Twelfth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Pattie P. Swift
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0 vote) agrees that Chief Judge Pattie P. Swift MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Swift has been the Chief Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District and Water Judge of Water Division 3 since October 1, 2011. Judge Swift was appointed to the District Court in February 2003. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law graduating with academic honors. Judge Swift has been involved with many community service activities and organizations, including services for families, dependency and neglect drug treatment, primary, secondary and college students, social service organizations, and the arts. She has served as the Chair of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board. She has been very active with the Colorado Panel on Multi-District Litigation and Judicial Education. She has been a parent volunteer and active with the public schools. Judge Swift was the recipient of the 2017 Colorado Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates Judicial Excellence Award. Prior to her appointment to the District Court, Judge Swift was a County Judge for Costilla County from 1989 to 2003.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Swift, reviewed opinions she authored, observed her in court, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Swift. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Swift meets judicial performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 100% answered, yes, meets performance standards. Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 92% answered yes, meets performance standards, 4% answered does not meet performance standards, and 4% had no opinion. A total of twenty-six attorneys and twenty-four non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinion of Judge Swift’s performance.
Judge Swift presided over several case types this term to include water trials, family, juvenile, criminal, and civil cases. Based on the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Swift has demonstrated that she meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories. Non-attorneys responding to the surveys were more critical of Judge Swift’s overall performance and the survey results reflect a slightly lower rating when compared to attorney responses. Non-attorneys rated Judge Swift’s performance in “Managing court proceedings so that there is little wasted time” and “Maintaining appropriate control over proceedings” lower than all other categories. The Commission did not observe this trait during courtroom observations or in interviews with interested parties. Judge Swift received high marks in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, fairness, and demeanor. Judge Swift is often described as being very knowledgeable about the law, smart, fair, and treating all participants in the courtroom with respect and dignity. Judge Swift’s opinions reflect her knowledge of the law and her logical and understandable communication style. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Swift meets judicial performance standards.