Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Kennedy

Fourth Judicial District - District Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report
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Honorable Thomas L. Kennedy

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by unanimous vote that Judge Thomas L. Kennedy BE RETAINED.

Background: Judge Kennedy is a native of Colorado.  He received a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1971 with a major in political science; an M.A. from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, in 1976 with a major in sociology; and his law degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1982.  Judge Kennedy was appointed to the bench in May 1999.

Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Kennedy served as a prosecutor, worked in private practice and later was a partner in his own law firm specializing in civil litigation.  His community interests include being past president of the Board of the Colorado Springs Children’s Museum and a former board member of the Penrose Hospital Institutional Review Board and Silver Key Senior Services.  He is a current member of the Metropolitan Board of the Pikes Peak YMCA.  Judge Kennedy’s docket in El Paso County now includes criminal cases as well as juvenile dependency and neglect matters.  He previously served in Teller County, where he heard all types of cases.

Strengths: Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Kennedy above average for: (1) making prompt rulings and maintaining appropriate control over proceedings; (2) having knowledge of the rules of procedure and evidence and making decisions without fear of being appealed; (3) making sure all participants understand the proceedings and provide written communications that are clear, thorough and well reasoned; (4) in giving proceedings a sense of dignity; and (5) making difficult decisions when necessary.  Attorneys rated Judge Kennedy about the same as other district court judges for: (1) presenting a neutral presence on the bench, (2) treating everyone involved politely, (3) treating participants with respect, (4) treating pro se parties fairly, and (5) conducting his courtroom in a neutral manner.

Weaknesses: The Commission recognizes Judge Kennedy has made marked improvement in overcoming his weaknesses regarding his temperament and judicial demeanor.  After numerous observations Commission members saw minimal demonstration of these former shortcomings.

Recommendation:  In making its recommendation, the Commission considered the results of surveys from attorneys and non-attorneys, a self-evaluation by the Judge Kennedy, courtroom observations, written decisions and orders and an interview with Judge Kennedy before the commission.  Eighty-one percent of attorneys surveyed and 92% of non-attorneys surveyed strongly recommend that Judge Kennedy be retained in office.  Overall, 97% of attorneys and 95% of non-attorneys support his retention.