January 19, 2017

Hon. Robert C. Tobias to Retire from Arapahoe County Court

On Friday, January 13, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Robert C. Tobias from the Arapahoe County Court, effective May 31, 2017.

Judge Tobias was appointed to the Arapahoe County Court in 1995. His assignments as a judge include the felony division for arraignments and preliminary hearings and a general jurisdiction county court assignment. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Tobias was in private practice, where he practiced criminal law, domestic relations, and landlord-tenant law. He is active in the community, frequently participating in “Our Courts” events and mock trials.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Arapahoe County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on February 16, 2017, to be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than February 9, 2017.

For more information on the vacancy, click here.

Michael J. Grattan, III, Appointed to Mesa County Court

On Monday, January 9, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Michael J. Grattan, III, to the Mesa County Court. Grattan will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Gretchen Larsen to the district court bench in the Twenty-first Judicial District, effective January 1, 2017.

Grattan is currently a solo practitioner in Grand Junction at Michael J. Grattan, III, P.C., where he offers services in both transactional law and litigation, including in the areas of business law, employment law, intellectual property law, real estate law, and arbitration and mediation. He was previously an attorney with Younge & Hockensmith, P.C., a sole practitioner and Deputy City Attorney in the City of Elkhart, Indiana, and an associate at Warrick & Boyn in Elkhart. He received his law degree from the College of William and Mary Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Application Period Open for Vacancy on Jefferson County Court

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced an upcoming vacancy on the Jefferson County Court in the First Judicial District. The vacancy will be created by the resignation of Hon. Tammy Greene, effective April 1, 2017.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Jefferson County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the First Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Nathan B. Coats. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on February 6, 2017, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than January 30, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Vacancy Announced on Seventeenth Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Seventeenth Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the appointment of Hon. Craig Welling to the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective January 16, 2017.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Seventeenth Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield counties) and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from Justice Allison Eid, the ex officio chair of the Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, and are also available on the State Judicial website. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on January 17, 2017. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than January 11, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Application Period Open for Crowley County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, December 30, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced an upcoming vacancy on the Crowley County Court in the Sixteenth Judicial District. The vacancy will be created by the resignation of Hon. Suzanne A. Grant, effective April 15, 2017.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Crowley County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent. Application forms are available from Justice Monica Marquez, the ex officio chair of the Sixteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, or on the State Judicial website. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on February 3, 2017, in order to be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than January 27, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Hon. Craig Welling Appointed to Colorado Court of Appeals

On Friday, December 30, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Hon. Craig Welling to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Judge Welling will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Gale Miller, effective January 16, 2017.

Judge Welling is currently a district court judge in the Seventeenth Judicial District, where he presides over a criminal docket. He has also presided over domestic relations, juvenile, civil and appellate (municipal court and county court appeal) cases since his appointment in 2010. Prior to his appointment to the Seventeenth Judicial District, Welling was chief legal counsel to Governor Bill Ritter’s administration. He was in private practice before working for Governor Ritter. Judge Welling received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, his master’s degree from Penn State University, and his law degree from the University of Colorado.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Tomee Crespin Appointed to 17th Judicial District Court

On Friday, December 30, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the appointment of Tomee Crespin to the Seventeenth Judicial District Court. Crespin will fill a vacancy created by the non-retention of Hon. Jill-Ellyn Straus, effective January 10, 2017.

Crespin is currently a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Tomee Crespin, LLC, where she practices family law and criminal litigation. She is also an associate judge in Commerce City Municipal Court, Brighton Municipal Court, and Lakewood Municipal Court. She received her undergraduate degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Mesa County Court Vacancy

On Monday, December 19, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three finalists for a vacancy on the Mesa County Court. The vacancy will occur January 1, 2017, and is occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Gretchen B. Larson to the Twenty-first Judicial District Court.

The three nominees are William DeFord of Grand Junction, Michael Grattan, III, of Grand Junction, and Kevin Kennedy of Grand Junction. William DeFord is a partner at Dufford Waldeck Milburn & Krohn, LLP, where he practices real estate, commercial, and natural resource litigation. Michael Grattan, III, is a solo practitioner at Michael J. Grattan, P.C., where he focuses on probate and business law. Kevin Kennedy is a magistrate in the Mesa County Court.

Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information on the nominees, click here.

Finalists Selected for Colorado Court of Appeals Vacancy

On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three finalists for an upcoming vacancy on the Colorado Court of Appeals. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Gale T. Miller, effective January 16, 2017. The three finalists are Michael Beaver, Esq., of Greenwood Village, Hon. Ted Tow, III, of Brighton, and Hon. Craig Welling, of Brighton.

Michael Beaver is a partner at Holland & Hart, where he represents employers, insurers, and employee benefit plans in litigation, and also works with ski, resort, and recreation business operators, defending litigation and providing preventive counseling. Mr. Beaver has authored employee benefit chapters in the ERISA Survey Of Federal Circuits (ABA 2007) and Insurance Coverage Litigation (West 2000). He has written a number of articles in publications such as For The Defense, the Tort & Insurance Law Journal, and the Labor Law Journal. He has also has spoken at national and state programs sponsored by the ABA, DRI, Western Pension & Benefits Conference, National Ski Areas Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and numerous others. Prior to practicing with Holland & Hart, Mr. Beaver served as Human Resources Manager and Vice President for Finance and Administration for a Denver-based manufacturing company, assisting with the sale of the business to a Fortune 100 corporation. He received his law degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

Hon. Ted Tow, III, is a district court judge in the Seventeenth Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield counties), where he has overseen a domestic relations docket and is now assigned to a civil docket. He was appointed to the bench in September 2010. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Tow served as Executive Director of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council. He also practiced law for several years in Chicago and Denver in labor and employment, then served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Seventeenth Judicial District for seven years. Judge Tow received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Hon. Craig Welling is also a district court judge in the Seventeenth Judicial District. He was appointed to the bench in 2010. He has presided over domestic relations, juvenile, civil and appellate (municipal court and county court appeal) cases. Judge Welling was chief legal counsel to Governor Bill Ritter immediately prior to his appointment to the bench. He also was an attorney in private practice. Judge Welling received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, his master’s degree from Penn State University, and his law degree from the University of Colorado.

Comments about any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Nominees Selected for Vacancy on Seventeenth Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission’s selection of three nominees for appointment to the bench in the Seventeenth Judicial District. The three nominees are Gregory Beacom of Westminster, Tomee Crespin of Thornton, and Roberto Ramirez of Thornton.

Gregory Beacom is currently a magistrate in the Seventeenth Judicial District, where he has served since October 2006. Tomee Crespin is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Tomee Crespin, where she practices criminal and family law litigation and participates in truancy court matters. Roberto Ramirez is the City of Arvada’s litigation counsel, and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

The judicial vacancy was created by the non-retention of Hon. Jill-Ellyn Straus, effective January 10, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy or the nominees, click here.

Rule Change 2016(12) Released, Amending the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2016(12), amending the Comment to Rule 2.1 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Comment [2] of Rule 2.1, “Advisor,” was changed by the addition of a sentence regarding allocations of parental responsibilities:

[2] Advice couched in narrow legal terms may be of little value to a client, especially where practical considerations, such as cost or effects on other people, are predominant. Purely technical legal advice, therefore, can sometimes be inadequate. In a matter involving the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, a lawyer should consider advising the client that parental conflict can have a significant adverse effect on minor children. It is proper for a lawyer to refer to relevant moral and ethical considerations in giving advice. Although a lawyer is not a moral advisor as such, moral and ethical considerations impinge upon most legal questions and may decisively influence how the law will be applied.

For the full text of Rule Change 2016(12), click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Courthouse of the U.S. District Court Closed on Friday, December 9, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced a courthouse closure. On Friday, December 9, 2016, from 12:45 to 6 p.m., the courthouse will be closed for business due to a law enforcement training exercise. The Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse will be closed to the public. The Byron G. Rogers Courthouse will remain open, but no court business will be conducted. Court business in the Durango and Grand Junction courthouses will be conducted as scheduled. All electronic systems to include CM/ECF and PACER will remain in operation during this time period. For more information, click here.