Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1992 Full List Judge Johnston

Seventh Judicial District - Delta County Judge

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Honorable David C. Johnston

Retention year: 1992
Recommendation: Retain

David C. Johnston should be retained for a full four year term as the Delta County Court Judge. He appears to be dedicated to doing the best job he can as a judge. It is work he especially likes, due mostly to the diversity. He has experienced an ever increasing caseload, and finds it necessary to provide alternative sentences to jail and recognizes plea bargaining as an important tool in helping to run the system in an economically feasible manner. Fellow attorneys who practice before him generally consider him to be a knowledgeable and fair judge. Overall, the comments were positive and suggested widespread satisfaction with his performance. The Commission is likewise satisfied and recommends the retention of Judge Johnston.

Those responding to the judicial performance questionnaires were largely in favor of retaining Judge Johnston. A majority of those respondents identified as law enforcement personnel were not in favor of retention; however, attorneys, jurors, courthouse personnel and litigants overwhelmingly recommended retention.

Judge Johnston appears to the Commission to be well qualified. His legal ability is unquestioned. He background and experience prior to being appointed county court judge allow him to understand and deal with the issues that come before his court. He was also aware and very understanding of the problems which the court faces which include the conflict between giving cases adequate consideration and meeting the time constraints of a very heavy docket, consistency in sentencing, and an overcrowded jail. Judge Johnston has been on the bench a short time. Yet, he appears to have adapted well and to have learned a great deal about his position. He accepted the negative remarks about his performance well and appreciated honest feedback. The Commission believes that he will profit form this experience and that his performance will improve in the future.

Judge Johnston has been the Delta County Court judge since his appointment in January, 1989. His current caseload is 80% of a full-time caseload. His caseload includes traffic, misdemeanor, preliminary felony matters, small claims, and civil claims less than $10,000. He also conducts settlement conferences in District Court civil cases and is appointed to District Court cases throughout the Seventh Judicial District as needed. He practices law in Paonia when not performing his judicial duties.

David C. Johnston received his BA degree from Stanford University in 1968 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1974, the same year he was admitted to the Bar in New Mexico.

He served as Legal Aid Attorney for Zuni Legal Services from 1974 to 1976. He became a member of the Colorado State Bar in 1976 at which time he opened his law practice.

Judge Johnston is married and has four children, two of whom are attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, and two at home. He is a volunteer coach, Vice-President of the Minnesota Creek Canal and Reservoir Company, a member of the Paonia Rotary Club, the Delta County Schools Accountability Sub-Committee on Drug and Violence Free Schools, and a member of the Seventh Judicial District Bench-Bar Committee.

The 7th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge David C. Johnston be retained.