Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1996 Full List Judge Arends

Fifteenth Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable Norman L. Arends

Retention year: 1996
Recommendation: Retain

The Judicial Performance Commission for the 15th Judicial District recommends that Judge Norman L. Arends BE RETAINED.

Judge Arends received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law, and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1966. Judge Arends was a general practice attorney, focusing in practice in Cheyenne County, Colorado. Judge Arends has also served as the Cheyenne County Court Judge, Cheyenne County Attorney, Cheyenne Walls City Attorney, and Deputy District Attorney. Judge Arends was appointed to the district court bench in 1987, and now serves as Chief Judge for the 15th Judicial District.

Judge Arends met with the Judicial Performance Commission on May 8, 1996, at which time the Commission found overall approval for Judge Arends. The vast majority of those who provided opinions through surveys recommended Judge Arends’ retention. The Commission was impressed with the breadth and depth of Judge Arends’ knowledge of the law. The Commission also notes that Judge Arends’ agricultural background makes him especially effective in the 15th Judicial District.

Judge Arends’ self-evaluation was more critical of his performance than were the attorney and litigant evaluations. The Commission and those providing surveys gave him high marks to Judge Arends for his knowledge of sustentative law and procedure.

Members of the Commission expressed individual concerns about Judge Arends’ involvement in Colorado East Bank & Trust. Judge Arends informed the Commission that, prior to his involvement with the bank, he sought opinions form the appropriate authorities regarding his involvement with the bank. The Commission found that Judge Arends’ involvement in the bank had no adverse affect upon the impartial administration of justice in his courtroom, and that Judge Arends has taken appropriate steps to ensure public confidence of the legal system.

There were no apparent concerns or problems involving Judge Arends in gender bias in the courtroom. Judge Arends notes that men tend to feel that women get preference in custody cases. Judge Arends state that he is solely guided by the best interest of the children. Judge Arends recognizes that domestic relations cases are difficult for litigants and attorneys alike, are highly emotional, and require sensitive treatment for all litigants.

The Commission note that Judge Arends is fair in sentencing in the criminal cases, and that he is concerned at the rising tide of juvenile offenders. Judge Arends believes that early intervention in those cases is of upmost importance.

Based upon the interviews and the opinions provided in the survey of attorneys, litigants and staff, it was the position of the Judicial Performance Commission to recommend retention of Judge Norman L. Arends.