Seventeenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable C. Vincent Phelps, Jr.
Retention Year: 2010
The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Chief Judge C. Vincent Phelps, Jr. BE RETAINED.
The Seventeenth Judicial District is fortunate to have such a well respected and experienced jurist as Chief Judge C. Vincent Phelps, Jr. heading the District Court of Adams and Broomfield Counties. Judge Phelps was appointed to the bench in February 1996 by Governor Roy Romer. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Phelps maintained a general law practice with an emphasis in criminal defense and civil litigation. In 2008, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey elevated Judge Phelps to Chief Judge which he accepted graciously and currently oversees 12 district court judges, eight county court judges and six magistrates. As Chief Judge, his duties include administrating the courthouse and staff, hearing cases and handling all Grand Jury hearings.
Judge Phelps believes in giving back to the community as much as possible. In this regard, he was the keynote speaker in training prosecutors from Mexico on the Court/Adversarial Judicial System through the Alliance Partnership of the Western Conference of Attorney Generals. He is very engaged with youth by his continued involvement as a flight leader in the Young Eagles program, is a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight West organization, which provides non-emergency medical transport and is involved with Grace Flight. At times he utilizes his own airplane to promote these organizations.
The Judicial Performance Commission is compromised of attorneys and non-attorneys that are Adams County and Broomfield County residents. Each Commission member has attended courtroom sessions and observed the operations of the court throughout the year, conduct at least one personal interview with the judge, review the professionally obtained survey results that have been collected by an independent surveyor and take into account the judge’s strengths and weakness before making a recommendation to the public. In this regard, Judge C. Vincent Phelps, Jr. has been found by the Commission to be a highly qualified, competent and a respected member of the Seventeenth Judicial District judiciary. Judge Phelps takes very seriously the courtroom demeanor of anyone who appears in his court. He noted that it is very important for him to not get emotionally involved in any case no matter how egregious the facts of the case may be. He feels that it is very important to be patient and allow the attorneys and the parties to have their opportunity to “speak their peace.” He indicated that when you set a respectful tone at the onset of any hearing, the attorneys and other parties will usually respond in kind. It was apparent to the committee that Judge Phelps is a very experienced jurist. He tries very hard to make his rulings from the bench for nearly every hearing. When he finds himself having to take a matter under advisement, he attempts to provide a ruling within 24 to 48 hours.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 90% recommended to retain, 6% not to retain and 4% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 94% recommended to retain and 6% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed about retention, 94% recommended to retain, 2% not to retain and 4% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 98% recommended to retain and 2% not to retain. It is the Commission’s unanimous recommendation to retain Judge C. Vincent Phelps, Jr.