This week, Governor Bill Ritter announced the appointments of four new judges to County and District Court benches, all effective January 1, 2011:
- Craig Richard Welling of Broomfield was appointed to become a District Court judge in the 17th Judicial District, which serves Adams and Broomfield counties.Welling has served as chief legal counsel to Gov. Ritter since earlier this year and as deputy chief legal counsel since 2007. Prior to joining the administration, Welling was an associate at Rothgerber, Johnson & Lyons. He earned his law degree from the University of Colorado in 2001.
- Robert Walter Kiesnowski Jr. of Commerce City also was appointed to become a District Court judge in the 17th Judicial District. Kiesnowski is currently in-house counsel for the Denver Police Protective Association and has been of-counsel to Worstell & Kiesnowski since 2009. He previously has worked as associate attorney with the Law Offices of Mitch Geller, partner with the Law Offices of Maguire and Kiesnowski, and associate attorney with the Law Offices of Frank Moya & Daniel Recht. He earned his law degree from University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1990.
- Brian Nathaniel Bowen of Brighton was appointed to become an Adams County Court judge. Bowen has served as a magistrate in the 17th Judicial District since 2003. He previously has served as a small claims magistrate in Adams County Court, a part-time small claims magistrate in Weld County Court, part-time associate municipal judge for Westminster, Commerce City, Northglenn, Thornton and Wheat Ridge, as sole practitioner in general practice, and an attorney at Gehler & Merrigan in Commerce City. Bowen earned his law degree from Southwestern University Law School in 1986.
- Thomas Ray French of Fort Collins was appointed to become a District Court Judge in the 8th Judicial District, which serves Jackson and Larimer counties. French has been president of Thomas R. French, P.C., since 1995. His practice consists of trial matters and transactional matters. Trial matters include business litigation, trademark cases, insurance cases, personal injury cases, and criminal defense work. French earned his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1977.
District Court judges serve an initial provisional term of office of two years before facing a retention election. If retained by the voters, District Court judges serve six-year terms.