Voters in Montezuma and Dolores counties have retained 22nd Judicial District Judge Todd Jay Plewe and Montezuma County Court Judge JenniLynn Lawrence.
Plewe was retained with 73.6 percent of the vote; Lawrence, with 78.7 percent. Before the election, the 22nd Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agreed that both judges have met performance standards.
According to the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with the judges conducted unannounced courtroom observations, reviewed statistics, filled out opinion reviews and interviewed the judges.
Plewe met performance standards according to 88 percent of attorneys and 81 percent of non-attorneys. The performance review states there are no scores from jurors due to an error made by the executive director of the office for Judicial Performance Evaluation. Had jurors responded, Plewe’s non-attorney score would likely be higher, the report states.
Plewe, who presides over domestic relations, criminal, civil and probate cases, was described as consistent, intelligent and compassionate.
“Jurors expressed appreciation for his professionalism and communication skills,” the performance review states. “Judge Plewe received high marks for his case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, diligence, demeanor and fairness.”
Plewe was appointed to 22nd Judicial District in 2010. Before that, he served as the Montezuma County Court Judge from 2002 to 2010. He is actively involved in the community and in the 22nd Judicial District Drug Court. Plewe manages a local basketball club with six youth teams and is the assistant coach of the boys golf team at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Lawrence, who presides over presides over criminal, traffic, civil and small claims cases, received slightly lower scores among attorneys than Plewe. Seventy-one percent of attorneys and 84 percent of non-attorneys agreed that she met performance standards.
According to the performance review, jurors have expressed appreciation for her professionalism and communication skills. She is often described as professional, competent and polite.
“Judge Lawrence received high marks on her courtroom demeanor, fairness, communications, diligence and application of law,” the review states. “The Commission confirmed these traits during their courtroom observations.”
Lawrence worked in private practice for 13 years before an appointment to Montezuma County Court in 2010. She participates in the Mesa Verde Aquatic Club swim program and visits local schools to teach students about the courts and constitution, according to a bio in the performance review.