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Second Judicial District - District Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report

Honorable Larry J. Naves

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Chief Judge Larry J. Naves BE RETAINED.

Background: Judge Naves was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in January 1987.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served in the Colorado Public Defender’s Office as a deputy state public defender from 1974 to 1979.  He practiced in the U.S. Public Defender’s Office as an assistant federal public defender from 1979 to 1984, and in 1984 he entered private practice.  Judge Naves received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Denver in 1968, and in 1974 he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law.

In May 2006, Judge Naves was appointed as the Chief Judge for the Second Judicial District by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey.  As part of his duties as Chief Judge, Judge Naves serves as the Chief Administrative Officer for the district.  His responsibilities include appointing the district administrator, chief probation officer and clerks of court, as well as making judicial assignments within the district.  For the past two years, Chief Judge Naves has spent a considerable amount of time being the court’s representative and advisor concerning the construction of the new Denver Justice Center.  The State Court Administrator’s Office has also developed several new programs, such as pay-for-performance, for which the chief judge has overall responsibility for implementation.  Consequently, Judge Naves’ caseload is approximately 50 percent less than the caseload of other judges in the district.  Over the past two years, Judge Naves has presided over 95% civil cases and 5% criminal cases.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Naves from attorneys and non-attorneys, which include written comments.  The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Naves, and three written orders issued by Judge Naves.  The Commission also conducted a personal interview.

Strengths: Judge Naves received high ratings from attorneys and non-attorneys in many categories, particularly in the areas of promptly making rulings during trial and issuing a decision on the case after the trial; speaking clearly; making sure all participants understand proceedings; treating pro se parties fairly, and providing prompt access to the court in emergency matters. 

Recommendation: Of the attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 82% percent recommended that Judge Naves be retained.  Of the non-attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 99% recommended retention.