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Samour, Carlos 2020 Evaluation


Colorado Supreme Court

Honorable Carlos A. Samour Jr

Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard

The State Commission on Judicial Performance finds that Justice Carlos A. Samour Jr. MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS, by a vote of 11-0.  The Colorado statutory judicial performance standards are integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.

Justice Samour has been on the Colorado Supreme Court for a little over two years and this is his first retention evaluation.  The Commission finds that Justice Samour is courteous to attorneys and treats parties equally without regard to race, sex, or economic status.  He has quickly adapted to the responsibilities of a Colorado Supreme Court justice, demonstrates an admirable work ethic, and issues decisions in a timely manner.  During oral arguments he allows the parties to present their positions, is respectful of their allotted time, and asks them insightful questions.  His opinions are well organized, and he has a creative writing style that keeps the reader’s interest without compromising clarity.  The Commission believes that Justice Samour is a valuable addition to the Colorado Supreme Court.

To conduct our evaluation, the Commission interviewed Justice Samour, reviewed his self-evaluation, observed oral arguments, read a selection of his legal opinions, and considered survey responses from attorneys and judges.  One survey question asked whether Justice Samour met judicial performance standards.  Of the attorneys who responded to that question, 69% answered yes, 13% answered no, and 19% had no opinion.  Of the judges who responded to that question, 93% answered yes and 7% answered no. A total of 16 attorneys and 62 judges responded to the survey.

Justice Samour was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to the Colorado Supreme Court on July 2, 2018.  He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and a law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1990.  After a clerkship with the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, he worked for five years in civil practice and then for ten years as a prosecutor with the Denver District Attorney’s Office.  Prior to his appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court, he was a Colorado district court judge in the 18th Judicial District, serving for four years as chief judge.  Justice Samour regularly participates in community activities with an emphasis on mentoring low-income students and is actively engaged with immigrant communities, working to inspire immigrants.  He is active in a number of law-related community programs and specialty bar associations.

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