First Judicial District - Jefferson County Judge
Honorable Jean Woodford
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) finds that Judge Jean Woodford MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Since 2012, Judge Jean Woodford has served as the Division J Judge for the Jefferson County Court. Prior to her appointment, Judge Woodford was a first assistant attorney general in the Colorado Attorney General's Office, where she worked in the Financial Fraud Unit. She also served as the acting district attorney for the 7th Judicial District, and as an assistant district attorney. Judge Woodford received her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado Boulder and her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School. Outside the courtroom, Judge Woodford has the honor of judging high school mock trials at the championship level and offering courtroom training for various groups, including victim advocates.
Based on the Commission’s evaluation, Judge Woodford demonstrated that she meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories: case management, application and knowledge of the law, communications, diligence, demeanor, and fairness. The Commission conducted a formal interview with Judge Woodford, read opinions she authored, observed her in court, listened to feedback received from interested parties, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys, non-attorneys, jurors, and other public figures who had experience with Judge Woodford. Specifically, of the 130 respondents, 79% of 35 attorneys indicated that Judge Woodford meets performance standards with 96% of 95 non-attorneys also indicating she meets performance standards. Of the attorneys, the survey captured how they appreciate her judicial demeanor and fair sentences. Of the non-attorneys, most shared how Judge Woodford is approachable, shows compassion for defendants, and explains proceedings in a manner that is understandable.
Traffic and misdemeanor cases make up the focus of Judge Woodford’s work. In 2016, Judge Woodford became the Presiding County Court Judge, which she feels has given her greater insight into the overall administration of the courts. With this leadership role, she is proud of the collegiality among the county court bench, and continues to promote teamwork in all areas. Her strongest quality is how she strikes the right balance between moving cases along and allowing additional time on matters where appropriate. Judge Woodford takes time to explain the legal ramification of continuances and delays. For example, this was observed in court in which a defendant asked for a second continuance. She took time to explain the impact and warned that this was not a right, for it is her responsibility to move cases along, yet she was flexible and granted the request. However, the Commission recommends that Judge Woodford also emphasize explaining the application of law to judicial rulings. Overall, the Commission is very pleased with Judge Woodford’s performance. We found her to be patient, hard-working, and caring about all parties involved, including her staff. It is clear these qualities carry forward into her orderly, courteous, efficient courtroom. She passionately uses her judicial role to serve people and uphold the law.