Fourth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable David L. Shakes
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (5-0) agrees that El Paso County District Court Judge David L. Shakes MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Shakes has served as an El Paso County District Judge since March, 2003. Judge Shakes received his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University in 1975. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1978. Judge Shakes also has a Masters Degree from the Army War College, and a Masters of Judicial Studies degree from the University of Nevada – Reno. Prior to his appointment on the bench, Judge Shakes was in private practice in Colorado Springs where he focused on commercial and construction litigation. Judge Shakes retired as a Colonel in the Army Reserve in 2008. At the time of his military retirement, Judge Shakes was the Commander and Chief Trial Judge of the military judges of the Army Reserve. Judge Shakes currently serves on the faculty of the National Judicial College, and teaches part-time at the University of Denver School of Law. He is also involved in a number of volunteer organizations.
The Commission met with Judge Shakes for a personal interview, observed him in the courtroom, and reviewed his self-evaluation, survey results and a number of the Judge’s written opinions. Judge Shakes current docket includes civil cases, domestic relations cases, and criminal cases. Additionally, Judge Shakes presides over the Fourth Judicial District Veterans Trauma Court. Attorneys, non-attorneys, and jurors responded to a survey about Judge Shakes. Among the 45 attorneys who responded to the survey, 79% thought Judge Shakes met performance standards, 10% thought he did not meet performance standards, and 12% had no opinion. Of the 48 non-attorneys who responded to the survey, 88% thought Judge Shakes met performance standards, 8% thought he did not meet performance standards, and 4% had no opinion.
According to both the attorneys and non-attorneys who responded to the survey of Judge Shakes’ performance, Judge Shakes scored higher than average in all major areas. In reporting his strengths, reoccurring themes from both the attorneys and non-attorneys were that Judge Shakes is patient, respectful, courteous, and organized. As to weaknesses, respondents noted that matters could proceed more quickly in his courtroom. The Commission observes that in the courtroom, Judge Shakes proceeds in a neutral but formal manner. At his interview with the Commission, Judge Shakes expressed his strong commitment to the law, and his work as an El Paso County District Judge, and stated that he was continuously working to better serve those who appear before him. The Commission believes that Judge Shakes is a hard-working outstanding judge who is highly knowledgeable and a principled public servant. He appears to be fair to lawyers and litigants, carefully ruling on the merits of the disputes that come before him. The Commission believes that Judge Shakes meets performance standards and should be retained as a District Court Judge.