July 29, 2015

Hon. Timothy Tymkovich Named New Chief Judge of Tenth Circuit

On Monday, July 27, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit announced that Hon. Mary Beck Briscoe will step down as Chief Judge, effective September 30, 2015, with Judge Timothy Tymkovich taking her place as chief. Judge Briscoe was appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 1995, and became Chief Judge since 2010. She will remain an active judge on the Tenth Circuit after stepping down as Chief Judge.

Judge Tymkovich was appointed to the Tenth Circuit in 2003. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice in Denver, where he specialized in civil and constitutional matters ranging from election law to water law. He was Solicitor General for the Colorado Office of the Attorney General from 1991 to 1996 and clerked for Hon. William H. Erickson from 1982 to 1983. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado and his undergraduate degree from Colorado College.

Memorial Service Held for Hon. Scott T. Erickson

On Monday, July 27, 2015, a memorial service was held for Hon. Scott T. Erickson at the top of the gondola in Telluride, followed by an open house at Alpine Chapel. Judge Erickson, a county court judge in San Miguel County, died last week at age 53 after a battle with cancer. He was well liked in the legal community and his greater Telluride community.

Judge Erickson was appointed to the San Miguel County Court in 2012 where his docket consisted of traffic, misdemeanor, civil cases under $15,000, small claims, and temporary restraining orders. Prior to his appointment, he had been in private practice in Telluride, where he concentrated on civil litigation, business law, and real estate transactions. He had also been a municipal judge in Ophir and Rico. He received his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and his bachelor’s degree from North Park University in Chicago.

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that applications are being accepted for the vacancy on the San Miguel County Court bench. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of San Miguel County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and from the ex officio chair of the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Brian Boatright. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 10, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on August 3, 2015.

Finalists Selected for Teller County Court Vacancy

On Friday, July 24, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees to fill a vacancy on the Teller County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Linda Billings-Vela to the Fourth Judicial District Court, effective July 1, 2015.

The three nominees were selected by the Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission on July 23, 2015. Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days within which to appoint one of the nominees to the Teller County Court. The three nominees are William G. Edie, Jared J. Grabski and Theresa L. Kilgore, all of Woodland Park. Comments about any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us.

For more information about the selection and for contact information for the nominees, click here.

Applications Being Accepted for Vacancy on Boulder County Court

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Boulder County Court due to the appointment of Hon. Norma Sierra to the Twentieth Judicial District Court, effective August 1, 2015.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Boulder County and must be admitted to practice law in Colorado. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website and are also available from the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Gregory Hobbs. Application forms are due no later than 4 p.m. on August 13, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on August 6, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Tenth Circuit to Implement eVoucher Effective July 20, 2015

The Tenth Circuit announced that effective July 20, 2015, all Tenth Circuit Appellate Criminal Justice Act vouchers must be submitted electronically. The eVoucher program is a nationally supported web-based program for the preparation, submission, monitoring, and approval of Criminal Justice Act vouchers. Practitioners can access the Tenth Circuit’s eVoucher database here. Only Internet Explorer may be used to access the eVoucher database; Chrome and Firefox are not allowed.

For information and training videos about the eVoucher database, click here. For the Tenth Circuit’s Criminal Justice Act policies and procedures, click here.

Norma A. Sierra Appointed to 20th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointment of Norma A. Sierra to the bench of the Twentieth Judicial District Court. Sierra will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. D.D. Mallard, effective August 1, 2015.

Judge Sierra is currently a county court judge in Boulder County, where she has served since 2011. Prior to her appointment to the Boulder County Court, Judge Sierra was a magistrate in the Twentieth Judicial District from 2002 to 2011. Before moving to Boulder, she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and at the U.S. Department of Justice. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Texas El Paso and her law degree from the University of Texas.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Public Comment Period Open for Changes to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

The public comment period is now open for proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Most of the proposed changes amend the Comments to the Rules. Some of the proposed changes are minor, such as updating cross-references or contemplating electronic communications, while others are extensive, such as changes regarding how much disclosure of client information is appropriate during conflict checks or use of lawyers and nonlawyers outside the firm.

Comments regarding the proposed changes may be submitted to Christopher Ryan, Clerk of the Supreme Court, via email, mail, or hand-delivery. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on October 15, 2015. A public hearing will be held on November 4, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court courtroom, and anyone wishing to participate in the hearing must notify Mr. Ryan no later than October 26, 2015.

For a redline of the proposed changes, click here.

Colorado Appellate Rules Amended by Colorado Supreme Court

On June 25, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2015(06), amending the Colorado Appellate Rules, effective immediately. The changes are extensive.

The changes to Rule 28, “Briefs,” include changes to formatting requirements for briefs and the deletion of some subsections. Former subsection (h) from Rule 28 was expanded into new Rule 28.1, “Briefs in Cases Involving Cross-Appeals.” Rule 29, “Brief of an Amicus Curiae,” received new subsections regarding content and form of briefs and length. Rule 31, “Serving and Filing Briefs,” added a subsection regarding consequences for failure to file and deleted subsections about the number of copies to be served in the supreme court and court of appeals. Rule 32, “Form of Briefs and Appellate Documents,” was also substantially amended, including changes to the captioning requirements. Finally, Rule 34, “Oral Argument,” was amended to specify that oral argument may be allowed at the discretion of the court. The changes to Forms 6 and 6A include certifications that the briefs conform to word and page limits in Rule 28, and the changes to Forms 7 and 7A set forth example captions for use in appellate briefs.

A redline of Rule Change 2015(06) is available here.

Matthew Allan Crowther Appointed to Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission

On Monday, July 13, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Matthew Allan Crowther to the Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Crowther will serve a six-year term expiring December 31, 2020, as an unaffiliated attorney from Erie, Colorado. The Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission reviews applicants and selects nominees for vacancies in the Nineteenth Judicial District, comprising Weld County. Crowther will fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Lynn Karowsky of Greeley.

Hon. Gail Nichols to Retire from Ninth Judicial District Court

On Friday, July 10, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of district court judge Hon. Gail H. Nichols, effective October 31, 2015. Judge Nichols was appointed to the district court bench in 2008. Prior to her appointment, she was Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Ninth Judicial District, and she also served as chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and her law degree from Vermont Law School.

Applications are being accepted for the vacancy on the Ninth Judicial District Court bench. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Garfield, Pitkin, or Rio Blanco County, and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood. Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on August 12, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on August 5, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Application Period Open for Colorado Court of Appeals Vacancy

On Wednesday, July 1, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a forthcoming vacancy on the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective September 1, 2015. The vacancy will be created by the appointment of Hon. Richard Gabriel to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Qualified applicants must be electors of the State of Colorado and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website or the ex officio chair of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Nancy Rice. Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 31, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 24, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Finalists Selected for Vacancy on 20th Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees to fill a vacancy on the bench of the Twentieth Judicial District Court, effective August 1, 2015. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. D.D. Mallard.

The three nominees are Elizabeth H. M. Brodsky of Nederland, Robert R. Gunning of Louisville, and Norma A. Sierra of Boulder. Elizabeth Brodsky is currently a Domestic Relations Magistrate in the Twentieth Judicial District. Robert Gunning is a Civil Division Magistrate in the Twentieth Judicial District. Norma Sierra is a judge on the Boulder County Court.

Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the bench. Comments about the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. More information about the nominees is available here.