Ninth Judicial District - Pitkin County Court Judge
Honorable Fitzhugh Scott III
Retention Year: 1990
Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Be Retained.
Judge Scott has been judge of the Pitkin County Court since January 1980. For seven years prior to becoming the county judge, he was a municipal judge in the City of Aspen.
Scott received his undergraduate degree in history from Yale in 1960 and his law degree from Denver University in 1963. He was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1964 and, from then until 1967, was in private practice, first with a firm in Glenwood Springs, and then with an Aspen firm. Since 1967 he has been a sole practitioner in Aspen.
In Pitkin County, the office of the county judge is a part-time position. Judge Scott divides his time between his judicial duties and the private practice of law.
Judge Scott hears civil cases up to $5,000 in controversy ($10,000 on and after Jan. 1, 1991), small claims, misdemeanors and traffic offenses, including drunken driving. Court is held at the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen.
Of the groups surveyed by questionnaire, a substantial majority of attorneys, litigants, social service and court staff personnel gave Judge Scott high ratings. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors were generally more critical of Scott, citing particularly a lack of clarity in his oral and written communications, some failure to instill public confidence, and a tendency to impose light sentences. Overall survey results indicate Judge Scott is frequently late and often is not prepared.
Three litigants who had lost cases in front of his disagreed with Judge Scott’s legal rulings, commented unfavorably on his courtroom demeanor, or complained he was inattentive. Other respondents stated, however, that he is courteous, patient, very fair and an excellent judge who always tries to do justice.