July 18, 2019

Archives for June 6, 2010

Update: Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey to Retire in November

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey announced late Thursday her intention to step down from the high court bench this November, ending her time as the longest-seated and first female chief justice in Colorado history.

Of her November 30 retirement, Chief Justice Mullarkey remarked:

I have considered it a great honor to serve in these capacities. The highest calling for any attorney is public service. That has always been my goal. I feel incredibly honored and incredibly fortunate to be able to serve as a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court.

Chief among her reasons for retiring after a long career marked by accomplishment, is a desire to spend time with her grandchild and her recently retired husband. Chief Justice Mullarkey was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1987 by Gov. Roy Romer, following a high-profile legal career in the public sector. She served in the Colorado’s attorney general’s office as an appellate lawyer, was a legal adviser to Gov. Dick Lamm, and became Colorado’s solicitor general before joining the Colorado Supreme Court. She was appointed chief justice by her supreme court colleagues in 1998.

This morning’s Denver Post has a review of some of the court’s most notable opinions issued during Chief Justice Mullarkey’s time on the bench, as well as a look back at her distinguished legal career.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will meet this summer to review applicants and submit the names of three candidates to Gov. Ritter. The governor will then name his appointee within 15 days. New supreme court justices serve an initial term of two years. Thereafter, their retention is put to the voters in state general elections.

As for filling the chief justice vacancy created by Chief Justice Mullarkey’s retirement, that is a task for the remaining members of the supreme court. They will privately caucus and appoint from amongst themselves a successor.

(image source: State Judicial)

Update: Governor’s Office Reveals Twenty-Second Judicial District Candidates for District Attorney

The Office of the Governor on Thursday released the names of the three candidates vying to fill the vacancy in the district attorney’s office in Colorado’s Twenty-Second Judicial District, which covers Montezuma and Dolores counties in southestern Colorado.

Gov. Ritter’s office issued a press release naming the candidates and describing their professional accomplishments:

Andrew Michael Hughes of Cortez. Hughes has been a special United States attorney since May 2007, specializing in felony criminal prosecution. Previously, he worked in private practice at the law firm of Cameron Secrist and Starr. Between 1993 and 2007, he worked as a District Attorney in the 22nd, 6th and 12th judicial districts, and from 1987-93 he was a prosecutor for Montgomery County in Ohio. He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1977, and earned his J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1983.

Mark Myers of Mancos served as a deputy district attorney in the 22nd Judicial District from 2005-07. He previously served as the District Attorney of the 9th Judicial District, and held positions as deputy district attorney in the 9th, 5th and 4th judicial districts from 1980-89. He worked in private practice from 1990-97, and he served as a municipal judge in Basalt from 1991-96. He was also a clerk to Judge Bernard Baker of the 4th Judicial District from 1979-1980. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a B.A. in 1976, and earned a J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 1979.

Russell Wasley of Cortez. He has been a deputy district attorney in the 22nd Judicial District since December 2008. Between 2004 and 2007, he held positions as a deputy DA in the 6th, 14th and 9th judicial districts. From 1987-91 he worked as an assistant district attorney in Lubbock County, Texas. He practiced criminal law as an attorney for the Law Office of Thomas Silverman (October 2003-June 2004) and at the Law Office of Darrel Gubbels (January 2002-September 2002). He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in 1979, and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.

Public comments on the candidates are welcome via e-mail at da.vacancy@state.co.us. Gov. Ritter is expected to name his appointee shortly after the public comment period concludes on June 11.

Jim Wilson, the Twenty-Second District’s previous district attorney, suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash May 23 on I-70. A representative of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office has been prosecuting cases in the interim period until a successor is appointed.

Update: Judge Stephen Phillips to Retire from 2nd Judicial District; Applicants Sought for Bench Vacancy

The Second Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet in late August to interview Colorado attorneys applying for the vacancy that the Honorable J. Stephen Phillips will leave upon his retirement from the bench later this year.

The meeting will be held at the Colorado Supreme Court conference room, 101 W. Colfax Ave., in downtown Denver, on Monday, August 23. Following the interviews, the Commission will recommend finalists for Gov. Bill Ritter to consider for appointment.

The Second Judicial District Court hears civil, criminal, and domestic relations cases for the 500,000-plus residents of City and County of Denver. District court judges receive a provisional, two-year appointment by the governor, after which they are retained by voter approval every six years.

All attorneys licensed to practice in Colorado for at least five years and who are registered electors in the Second Judicial District are eligible to apply for the judgeship. Detailed information about the Second Judicial District and the application are available online. Application packages (consisting of one original application plus seven copies) must be received by the office of Commission ex officio chair, Justice Allison H. Eid, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Eighth Floor, no later than Friday, August 6 at 5:00 p.m.

Judge Phillips was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court bench in April 1983. According to his court bio, he served in the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, and is a former assistant attorney general and served as assistant United States attorney as a trial prosecutor.

The most recent appointee to the Second Judicial District bench is the Honorable Anne B. Frick, who succeeded former Chief Judge Larry E. Naves upon his retirement in April of this year.

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 6/4/10

The Tenth Circuit on Friday issued two published opinion and four unpublished opinions.


In Thomas v. Durastanti, the Court reversed the district court’s decision denying Petitioner Durastanti qualified immunity. Petitioner, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, did not use unconstitutionally excessive force in drawing his weapon. Petitioner’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances and the use of deadly force was not objectively unreasonable; an officer’s reasonable, even if mistaken, perception that a vehicle may be used as a weapon may allow for the use of deadly force based on the totality of the circumstances.

In United States v. Adame-Orozco, the Court affirmed the district court’s conviction of Petitioner for illegally reentering the United States after a prior deportation. Petitioner was never deprived of the opportunity for judicial reviewing his federal deportation proceedings. Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(d), a deportation order may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in turn appealed to a federal court. However, the statute does not guarantee judicial review in state court of Petitioner’s underlying state felony convictions. Additionally, the statute does not require a stay of federal deportation proceedings so long as some appellate or collateral review of Petitioner’s state felony convictions happens to be ongoing.


Murphy v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections

Glover v. Mabrey

Howard v. Birchfield

Pellino v. Province

Colorado Court of Appeals: Week of May 31, 2010

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and 35 unpublished opinions for the week of May 31, 2010.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. Case announcements are available here.