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Richman, David 2010 Evaluation


Colorado Court of Appeals

Honorable David J. Richman

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain


2010 Retention Survey Report

2009 Interim Survey Report


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The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 10 to 0 that Judge David J. Richman BE RETAINED.

Judge Richman is fairly new to the Colorado Court of Appeals, having been appointed in 2008. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1975. Judge Richman participates in a number of programs which educate the general community regarding the judicial system, including Courts in the Community, Our Courts, and Colorado Close Up. He regularly teaches adult education classes. He is working to develop and implement a program to provide volunteer counsel for parties who cannot afford to pay an appellate attorney. He has also published articles on various legal topics.

After serving as a law clerk for Judge William Holloway, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Judge Richman was as a staff attorney in the Denver Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission before entering private practice. He practiced primarily in the area of commercial business litigation for 25 years, and in November 2003 he became the career law clerk to Judge Phillip S. Figa of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Attorneys who responded to survey questions indicate that, compared to the other appellate judges, Judge Richman’s performance is somewhat weaker in most areas surveyed, including allowing parties to present their arguments and answer questions, writing opinions that are clear, and refraining from reaching issues that need not be decided. However, because Judge Richman is the newest member of the Court of Appeals and received the least number of attorney survey responses, the Commission questions the relevance of attorney survey data compared to other judges. Also, several attorneys and judges commented that Judge Richman is very well prepared for oral argument, and that he is a bright and hard-working jurist. The judges, who responded at a higher rate than attorneys, indicate that Judge Richman’s performance was comparable to other judges in all areas. The Commission reviewed a number of opinions written by Judge Richman. His opinions are generally well organized and easy to read. He strives to keep his opinions narrowly directed to the issues before the court. Judge Richman is committed to continuing to learn and improve during his tenure on the bench, including becoming more familiar with substantive areas of the law with which he was not previously familiar. The Commission believes that Judge Richman has the tools to be an excellent jurist.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 65% recommended to retain, 16% not to retain, and 20% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 81% recommended to retain and 19% not to retain. Of all judges surveyed, 65% recommended to retain, 1% not to retain, and 34% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 98% recommended to retain and 1% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)