Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge O'Hara

Fourteenth Judicial District - District Judge


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

Honorable Michael O'Hara

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Fourteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Chief Judge Michael O’Hara BE RETAINED.

Judge Michael "Mick" O'Hara was born and raised in Southern California. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville, Missouri, and his J.D. from the University Of San Diego School of Law in 1984. After law school, Judge O’Hara joined a small litigation firm in San Diego where he practiced for approximately seven years. In 1991, Judge O’Hara moved his family to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, practicing 11 years with the same firm, where he ultimately served as managing partner.  His litigation practice emphasized family law, personal injury, and criminal defense. He was awarded the Northwest Colorado Bar Association Professionalism Award in 1999.  In August, 2003, Governor Bill Owens appointed Judge O’Hara to serve as a District Judge for the Fourteenth Judicial District, covering Moffat, Routt, and Grand Counties. Judge O’Hara is currently the Chief Judge for the District and is the Water Judge for Division 6.

The Commission reviewed a self-evaluation completed by Judge O’Hara, reviewed written opinions and orders, conducted a personal interview and courtroom observations of Judge O’Hara, considered written evaluations submitted by attorneys, court staff, litigants, jurors, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and various other persons.  The people surveyed gave Judge O’Hara high marks in all areas: demeanor, fairness, communications, diligence, and application of law.  In addition, as Chief Judge for the Fourteenth Judicial District he effectively manages court staff in three counties.  The Commission recognizes the judge issues wise, well-reasoned decisions, and explains his verbal and written rulings clearly and thoroughly.   The Commission discussed limited concerns from survey results with Judge O’Hara regarding timeliness of written orders, and is satisfied with the steps that he has taken to address these concerns.  The Commission commends his ongoing commitment and dedication to the well-being of the Fourteenth Judicial District and the State of Colorado.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 80% recommended to retain, 15% 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 to retain, 85% recommended to retain and 15% not to retain.  Of all non-attorneys (court staff, litigants, jurors, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and various other persons) surveyed, 88% recommended to retain, 6% not to retain, and 5% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 93% recommended to retain and 8% not to retain.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)