The Thirteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Michael K. Grinnan BE RETAINED.
Judge Grinnan is involved in community work including: Board member for Hide-a-Way at Cameron Lane, a non-profit therapeutic riding program for disabled persons; wrestling coach for Ssudents at Burlington Middle School; and served on the Thirteenth Judicial District Performance Commission before being appointed to the bench.
Judge Grinnan was appointed to the bench in January 2007. He serves as a part-time Judge. Judge Grinnan’s experience includes: Burlington City Attorney; Yuma County, County Attorney; Thirteenth Judicial District, Deputy District Attorney; and a private practice attorney. He is a member of the Colorado County Attorney Association.
The Commission reviewed the results of evaluations of Judge Grinnan from attorneys and non-attorneys, including written comments from both groups. Evaluation averages of both attorneys and non-attorneys were below the state average for all judges. Evaluation averages from attorneys were lower than the evaluation averages from non-attorneys. The lower attorney averages appear to emanate from interactions that were not totally satisfactory to the small sample of attorneys surveyed. One of the concerns forwarded by attorneys was that Judge Grinnan was defense oriented. Evaluation averages from non-attorneys were higher and comments were more positive. Some of Judge Grinnan’s strengths were listed as being knowledgeable, fair and sincere. The Commission also interviewed Judge Grinnan in person and considered the judge’s written self-evaluation. Judge Grinnan indicated he has gained valuable experience during his short tenure as a Judge and stated he believes his performance has been good, but that he still has much to learn. Judge Grinnan indicated that some of his previous experience may have impacted his earlier approach regarding decisions; however, he also indicated to the Commission he is aware of areas where improvement is needed. These areas include the challenges of dealing with repeat offenders and some initial leniency as a new judge. He stated he is now sentencing people more consistently and appropriately. Judge Grinnan stated he has had only two cases appealed to a higher court with one of those decisions upheld.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 50% recommended to retain, 51% not to retain and 0% expressed no opinion. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 66% recommended to retain, 21% not to retain and 13% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 76% recommended to retain and 25% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)