Twenty-First Judicial District - Mesa County Court Judge
Honorable Bruce R. Raaum
Retention Year: 2010
The Twenty-First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Bruce R. Raaum BE RETAINED.
Judge Raaum was appointed as Mesa County Court Judge in January of 2007. He received his undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University in 1989 and his law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1992. Judge Raaum promotes the justice system in the community by speaking with school classes that come to the courtroom to observe and by assisting in mock trials for the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Raaum was an attorney with the firm of Beckner, Achziger, McInnis, Raaum and Shaver. He served as a bond magistrate for the Twenty-First Judicial District from 2004 – 2008.
The Commission is impressed with Judge Raaum’s performance after such a short time on the bench. His strengths, as noted in the responses from attorneys and non-attorneys appearing in the courtroom, include case management and communication. He has learned to manage a large and fast-paced docket in a fairly short time. He treats everyone with respect, makes sure that everyone before him understands the proceedings and gives everyone a fair chance to be heard, all while still moving the cases along efficiently. He maintains a very appropriate judicial temperament during his proceedings. His rulings are fair and do not reflect a general bias towards either side. Judge Raaum recognizes that he is a little weak in his knowledge or application of certain areas of the law. This is also reflected in the questionnaires. Judge Raaum has taken some action to address this weakness. The Commission believes that experience and taking advantage of the educational resources available will improve this area. The Commission would further encourage Judge Raaum to become involved in community service activities that give the judiciary more public exposure. Overall Judge Raaum is professional in the courtroom, yet approachable. His courtroom is conducted with an air of dignity which provides a positive experience for those who appear in his courtroom in any capacity. The Commission considers him an asset to the bench.
The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Raaum from attorneys and non-attorneys, as well as a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Raaum. Copies of written opinions by Judge Raaum were reviewed. Commission members observed Judge Raaum in the courtroom and a personal interview of Judge Raaum was conducted by the Commission. Seventy percent of the responding attorneys recommended Judge Raaum be retained. Of the non-attorney respondents, 94% recommended retention.