Colorado Court of Appeals
2012 Retention Survey Report
2011 Interim Survey Report
2009 Interim Survey Report
Honorable Dennis A. GrahamRetention year: 2012
The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 10-0 that Judge Dennis A. Graham BE RETAINED.
Judge Graham was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2002. He graduated from Colorado State University in 1968 and the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1975, where he was Managing Editor of the Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. Following graduation, Judge Graham served as a law clerk for a federal appellate judge. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1972 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Prior to his appointment to the bench he was in private practice for 27 years, emphasizing litigation in complex commercial transactions and securities law. He has served as a director on the Board of Iliff School of Theology and as President of the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew United Methodist Church. Judge Graham is a past secretary of the Denver Rotary Club. He is a member of the Rams JD steering committee, a Colorado State University alumni program. He has served as a mentor for the Lawyering Process Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Judge Graham is currently the Chairman of the Judicial Personnel Board and a member of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Board.
Attorney survey responses indicate that Judge Graham’s performance is comparable with other Court of Appeals judges standing for retention in several areas, but somewhat weak in being fair and impartial toward each side of the case and writing opinions that are clear and adequately explain the basis of the court’s decision. Several attorneys commented that Judge Graham wrote clear opinions that are easy to understand, while others indicate a belief that Judge Graham tended to reason toward the result he wanted rather than relying on the merits of the arguments. Numerous attorneys in their comments noted that Judge Graham was courteous and well prepared for oral arguments, and based on courtroom observations, the Commission concurs. The survey responses of district judges and other appellate judges indicate that Judge Graham’s performance is comparable to the other judges standing for retention. Several judges in their comments found Judge Graham’s decisions to be well reasoned.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 71% recommended to retain, 20% not to retain, and 10% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 78% recommended to retain and 22% not to retain. Of all judges surveyed, 74% recommended to retain, 1% not to retain, and 25% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not retain 99% recommended to retain and 1% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding).