December 12, 2018

Don J. Toussaint Appointed to Arapahoe County Court

On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Don J. Toussaint to the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. Toussaint will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. John E. Scipione to the 18th Judicial District Court, effective immediately.

Currently, Toussaint is a district court magistrate in the 18th Judicial District, where he has been since June 2017. Prior to his work as magistrate, he was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Aurora. He was also previously an associate at White & Steele, P.C. Toussaint received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Denver and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Chad C. Miller Appointed to 4th Judicial District Court; John E. Scipione Appointed to 18th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, September 20, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Chad C. Miller to the 4th Judicial District Court and John E. Scipione to the 18th Judicial District Court. Miller will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Theresa M. Cisneros, effective January 8, 2019, and Scipione will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Kurt Horton, effective September 29, 2018.

Miller is currently at the Office of the State Public Defender in Colorado Springs, where he represents clients facing felony charges, including murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, child abuse, robbery, and other crimes of violence, and where he supervises other public defenders. Prior to his work at the public defender’s office, he worked at Sherman and Howard LLC and Hoffman, Reilly, Pozner, and Williamson LLP (now Reilly Pozner LLP). He received his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Scipione is currently an Arapahoe County Court judge, where he oversees a docket of misdemeanor and traffic matters. Previously, he was a District Court Magistrate in the 18th Judicial District, and prior to his work as magistrate he was managing partner of the Denver office of Taussig, Scipione & Taussig, P.C. He has practiced in the areas of family law, dependency and neglect, criminal defense, commercial litigation, medical negligence, catastrophic injury and wrongful death, products liability, and employment/Title VII matters in both state and federal courts. He has also spoken at family law and litigation programs for CBA-CLE. He received his undergraduate degree from State University of New York at Binghamton and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

For more information about these appointments, click here.

Caryn Datz Appointed to 17th Judicial District Court; Chantel Contiguglia Appointed to Arapahoe County Court

On Thursday, August 30, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Caryn Datz to the district court in the 17th Judicial District and Chantel Contiguglia to the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. Datz will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Thomas R. Ensor, effective September 28, 2018, and Contiguglia will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Darren Vahle to the district court, effective immediately.

Datz is currently a Chief Trial Deputy for the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecutes sexual assault cases, supervises four Deputy District Attorneys, and serves as a victim advocate assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law. Prior to her work in the 20th Judicial District, Datz was a deputy district attorney in the 17th Judicial District from 2006 to 2013. She also worked as a public defender in Florida from 2001 to 2004. She received her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Contiguglia is currently a Senior Deputy Public Defender at the Office of the State Public Defender in Golden, where she has been since 2007. She represents clients facing felony charges in cases that are often complex. She has previously also handled traffic, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases, including juvenile delinquency matters and direct filings. She received her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Mesa State College.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Application Period Open for Vacancy on Arapahoe County Court in 18th Judicial District

On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Arapahoe County Court, occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Darren Vahle to the 18th Judicial District Court. The vacancy was effective July 16, 2018.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Arapahoe County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 3, 2018; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 27.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Darren Vahle Appointed to 18th Judicial District Court

On Monday, July 16, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of Darren Vahle to the 18th Judicial District Court. He will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Carlos A. Samour, Jr., to the Colorado Supreme Court, effective July 1, 2018.

Judge Vahle is currently an Arapahoe County Court judge and the presiding judge of the Arapahoe County Court. He oversees a primarily criminal docket with some civil cases. Prior to his appointment, he was a Senior Deputy District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District. He has also served as a judge at mock trial competitions. He received his undergraduate degree from Westmont College and his law degree from the University of Denver.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Hon. Michelle Amico Appointed as Chief Judge of 18th Judicial District

On Tuesday, July 3, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that District Court Judge Michelle Amico will be appointed as Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District. She replaces Hon. Carlos A. Samour, Jr., as Chief Judge, following his appointment to the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective July 2, 2018.

Judge Amico was appointed to the 18th Judicial District Court in 2012. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Chief Deputy District Attorney in Denver, where she directed the Family Violence Unit, County Court Division; District Court, Juvenile Division; and Gang Unit and Intake Division; in addition to prosecuting cases. She substitute teaches criminal law and procedure at the University of Denver, and has spoken at several CBA-CLE seminars. She also has previously served on the board of directors for the Denver Center for Crime Victims, and is a past-president of the board. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Application Period Open for 18th Judicial District Court Vacancy

On Monday, June 4, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that the application period is open for a vacancy on the 18th Judicial District Court. This vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Carlos A. Samour, Jr., to the Colorado Supreme Court, effective July 1, 2018.

Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the 18th Judicial District and must have been licensed 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 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, June 18, 2018 in order to be considered; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on June 11, 2018.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Carlos A. Samour, Jr., Appointed to Colorado Supreme Court

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper announced the appointment of Hon. Carlos A. Samour, Jr., to the Colorado Supreme Court. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Nancy Rice, effective July 2, 2018.

Samour is currently the Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District. He has been recognized frequently for presiding over the Aurora movie theater shooting trial. He was appointed to the 18th Judicial District Court in 2006 and became Chief Judge in 2014. Prior to his work on the 18th Judicial District Court, Samour was a deputy district attorney in Denver for 10 years. He was also at Holland & Hart in private practice for five years. He has also clerked for Judge Robert McWilliams of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. He received his law degree from the University of Denver with honors, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Denver. He is a Colorado native and avid Broncos fan.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Upcoming Colorado Supreme Court Vacancy

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three finalists to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court. The vacancy will occur upon the retirement of Chief Justice Nancy Rice, effective July 1, 2018.

The three finalists are Maria Berkenkotter, former Chief Judge of the 20th Judicial District Court; Karen Brody, District Court Judge in the 2nd Judicial District; and Carlos A. Samour, Jr., Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District Court. Judge Berkenkotter has been with the Judicial Arbiter Group (JAG) since January 2018, following her 2017 retirement from the 20th Judicial District Court. She was appointed to the 20th Judicial District Court in 2006 and became Chief Judge in 2013. Judge Brody was appointed to the 2nd Judicial District Court in March 2014. Prior to her appointment, she was a member and owner at Lowe, Fell & Skogg, LLC, where she practiced general commercial litigation with a subspecialty in the areas of real estate and eminent domain law. Judge Samour was appointed to the 18th Judicial District Court in January 2007 and became Chief Judge in 2014. Prior to his appointment, he was with Holland & Hart and also worked at the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Under the Colorado constitution, the governor has 15 days within which to appoint one of the nominees to the Colorado Supreme Court. Comments about 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.

Cynthia Dianne Mares Appointed to 18th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Cynthia Dianne Mares to the 18th Judicial District Court. Mares will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Paul A. King, effective July 2, 2018.

Mares is currently an associate judge on the Aurora Municipal Court, where her docket includes criminal matters, traffic infractions, and violations of municipal ordinances. Prior to her work on the Aurora Municipal Court, she was the Arapahoe County Public Trustee. She was Assistant Regulation Counsel at the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel from 2005 to 2012, and a Deputy State Public Defender with the Colorado Public Defender’s Office from 1990 to 2005.

Mares is also active in the legal community. She is a past-president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. She also is a member of the Colorado Womens Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. She also is a board member for the Colorado Mexican Cultural Center and a member of the Colorado Gaming Commission.

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.

John Scipione Appointed to Arapahoe County Court

On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the governor appointed John Scipione to the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Robert C. Tobias, effective May 31, 2017.

Scipione is currently a magistrate in the 18th Judicial District, where he presides over first appearances, felony advisements, bond hearings, and preliminary hearings for all felony cases. Prior to his work as a magistrate, Scipione worked for Taussig, Scipione & Taussig, LLC from 2011 to 2012; Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, P.C. from 2008 to 2011; Herrold & Herrold, P.C. from 2007 to 2008; Law Cash/Esquire Capital from 2006 to 2007; and Caplis, Scipione & Deasy, LLC from 2003 to 2007. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

For more information about the appointment, click here.