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Thorson, David 2014 Evaluation


Eleventh Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable David M. Thorson

Retention Year: 2014
Recommendation: Retain

The Eleventh Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 9-0 that Judge David M. Thorson BE RETAINED.

Judge Thorson was appointed as a District Judge in the Eleventh Judicial District on January 11, 2005.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Thorson was a Deputy District Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial District for sixteen years.  Before becoming a Deputy District Attorney, he was in private practice for a number of years, and also served as the Town Attorney for the towns of Alma and Fairplay in Park County.  Judge Thorson received his undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1972, and his law degree from the University of Puget Sound Law School in 1977, graduating with cum laude honors.  In addition to his duties as District Court Judge, Judge Thorson presided over both the Teen Court and the Mental Health Court in Fremont County.  He is currently a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the Fremont-Custer Bar Association, and the Heart of the Rockies Bar Association.  Judge Thorson volunteered for decades for mountain search and rescue organizations. He has been a Board Member for the Colorado Search and Rescue Board for thirty-four years, and currently teaches search management for that organization.  Judge Thorson is a recipient of the J. Hunter Holloway Spirit Award for personal commitment to the professional advancement of Colorado’s search and rescue community.

The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Thorson, reviewed opinions he authored, conducted courtroom observations and reviewed the survey results obtained from attorneys and non-attorneys.  Among the survey questions was, “how strongly do you recommend that the Judge be retained in office, or not be retained in office?”  Of attorneys responding to the survey, 100% recommended to retain.  Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 92% recommended to retain, and 8% made no recommendation regarding retention.

Based on the survey results of attorneys and appellate judges, Judge Thorson received an overall combined average rating of his performance as a Judge that is consistent with the average combined rating of all district judges standing for retention.  Of the non-attorneys surveyed, Judge Thorson received an overall combined average rating which was slightly below the average combined rating of all district judges standing for retention.  Judge Thorson received high marks from respondents for his application and knowledge of the law, his case management, and his diligence in preparing for cases.  Judge Thorson displays respect and patience with all participants in his courtroom.  He received praise from respondents for his judicial demeanor in the courtroom and for his legal acumen.