Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2000 Full List Judge Coughlin

Second Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable John W. Coughlin

Retention year: 2000
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge John W. Coughlin BE RETAINED.

Judge Coughlin was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in May 1985. He was appointed to the Denver County Court bench in 1980. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Coughlin served as a Deputy District Attorney, and then was in private practice in Denver, specializing in oil and gas law and in litigation. Judge Coughlin received his undergraduate degree from St. Mary's College in California and graduated from the University of Colorado Law School in 1972. Judge Coughlin currently hears civil cases. During the last eight years, he has also heard criminal and domestic relations cases, and he served in the Denver District Drug Court for a year. Judge Coughlin enjoys doing rotations in all of the Denver District Court divisions.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Coughlin from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written verbatim comments attached to the evaluation questionnaires. The Commission also considered a written self-evaluation completed by Judge Coughlin and conducted a personal interview with Judge Coughlin.

Judge Coughlin speaks at Bar Associations, and particularly enjoys talking with school-age children. He often takes case transfers from other judges when his docket clears. Judge Coughlin works to simplify discovery on the cases he handles, in order to improve the litigation system. Judge Coughlin's judicial philosophy is to respect everyone who comes into his court, including lawyers, parties, jurors and witnesses. For recreation, Judge Coughlin enjoys reading, walking, skiing and watching Rockies games.

Judge Coughlin received high ratings from both attorneys and non-attorneys in virtually every category, particularly in the areas of being courteous; treating all parties equally; communicating clearly, thoroughly and in a well-reasoned manner; maintaining proper judicial temperament; correctly applying the law; and performing with diligence, efficiency and minimal delay. Of the attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 80% recommended that Judge Coughlin be retained in office, 15% recommended that he not be retained, and 5% had no opinion. Of the non-attorneys responding to the questionnaire, 81% recommended retention, 11% recommended non-retention, and 8% had no opinion.