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Tobias, Robert 2002 Evaluation


Eighteenth Judicial District - Arapahoe County Court Judge

Honorable Robert C. Tobias 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission for Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Robert C. Tobias BE RETAINED.

Judge Tobias was appointed to the bench in 1995. He received his undergraduate degree in history and government from the University of Arizona in 1968. He attended law school at the University of Denver and received his degree in 1971. Prior to his service on the bench, Judge Tobias practiced criminal law, domestic relations and landlord/tenant law. Judge Tobias currently hears civil, traffic and misdemeanors. His docket is primarily traffic.

The Commission personally interviewed Judge Tobias. The Commission also reviewed written evaluations from a random sample of attorneys, court employees, law enforcement personnel, jurors and other constituents who have been involved in proceedings before Judge Tobias. The Commission also received letters from attorneys.
Judge Tobias has greatly improved his judicial demeanor and impartiality since 1998. The Commission at that time had been concerned that Judge Tobias had shown examples of stereotyping and poor judicial demeanor. The Commission made several recommendations for Judge Tobias for improvement. The judge followed these recommendations and has improved as a result.

There is a concern that Judge Tobias orders light sentences for DUI’s. A courtroom observer noted that Judge Tobias said that up to three DUI’s was not a concern and that four or more DUI’s should be dealt with more severely. In addition, Judge Tobias appeared apologetic when giving a mandatory sentence. Judge Tobias did not order treatment as an option for DUI offenders. In response to these criticisms, Judge Tobias wrote to the Commission that he feels his sentences are appropriate and fair based on the specific facts of the case and the law. Judge Tobias said that third time offenders start at a minimum of 90 days in jail and that greater numbers of offenses are given maximum sentences. Judge Tobias wrote that he orders treatment unless the defendant has tried treatment unsuccessfully before.

The comments to the written evaluations were generally positive from both attorneys and non-attorneys. He received comments such as "respectful" and "very courteous". He rated higher than average in fair and impartial temperament, communications, professional demeanor and docket control. Of those responding to the survey, 94% of non-attorneys and 89% of attorneys voted to retain; 2% of non-attorneys and 5% attorneys voted not to retain; and 4% of non-attorneys and 5% of attorneys expressed no opinion.