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Robison, Valerie 2010 Evaluation


Twenty-First Judicial District - District Court Judge 

Honorable Valerie J. Robison 

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Twenty-First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Valerie J. Robison BE RETAINED.

Judge Robison was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado, graduating with a B.A. in 1986, and received her law degree from the University of Denver in 1991. In addition to her duties on the bench, Judge Robison volunteers her time in other areas including: providing the keynote address to the Family First graduation, speaking to students at local schools and participating as the Lead Judge for the Twenty-First Judicial District Multi-Disciplinary Team. Given the leadership role that members of the judiciary serve in our community, the members of the Judicial Performance Commission urge our local Judges to provide public service to our community when such service can realistically occur given numerous other life commitments.

Judge Robison was appointed to the bench on June 14, 2007 and began her tenure as a District Court Judge on August 6, 2007. Judge Robison previously worked as Mesa County Assistant County Attorney and Interim Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services.

Judge Robison was evaluated through the following various methods: attorney surveys, non-attorney surveys, a self-evaluation, courtroom observations by the members of the Commission, review of written decisions issued by Judge Robison and an interview with the Commission. Attorneys graded Judge Robison below the average of other district court judges statewide. Of particular concern to attorneys was Judge Robison's overall application and knowledge of the law and her ability to apply that law to the facts. Additionally, Judge Robison was perceived by attorneys as being significantly more biased for the prosecution versus the defense in criminal cases than other judges statewide. This sample came from 32 total attorneys returning surveys, 18 of which self-identified as criminal defense attorneys. Non-attorneys consistently graded Judge Robison as a high performer whose grades exceeded those of district court judges statewide. Of particular note to non-attorneys was Judge Robison's demeanor, fairness and ability to communicate. Sixty-three percent of attorneys and 96% of non-attorneys recommended that Judge Robison be retained in office.

The Commission determined through Judge Robison’s self-evaluation and interview that she is open to constructive criticism, strives to improve in any areas of weakness. Judge Robison plans to conduct anonymous surveys of attorneys who appear before her as well as to conduct meetings with local attorneys to discuss any areas of concern. Additionally, Judge Robison consults with other local Judges when she has difficult legal questions to decide. The Commission believes that Judge Robison should continue to strive to increase her legal knowledge, particularly in the area of criminal law which makes up 75% of her docket.