Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge Stavely

Twentieth Judicial District - Boulder County Judge

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

Honorable John F. Stavely

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Twentieth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends, by a unanimous vote of 10-0, that Judge John F. Stavely BE RETAINED.

After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado, Judge Stavely graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1978. Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2001, he was employed by the Boulder law firm of Chrisman, Bynum and Johnson, where he handled a wide variety of both civil and criminal matters. He also served as Louisville Municipal Court Judge.

Judge Stavely’s caseload is approximately 35% traffic, 30% misdemeanor criminal, 17% civil, 14% felony criminal, and 4% small claims.  He handles a high volume and wide variety of cases efficiently.  Like most judges, he has dealt with budget cutbacks, and assumed new duties previously handled by other judges. He has taken an active role in improving the performance of the court system, working to foster a teamwork approach among the judges, and supervising a legal externship program that provides research assistance to the judges from law students. He has conducted Continuing Legal Education seminars for lawyers, spoken to other community groups, and has taken an active role in both the Colorado County Court Judges’ Association and the Colorado Trial Judges Council. He wishes that he had more time to engage in community and professional activities. There is a perception among both lawyers and non-lawyers that Judge Stavely is slightly more biased in favor of the prosecution in criminal cases than is the typical county court judge. The Commission discussed this issue with Judge Stavely, who does not believe the perception is accurate, and the Commission does not see this as a significant concern. Judge Stavely regularly deals with litigants with mental health challenges, and wishes that he had more resources to assist these parties. Acknowledging the limited resources at his disposal, the commission believes that Judge Stavely could give greater consideration to these litigants. As a County Judge, he does not issue many written opinions, but the Commission members reviewed three opinions and believe his writing style and skill are completely  adequate. At the public hearing, two lawyers spoke strongly in favor of retaining Judge Stavely, and no one spoke in opposition.

A total of 217 evaluations were received from attorneys appearing in front of Judge Stavely.  Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 92% recommended to retain, 4% 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 4% not to retain.   A total of 315 evaluations were received from non-attorneys who appeared in Judge Stavely’s court.  Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 86% recommended to retain, 6% not to retain, and 8% were undecided or did not have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 93% recommended to retain and 6% not to retain.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.) Judge Stavely’s evaluations, from both attorneys and non-attorneys, were above the statewide averages in virtually every category. In addition to these public evaluations, each commission member visited Judge Stavely’s courtroom on multiple occasions. Those visits supported the conclusions that Judge Stavely runs his docket in an efficient and effective manner.