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Okamoto, Melvin 2002 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge

Honorable Melvin Okamoto 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Melvin Okamoto BE RETAINED.

Judge Okamoto was appointed to the Denver County Court bench in January 1999. Prior to his appointment, Judge Okamoto served as a Denver Juvenile Court Magistrate for 17 years. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wyoming. Judge Okamoto presently hears juvenile and criminal cases.

Judge Okamoto grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where his parents were interned in a relocation camp during World War II. He served in the Army during the Viet Nam conflict.

Judge Okamoto believes that it is essential to be involved in community activities. He believes that a judge should not serve in a vacuum and must understand the community being served. Judge Okamoto is involved in the Asian Education Advisory Council.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Okamoto from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written comments. The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Okamoto and conducted a personal interview with him.

Judge Okamoto received high ratings from both attorneys and non-attorneys in virtually every category, particularly in the areas of courtesy; equal treatment of parties; communication; correct application of the law; and diligence. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 93% recommended that Judge Okamoto be retained, 4% recommended that he not be retained and 4% had no opinion. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 83% recommended retention, 3% recommended non-retention and 15% had no opinion.