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Porter, W. Michael 2006 Evaluation


Fifteenth Judicial District - Baca County Court Judge

Honorable W. Michael Porter

Retention Year: 2006
Recommendation: Retain


2006 Retention Survey Report (PDF)


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The Fifteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge W. Michael Porter BE RETAINED, by a unanimous 10-0 vote.

Judge Porter was appointed to the position of Baca County Judge in September 1994. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Porter was an attorney in private practice, specializing in both real estate and criminal law. He earned his law degree at the University of Puget Sound Law School in Tacoma, Washington. He primarily hears criminal and traffic infraction cases, in addition to occasional civil cases.

The Commission reviewed questionnaires which included verbatim comments from the respondents. These questionnaires were sent to attorneys who have appeared before Judge Porter, as well as defendants, plaintiffs, law enforcement officials, court employees and other interested individuals. The Commission also considered all public comments received, a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Porter, observed the judge while on the bench, and conducted a personal interview with Judge Porter.

Judge Porter shows a strong commitment to serving the community through his public service on the bench. Judge Porter increases his level of professional knowledge by attending regular judicial training sessions. In his comments to the Commission, Judge Porter emphasized his commitment to keeping abreast of the law and encouraging others to do the same.

On the whole, questionnaire respondents approved of Judge Porter’s courtroom performance, giving him good scores on courtroom time management, knowledge of statutes and legal issues, and dealing professionally and courteously with those appearing in his court. A small group of respondents brought up some community concerns. Judge Porter forthrightly addressed these with the Commission, which was satisfied with his statements. Of the attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 100% recommended that Judge Porter be retained in office. Of the non-attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 75% recommended retention and 25% recommended non-retention