August 16, 2017

Dondi Osborne Appointed as La Plata County Court Judge

On Monday, August 14, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Dondi Osborne to the La Plata County Court in the Sixth Judicial District. Osborne will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Martha Minot, effective August 29, 2017.

Osborne is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in Durango, where she has been since January 2008. She prosecutes cases involving murder, sexual assault, domestic violence, tax violations, and more. Prior to her work as an AUSA, Osborne was a Deputy District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney in the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She received her law degree from Creighton University and her undergraduate degree from Fort Lewis College.

Six Nominees Selected for Two Vacancies on Denver County Court

On Thursday, August 10, 2017, the Denver County Court Judicial Nominating Commission announced the selection of six nominees to fill two vacancies on the Denver County Court. The vacancies will be created by the retirement of Judges John Marcucci and Doris Burd.

The six nominees are Arnie Beckman, Frances Simonet, Andrew Luxen, Judith Smith, Isabel Pallares, and James Zobel. Arnie Beckman is a Colorado State Public Defender. Frances Simonet is a magistrate in the 17th Judicial District. Andrew Luxen is a Senior Deputy District Attorney at the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Judith Smith is the Special Prosecutions Section Chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Isabel Pallares is a Deputy District Attorney in the Denver District Attorney’s Office. James Zobel is a magistrate in the Denver County Court.

Hon. Sheila A. Rappaport to Retire from Second Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Sheila A. Rappaport from the Second Judicial District Court, effective December 31, 2017.

Judge Rappaport was appointed to the Denver District Court in July 2000, where she has presided over civil, criminal, and domestic relations matters. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Rappaport was a Denver District Attorney for 20 years, and she was the first woman Chief Deputy in charge of the Felony Intake Division and Juvenile Division. She is also a certified instructor at Denver Police Department Academy, including subjects of investigative techniques, administrative of justice , domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and her law degree from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Denver 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 Second Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Allison Eid. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on September 11, 2017 to be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than September 4, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Maria E. Berkenkotter to Retire from 20th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, July 27, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Maria E. Berkenkotter will retire from the Twentieth Judicial District Court in Boulder, effective October 31, 2017. Judge Berkenkotter was appointed to the Boulder District Court in July 2006. Prior to her appointment, she worked at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for 16 years. She has also been in private practice, and she clerked for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Howard M. Kirshbaum after law school. She received her law degree from the University of Denver and her undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Boulder 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 20th Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica M. Márquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 24, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than August 17, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Finalists Selected for Upcoming Vacancy on La Plata County Court

On Thursday, July 27, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the 6th Judicial District Nominating Commission’s selection of three nominees for an upcoming vacancy on the La Plata County Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Martha Minot, effective August 29, 2017.

The three nominees are Dondi Osborne of Durango, Graham Smith of Durango, and Reid Stewart of Hesperus. Dondi Osborne is an Assistant United States Attorney at the Durango Branch Office of the Department of Justice. Graham Smith is a litigation attorney in private practice in Durango, where he focuses on civil litigation, insurance defense, commercial law, business law, and real estate. Reid Stewart is an attorney at the District Attorney’s Office in the 6th Judicial District.

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

Hon. David Westfall to Retire from Seventh Judicial District Court

On Thursday, July 20, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. David Westfall from the Seventh Judicial District Court, effective August 31, 2017. Judge Westfall was appointed to the Ouray County Court in November 1999, and was appointed to the district court in 2015. Judge Westfall handles a varied docket, including criminal, juvenile delinquency, civil cases over $15,000, probate, juvenile, mental health, and domestic relations cases. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Seventh Judicial District at the time of investiture, and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and from the ex officio chair of the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Brian Boatright. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 10, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so by August 3, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Erin Lynn Sokol Appointed to Fourth Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the appointment of Erin Lynn Sokol to the district court bench in the Fourth Judicial District. Sokol will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Gilbert A. Martinez, effective August 1, 2017.

Sokol is currently a trial lawyer at Hogan Lovells in Colorado Springs. She primarily focuses on commercial litigation and employment law. She is a trustee for the Legal Aid Foundation and is a member of the El Paso County and Colorado bar associations. She is also a director of the El Paso County Bar Foundation and the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Nominees Selected for 18th Judicial District Court Vacancy

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees to fill an upcoming vacancy on the 18th Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. F. Stephen Collins, effective August 1, 2017.

The three nominees are Cori Alcock-Christofferson of Centennial, Richard Ferro of Centennial, and Andrew Baum of Highlands Ranch. Cori Alcock-Christofferson is at the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Richard Ferro is in the Medicaid Fraud Unit of the Office of the Colorado Attorney General. Andrew Baum is a magistrate in Arapahoe County.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the bench. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be submitted to the governor via email at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Hon. Martha T. Minot to Retire from La Plata County Court

On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Martha T. Minot from the La Plata County Court, effective August 29, 2017. Judge Minot was appointed to the La Plata County Court in March 1995. She presides over a case load that includes traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and civil cases. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Minot was in private practice in Durango, Colorado. She is active in her community; Judge Minot has been the president of the Southwest Colorado Bar Association, the president of the Colorado County Judges Association, is currently a member of the Judicial Discipline Committee and is involved in numerous civic activities in her jurisdiction, including being a hospice volunteer and training advocates for a crisis telephone service.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of La Plata County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood, III. Application forms must be received no later than 4 p.m. on July 12, 2017. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 5, 2017.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Jin Ho Pack Appointed to Delta County Court

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the governor appointed Jin Ho Pack to the Delta County Court in the 7th Judicial District. Pack will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Sandra Miller, effective August 4, 2017.

Pack is currently the county attorney for Delta County. She has been with the Delta County Attorney’s Office since 2014. Prior to her work for Delta County, Pack was an associate at Kaplan Law, L.L.C.; a child support enforcement attorney for Young Williams Child Support Services, and a deputy prosecuting attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pack received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

District Court Judge William Bain Appointed Chief Judge of 4th Judicial District

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that District Court Judge William Bain will become the Chief Judge of the Fourth Judicial District upon the retirement of the current chief judge, Judge Gilbert Martinez, who will retire effective August 1, 2017.

Judge Bain was appointed to the Fourth Judicial District Court bench in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he was at Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley in Denver, served as a Fourth Judicial District deputy district attorney, and was a civil litigator for the City of Colorado Springs for three years. He received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and his law degree from Cornell University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

James Craig Dolezal Appointed to Sedgwick County Court

On Monday, May 8, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of James Craig Dolezal to the Sedgwick County Court. Dolezal will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Hon. Tera Neugebauer, effective May 1, 2017.

Dolezal is currently an enumerator with the National Agriculture Statistic Service and the State of Colorado Division of the National Association of States Department of Agriculture. He has also been a financial advisor for JCD Wealth Management Services and UBS Financial Services, staff executive for George S. May Co., operations manager for Larson Motors, and has held various other positions in banking and business ownership. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.