Second Judicial District - District - Probate Court Judge
Honorable C. Jean Stewart
Retention Year: 2010
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge C. Jean Stewart BE RETAINED.
Judge Stewart was appointed to the Denver Probate Court bench in May of 1995. Prior to her appointment, Judge Stewart worked in private practice for 20 years. Judge Stewart received her undergraduate degree in Education from Clarion State College and a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University. She taught at Western Illinois University for four years before attending law school. She received her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law.
The Denver Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the administration and settlement of decedents’ estates, the administration of trusts, and the appointment and administration of guardians and conservators. The court also reviews requests to terminate certifications in mental health cases. The court processes approximately 2,500 new cases each year. Judge Stewart approaches her many responsibilities with a great deal of professionalism and commitment. She is excited about Probate Court and relishes her role in teaching members of the legal profession, judicial colleagues and the general public about the multifaceted area of probate law. Judge Stewart is often invited by local and national organizations to submit articles addressing her areas of expertise. She also spends many hours reviewing periodicals and journals in order to remain up to date on probate law and estate planning. Judge Stewart has taken an active role in her community, mentoring students at East High School and educating adults about the role of state and federal courts through an organization called “Our Courts.”
The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of lawyers, non-lawyers and appellate judges familiar with Judge Stewart’s work; interviewed the judge; and reviewed three of her written opinions. The Commission also reviewed Judge Stewart’s self-evaluation and selected members observed the judge in court. The Commission was impressed with the
thoroughness of Judge Stewart’s self-evaluation. She clearly took time for introspection, revealing important insights about her role.
Judge Stewart received high ratings from both lawyers and non-lawyers in virtually every category, particularly in the areas of knowledge of the law, communication skills, and professional demeanor. Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 90% recommended to retain, and 10% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 88% recommended to retain, 7% not to retain and 5% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 93% recommended to retain and 8% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)