Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge Laff

Second Judicial District - District Judge


Reports:
2012 Retention Survey Report
2011 Interim Survey Report
2009 Interim Survey Report

Honorable Kenneth Martin Laff

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Kenneth Martin Laff BE RETAINED.

Prior to his appointment in 2008, Judge Laff served as a senior deputy district attorney in the Denver District Attorney’s Office.  He previously was president of the PLUS Group, LLC, was a principal at Ziegler Ross Inc., and was an associate and partner at Holme, Roberts and Owen.  Judge Laff received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1974 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1977.  Judge Laff believes it is important for judges to be active in community service activities, and he is involved in community service.

The Commission reviewed the results of surveys of lawyers, non-lawyers, and appellate judges, including verbatim comments, and also reviewed a self-evaluation prepared by Judge Laff and three of his written opinions.  The Commission also interviewed Judge Laff, and some members of the Commission observed Judge Laff in court.  Since his appointment to the bench, Judge Laff has presided over domestic and criminal matters and currently serves in the civil division.  Judge Laff received ratings from non-attorneys which were slightly higher than the average scores for all district judges standing for retention in most areas rated.  From attorneys, Judge Laff received average scores in the area of case management but scores slightly below the average of other district judges in many of the areas of application and knowledge of the law, communications, demeanor, and diligence.  Of particular concern to the Commission was that 50% of the attorneys responding believed that Judge Laff was biased in favor of the prosecution in criminal cases.  Many of the comments critical of Judge Laff were directed at this perceived bias.  Judge Laff believes that he is not biased in favor of the prosecution, and noted that 89% of non-attorneys found him completely neutral, but acknowledged that such a perception among attorneys is a problem.  Judge Laff stated that he would work to change that perception.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 76% recommended to retain, 18% not to retain, and 6% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not retain, 81% recommended to retain and 19% not to retain. Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 92% recommended to retain, 3% not to retain, and 4% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 96% recommended to retain and 3% not to retain.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)