James Waylon Counts
District Court Judge
12th Judicial District --
Lincoln and Otero Counties
Evaluation: Judge Counts received positive ratings from attorneys and resource staff (e.g. law enforcement and probation officers). His scores among court staff were somewhat mixed. Attorneys gave him positive ratings for commencing proceedings on time, being attentive to the proceedings, and maintaining proper control over the courtroom. He was also given positive scores from resource staff for his demeanor, being courteous to all participants, maintaining proper control over the courtroom, and conducting himself in a proper manner. Among court staff, he scored well on conducting himself in a manner free from impropriety; displaying a sense of fairness, impartiality and justice; respecting and cooperating with the other judges in the district; and commencing court proceedings on time. Judge Counts received somewhat lower ratings from court staff in the areas of discharging administrative responsibilities diligently and ensuring his personal staff is professional, productive and knowledgeable of court policies and procedures. The judge has expressed an intention to focus on these areas as he endeavors to make ongoing improvements to his judicial performance.
Experience & Education: Judge Counts was appointed to the District Court in 1999 and won election to that office the following year. He serves as the Chief Judge and Water Judge of the District. Prior to this, he served as an Assistant District Attorney and worked in private practice. He received the New Mexico Bar Association's Outstanding Judicial Service Award in 2006. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of New Mexico.