Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1992 Full List Judge McKinley

Twenty-First Judicial District - Mesa County Judge

Honorable David McKinley

Retention year: 1992
Recommendation: Retain

Judge McKinley is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and was admitted to practice to the Colorado Bar in 1974. He engaged in private practice in Grand Junction for six years, served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fruita for five years, as City Attorney for the City of Fruita for four years and Municipal Judge for the Town of Palisade for four years. He has served as Mesa County Court Judge since 1985.

Based on surveys received from attorneys, courthouse personnel, law enforcement officials, jurors and litigants and upon an interview with Judge McKinley and courtroom visitations by several members of the Commission, it appears Judge McKinley has no serious problems in the performance of his duties as a County Court Judge.
There was some criticism that Judge McKinley sometimes is too lenient, that he is at times, moody, intemperate, and disrespectful, and he does not vigorously pursue financial sanctions. Judge McKinley addressed these criticisms directly and frankly in his interview with the Commission and the Commission is satisfied that many of the criticisms result from a heavy caseload in county court or from administrative reforms Judge McKinley has instituted to streamline, standardize, and organize procedures in his court. There is no indication the criticisms interfere with the delivery of justice in Judge McKinley’s court.

Otherwise, it is clear to the Commission that Judge McKinley is an intelligent, articulate, hard-working, fair, and creative jurist. He processes cases expeditiously, renders decisions in a timely fashion, exhibits a good sense of justice, treats parties before his court equally, maintains good courtroom control, issues clear oral decisions, displays compassion, possesses a good knowledge of the law, and continually seeks ways to improve operation of his court.

Judge McKinley has taken positive steps to cope with the enormous caseload in County Court (over 11,000 cases per year) by computerization, televising criminal advisements, delegating clerical chores, and other improvements. Without these innovations, the County Court may very well have become hopelessly backlogged.
The 21st Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge David L. McKinley be Retained.