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Unfug, Charles 2010 Evaluation


Nineteenth Judicial District - Weld County Court Judge 

Honorable Charles S. Unfug

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Nineteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Charles S. Unfug BE RETAINED. The vote was 8 Commissioners voting for retention and 2 Commissioners voting against retention.

Judge Unfug was appointed to the Weld County Court on January 11, 2003. Judge Unfug graduated from the Cornell University Law School in 1977. He is a member of the Weld County Bar Association and the Byron White Inn of Court.

Prior to his appointment to the Weld County Court bench, Judge Unfug was a District Court Magistrate for five years. He was a lawyer in private practice for 20 years until being appointed as a magistrate in 1998.

Judge Unfug’s strengths are his demeanor and the compassion and empathy he expresses for the people involved in and affected by the cases he handles, which include a mix of civil disputes, misdemeanor cases, and traffic cases. Judge Unfug treats people with respect and works to make sure that everyone appearing in front of him understands the proceedings. The Commission is concerned that the perception still exists that Judge Unfug has a weakness in knowledge of the law, with the attorney evaluations returning a score below the statewide average for all county court judges. Judge Unfug addressed this concern with the Commission and recognized it as a continuing problem. Judge Unfug also presented documentation to the Commission that he has attended over twice the required amount of continuing legal education courses in the past three years and he expressed his desire and commitment to continue to address this issue. Two Commissioners were motivated by the continuing concern over this issue to vote against retention. The remaining Commissioners were satisfied that Judge Unfug had addressed this issue and were impressed with Judge Unfug’s presentation detailing his response to all the issues which had been raised through
the evaluation process. Judge Unfug demonstrates good docket management skills and is committed to administering justice fairly and promptly. Judge Unfug stresses rehabilitation of offenders in his sentencing philosophy, but he also believes in imposing longer sentences for repeat offenders. The Commission reviewed a self-evaluation completed by

Judge Unfug, conducted a personal interview, considered written evaluations submitted by attorneys, court staff, litigants, jurors and various other persons. The Commission also received more input—both pro and con—from members of the legal community than any other judge reviewed by the Commission. Additionally several members of the Commission observed Judge Unfug with visits to his courtroom while court was in session.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 80% recommended to retain, 20% not to retain, and 0% expressed no opinion. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 83% recommended to retain, 7% not to retain, and 10% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 91% recommended retention and 9% not to retain.