Ninth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Christopher G. Seldin
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Judicial Performance Commission for the Ninth Judicial District unanimously (9-0) agrees that Judge Christopher G. Seldin MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Seldin grew up in Durango and graduated from Durango High School. He received a B.A. with honors from Dartmouth College and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an Articles Editor for the California Law Review. Between college and law school he worked for three years as a researcher for a public-interest law firm in Denver. Following law school, he clerked for Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr. on the Colorado Supreme Court, worked for two years in private practice for an international law firm, and spent 13 years as a County Attorney in Pitkin County, Colorado. He was appointed to the District Court bench in November of 2015. Prior to becoming a Judge, he served as an elected town councilman for four years and served on the boards of two nonprofit organizations. He is currently on the board of a foundation that supports organizations throughout the mountain west focused on meeting human needs, relieving suffering, and promoting self-sufficiency. In his spare time he enjoys getting outdoors putting his tool collection to use.
The Commission reviewed survey data from a cross-section of respondents who had experience with Judge Seldin including attorneys, court staff, law enforcement employees, jurors, and litigants. The Commission also reviewed Judge Seldin’s caseload-management data, a sample of his written opinions, and a self-evaluation he completed. Commissioners observed him in court and interviewed him in person regarding his performance on the bench. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Seldin meets judicial performance standards?” 100% of survey respondents (21 attorneys and 10 non-attorneys) answered, "yes."
Judge Seldin is diligent about legal research. His orders are so well written and thoroughly reasoned that many attorneys liken him to an appellate judge. He rules in a reasonably prompt fashion, even in difficult or complex cases, and his courtroom is orderly and efficient. Judge Seldin maintains appropriate decorum in his courtroom and treats all litigants and attorneys with the same restraint and respect he expects them to exhibit. He makes deliberate efforts to connect with each young person in his juvenile docket, where he creates teachable moments through an appropriate balance of compassion and consequences. Similarly, in Recovery Court (an alternative to prison for criminal offenders with underlying mental-health or addiction issues), which under his supervision has achieved a high success rate, he gives offenders the opportunity to rehabilitate while simultaneously holding them strictly accountable for all conditions of their probation. Judge Seldin is well respected among court staff and exhibits the highest levels of intellectual ability and commitment to public service. The Commission unanimously agreed that he meets performance standards.