January 18, 2018

Hon. Katherine T. Sullivan to Retire from Eagle County Court

On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. Katherine T. Sullivan will retire from the Eagle County Court, effective January 1, 2018.

Judge Sullivan was appointed to the Eagle County Court in September 2006. Prior to her appointment, Judge Sullivan was an Assistant Attorney General in the State of New York, a Deputy District Attorney in the 9th Judicial District in Colorado and an attorney in private practice. Judge Sullivan believes community involvement is important, and has participated in drug and DUI courts, the Hispanic Academy, and as a high school mock trial judge. She received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and her law degree from the George Washington University School of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Eagle County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available from the State Judicial website or from Justice William W. Hood, III, the ex officio chair of the Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on December 8, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so by 4 p.m. on December 1.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Supreme Court and Judicial Nominating Commission Appointments Announced

On Friday, December 4, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced the appointments of several people to judicial nominating commissions and the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, effective January 1, 2016, for six-year terms expiring December 31, 2021.

Each of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts has a judicial nominating commission comprised of seven members—four non-attorneys and three attorneys, of whom no more than four may be from the same political party. In districts with populations of less than 35,000, at least four of the nominating commission members must be non-attorneys. Judicial nominating commission members must live in the judicial district for which they will serve. Judicial nominating commissions are responsible for reviewing applicants for judicial vacancies in their district and selecting applicants for nomination to the bench. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission selects applicants for nomination to the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals. It is comprised of fifteen members—one non-attorney and one attorney from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, plus one at-large member.

Governor Hickenlooper’s nominating commission appointments are as follows:

  • Supreme Court Nominating Commission: Jay Patel of Colorado Springs was appointed to serve as a non-attorney and a Republican from the Fifth Congressional District.
  • Second Judicial District Nominating Commission: Melody Mirbaba of Denver was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Denver County.
  • Third Judicial District Nominating Commission: Pamela Nelson of Trinidad was appointed to serve as a Republican and an attorney from Las Animas County and Mary Ray White of La Veta was appointed to serve as a Republican and an attorney from Huerfano County.
  • Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Mary Linden of Colorado Springs was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from El Paso County; Philip Mella of Woodland Park was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Teller County; Juan Moreno of Colorado Springs was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from El Paso County; Daniel Nicholson of Woodland Park was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated non-attorney from Teller County.
  • Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Heather Manolakas of Basalt was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Eagle County; Todd Rankin of Breckenridge was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Summit County.
  • Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission: Richard Haggerty of Telluride was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from San Miguel County; William Masters of Telluride was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from San Miguel County; Eric McPhail of Gunnison was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Gunnison County.
  • Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Tracy Ann Oldemeyer of Fort Collins was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Larimer County; Katherine Corey of Johnstown was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Larimer County; Thomas Milligan of Fort Collins was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Larimer County.
  • Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Scott Grosscup of Glenwood Springs was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from Garfield County.
  • Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Gloria Gutierrez of Pueblo was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Pueblo County.
  • Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Garth Nieschburg of Lamar was appointed to serve as a Republican and an attorney from Prowers County.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: H. Barton Mendenhall, II, of Rocky Ford was appointed to serve as a Republican and an attorney from Otero County; Anita “Betsy” Dillon of Ordway was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Crowley County.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Christina Gomez of Commerce City was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from Adams County; Jennifer Chavez of Westminster was appointed to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from Adams County; Joann Dawe of Westminster was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated non-attorney from Adams County.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Adelita DeHerrera of Aurora was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from Arapahoe County.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Thomas Fasano of Windsor was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Weld County; Virginia Rosales of Greeley was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Weld County.
  • Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission: Benita Duran of Boulder was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Boulder County; Mary Friedrichs of Boulder was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Boulder County.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission: Martha Kent of Grand Junction was appointed to serve as a Democrat and an attorney from Mesa County; Lesley McWhirter of Grand Junction was appointed to serve as a Democrat and a non-attorney from Mesa County.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District Nominating Commission: Kinsey Ertel of Cortez was appointed to serve as an unaffiliated non-attorney from Montezuma County.

For more information about the appointments, click here. For more information about judicial nominating commissions, click here.

Application Period Open for Several Judicial Nominating Commission Vacancies

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced several upcoming vacancies on Judicial Nominating Commissions. The application period for these vacancies is now open. Applications must be submitted online at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/governor/boards-and-commissions-application, and will be accepted through October 31, 2015. The vacancies will open December 31, 2015.

Judicial nominating commissions are comprised of seven members from their respective judicial districts, of whom no more than four can be of the same political party. In voting districts with populations greater than 35,000, no more than three judicial nominating commission members can be attorneys. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission consists of one attorney and one non-attorney from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, plus one at large member who is not an attorney. The nominating commissions vacancies are listed here.

  • Supreme Court Nominating Commission – One vacancy for a non-attorney in the Fifth Congressional District.
  • First Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for an attorney in Gilpin County.
  • Second Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for an attorney.
  • Third Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies for attorneys.
  • Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Four vacancies, one attorney and three non-attorneys. No more than two appointees may be registered as Democrat, no more than three may be registered as Republican, and one must reside in Teller County.
  • Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies, one for an attorney and one for a non-attorney. No more than one of the appointees may be registered as Democrat.
  • Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission – Three vacancies, one for an attorney and two for non-attorneys. One appointee must be from San Miguel County and one must be from Gunnison County, and no more than two appointees may be registered as Republican.
  • Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Three vacancies, one for an attorney and two for non-attorneys. No more than two appointees may be registered as either Democrat or Republican.
  • Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for an attorney.
  • Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for a non-attorney.
  • Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for an attorney.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies, one for an attorney and one for a non-attorney.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Three vacancies, one for an attorney and two for non-attorneys. No more than one appointee may be registered as Democrat.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies, one for an attorney and one for a non-attorney. No more than one appointee may be registered as Republican.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies for non-attorneys.
  • Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies for non-attorneys.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission – Two vacancies, one for an attorney and one for a non-attorney. No more than one appointee may be registered as Republican.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District Nominating Commission – One vacancy for a non-attorney. The appointee may not be registered as Republican.

For more information about nominating commissions, click here. For more information about the vacancies, click here.

Judicial Performance and Nominating Commission Appointments Announced

This week, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced the governor’s appointment of several members of judicial performance commissions throughout the state and one member of a judicial nominating commission. Armando Valdez of La Jara was appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Nominating Commission, to serve as a non-attorney and a Democrat from Conejos County. His term will expire December 31, 2020. Attorney Norman Ray Mueller of Denver was reappointed to the Second Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission. His term is effective December 1, 2015, and will expire November 30, 2019. Lindsey Parlin of Leadville was reappointed to the Fifth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission, to serve as an attorney for a term effective from December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019. Michael Andrew Goldman of Durango was reappointed to the Sixth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission. He is an attorney who will serve a term from December 1, 2015 through November 30, 2019. Attorney Christopher Michael Turner of Pueblo was also reappointed to the Tenth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission for a term effective December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019. Amanda C. Hopkins of Alamosa, an attorney, was reappointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission to serve from December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019. Russell Allen Zane of La Junta was reappointed to the Sixteenth Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission. He will serve from December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019. Attorney Lance Phillip Timbreza of Grand Junction was reappointed to the Twenty-first Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission, also to serve from December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019. And finally, Peter Ortego of Lewis, who is an attorney, was reappointed to the Twenty-second Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission for a term effective December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2019.

Judicial nominating commissions are responsible for reviewing applications and selecting nominees for appointment to judicial vacancies in their district. Judicial performance commissions were created to provide voters with fair, responsible, and constructive evaluations of judges in their judicial district who face retention elections. For more information about the commissions and the appointments, click here.

Judges Appointed for Fifth Judicial District Court and Conejos County Court Benches

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced appointments to the benches of the Conejos County Court and the Fifth Judicial District Court.

Susan Broyles was appointed as county court judge in Conejos County, effective immediately. She will replace Hon. Mary Garcia, who resigned earlier this year. Ms. Broyles currently assists pro bono clients with various matters, including collections, torts, business matters, traffic infractions, and more. Prior to that, she taught reading and writing to disadvantaged children at an inner city school for ten years. She also worked as a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Corrections, and was a non-attorney county court judge in Conejos County before receiving her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Paul Dunkelman was appointed as district court judge for the Fifth Judicial District, effective November 30, 2013. His appointment is occasioned by the retirement of Hon. R. Thomas Moorhead. Mr. Dunkelman is currently a partner at Carlson, Carlson & Dunkelman, LLC, where he practices family, criminal, civil, and business law. He is also an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College and a prosecuting attorney for the Town of Leadville. Previously, he clerked in the Second Judicial District for Hon. Lynne Hufnagel and Hon. Paul Markson, Jr. He received his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Mark D. Thompson Appointed Chief Judge of Fifth Judicial District Upon Retirement of R. Thomas Moorhead

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Chief Justice Michael Bender appointed Mark D. Thompson as the Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Thompson will replace Hon. R. Thomas Moorhead, who will retire effective December 1, 2013.

Judge Moorhead has been the Chief Judge since 2010. He was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court bench in 2002, and prior to that he was the Eagle County Attorney. He was the town attorney for the Town of Vail from 1993 to 2001, and also spent a great deal of his career in Ohio. He received his J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1975.

Judge Thompson was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court bench in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Denver School of Law, and was partner at a Denver firm before moving to the mountains and joining the Breckenridge firm of French, West & Brown, where he became partner in 1999.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Appointments to Lake County Court Bench and Twentieth Judicial District Court Bench Announced

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia appointed Jonathan Shamis to the bench of the Lake County Court. He will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Dewey Wayne Patton to the district court bench of the Fifth Judicial District. The appointment is effective August 29, 2013.

Currently, Mr. Shamis is the Executive Director of Alpine Legal Services, where he practices in several areas of the law, including collections, real estate, family law, protection orders, and criminal. Prior to his work at Alpine Legal Services, Mr. Shamis was a partner at Fahrenholtz, Kleinschmidt, Stephens and Shamis. He also worked in the Cook County public defender’s office in Chicago, Illinois.

Additionally, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Andrew Hartman to fill a vacancy on the Twentieth Judicial District Court bench in Boulder County. The vacancy will be created with the retirement of Hon. Roxanne Bailin, effective August 31, 2013.

Mr. Hartman is currently an adjunct professor of law and the Director of Experiential Education at the University of Colorado Law School. He is also a partner at Gross Hartman LLC, where he practices in the areas of intellectual property law, advertising licensing, and litigation counseling. Prior to his work at CU and Gross Hartman, Mr. Hartman was general counsel for Keen Inc. and was a partner at Cooley LLP and Reed Smith.

New District Court Judgeships Created in Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts

Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 13-1035 on March 8, 2013, which created one additional district court judgeship in the Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts. The bill is effective July 1, 2013.

The Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on May 17, 2013, to interview and select nominees for the vacancy. Nominees must be qualified electors of the Ninth Judicial District and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years.

The Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on May 20, 2013, to interview and select nominees. To be eligible, nominees must be qualified electors of the Fifth Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years.

Application forms for these judgeships are available on the Colorado State Judicial Branch website. Instructions for completing and submitting the application for the Fifth Judicial District judgeship are available here. For instructions for the Ninth Judicial District applications, click here.

New Self-Help Centers Open for Pro Se Litigants in Sixth and Twenty-Second Judicial Districts

On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the opening of self-help centers for pro se litigants in the Sixth and Twenty-Second Judicial Districts. The centers are in Durango and Cortez and are available for civil litigants.

The centers are part of the Judicial Branch’s program to address the need to provide legal services to people who cannot afford attorneys but have too many assets to qualify for legal aid. The centers are intended to ease the strain on court personnel who must spend time assisting pro se litigants.

Office hours for the Durango center are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours for the Cortez center are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on the self- help centers, click here.

HB 13-1035: Increasing the Number of Judges in the Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Gail Schwartz introduced HB 13-1035 – Concerning an Increase in the Number of Judges in Certain Judicial Districts.  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill increases the number of judges in the 5th judicial district from five to six and in the 9th judicial district from four to five. On Feb. 1, the Appropriations Committee amended the bill and sent it to the floor of the House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed Second Reading in the House with amendments.

Governor Hickenlooper Announces Appointments to Several Judicial Nominating Commissions

On Thursday, December 13, 2012, Governor Hickenlooper announced appointments to the judicial nominating commissions for the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-Second judicial districts.

Each of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts has a nominating commission that selects nominees for appointment to judicial vacancies. The nominating commissions are comprised of  seven citizens residing in that judicial district. No more than four members can be from the same political party, and there must be at least one voting member from each county in the district. The members serve six-year terms.

For a complete list of the appointed members and information regarding their residence, affiliation, and the duration of their terms, click here or visit the governor’s website. Information about the judicial nominating commissions and an application for consideration for appointment may be found here.

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints More to Judicial Nominating Commissions

On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper announced several Board and Commission appointments. The appointments were to the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Twelfth, and Twenty-First Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commissions.

Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts have judicial district nominating commissions that select nominees for district and county judicial vacancies. Each district nominating commission is chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court, who is a non-voting member of the commission.

Commission members serve six-year terms. Non-lawyers, who are the majority of every nominating commission, are appointed by the governor. Lawyer members are appointed by joint action of the governor, attorney general, and chief justice.

The members appointed to the Second Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for terms expiring December 31, 2017, are:

  • Larry Allen Nelsen of Denver, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Denver County.
  • Andrew Dean Schneider of Denver, to serve as a non-attorney and as an Unaffiliated from Denver County.

The members appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for terms expiring December 31, 2017, are:

  • Gregory V. Johnson of Edwards, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Eagle County.
  • Heather N. Scanlon of Leadville, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Democrat from Lake County.

The member appointed to the Sixth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for a term expiring December 31, 2017, is:

  • Stephen C. Fearn of Silverton, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Democrat from San Juan County.

The member appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for a term expiring December 31, 2017, is:

  • Marvin K. “Zeke” Ward of Creede, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Mineral County.

The members appointed to the Twenty-First Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for terms expiring December 31, 2017, are:

  • Ivan Daniel Geer of Grand Junction, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Mesa County.
  • Beverly Jean Sewell of Grand Junction, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Mesa County.