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Swift, Pattie 2006 Evaluation


Twelfth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Pattie P. Swift

Retention Year: 2006
Recommendation: Retain


2006 Retention Survey Report (PDF)


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The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Pattie P. Swift BE RETAINED.

Judge Swift is a graduate of St. Johns College and the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Swift was appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District court bench in September of 2002. As a District Judge, Judge Swift sits in all six counties of the Twelfth Judicial District and hears civil, criminal, domestic relations, juvenile, probate, and mental health cases, as well as appeals from the County Courts. Prior to her appointment to the District Court bench, Judge Swift serves as the Costilla County Judge for 14 years.

The Commission received a written self-evaluation, held four public hearings, and conducted both Courtroom observations and an interview of Judge Swift. The Commission also reviewed the results of a professional survey of litigants, attorneys, and other professionals who have appeared before Judge Swift. The results include written comments, an over-all statistical score, as well as statistical scores in five areas: case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, demeanor, and diligence. The results also contain the state-wide average scores for district court and trial court judges.

Judge Swift has brought many strengths and abilities to the District Court bench including skilled legal reasoning, an excellent judicial temperament, and a profound commitment to her work and public service. Judge Swift serves on the San Luis Valley Community Corrections Board and the Colorado Supreme Court Family Issues Committee. She is Chairperson of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board and has spear-headed the District’s start-up of a specialized family drug court designed to more effectively addressed parental drug and/or alcohol abuse in child abuse and neglect cases.

Judge Swift received high scores from non-attorneys in all areas of the survey. Her highest scores were for her communication skills and demeanor. For example, using understandable language, and treating people who represent themselves fairly. Other high marks of note to the Commission were being prepared for court, being able to identify and analyze relevant facts, and insuring that participants understood the proceedings and what was going on in the Courtroom. 89% of the non-attorneys responding to the survey recommended Judge Swift be retained.

Judge Swift received very high marks from attorneys. Her scores exceeded the state-wide aver for District and Trial Court Judges. Her highest attorney scores were also for communication skills and demeanor. For example, she received a score of 3.9 (on a 4.0 scale) for speaking clearly, and treating everyone politely and with respect. Attorneys also rated her particularly highly for being prepared and making decisions without fear of being appealed. 100% of the attorneys responding to the survey recommended that Judge Swift be retained.