Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Bernard

Colorado Court of Appeals

2008 Retention Survey Report
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Honorable Steven L. Bernard

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The State Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Steven L. Bernard BE RETAINED.

Judge Bernard was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2006.  He graduated from the University of Colorado, where he received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and his law degree. Judge Bernard served on the governing board of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Association, and was a member of the Supreme Court Nominating Committee from 1997 to 2002.  Judge Bernard was named Lecturer of the Year (2002) for contributions to educational programs sponsored by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

Before his appointment to the Court, Judge Bernard served as Chief Deputy District Attorney in Weld County and was also Assistant District Attorney in Adams County .  During this time, he was a frequent lecturer on a variety of legal subjects, including the law of evidence, constitutional law, and trial techniques. 

Judge Bernard has demonstrated that he is a fair, impartial, thoughtful and hard-working judge.  Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Bernard above average for making decisions without regard to possible criticism, and below average for (1) writing opinions that are clear and (2) being prepared for oral argument.  Attorneys commented that Judge Bernard is highly respected and conscientious with a good judicial demeanor.  He is also viewed as being a very bright and capable jurist. Judges rated him as comparable in most respects to other appellate judges. 

The Commission also reviewed various opinions that Judge Bernard wrote.  His opinions were well-written, reflecting a strong grasp of the issues.   Overall, 86% of attorneys surveyed and 96% of judges surveyed supported Judge Bernard’s retention, with 75% of the attorneys and 85% of the judges strongly recommending that he be retained in office.