Fifth Judicial District - Lake County Judge
Honorable Jonathan Shamis
Retention Year: 2020
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fifth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Lake County Court Judge Jonathan Shamis MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS based on the following judicial performance criteria: Integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.
Judge Shamis’ Lake County court caseload is 46% misdemeanors, 23% civil cases, 18% traffic cases, 10% criminal cases, and 3% other. The Commission notes Judge Shamis’ ability to adapt to challenging circumstances in Lake County, including substandard judicial facilities and no jail facility. The nature of his caseload and infrastructure limitations, have required Judge Shamis to actively employ Personal Recognizance Bonds and to advance emerging Community Justice models. Judge Shamis has implemented an innovative roundtable approach to Drug Court that actively engages people in the justice system. The goal is to set participants up for future success by addressing underlying mental and behavioral health issues, good decision-making skills, and engaging mentors when possible. It is clear that Judge Shamis has a genuine appreciation for the position he holds and the community he serves. From the Commission’s examination of Judge Shamis’ self-evaluation, written rulings, survey data and comments from attorneys and non-attorneys, and interviews with the District Attorney and Public Defender, Judge Shamis is considered a very “good fit” for the community and caseload he serves.
In the 2020 Judicial Performance Survey Report, Judge Shamis received an overall grade of 3.7 out of 4.0, which compares to an overall score of 3.4 for all County Court judges. In the same survey of both attorneys and non-attorneys, he received an overall score of 100% for “yes, meets performance standards.” His personal ratings exceeded those of county judges overall in all performance metrics. Survey respondents gave Judge Shamis very favorable feedback for demeanor, compassion, temperament/caring, fairness, and personality. There were no negative comments of note other than continuing to build legal knowledge.
Judge Shamis earned his law degree from DePaul University College of Law. Before being appointed, Judge Shamis was the Executive Director of Alpine Legal Services, where he practiced family law, real estate law, collections, protection orders, and criminal law. He also has experience in private legal practice and as a Public Defender. Judge Shamis is past president of the Colorado County Judges Association and currently serves as Chairman of the Rural and County Track planning committee for the Annual State Judicial Conference. Judge Shamis serves on multiple committees and boards related to mental health services and judicial education. He also serves the Lake County community as Chairman of the Board of the Cloud City Conservation Center, and he is a member of the Board of the Lake County Community Fund and the Board of the Hope Center, a crisis response organization. Judge Shamis is also an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain College.