December 21, 2014

Michael James Rourke Appointed District Attorney of 19th Judicial District

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Michael James Rourke as the District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial District. Rourke will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Kenneth R. Buck, effective January 2, 2015. Buck was elected to the 4th Congressional District and will be sworn in to Congress in January.

Rourke has been at the Nineteenth Judicial District Attorney’s office since November 2007. In 2010, he received the Robert R. Gallagher, Jr. Prosecutor of the Year Award. Currently, he is the assistant district attorney in the Nineteenth Judicial District, where he manages operations and the budget of the office. Previously, he served as Chief Deputy District Attorney, and has also been an interim district attorney. Prior to his work at the Weld County District Attorney’s office, Rourke was a deputy district attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline Amended by Colorado Supreme Court

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2014(16), amending the Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline. The rule change was adopted and effective December 10, 2014.

The rule changes were extensive and covered many of the rules. Significant changes were made to the rules regarding review of complaints, investigation, determination, statement of charges, and many others. For a redline of the changes, click here.

Don Quick Appointed to Bench of 17th Judicial District

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Don Quick to the district court bench in the Seventeenth Judicial District. Quick will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Chris Melonakis, effective January 12, 2015.

Quick is currently senior counsel at Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., where he is a litigator for cases involving federal lands and environmental law. Prior to joining Beatty & Wozniak in January 2014, Quick had spent his career in public service. From 1988 to 1998, he worked in the DA’s office in the Seventeenth Judicial District. He worked in the Colorado attorney general’s office under Ken Salazar, and in 2004, Quick was appointed as District Attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial District.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Nina Wang Nominated for U.S. District Court for District of Colorado

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced the nomination of Nina Y. Wang to replace retiring Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland. Judge Boland will retire effective February 8, 2015.

Ms. Wang was selected from a pool of 60 applicants, from which 5 were selected for suggestion to the court. Ms. Wang was unanimously selected by the court to fill the vacancy created by Judge Boland’s retirement. Her appointment is subject to a required background investigation.

Ms. Wang is currently a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP, where she focuses her practice on complex intellectual property litigation. She represents clients on representative technologies such as software, wireless routers, genetic assays, and semiconductor materials. Prior to working at Faegre, Ms. Wang served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Colorado in the civil division. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Washington University.

Donald Corwin (Cory) Jackson Appointed to Ouray County Court

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Donald Corwin (Cory) Jackson to a vacancy on the Ouray County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. David Westfall to the Seventh Judicial District Court, effective January 13, 2015.

Jackson is currently a sole practitioner at the Cory Jackson Company, LLC, where he practices corporate law with an emphasis on nonprofits, as well as family law, trust and estate law, and real estate law, including land use, homeowner associations and common interest communities, and residential real estate transactions. Jackson is also the co-founder, executive director, and chair of The Alpine Near-Miss Survey, an independent nonprofit that collects, analyzes, distributes, and shares information about accidents and near-misses in the alpine environment in order to improve safety in the mountains. He earned his undergraduate degree from Colorado College in 2002 and his J.D. from the University of Colorado in 2005.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

F.R.A.P. 6 and Tenth Circuit Local Rules Amended

Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, “Bankruptcy Appeals,” was amended, effective December 1, 2014. The changes to the rule incorporates the most recent numeric amendments to the bankruptcy rules, language was incorporated to include reference to electronic records, and the rule has been updated to include references to discretionary bankruptcy appeals in the Tenth Circuit per 28 U.S.C. § 158(d)(2).

The Tenth Circuit Local Rules were also amended, effective January 1, 2015. The changes to the Tenth Circuit Local Rules include changing references to accommodate electronic filing, moving all specific requirement for appendices to a single rule (Rule 30), adding a requirement that agency petitions include a list of parties to be served by the circuit clerk, outlining procedures for obtaining exemptions from electronic filing requirements, clarifications regarding citations to the record on appeal, and, most significantly, adding a rule that delineates requirements for appendices. The goal in adding Rule 30 was to move all requirements for appendices into one unified rule. Rule 30 requires electronic appendices for all retained counsel cases after January 1, 2015, except that one hard copy must be filed in the clerk’s office. Requirements for content and time of filing are delineated in the new rule, as well as options for seeking exemptions from the electronic filing requirement.

A memorandum issued by the Tenth Circuit explaining the changes to F.R.A.P. 6 and the Local Rules is available here. For a redline of the changes, click here.

Local Rules for U.S. District Court Amended Effective December 1, 2014

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has made changes to its Local Rules, effective December 1, 2014. The Advisory Committee continues to revise the rules in its comprehensive review. The changes effective December 1 focus on stylistic changes to the criminal rules, converting pilot programs to local rules, and updating rules applicable to members of the bar.

The Advisory Committee will conduct a public forum in January 2015 in which to discuss these changes to the Local Rules and invite questions and comments from the bar. It will be held at the Alfred A. Arraj U.S. District Courthouse at an as yet undetermined date.

For the complete Local Rules effective December 1, 2014, click here. For a redline showing the changes to the Local Rules, click here.

Nominees Selected for Judgeships on 17th Judicial District Court and Ouray County Court

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released the names of nominees for judicial vacancies on the Seventeenth Judicial District Court bench and the Ouray County Court bench. The vacancy on the bench of the Seventeenth Judicial District Court will be created by the retirement of Hon. Chris Melonakis, effective January 12, 2015, and the vacancy on the Ouray County Court bench will be created on January 13, 2015, due to the appointment of Hon. David Westfall to the district court.

Nominees for the vacancy on the Seventeenth Judicial District bench are Tomee Crespin of Thornton, Sharon D. Holbrook of Broomfield, and Donald S. Quick of Westminster. Pursuant to the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from November 24, 2014, in which to select one of the nominees for appointment.

Nominees for the vacancy on the Ouray County Court bench are Leslie M. German of Ridgway and Donald (Cory) Jackson of Ouray. The governor has 15 days from November 18, 2014, in which to select one of the nominees for appointment.

Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at For more information about the Seventeenth Judicial District Court nominees, click here. For more information about the Ouray County Court nominees, click here.

Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and Colorado Rules of Juvenile Procedure Amended

The Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2014(14), effective October 30, 2014, and 2014(15), effective November 1, 2014. Rule Change 2014(14) amends Rule 47, “Jurors,” of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule Change 2014(15) amends Rule 2.2, “Summons — Content and Service,” Rule 3, “Advisement,” and Rule 3.7, “Detention,” of the Colorado Rules of Juvenile Procedure, and it adds a new Rule 3.9, “Counsel.” The changes to the Rules of Juvenile Procedure coordinate with changes to the Colorado Revised Statutes pursuant to HB 14-1032.

C.R.C.P. 47(u), “Juror Questions,” was amended to clarify that juror questions will be reviewed with counsel for the parties outside the hearing of the jury, to permit jurors to ask follow up questions in writing, and to prohibit jurors from orally questioning any witness. The amendments specify that the court retains discretion to address juror questions or permit follow up questions. Click here for a redline of the changes to Rule 47.

The changes to the Rules of Juvenile Procedure are extensive. Rule 2.2 was amended to subdivide different types of juvenile proceedings and specify summons procedures for each type of proceeding. The changes to Rule 3 were relatively minor, adding language to clarify timing for the juvenile’s advisement and changing some wording. The changes to Rule 3.7 were much more extensive, detailing procedures for juvenile detention and court oversight of the detainer. New Rule 3.9, “Counsel,” deals with appointed counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings, and includes provisions for appointment of counsel, waiver of counsel, and withdrawal of counsel. Click here for a redline of the changes to the Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

In addition to the rules changes, two Chief Justice Directives were amended to comply with HB 14-1032. The Colorado Supreme Court amended CJD 04-04 and added new CJD 14-01CJD 04-04 was amended to eliminate specified procedures related to the appointment of counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings. CJD 14-01 was added to adopt new procedures for the appointment of defense counsel in juvenile delinquency proceedings. Both CJDs are effective November 1, 2014.

Tenth Circuit Announces Bankruptcy Judge Vacancy in District of Wyoming

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced a vacancy for a bankruptcy judge in the District of Wyoming. This position will open after February 28, 2015, and it will be officially located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bankruptcy judges are appointed to 14-year terms. The District of Wyoming has a relatively low bankruptcy caseload, so the selected judge will be expected to carry a partial caseload in the District of Colorado as well.

To qualify for appointment, applicants must be a member in good standing of the highest court in at least one state or the District of Columbia, and be a member in good standing of every other bar in which the applicant is a member; possess and demonstrate various qualifications of fitness for duty, including outstanding legal ability and competence, a commitment to equal justice under the law, judicial temperament, and sound physical and mental health; not be related by blood or marriage to any other judge on the Tenth Circuit, a member of the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit, or a judge of the District of Wyoming; and must have been engaged in the practice of law or similarly suitable occupation for five years.

Applications are available on the Tenth Circuit’s website, and may also be obtained by calling the Office of the Circuit Executive at (303) 844-2067 and requesting to speak to a member of the Judicial Resources team. Applications must be received on or before December 19, 2014, and should be submitted via email to or by mail to Office of the Circuit Executive, Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout St., Denver, CO 80257. For more information about the vacancy and required qualifications of applicants, click here.


Application Period Open for Grand County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, November 6, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Grand County Court bench, effective January 13, 2015. The vacancy was created because Judge Ben McClelland was not retained by a majority of voters in the 2014 general election.

Eligible applicants for the vacancy must be qualified electors of Grand County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent of a high school education. Application forms are available from Justice Monica Marquez, the ex officio chair of the Fourteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, and are also available from State Judicial’s website. Applications must be received by the ex officio chair no later than 4 p.m. on December 5, 2014. Anyone wishing to nominate another person for the judgeship must do so no later than 4 p.m. on November 28, 2014.

For more information about the judicial vacancy, click here.

Laura Tighe Appointed to First Judicial District Court Bench

On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Laura Tighe as district court judge in the First Judicial District, effective November 17, 2014. Tighe will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Stephen Munsinger.

Tighe currently is a shareholder at Bayer & Carey, P.C., where she practices civil litigation and insurance defense, particularly catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, personal injury, ski law, property damage, fire losses, HOA disputes, construction defects, and more. She also serves as a mediator. She is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, First Judicial District Bar Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, and the Defense Research Institute. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 and her J.D. from the Creighton University School of Law in 1987.

For more information about the appointment, click here.