Sometimes the parties to a dispute would rather pick a retired (or resigned) judge to hear their case. Colorado has a statute, C.R.S. §13-3-111, that allows such a retired (or resigned) judge to sit at as the trial judge for a case with the same authority and duties as a currently sitting judge. The parties by agreement may request that the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court assign a specific retired or resigned judge to the case. The Chief Justice has full discretion whether to do so. Once so assigned, this person is called a statutory judge.
The parties may want to seek a statutory judge because they prefer a certain judge due to his or her reputation or from the counsels’ past experience. Sometimes the litigants would like to use a specific judge that has a greater knowledge of the legal issues involved in the case. The parties may also chose a statutory judge because the litigants foresee the need for a much greater share of the judge’s time than they may normally receive.
JAMS retired judges are able to give more time and attention to the litigants when needed or desired. This enables a case to move more rapidly to a fair conclusion. JAMS judges are well known and highly thought of neutrals. They are frequently the parties’ choice to be their statutory judge.
The statutory judge’s billing and costs are paid for solely by the parties at the rate the parties and the statutory judge agree upon.