First Judicial District - Gilpin County Judge
Honorable David C. Taylor
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge David C. Taylor MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Since January 2015, Judge Taylor has served as a part-time County Court Judge for Gilpin County. Prior to his appointment, Judge Taylor worked in private practice and was a Staff Attorney for the 5th Judicial District where he continues to serve part-time. Outside the courtroom Judge Taylor was a lieutenant for Timberline Fire Department, a position he has since resigned. He received his undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College in 2002 and his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University in 2005.
The Commission conducted a formal interview with Judge Taylor, read opinions he authored, observed him in court, listened to feedback from interested parties, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys, non-attorneys, jurors, and other public figures who had experience with Judge Taylor. Because of his limited time on the bench only 60 individuals, including 5 attorneys, had sufficient experience with Judge Taylor to comment on his performance. Of the 60 respondents, all attorneys indicated that Judge Taylor meets performance standards, 84% of non-attorneys agreed, 7% of non-attorneys felt Judge Taylor does not meet performance standards and 9% had no opinion. Comments from survey respondents and the Commission’s other interviews noted that Judge Taylor faces unique challenges because his part time status, overcrowding in the Gilpin County jail, and increased case filings. Despite these challenges, Judge Taylor received praise for efficient case management and his respectful demeanor in Court. Judge Taylor’s experience in rural environments has thus far shown to be an asset to his understanding, patience and enthusiasm for confronting many of those issues.
Based on the Commission’s evaluation, Judge Taylor demonstrated that he meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories: case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, diligence, demeanor, and fairness. Judge Taylor also received positive responses for his clear communications with all parties. He efficiently relies on his limited staff resources and other professionals, such as probation representatives, to inform his options for sentencing. Judge Taylor places a high value on fairness and is regarded by most to be fair in his sentencing and treatment of all who come before him. His knowledge and application of the law, although tempered by his inexperience on the bench, received above average ratings. Rural and gaming counties such as Gilpin County face additional challenges such as the fact that the vast majority of arrests in the County do not involve residents but non-resident visitors drawn to the casinos and large special events. The Commission found Judge Taylor to be patient, hard-working, and caring. He is committed to continuing to improve his skills as a judge and to serve people and uphold the law. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Taylor meets judicial performance standards.