Eighteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable David John Stevens
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends by a vote of 10-0 that Judge David John Stevens BE RETAINED.
Judge Stevens received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Prior to being appointed to the bench in June 2014 by Governor Hickenlooper, Judge Stevens was in private practice in complex injury litigation, including medical malpractice. He has over 30 years of experience. Judge Stevens is active in his community and serves on the Access to Justice Committee for Arapahoe County and is a Trustee on the Colorado Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also a Past President of the Arapahoe County Bar Association and served on the CBA Board of Governors for over ten years. Judge Stevens also contributes to his community in many other ways including being a mentor to several new lawyers, being on the Arapahoe County Bar Association Board, the Arapahoe County Bar Foundation Board, the CBA/DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council, the Arapahoe County Justice Coordinating Council, the Colorado Office of Dispute Resolution Advisory Council and is a frequent lecturer on various substantive areas of law and trial tactics.
Before recommending the retention of Judge Stevens, the Commission conducted extensive research, including reviewing orders written by Judge Stevens, observing him in court, reviewing surveys sent to attorneys and non-attorneys, studying Judge Stevens’ personal self-evaluation, engaging in meetings to analyze Judge Stevens’ performance and conducting an in-person interview with him. In surveys sent to attorneys, appellate judges and non-attorneys, Judge Stevens received superb marks from all three groups. He was routinely scored by attorneys above all district judges for the various scoring criteria, including case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, demeanor and diligence. While Judge Stevens was scored by non-attorneys slightly lower than all District Judges for the various criteria areas, the Commission believes this is related to the nature of his domestic docket and the lower number of survey results received from non-attorneys. Of the 45 attorneys who completed the survey, 91% recommended that Judge Stevens be retained, 2% recommended not to retain and 7% made no recommendation. Of the 34 non-attorneys who completed the survey, 72% recommended he be retained, 15% recommended not to retain and 12% made no recommendation. Surveys described him as being thoroughly prepared, intelligent and patient, with excellent judicial demeanor and control over the courtroom.
Judge Steven’s current docket is 100% domestic relations. The Commission was impressed with the overwhelming number of positive responses Judge Stevens received from attorneys and non-attorneys, as well as his personal interview with the Commission. Such high survey results and scores are rare for a newer judge sitting on the domestic docket. The Commission believes this is a strong reflection of the quality of Judge Stevens’ work. He is a dedicated judge who should be retained.