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Robbins, William 2010 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable William Douglas Robbins

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge William Douglas Robbins BE RETAINED.

Judge Robbins was appointed to the District Court in 2002. Before his appointment, Judge Robbins was a Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver having worked in the Denver District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade. Before attending law school and passing the bar, he had a career as a psychiatric nurse. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Denver in 1982 and his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1987.

The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of lawyers, non-lawyers and appellate judges who were familiar with Judge Robbins’ work, interviewed the judge, and reviewed three written opinions. In addition, selected members of the Commission observed Judge Robbins in court. In his almost eight years on the bench, Judge Robbins has served in the domestic, criminal and civil divisions, with the majority of his judicial rotation spent in the criminal division where he currently sits. Since Judge Robbins’ experience was in the criminal law before he became a judicial officer, he has worked hard to educate himself in the substantive law and procedure applicable to civil and family law cases. Judge Robbins acknowledged difficulties in managing the caseload in his previous rotation in the civil division, but believes he has acquired the skill and experience to manage dockets efficiently in all divisions in the Denver District Court. Judge Robbins’ three written decisions (two in criminal cases and one in a civil matter) adequately explained the issues presented, articulated factual findings, discussed the applicable law, and explained the basis for Judge Robbins’ rulings.

The results of the surveys of lawyers and non-lawyers showed that over the past several years Judge Robbins consistently has rated high in most areas. His overall grades have equaled or exceeded those of all district court judges in Colorado in the areas of case
management, application and knowledge of the law, communication, demeanor and diligence. Non-lawyers responding to the survey also gave Judge Robbins high marks. In his interview, Judge Robbins demonstrated the basis for the high marks he received in the survey as he articulated his love for his job and demonstrated his enthusiasm to continue improving in his role as judge.

As noted, Judge Robbins received very strong support from both lawyers and non-lawyers. Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 96% recommended to retain, 0% not to retain, and 4% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 100% recommended to retain and 0% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 92% recommended to retain, 3% not to retain, and 5% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 98% recommended to retain and 3% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)