Fifteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable P. Douglas Tallman
Retention Year: 2012
The Fifteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge P. Douglas Tallman BE RETAINED.
Judge Tallman was appointed to the Fifteenth Judicial District Court in 2003. Before his appointment, Judge Tallman served on the Cheyenne County Judge from 1987 through 2002. Judge Tallman is a “native son” owning and operating the family farm and ranch in Cheyenne and Kiowa Counties prior to his judicial career. Judge Tallman believes judges should be actively involved in the broader community. He supports various service organizations such as the Lamar Hospice and Prairie View Health Resources. He participates in the Lamar Hospice Annual Golf Tournament, speaks to high school government classes about the judiciary, and serves on the Brandon Water Association Board. Judge Tallman has a varied workload. Approximately 50% of his cases are criminal cases. The remainder of his workload is comprised of domestic relations (15%), civil (15%), juvenile (10%), mental health (5%) and, probate (5%).
In its evaluation of Judge Tallman, the Commission reviewed data and survey results of lawyers and non-lawyers who are familiar with his work. The Commission also reviewed Judge Tallman’s self-evaluation, numerous written decisions, conducted a person interview with Judge Tallman, and observed Judge Tallman in court. Judge Tallman’s strengths are his professionalism and the great respect he has for the judicial system. This underlying philosophy guides the management of his courtroom and in the treatment of people in the judicial system. He strives to treat all litigants with respect and as if their case is the most important matter before the court. He allows all litigants the opportunity to completely and fairly present their positions. He refrains from ex parte communication and does not publicly comment on pending cases. He is not hesitant to recuse himself if there is a question about a potential conflict. In reviewing the survey results, the Commission noticed Judge Tallman rated below the average of the other district judges standing for retention in the area of promptly issuing a decision on the case after trial. The Commission questioned Judge Tallman during the interview on the practices he employs to reduce delays in the judicial process. In the Commission’s opinion, Judge Tallman satisfactorily responded by explaining his requirements for timeliness from attorneys, managing the order of the trial and, assuring timely filings. Judge Tallman did state that in criminal cases, he allows presentation of a full and fair defense. Judge Tallman stated he does not believe budgetary cutbacks have impacted his court’s ability to accomplish their jobs. Judge Tallman admits he can always improve his judicial performance. He retains a curiosity and interest in the law and states that he learns something new every day in his job. He relies on the judicial network and other judges to assist him and finds the network is very useful in his job.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 81% recommended to retain, 10% not to retain, and 8% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 89% recommended to retain, and 12% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 75% recommended to retain, 11% not to retain, and 13% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not retain, 87% recommended to retain and 13% recommended not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)