Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge Appel

Third Judicial District - District Judge

2012 Retention Survey Report
2011 Interim Survey Report
2009 Interim Survey Report

Honorable Claude W. Appel

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Third Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, by a unanimous vote of the eight Commissioners present, with two Commissioners being absent, recommends that Chief Judge Claude W. Appel BE RETAINED.

Judge Appel was appointed as a Third Judicial District Judge in March 1986, where he currently serves as Chief Judge.  He served as a County Judge from January 1985 to March 1986. Prior to his appointment as a judge, he was in private practice in Longmont, Colorado, then served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Third Judicial District and had a private practice here. He received his B.A. degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1974 and his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1978.  Judge Appel is an active participant in art related activities in his community and previously conducted a teen court program prior to its suspension in 2011 for funding and administrative issues.  He is active in the state bar association, serving on its ethics committee.

During this past term, Judge Appel faced extraordinary circumstances that included a national, high profile criminal case and the continued deterioration of the Huerfano County courthouse.  He handled both effectively, all while maintaining his normal docket.  In addition to these challenges, he has increased the number of cases he is assigned in the Third Judicial District to help alleviate case load pressures on his fellow judges.  The Commission discussed with Judge Appel non-attorney perceptions regarding his performance. Judge Appel is conscious of the perceptions and the Commission is satisfied that Judge Appel will continue to address both non-attorney and attorney concerns in future years.  Overall, the Commission believes Judge Appel performs his job well, balancing both administrative and judicial duties.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 89% recommended to retain, 10% not to retain, and 2% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 90% recommended to retain and 10% not to retain.   Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 72% recommended to retain, 20% not to retain, and 8% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 79% recommended to retain and 21% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)