December 17, 2017

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.

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.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid Appointed to Tenth Circuit

On Friday, November 3, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Eid will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Eid submitted her resignation from the Colorado Supreme Court upon her confirmation, effective immediately.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court. Eligible applicants must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years and must be a qualified elector of the State of Colorado. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Nancy Rice. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on November 20, 2017, to be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on November 13, 2017. Applicants should be advised that telephone calls informing candidates of interviews will likely occur on Friday, November 24, 2017, and they must be available by telephone on that date.

For more information about the vacancy and application procedure, click here.

Christopher Baumann Appointed to Denver District Court

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Christopher Baumann to fill a district court vacancy in the Second Judicial District. Baumann will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Sheila Rappaport, effective December 31, 2017.

Currently, Baumann is at the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where he is the Office Head and a Deputy State Public Defender. He has worked with the Public Defender’s Office since 2002, and he specializes in death penalty cases. He also worked as an Assistant Attorney General from 2004-2005, was a staff attorney at the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 2000-2001, was in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1994-2002, and was in the Ready Reserve in Boulder from 1994-1997. He is also a representative of Colorado Public Defenders on the CBA Board of Governors. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his law degree from Tulane University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Jessica Curtis Appointed to El Paso County Court

On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Jessica Curtis to fill a vacancy on the El Paso County Court, effective immediately. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Hon. Daniel Wilson.

Curtis has been a magistrate judge in the Fourth Judicial District since 2011, where she presides over civil and juvenile dockets. Prior to her work as a magistrate, she was a partner at Hoffecker & Curtis, L.L.P., worked at the Colorado Public Defender’s Office in Colorado Springs, and worked at the Office of the Guardian ad Litem. She also has worked a mediator in Colorado Springs. She is a member of the Colorado and El Paso County bar associations, the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, and the National Association of Counsel for Children. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Zachary Martin Appointed to Ouray County Court

On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s selection of Zachary Martin to fill a vacancy on the Ouray County Court, effective immediately. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Cory Jackson to the Seventh Judicial District Court.

Martin is currently a Senior Deputy Public Defender for the Colorado State Public Defender’s Montrose Office, where he defends adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanors and felonies. He has also worked at the Ouray, Gunnison, and Hinsdale county courts. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Goucher College.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Nominees Selected for Vacancy on Second Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission’s selection of three nominees to fill a vacancy on the Second Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Sheila Rappaport, effective December 31, 2017. The three nominees are Michael Beaver, Christopher Baumann, and Christine Washburn.

Michael Beaver is currently a partner at Holland & Hart, where he practices employment law. Christopher Baumann works at the State of Colorado Public Defender’s Office. Christine Washburn is a Chief Deputy District Attorney at the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days in which to appoint one of the nominees to the bench. Comments about the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Nancy Salomone Appointed to 20th Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the appointment of Nancy Salomone to the 20th Judicial District Court. Salomone will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Maria Berkenkotter, effective October 31, 2017.

Salomone is currently a partner at Malkinson Salomone, LLC, and also has a solo practice, The Law Offices of Nancy W. Salomone, PC. Previously, she was Of Counsel at Lazlo & Associates, and also worked at the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office in Denver. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Hon. Dennis Graham to Retire from Colorado Court of Appeals

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Graham, effective February 12, 2018.

An esteemed figure in the legal community, Judge Graham attended Colorado State University, then went on to law school at the University of Nebraska. He was drafted in his first year, however, and spent three years in the Army before returning to finish law school. He worked as a civil litigation attorney focused on securities law and commercial transactions from 1976 to 2002. Judge Graham was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2002. Judge Graham has served on the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board and the Judicial Personnel Board. He is an avid cyclist.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the State of Colorado and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available from the State Judicial website, or from the ex officio chair of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Nancy Rice. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on October 23, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on October 16, 2017.

For more information about Judge Graham, click here. For more information about the vacancy or application process, click here.

Ingrid Bakke Appointed Chief Judge of 20th Judicial District

On Friday, September 15, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that District Judge Ingrid Bakke was appointed Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial District. Judge Bakke will replace Hon. Maria Berkenkotter as Chief Judge, effective upon Judge Berkenkotter’s October 31 retirement.

Judge Bakke was appointed to the 20th Judicial District Court in January 2011. Prior to her appointment, she was in private practice, where she focused on criminal defense and child abuse matters. She was also a prosecutor in Boulder County for six years and in Jefferson County for 11 years.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Application Period Open for Ouray County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that the application period is open for a vacancy on the Ouray County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Cory Jackson to the Seventh Judicial District Court, effective immediately.

Applications for appointment to the Ouray County Court are now being accepted. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Ouray County and must have graduated high school or attained an equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website, and are also available from the ex officio chair of the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard L. Gabriel. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on September 26, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than September 19, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.