February 18, 2018

Sean Finn Appointed to 17th District Court Bench

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Sean Finn to the District Court bench in the 17th Judicial District. Finn will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Ted Tow, III, to the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective February 13, 2018.

Finn is currently a Chief Trial Deputy in the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes felony offenses and supervises felony prosecutions of economic crimes, cases before Boulder County grand juries, and appeals on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office. He also handles civil matters on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office and is an adjunct professor of criminal procedure at the University of Colorado School of Law. Prior to his work in the 20th Judicial District, Finn was Deputy District Attorney and Senior Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District. He was an associate at Davis, Graham & Stubbs early in his career. He clerked for Hon. Robert Russel of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his law degree from Loyola University School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Rules Governing Commissions on Judicial Performance Repealed

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2018(02), repealing Chapter 37 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, “Rules Governing the Commissions on Judicial Performance.” The repeal was adopted by the court on February 15, effective immediately.

For the text of the rule change, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board Opinion Issued Regarding Memorial Fundraiser for Judge’s Late Son

The Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board issued C.J.E.A.B. Opinion 2018-01 on January 29, 2018. The opinion addresses whether a judge can help plan, play in, and invite others to play in a golf tournament designed to raise funds for an endowed scholarship honoring the judge’s late son if the judge’s name and title are not used to promote the tournament. The C.J.E.A.B. determined that the tournament may bear the name of the judge’s late son, and may invite family friends, lawyers, non-lawyers, and others to play in the tournament. The judge may also help plan the tournament, personally solicit family members and judges not under the judge’s supervision or appellate authority to participate in the tournament, and attend and play in the tournament.

For the complete text of C.J.E.A.B. Opinion 2018-01, click here. For all of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board’s opinions, click here.

Application Period Open for Clear Creek County Vacancy

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Clear Creek County Court, occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Rachel Olguin-Fresquez to the Eagle County Court, effective February 1, 2018. Applications are now being accepted for the Clear Creek County Court vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Clear Creek County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officioclick here chair of the Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on February 8, 2018. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than February 1, 2018. For more information about the vacancy, .

CJD 05-03 Amended Regarding Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording

On Friday, January 19, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court amended Chief Justice Directive 05-03, “Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording Services.” This CJD was amended to reflect recent changes to C.A.R. 10 and 11, effective for appeals filed on or after January 1, 2018. The full text of the CJD is available here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

CJD 85-22 Amended, Modifying Rate of Interest on Judgments that are Appealed

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued modifications to Chief Justice Directive 85-22, “Rate of Interest on Judgments Which are Appealed.” The changes to the CJD reflect the Secretary of State’s certification that interest on monetary judgments that are appealed is 4 percent. The changes are in accordance with C.R.S. § 5-12-106(2)(a) and 13-21-101(3). For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Rachel Olguin-Fresquez Appointed to Eagle County Court

On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Rachel Olguin-Fresquez to the Eagle County Court in the Fifth Judicial District. Olguin-Fresquez will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Hon. Kathleen Sullivan, effective immediately.

Olguin-Fresquez is currently a county court judge in Clear Creek County, where she handles civil and criminal matters. She was appointed to the Clear Creek County Court in 2006. Prior to her appointment, she was the Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Fifth Judicial District. She also was a K-2 elementary school teacher for three years prior to attending law school. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her law degree from the Tulane University School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Rule 41 of Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure Amended in First Rule Change of 2018

The Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2018(01), amended and adopted by the court effective Thursday, January 11, 2018. The rule change affects Rule 41 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, which deals with search, seizure, and confession. The amendments to the rule affect subsections (d)(5)(VI) and (VII). Subsection (d)(5)(VI) was amended to add information about the seizure of electronic media or electronically stored information:

(VI) A search warrant shall be executed within 14 days after its date. The officer taking property under the warrant shall give to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property or shall leave the copy and receipt at the place from which the property was taken. The return shall be made promptly and shall be accompanied by a written inventory of any property taken. The inventory shall be made in the presence of the applicant for the warrant and the person from whose possession or premises the property was taken, if they are present, or in the presence of at least one credible person other than the applicant for the warrant or the person from whose possession or premises the property was taken, and shall be verified by the officer. In a case involving the seizure of electronic storage media or the seizure or copying of electronically stored information, the inventory may be limited to describing the physical storage media that were seized or copied. The officer may retain a copy of the electronically stored information that was seized or copied. The judge upon request shall deliver a copy of the inventory to the person from whom or from whose premises the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.

Subsection (d)(5)(VII) is new and also addresses electronic media or electronically stored information:

(VII) A warrant under Rule 41(b) may authorize the seizure of electronic storage media or the seizure or copying of electronically stored information. Unless otherwise specified, the warrant authorizes a later review of the media or information consistent with the warrant. The time for executing the warrant in Rule 41(d)(5)(VI) refers to the seizure or on-site copying of the media or information, and not to any later off-site copying or review.

The rest of the rule is unchanged. For a redline and clean copy of the rule change, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

District Court Vacancy Announced on Seventeenth Judicial District Court

On December 27, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced an upcoming vacancy on the Seventeenth Judicial District Court, occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Ted C. Tow, III, to the Colorado Court of Appeals. The vacancy will occur on February 13, 2018.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Seventeenth Judicial District and must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available on the State Judicial website or from Justice Brian Boatright, the ex officio chair of the Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on January 12, 2018; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on January 5, 2018.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Judge Ted Tow III Appointed to Colorado Court of Appeals

On Friday, December 15, 2017, the governor appointed Judge Ted C. Tow, III, to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Judge Tow will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Dennis Graham, effective February 12, 2018.

Judge Tow is currently a District Court Judge in the 17th Judicial District, where he has served since November 2010. He oversees a civil and domestic relations docket. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he practiced 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. He was also the District Director for the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council prior to his appointment to the bench. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Professor Melissa Hart Appointed to Colorado Supreme Court

On Thursday, December 14, 2017, the governor announced his appointment of Melissa Hart to the Colorado Supreme Court. Hart will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Allison Eid to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Hart’s appointment is effective immediately.

Hart is currently a full tenured law professor at the University of Colorado Law School. She teaches courses in employment discrimination, legal ethics, constitutional law, judicial procedure and judicial decision making. She is also the Director of the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. A 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court. Professor Hart practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.  Melissa’s scholarship focuses primarily on employment discrimination and civil procedure. She remains active in the legal community, regularly handling pro bono cases and serving on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and the Colorado Supreme Court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and Board of Continuing Judicial and Legal Education. She has authored several amicus briefs in employment discrimination and constitutional cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in other matters before the Colorado Supreme Court and several federal courts of appeals.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

CORRECTED: Nominees Selected for Colorado Supreme Court Vacancy

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the Supreme Court Nominating Commission announced its selection of three nominees for appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court. The three nominees are Marcy Glenn, Melissa Hart, and Hon. Pattie Swift.

Marcy Glenn is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP, where she specializes in appellate litigation and legal ethics. She formerly chaired the Committee on Conduct of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and is a current member and former chair of the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee. Ms. Glenn frequently lectures and writes on appellate and ethics issues.

Melissa Hart has been a professor at the University of Colorado Law School since 2001, teaching courses in employment discrimination, legal ethics, constitutional law, judicial procedure and judicial decision making. She is now the Director of the Byron White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. She serves on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and the Colorado Supreme Court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee and Board of Continuing Judicial and Legal Education.

Hon. Pattie Swift is the Chief Judge of the 12th Judicial District, and she is also the Water Judge of Water Division 3. In August 2006, Judge Swift helped create a Dependency and Neglect Family Drug Treatment Court in Alamosa County, over which she presided from 2006 through 2012. Judge Swift served as County Court Judge for Costilla County from January 1989 until she assumed her current position as a District Court Judge in February 2003. She received her law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of New Mexico.

Comments about any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. The governor has 15 days from November 30, 2017, in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court. For more information about the nominees, click here.