Twenty-First Judicial District - Mesa County Judge
Honorable Bruce R. Raaum
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The 21st Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (9-0) agrees that Judge Bruce R. Raaum MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Raaum 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 was in private practice in Grand Junction from 1992 to 2006. He previously served on the Judicial Performance Commission as a private attorney. He served as a Bond Magistrate for the 21st Judicial District from 2004 to 2006, working primarily on weekends to speed up the system. He was appointed to the County Court bench in January 2007.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Raaum, reviewed written opinions he authored, observed him in court, and reviewed survey ratings and responses from 126 respondents, including attorneys and non-attorneys. The Judicial Survey rates judges on Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor and Fairness. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 73% answered “Yes, He meets performance standards”. Attorney respondents rated Judge Raaum higher than the State Average for County Judges for “Maintaining appropriate control over proceedings”. Ninety-five percent of the non-attorney respondents answered “Yes, He meets Standards”. Non-attorneys rated Judge Raaum higher than the State Average for County Judges for Application of Law, Diligence, Communications, Demeanor and Fairness.
Judge Raaum presided over Civil, Misdemeanor, Traffic and Small Claims matters this term. Based on the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Raaum has demonstrated that he meets and, in many cases, exceeds performance standards. He displays positive work ethic and willingness to take on additional tasks. Some attorney respondents expressed a wish that Judge Raaum would provide more explanation for his written orders. Attorney respondents praised Judge Raaum for ordering reasonable and consistent sentences, for explaining the process in non-legal terms, and for his patience in dealing with “pro se” cases (self-represented litigants). Non-attorney respondents described Judge Raaum as professional, fair, and a good listener. Juror respondents felt that he respected them and took the time to explain the process. With recent technological improvements and processes, Judge Raaum is working to understand and effectively use the new system. Judge Raaum handles many of the cases in the First Appearance Center and strives to move cases as quickly as possible. He is a member of the Pretrial Committee which attempts to improve procedures and scheduling. He has taken time to speak to Colorado Mesa University classes and to preside over mock trials for students. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Raaum is an asset to the 21st Judicial District and meets the performance standards.