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Spahn, Theresa 2016 Evaluation


Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge

Honorable Theresa A. Spahn 

Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard


2016 Retention Survey Report (PDF)


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The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, on a vote of 9-0, unanimously recommends that Judge Theresa A. Spahn BE RETAINED. One member of the Commission recused themselves from voting on Judge Spahn’s retention recommendation.

Judge Spahn became a Denver County Court judge in October 2014. Previously, Judge Spahn was in private practice with Wedgle & Spahn, P.C., served as the Director of the O’Connor Judicial Selection Initiative at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, was the founding Executive Director of the Colorado Office of the Child’s Representative, was an Adams County Court magistrate, and a deputy district attorney in Adams County.

During her first year on the bench, Judge Spahn presided over the county court’s designated civil protection order courtroom. She now handles criminal matters in a general sessions court. The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of attorneys and non-attorneys, a self-evaluation from the judge, interviewed the judge, reviewed written opinions, and selected members of the Commission observed Judge Spahn in court. Although the response rate was small, 100% of the attorneys completing  the survey recommended retention. Of non-attorneys completing the survey, 80% recommended retention, 2% made no recommendation, and 19% recommended she not be retained. (These percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.)

Attorneys rated Judge Spahn above the average for county court judges standing for retention  in all categories of judicial performance criteria, including a 100% score for being unbiased in her decision-making and management of the courtroom. Her ratings were particularly strong on the subjects of case management, application and knowledge of the law, and demeanor. Among non-attorneys responding to the survey, Judge Spahn was rated slightly below average in all categories of judicial performance, although the comments submitted by survey respondents were mostly laudatory. Judge Spahn was repeatedly complimented by non-attorney survey respondents for her knowledge of the law, fairness, efficiency, and positive demeanor. After conducting an interview with Judge Spahn and observing her in the courtroom, the Commission is satisfied that Judge Spahn is off to an excellent start as a judge and will only continue to improve during the next performance period.