Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Spencer

Eighteenth Judicial District - District Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report

Honorable Valeria Neale Spencer

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by unanimous vote that Judge Valeria Neale Spencer BE RETAINED

Background: Judge Spencer received her law degree from the University of Colorado in 1991 with honors.  She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 1984 in Business and Administration.  Judge Spencer, in the past has actively participated in the Arapahoe County Bar Association. She has established herself a respected leader in the local bar association.

Judge Spencer was first appointed to the bench August 4, 2006 and has handled courtrooms that contained both civil and criminal matters, and at other times has been responsible for courtrooms that were limited to criminal matters only.

The Commission conducted extensive research in making this recommendation. Surveys were obtained concerning the Judges performance ranging over a broad area of concerns from demeanor to legal competence.  Surveys were sent to litigants, jurors, victims, probation officers, guardians ad litem and other participants in the legal system.  Interviews were conducted with people involved in the courtroom such as the Chief Judge of the District Court, the elected District Attorney, the Chief Probation Officer, the Clerk of the Court, the Deputy State Public Defender, and court staff.  The Commission conducted an extensive interview with Judge Spencer, read a number of decisions rendered by Judge Spencer, reviewed case processing statistics for workload and timeliness, considered a detailed self evaluation and conducted personal observation of the judge working in her courtroom.

Recommendation:  In reviewing the surveys of attorneys who responded, 95% recommended retention, and of the non-attorneys who responded, 91% recommended retention of Judge Spencer. She received excellent ratings for courtesy, impartiality, knowledge, and application of the law. She was also given excellent ratings for demeanor, fairness, communication skills, judicial temperament, diligence, and knowledge of the law.  These are very high performance numbers and are above average as compared to other judges.  This is Judge Spencer’s first review by the Commission. Representative comments from the non-attorney category established that she was fair, approachable, humble and professional in the manner in which she served the public.  The commission found that Judge Spencer has an excellent attitude and that even with her high numbers, the commission feels that she will only continue to improve. The Commission finds that Judge Spencer is an excellent judge and should be retained.