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Wood, Kimberly 2010 Evaluation


Twelfth Judicial District - Costilla County Court Judge 

Honorable Kimberly Lynn Wood

Retention Year: 2010
Recommendation: Retain

The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Kimberly Lynn Wood BE RETAINED, 8 votes for retention and 2 votes against retention.

A graduate of Baylor University and Washington & Lee School of Law, Judge Wood was appointed to the Costilla County bench in January of 2003. Prior to her appointment, Judge Wood served as the Twelfth Judicial District’s Juvenile Magistrate for two years. She also served as a Deputy District Attorney for one year and was in private practice for eight years, in the areas of family law, criminal defense (juvenile and adult), dependency and neglect matters and general civil litigation. Judge Wood hears criminal cases, civil cases under $15,000, misdemeanors, traffic infractions, small claims, and restraining orders. The Costilla County judgeship is a part-time position. Judge Wood also serves as the Twelfth Judicial District’s Domestic Relations Magistrate. The Judicial Performance Commission does not evaluate Judge Wood’s performance as the Domestic Relations Magistrate. Public comments to that effect should be directed to the Chief Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District, O. John Kuenhold.

Judge Wood worked diligently to address performance issues brought to her attention as needing improvement during the last performance evaluation for the Costilla County judgeship and the Commission recognizes and applauds her efforts. Marked improvement was seen in all areas suggested. Since the last performance evaluation, Judge Wood became more involved with her community by volunteering with the Costilla County Volunteer Fire Department. The Commission would like to see continued improvement in her court demeanor and writings skills. Judge Wood would benefit from intense training offered through the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, with an emphasis in these two areas.

The Commission received a written self-evaluation, held a public hearing, and conducted courtroom observations and interviewed Judge Wood. The Commission reviewed results of a professional survey of litigants, attorneys, and other professionals appearing before Judge Wood. Survey respondents positively noted Judge Wood was fair and understanding, particularly when pro se litigants are involved. The survey found her case management skills and work ethic were strong. The Commission heard negatively from a few attorneys and litigants appearing before Judge Wood. They stated she can be defensive or inflexible when questioned about her interpretation of the law or her decisions. Other individuals felt Judge Wood, when attempting to explain matters, can be condescending.

Of attorneys surveyed about retention, 82% recommended to retain, 12% not to retain, and 6% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 88% recommended to retain and 12% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 64% recommended to retain, 20% not to retain, and 17% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 77% recommended to retain and 23% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.) The Commission feels it is important to note these figures include responses to Judge Wood’s work as Domestic Relations Magistrate, a position for which she is not being evaluated in the process.