Final Recommendation

The Honorable

James Waylon Counts

District Court Judge
12th Judicial District --
Lincoln and Otero Counties

Year: 2014

Recommendation: Retain

Election Results: Retained

Evaluation: Judge James Counts received positive generally positive ratings from attorneys and quite positive ratings from the resource staff (e.g., law enforcement, probation and parole officers, interpreters, etc.). Attorneys rated him highly for being attentive to proceedings, decisively ruling on legal matters, maintaining proper control in the courtroom, and ensuring that his staff is professional, productive, and knowledgeable. His scores among court staff were somewhat mixed. For example, they rated him positively for ensuring his personal staff is professional, productive, and knowledgeable. However, they rated him somewhat lower when it comes to respecting court employees regardless of position. The judge expressed an intention to focus on these areas as he endeavors to make ongoing improvements to his judicial performance. Judge Counts has improved many of his scores since his last evaluation in 2011.

Experience & Education: Judge Counts was appointed to the District Court 1999 and won election to that office the following year. He serves as the Water Judge of the District and the Adult Drug Court Judge. 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 his undergraduate degree in 1977 and his law degree in 1981, both from the University of New Mexico.

PERCENTAGE THAT AGREE OR DISAGREE THAT THE JUDGE EXHIBITS POSITIVE QUALITIES IN EACH CATEGORY *

Attorneys (n=63, 57% Response Rate)
Category Agree Partly Agree/ Partly Disagree Disagree
Exhibits Integrity 92% 5% 3%
Fair and Impartial 82% 15% 3%
Knowledgeable of Law 92% 6% 2%
Communication is Clear 90% 8% 2%
Appropriate Demeanor 66% 20% 14%
Properly Controls Proceedings 95% 5% 0%
Respects Court Employees N/A N/A N/A
Court Staff (n=20, 63% Response Rate)
Category Agree Partly Agree/ Partly Disagree Disagree
Exhibits Integrity 73% 13% 13%
Fair and Impartial N/A N/A N/A
Knowledgeable of Law N/A N/A N/A
Communication is Clear N/A N/A N/A
Appropriate Demeanor N/A N/A N/A
Properly Controls Proceedings N/A N/A N/A
Respects Court Employees 53% 20% 27%
Jurors (n=57, 35% Response Rate)
Category Agree Partly Agree/ Partly Disagree Disagree
Exhibits Integrity 96% 4% 0%
Fair and Impartial 97% 1% 2%
Knowledgeable of Law N/A N/A N/A
Communication is Clear 96% 3% 1%
Appropriate Demeanor 95% 4% 1%
Properly Controls Proceedings 98% 2% 0%
Respects Court Employees N/A N/A N/A
Category Agree Partly Agree/ Partly Disagree Disagree
Exhibits Integrity 89% 3% 8%
Fair and Impartial 91% 4% 5%
Knowledgeable of Law N/A N/A N/A
Communication is Clear 83% 11% 6%
Appropriate Demeanor 86% 5% 8%
Properly Controls Proceedings 95% 0% 5%
Respects Court Employees N/A N/A N/A

* On the tables above, the "Agree" columns are comprised of the strongly agree and agree responses. Similarly, the "Disagree" columns are comprised of the strongly disagree and disagree responses. The combined percentage of "Agree", "Disagree", and "Partly Agree/Partly Disagree" for each category may not equal 100% due to rounding error. "N/A" indicates that the category is "not applicable" because some populations were not asked certain questions.

 

PERCENTAGE THAT RECOMMEND THE JUDGE BE RETAINED OR NOT BE RETAINED IN OFFICE. ‡

‡ On the charts above, the "Retain" columns are comprised of the strongly recommend retain and somewhat recommend retain responses. Similarly, the "Do Not Retain" columns are comprised of the strongly recommend not retain and somewhat recommend not retain responses.

 

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