Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1996 Full List Judge Deister

Twenty-First Judicial District - Mesa County Judge

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Honorable Thomas Michael Deister

Retention year: 1996
Recommendation: Retain

Considering all the data collected from the evaluations, the interviewing process, and observations in the courtroom, the Commission unanimously recommends that Judge Thomas Deister BE RETAINED.

Judge Deister is a graduate of the University of Denver, College of Law, and was admitted to the practice of law in Colorado in 1978. He was engaged in the military practice of law in the Judge Advocate General Office in the United States Navy before entering private practice in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was engaged in the private practice of law for nine years and became an Assistant District Attorney with the 21st Judicial District. Judge Deister was appointed to the Mesa County Court bench in October of 1994.

Based on surveys received from attorneys, courthouse personnel, law enforcement officials, jurors and litigants and after an interview with Judge Deister and courtroom visitations by several members of the Commission, it appears Judge Deister has no serious problems in the performance of his duties as a County Court Judge.

Some survey respondents criticized Judge Deister for lack of timely commencement and completion of proceedings in his court. The Commission believes that such criticisms are due to Judge Deister’s relative inexperience and the heave caseload in County Court. Judge Deister addressed that criticism in his interview and explained that both Mesa County Court Judges approximately 7,000 cases per year. Because of the heavy caseload, punctuality in every case is difficult to maintain. I addition, punctuality must be balanced with the interests of justice. Judge Deister wishes litigants to leave his courtroom believing that they have had a full and fair hearing.