Twelfth Judicial District - Costilla County Judge
Honorable Kimberly Lynn Wood
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance agrees by a vote of 7-2 that Judge Kimberly Lynn Wood MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Wood earned her undergraduate degree from Baylor University and graduated from 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 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. The Costilla County judgeship is a part-time position. Judge Wood also serves as the Twelfth Judicial District’s Domestic Relations Magistrate and presides over the Family Treatment Court. The Judicial Performance Commission does not evaluate Judge Wood’s performance as the Domestic Relations Magistrate or her work with the Family Treatment Court. Judge Wood serves her community focusing her attention on programs dedicated to breast cancer including the Process Improvement Team at the SLV Regional Medical Center and Casting for Recovery, a program that organizes fly fishing retreats for breast cancer survivors.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Wood, reviewed the self-assessment report completed by Judge Wood, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, conducted courtroom observations, and reviewed survey responses from non-attorneys and attorneys who had experience with Judge Wood. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Wood meets judicial performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 71% answered yes, meets performance standards, 18% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 12% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Wood meets or does not meet performance standards. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding). Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 74% answered yes, meets performance standards, 22% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 4% had no opinion regarding whether Judge Wood meets or does not meet performance standards. A total of 17 attorneys and 26 non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinion of Judge Wood’s performance.
Judge Wood presides over criminal cases, civil cases under $15,000, traffic cases, and small claims cases. Survey results revealed verbal communication as a strength of Judge Wood by both attorneys and non-attorneys. Survey results from attorneys indicate lower scores in “providing written communications that are clear, thorough and well-reasoned”, as compared to all county judges evaluated. During the last judicial performance cycle, Judge Wood was put on a performance plan to address concerns with legal reasoning and the application of law. Although the Chief Judge verified to the Commission that Judge Wood has successfully completed the performance plan, survey results and courtroom observations reveal the concerns continue to exist.