Eighth Judicial District - Larimer County Judge
Honorable Peter E. Schoon Jr.
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance in a non-unanimous 8-1 vote finds that Judge Peter E. Schoon, Jr. MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Schoon was appointed to the Larimer County Court in 2002. Prior to his appointment, Judge Schoon worked in private practice in Loveland, Colorado, with an emphasis in civil law. He also served as an Associate Judge of the Loveland Municipal Court from 1988 to 2002. Judge Schoon received his Bachelor’s Degree from Central College (Pella, Iowa) and his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University Law School (Topeka, Kansas). As a Larimer County Court Judge, Judge Schoon presides over criminal, traffic, and civil cases, including small claims.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Schoon, reviewed opinions he authored, observed him in court, reviewed comments received from the Chief Judge, District Attorneys and Public Defenders Offices during the evaluation process, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Schoon. When survey respondents were asked “Do you think Judge Schoon meets performance standards?,” 80% of the attorneys and non-attorneys responding concluded that Judge Schoon meets performance standards. Among the attorneys responding, 71% said Judge Schoon meets performance standards, 21% said he does not meet performance standards, and 7% had no opinion. Among the non-attorneys responding, 84% said Judge Schoon meets performance standards, 9% said he does not meet performance standards, and 7% had no opinion. A total of 28 attorneys and 73 non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys regarding Judge Schoon. When evaluating whether a judge meets performance standards, the Commission considers the following criteria: Case Management, Knowledge and Application of Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness.
Judge Schoon manages a busy docket effectively. The Commission finds him to be consistent in his rulings and to meet performance standards regarding knowledge of the law. Judge Schoon’s opinions are well-written and he is credited with timely rulings. Several respondents commented that he may have become too comfortable on the bench because of his long tenure and cautioned that he not become complacent. The Commission remains concerned about Judge Schoon’s courtroom demeanor; specifically, his use of sarcasm cloaked in humor. Judge Schoon stated that he has made a focused effort to refrain from being sarcastic toward those who appear before him. Despite these significant concerns, the Commission finds that Judge Schoon meets judicial performance standards. The Commission was not unanimous in this recommendation, eight commissioners voted that Judge Schoon meets judicial performance standards, one commissioner voted that he does not meet judicial performance standards, and one commissioner abstained.