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Smith Jr., Donald 1990 Evaluation


Colorado Court of Appeals

Honorable Donald P. Smith Jr. 

Retention Year: 1990

Recommendation: Retain


Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Be Retained.

Judge Smith received his bachelor of science degree from Colorado State University in 1955 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1956. He was admitted to the Colorado bar in 1956. Smith was in private practice from 1956 until 1965, during which time he also served as assistant state attorney general. Smith was elected district judge in the 18th Judicial District in 1964 and was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1972.

Smith generally received praise from attorneys for his work on the Court of Appeals as an outstanding judge. Several attorneys, however, expressed concerns that he was abrupt and at times impatient during oral arguments. While Smith did not feel those comments were accurate, he stressed he would work to correct any action that were leading to such perceptions. Smith has been instrumental in assisting the court in the use of computer technology and has devoted a lot of time to improving court administration.