What do the best judges have in common?

by | Jan 18, 2016 | Criminal Defense

I am constantly in Court. Almost every day I am in court on various types of criminal offenses, from speeding tickets to DUI’s, from harassment to felony level assault.

An interesting and unique part of appearing in court is appearing in front of various types of judges. Usually around election time, someone will ask me how I feel about the judges in El Paso County and Teller County. People want to know if our judges are honest and trustworthy. They want to know if they do a good job.

Colorado Springs & El Paso Judges

As I think about that question, I want to say that without hesitation that the judges in Colorado Springs are wonderful. I have never had any indications of impropriety or improper dealings or judgment.

I can not say I have always agreed with every ruling that has been handed down, but differences of opinion is something to be expected when passing judgment. I have heard horror stories from other jurisdictions of dishonesty, bribery, and corruption. However, I have never heard or seen anything in this jurisdiction that would cast doubt on the integrity of our judicial system.

Please understand that I know there are people who greatly disagree with decisions passed down by judges, but those disagreements go to the harshness or the side of the case law the judge falls on. There is a difference between that and integrity problems.

What Makes a Good Judge?

The purpose of this article however is to state my opinion about two attributes that makes a good judicial officer. The best judges I have seen possess many of the same attitudes and characteristics.

First, the best judges possess a calm demeanor. They are not easily swayed by passionate arguments or misbehavior. Both defendants, victims, and lawyers can count on the judge to be the same, all of the time. Justice is blind to emotion and not easily swayed.

Second, and it may seem to contradict what I said before, the best judges have a compassion for people. Not just the victims of crimes and the lawyers in the courtroom, but for those accused of crimes. Compassion is often seen as a weakness, however, the judges who see those in front of them as their brothers and sisters, usually deal out the most just sentences and rulings.

Having compassion for others does not correlate to soft punishment or weak legal reasoning. Rather, in my opinion, it ensures that mistakes are less often made. A judge can sentence someone to prison, where necessary, and still recognize that the person in front of them wants many of the same things that each of us want – love, safety, acceptance. Unfortunately, that person went about it the wrong way.

It is sincerely my pleasure and joy to practice law in Teller and El Paso County. I enjoy what I do and the professional interaction with our judicial system. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, please contact our office. As a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs I will represent you.

James Newby

James Newby

James Newby is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs and the managing attorney of the criminal justice law firm James Newby Law. James got into law because of a deep-rooted passion for helping good people that may have made a poor choice that could have lasting consequences.