Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge
Honorable Nicole M. Rodarte
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 10-0, unanimously recommends that Judge Nicole M. Rodarte BE RETAINED.
Judge Rodarte was appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock to the Denver County Court for a term beginning in January 2013. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Rodarte was in private practice focusing on criminal defense. Before entering private practice, she served for several years in the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. A Denver native and graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado-Denver and Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Judge Rodarte has demonstrated a commitment to community service and is active in the Colorado Women’s Bar, The Colorado Hispanic Bar and the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. She is District Director of the National Association of Women Judges and chairs the Sheriff’s Committee which aims to resolve issues between the court and the Denver Sheriff’s Department.
Judge Rodarte previously served in the municipal criminal court and while assigned there presided over the Homeless Court, a specialty court created to assist homeless people who have successfully connected to services, but who have outstanding criminal warrants preventing them from accessing such services. She currently hears state criminal cases. The Commission reviewed survey results of attorneys and non-attorneys who have appeared in her courtroom. The Commission also conducted a personal interview with the judge, reviewed her self-evaluation and several opinions and transcripts. Selected members of the Commission observed Judge Rodarte in court. Of all attorneys completing surveys 90% recommended retention, 8% recommended not to retain, and 4% made no recommendation. Of non-attorneys completing surveys 96% recommended retention, 2% recommended she not be retained, and 1% made no recommendation. (These percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.)
The Commission was impressed with Judge Rodarte’s overall ratings and the positive comments concerning her performance. Her survey results for case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, demeanor, fairness and diligence exceeded the average combined ratings of all county judges by every measure. Judge Rodarte is described as being an excellent and fair judge who treats all parties and counsel with a high level of respect and compassion. She routinely sends thank you notes to jurors and trial participants and receives praise for her service in return.