Sandstead Jr., Morris 2004 Evaluation


Twentieth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Morris W. Sandstead Jr. 

Retention Year: 2004
Recommendation: Retain

The Twentieth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Morris W. Sandstead, Jr. BE RETAINED.

The recommendation that Judge Sandstead be retained is based upon survey results from litigants, court staff, jurors, law enforcement, attorneys and others who have knowledge of his performance as judge; courtroom observations by Commission members; a personal interview conducted by Commission members; and information, materials, or testimony received at a public hearing conducted by the Commission. The Commission voted unanimously that Judge Sandstead be retained.

Judge Sandstead is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Colorado School of Law. He spent 15 years in the private practice of law where he specialized in complex civil litigation. He was appointed to the bench in 1982 as a District Judge.

His workload during the past two years has been evenly divided between civil, domestic relations and criminal felony cases, as well as some juvenile cases. Judge Sandstead has expertise in complex civil litigation for which he has a judicial preference.

Based on a sampling of attorneys responding to questionnaires, Judge Sandstead was found to be a committed, hard working, fair and empathetic judge. Attorneys felt he was flexible, personable, and open to feedback. Certainly his time spent on the bench has made him a very knowledgeable jurist with his decisions well thought out based on law and the facts. Judge Sandstead's knowledge of rules of procedure and evidence were rated high by respondents.

Of the 42 attorneys responding to the survey 88% were strongly or somewhat favoring retention. The 78 non-attorney respondents to the random survey showed 92% were strongly or somewhat favoring retention. These respondents which included a sampling of defendants, plaintiffs, law enforcement personnel, jurors and others characterized Judge Sandstead as an extremely fair and intelligent judge. Respondents stated that he has a great deal of respect for the law and for individuals, and he runs a very efficient courtroom and is known to speak his mind on how he feels.