Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Dickinson

Sixth Judicial District - District Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report

Honorable David L. Dickinson

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Sixth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge David L. Dickinson BE RETAINED.

Judge Dickinson was appointed to the District Court for the Sixth Judicial District in December 1998.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, he practiced law in Durango, Colorado, specializing in real estate, commercial and business litigation, and local government law.  He received his undergraduate degree from the Colorado School of Mines in 1968 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 1976.  Judge Dickinson currently presides over a judicial workload which is apportioned by the following time allocation:  40% civil cases, 25% domestic relations, 25% felony criminal cases, no misdemeanor or traffic cases, 5% dependency and neglect cases (juvenile), and 5% probate cases.

The Commission reviewed court generated statistics, documentation from interested parties, surveys from both attorneys and non-attorneys, as well as a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Dickinson.  The Commission also conducted a personal interview with Judge Dickinson.  In survey responses, Judge Dickinson received an overall composite score which favorably recommended retention.  According to the 28 lawyers who responded to the survey, they identified areas which need improvement to include: promptness of rulings on pre-trial motions; promptness of decisions after trial to the Court; willingness to reconsider errors of law or fact after ruling in a case; application of rulings on law and fact in a consistent manner.  Overall, these surveyed attorneys gave Judge Dickinson a less than average assessment of his case management skills.  Of the 54 non-lawyers who responded to the surveys, his overall approval ratings were acceptable, however, these results were below the statewide averages and district averages for all judges in Colorado.

Judge Dickinson has consistently received favorable remarks from all survey respondents for his treatment of pro se (without lawyers) litigants; providing access to his court for emergency orders; punctuality; restricting ex parte communications; insuring his orders are understandable and treating all persons in his court with respect and dignity.  Regarding the promptness of his rulings before trial and decisions after trial, it would appear that Judge Dickinson has made significant improvement in these areas.  It also appears that he has addressed the management of his cases in a positive way.  The Commission discussed these issues with Judge Dickinson in his interview.  He has recognized that his performance in these areas, while commendable, will require continued improvement and effort.

Based upon the surveys, the interview with Judge Dickinson, as well as the information submitted to the Commission, it is the unanimous recommendation of this Commission that Judge Dickinson be RETAINED.