Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2000 Full List Judge Hiatt

Eighth Judicial District - District Judge

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Honorable James H. Hiatt

Retention year: 2000
Recommendation: Retain

The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge James H. Hiatt BE RETAINED.

Judge Hiatt received his undergraduate degree in 1969 from the College of William and Mary. In 1973, Judge Hiatt received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. Judge Hiatt was appointed as a Larimer County District Court Judge in April 1986. Before his appointment as a District Court Judge, Judge Hiatt served as a District Court Magistrate and prior to that had a private practice. In January 2000, Judge Hiatt was appointed Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District. These duties have expanded his workload by 20%. The Commission feels that Judge Hiatt has successfully accommodated this additional responsibility without any adverse consequences to his daily courtroom activities.

The Judicial Performance Commission personally interviewed each judge in the District whose term was nearing completion and who was seeking retention. Further, written evaluations were requested from a random sample of attorneys, court employees, law enforcement personnel, jurors, litigants, crime victims and other constituents who have been involved in proceedings in each judge's court. Survey results were designed and compiled by an independent agency to provide confidentiality. Results from the crime victims were deemed unreliable due to insufficient responses.

One hundred sixty-three (163) non-attorneys and 58 attorneys responded to a survey on the performance of Judge Hiatt in the six areas of courtesy, impartiality, communication skills, judicial temperament, diligence, and application of law. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of non-attorneys and 95% of attorneys recommended that Judge Hiatt be retained in office. Six percent (6%) of non-attorneys and 3% of attorneys recommended that Judge Hiatt not be retained in office. Five percent (5%) of non-attorneys and 2% of attorneys had no opinion with respect to retention. Further, Judge Hiatt's ratings when compared to ratings of all Colorado District Court Judges were consistently superior to the overall state ratings of his peers. Survey comments concerning Judge Hiatt were overwhelmingly favorable.

The Commission on Judicial Performance believes that Judge Hiatt is a valuable asset to the Eighth Judicial District. He will provide needed supervisory and administrative skills as the courts move to the new Larimer County Justice Center. Judge Hiatt in his interview with the Commission summarized it best when he said that it was a privilege to serve as a District Court Judge.