Colorado Court of Appeals
Honorable Neeti V. Pawar
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The State Commission on Judicial Performance finds that Judge Neeti V. Pawar MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, by a vote of 11 - 0. Those standards are integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.
Judge Pawar has been a member of the Colorado Court of Appeals since March of 2019, and this is her first retention evaluation. The Commission believes her opinions are well written, delivered on time and well-reasoned. In 61 surveys of attorneys and judges, 78% of attorneys concluded Judge Pawar meets performance standards while 80% of Appellate judges did. In both samples, 11% abstained. The respondents gave Judge Pawar an overall rating of 3.4 out on a 4.0 scale, the average for all Appellate judges. The Commission finds Judge Pawar is a valuable addition to the Court of Appeals.
The Commission interviewed Judge Pawar, reviewed her self-evaluation, observed oral arguments, reviewed opinions she authored, and took into consideration survey responses from attorneys and judges who worked with her during the review period. In her self-evaluation, Judge Pawar acknowledges that she is transitioning from being a new judge on the court and is focusing on improving her skills. Self-awareness and introspection are important in the role of a judge, and accordingly, Judge Pawar is endeavoring to improve her work in oral arguments and in her written opinions. She recognizes the importance of earnest dialogue among judges and is becoming more comfortable with the reality that not all judges may agree on every issue in any given case, and that respect for a colleague’s view is an important part of working collaboratively to maintain collegiality.
Judge Pawar has been practicing law in Colorado for more than 25 years. Before her appointment to the Court of Appeals, she operated her own solo practice, was an associate then partner in a law firm. Judge Pawar served as a municipal public defender after graduating law school. She has handled appellate, domestic relations, employment, and criminal cases in federal, state, and administrative courts. She has also worked as a mediator and employment investigator. She has received a number of awards recognizing her commitment community service including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Minori Yasui Community Service award in 2018, Law Week Colorado’s “Barrister’s Choice” Court of Appeals Judge in 2020, and her inclusion on Forbes’ “50 Over 50: Impact” list in 2021. She continues to volunteer in a professional capacity to improve the court and the legal profession by speaking at legal education programs and co-chairing and serving on committees. Judge Pawar understands the importance of community service, and participates in multiple community organizations, bar associations, and speaking engagements. Judge Pawar continues to volunteer on a personal level in her community by participating and teaching in cultural events, speaking on leadership, and mentoring lawyers and non-lawyers of all ages.