Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1992 Full List Judge Bellipanni

Twentieth Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable Joseph J. Bellipanni

Retention year: 1992
Recommendation: Retain

Judge Bellipanni began his judicial career as a County Court Judge in 1982. He was then appointed to the District Court in 1984 and has served in that capacity for the last eight years. He has been Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial District for the last five years. Prior to joining the bench, he had been a member of the law firm of Davis, Graham and Stubbs, after clerking for Chief Justice Edward Pringle of the Colorado Supreme Court following graduation from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1976. Prior to his legal career, he had been a vice-principal and at teacher in Walsenburg, Colorado.

Judge Bellipanni is a superb judge in almost every respect. He is extraordinarily intelligent and know the law well. He listens intently, grasps issues quickly and applies the law impartially. He insists that lawyers be prepared when they appear in his court. The Judge is viewed almost universally as being meticulously impartial. He never appears to favor one side over the other, regardless of who the litigants of lawyers may be. He maintains control over his courtroom at all times. Though he presents a stern visage, he appears to have a sense of compassion and understanding of human failings when appropriate.

The most significant criticism of Judge Bellipanni is that he appears to be unnecessarily and offensively harsh and arrogant in this courtroom at times, in stark contrast to his out of court personality, which is friendly and engaging, with a wonderful sense of humor. He responds he is aware of the criticism, but he feels the need for impartiality is so critical that he fears a less formal demeanor migh give less of an appearance of impartiality. While the Commission recommends Judge Bellipanni be retained without any reservation, it is hoped he will view this as a constructive suggestion about his court demeanor.

All of the surveyed groups rated Judge Bellipanni highly: attorneys, 83.2% to retain; law enforcement personnel, 85.7% to retain; courthouse personnel, 100% to retain.
The 20th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Joseph J. Bellipanni be Retained.