Mancos Highschool, earned a B.A in English and Education from Fort Lewis College, an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Education from what is now Adam’s State University and a J.D from the University of Wisconsin.