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Ruddick, Stephen 1998 Evaluation


Eighteenth Judicial District - Arapahoe County Court Judge

Honorable Stephen Richard Ruddick

Retention Year: 1998
Recommendation: Retain


The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends unanimously that Judge Stephen Richard Ruddick BE RETAINED.

Judge Ruddick has served as County Court Judge for four years. He was first appointed to the Arapahoe County Court in 1994 and has also served as acting District Court Judge for felony, domestic, juvenile and appellate matters. Prior to accepting appointment to the bench, he was a Senator in the Colorado General Assembly. He also was an assistant city attorney in Aurora from 1981-94 and in general private practice in 1979-80.

He earned an undergraduate degree in history and political science from Metropolitan State College in Denver (1977) and his law degree from the University of Denver (1980).

Judge Ruddick received the retention support of 87.5% of practicing attorneys. Only 12.5% recommended against retention. 98.1% of non-lawyers (litigants, jurors, court and law enforcement personnel) recommended retention.

He received high praise for his courtroom demeanor and control in managing his docket where cases "were dealt with in a reasonable time frame" and "his decisions are well-supported by the facts or circumstances of each case." Judge Ruddick's self-evaluation demonstrates a willingness to constantly seek improvement.

Judge Ruddick wrote (and distributes to each citizen appearing in his court), a free, helpful, informative brochure which explains in clear, simple language a person's legal rights and obligations and general court procedures. For those representing themselves, it explains why neither the Judge nor his staff can provide legal advice about an individual case, but it provides a helpful glossary of legal terms and describes how a trial progresses. He also gives Aurora Bar Association members a list of local practice tips to save their clients' time. Judge Ruddick describes his "People's Court" as "one of limited jurisdiction with a voluminous caseload."