Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2000 Full List Justice Mullarkey

Colorado Supreme Court

Honorable Mary J. Mullarkey

Retention year: 2000
Recommendation: Retain

The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey BE RETAINED.

Justice Mullarkey was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1987, and was approved for retention by Colorado voters in 1990. She was named Chief Justice in August 1998. Prior to her appointment to the court, Justice Mullarkey practiced law in Denver, 1985-1987, and held the following positions: legal advisor to the governor, 1982-1985; First Assistant Attorney General and then Solicitor General in the Colorado Department of Law, 1975-1982; assistant regional attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1973-1975; and attorney-advisor at the Civil Rights Branch of the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., 1970-1973. Justice Mullarkey is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The Chief Justice is the chief administrator of the Judicial Department and in that position Justice Mullarkey has worked to increase public trust and confidence. The commission was impressed with three achievements in particular. Justice Mullarkey declared 1999 "the year of customer service" to encourage court personnel to make the operations of the Judicial Department more consumer-friendly. She also revised the Judicial Code of Conduct to allow judges to get more involved in their communities, and she has encouraged other justices on the Supreme Court to visit judicial districts throughout the state to meet with local citizens to listen to their concerns. Justice Mullarkey chairs the Judicial Department's Gender and Justice Committee and is committed to encouraging diversity in the legal profession so it will more accurately reflect society.

Justice Mullarkey is one of the most experienced justices on the court, and in her 12-year tenure has written opinions in all areas of the law. In addition to her duties as Chief Justice she continues to write her share of court opinions, which she seeks to make both clear and precise. She works well with her colleagues and is often able to craft a consensus opinion that will avoid a split decision and provide guidance to the lower courts.

Attorneys and court personnel rated Justice Mullarkey highly overall. Seventy-nine percent (79%) voted to retain Justice Mullarkey, 17% voted not to retain and 4% had no opinion. Ninety-two percent (92%) of trial court judges voted to retain Justice Mullarkey, 2% voted not to retain and 7% had no opinion.