Ortiz-White, Aleene 2004 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge

Honorable Aleene Ortiz-White

Retention Year: 2004
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Aleene Ortiz-White BE RETAINED.

Judge Ortiz-White was appointed to the Denver County Court bench in May 1989. She received her law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law) in 1981. She now hears criminal cases involving city ordinance offences. Following her graduation from law school, she was in private law practice. She later was a litigator in the Denver office of the Colorado Sate Public Defender and the civil claims section of the Denver City Attorneys Office.

Judge Ortiz-White believes that communication is central to the judicial process. She uses a note-taking system on the bench and in chambers that provides the basis for oral and written decisions that are considered clear, prompt and fair by the parties involved in the cases. She works for improved communication among the court staff and in the community. She co-authored an article about what attorneys wish judges would do. She also organized a training session about services available for the hearing-impaired who appear in court. A statement of goals on disposition of cases serves to guide both Judge Ortiz-White and the staff working with her. She has adopted timesaving measures that provide for orderly, thorough, and fair rulings.

To reach its decision, the Commission reviewed a questionnaire of persons who have appeared or worked in Judge Ortiz-White's courtroom: prosecuting and defense attorneys; and non-attorneys, including jurors, probation officers, law enforcement officers, defendants and court staff. Verbatim comments from those persons were also considered. The Commission also reviewed a comprehensive self-evaluation and conducted a personal interview with Judge Ortiz-White.

Attorneys rated Judge Ortiz-White higher than the state average for case management, knowledge and application of the law, communication, demeanor, and diligence. Of the attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 100% recommended that Judge Ortiz-White be retained. Of the non-attorneys responding, 82% recommended that she be retained, and 18% recommended that she not be retained.