March 26, 2019

Michael J. Grattan, III, Appointed to Mesa County Court

On Monday, January 9, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Michael J. Grattan, III, to the Mesa County Court. Grattan will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Gretchen Larsen to the district court bench in the Twenty-first Judicial District, effective January 1, 2017.

Grattan is currently a solo practitioner in Grand Junction at Michael J. Grattan, III, P.C., where he offers services in both transactional law and litigation, including in the areas of business law, employment law, intellectual property law, real estate law, and arbitration and mediation. He was previously an attorney with Younge & Hockensmith, P.C., a sole practitioner and Deputy City Attorney in the City of Elkhart, Indiana, and an associate at Warrick & Boyn in Elkhart. He received his law degree from the College of William and Mary Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Mesa County Court Vacancy

On Monday, December 19, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three finalists for a vacancy on the Mesa County Court. The vacancy will occur January 1, 2017, and is occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Gretchen B. Larson to the Twenty-first Judicial District Court.

The three nominees are William DeFord of Grand Junction, Michael Grattan, III, of Grand Junction, and Kevin Kennedy of Grand Junction. William DeFord is a partner at Dufford Waldeck Milburn & Krohn, LLP, where he practices real estate, commercial, and natural resource litigation. Michael Grattan, III, is a solo practitioner at Michael J. Grattan, P.C., where he focuses on probate and business law. Kevin Kennedy is a magistrate in the Mesa County Court.

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

Colorado Courts Celebrate National Adoption Day Throughout November

Each November, National Adoption Day is celebrated to recognize and raise awareness of the over 100,000 children in foster care awaiting permanent families. Since its inception, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true through the cooperative work of courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care. In Colorado, the adoptions of 132 children will be finalized this month. Currently, 283 Colorado children await permanent families.

In 2006, for the first time, National Adoption Day was celebrated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This year, events will be held throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of more than 4,500 children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. Since 2000, more than 50,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day.

Throughout the state, courts will be celebrating Adoption Day this month. Some of the events are listed here:

  • First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin counties): On Thursday, November 17, 2016, from 1 to 5 pm at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Magistrates Andrew Fitzgerald and Margaret Tims will preside over adoptions for 15 families. On Saturday, November 19, 2016, from 8:30 am to noon, Judges Margie Enquist, Gail Meinster and Tamara Russell, and Magistrate Jamin Alabiso will preside over 24 adoptions for 18 families. Cameras are welcome; contact Mallory Hyatt at (303) 271-4389 for more information.
  • Second Judicial District (Denver County): On Thursday, November 10, 2016, the Denver County Court held its National Adoption Day celebration. Forty-six children were united with 31 families. Contact Barbara Bosley, Family Court Facilitator, Denver Juvenile Court, (720) 337-0584 or (303) 638-5098 for more information.
  • Third Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas counties): On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at 2 pm, Judge Leslie J. Gerbracht will preside over the adoptions of three children into two families. All families who have adopted children in the Third Judicial District are invited to attend, and cameras are welcome with the families’ permission. Contact Joanne A. Montero at (719) 497-8208 for more information.
  • Tenth Judicial District (Pueblo County): On Friday, November 18, 2016, District Court Judge David W. Crockenberg will preside over six adoptions. Expanded media coverage has been granted; contact Amanda Ledbetter at (719) 583-4716 for more information.
  • Twelfth Judicial District (Alamosa, Conejos, Castillo, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties): On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the Twelfth Judicial District held a reception to honor the 27 children who were adopted into 18 families last year. Members of the public, the courts, Departments of Human Services, county attorneys, and county commissioners were in attendance. Chief Judge Pattie Swift addressed the group and discussed the important role of adoptive families in the justice system and thanked DHS staff and attorneys for the work that they do.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield counties): On Saturday, November 19, 2016, from 9 am to noon, nine children will be united with eight families. District Court Judges John Popovich and Jill-Ellyn Straus, as well as Magistrate Fran Simonet, will preside over the adoptions. Cameras will be allowed in the courtroom with the permission of the families. For more information, contact Simone Jones, Court Programs Coordinator, at (303) 654-3230.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties): On Friday, November 18, 2016, Adoption Day hearings will be held at both the Arapahoe County Courthouse and the Douglas County Courthouse. Judge Theresa Slade will preside over the adoptions of 13 children in Arapahoe County from 8:30 am to 4 pm. Magistrate Rebecca Moss will preside over eight adoptions in Douglas County from 2 to 4 pm. Cameras will be permitted in both courts with written permission of the families. For more information, contact Shaun Clark, Deputy District Administrator, at (303) 649-6382.
  • Twentieth Judicial District (Boulder County): On Friday, November 18, 2016, from 10:30 am to noon, Boulder County will host a celebration for all children adopted in Boulder County this past year. County Court Judge Elizabeth Brodsky and District Court Magistrate Monica Haenselman will be in attendance to celebrate with the families. There will be a reception, a short presentation, and crafts and games for the children. The celebration is open to the public; contact Erika Skufca at erika.skufca@judicial.state.co.us or (303) 441-4921 or Raina Lesser at raina.lesser@judicial.state.co.us or (303) 441-3744 for more information.
  • Twenty-first Judicial District (Mesa County): On Friday, November 18, 2016, from 9 am to 1 pm, District Court Judge Valerie Robison will preside over eight adoptions. An additional celebration will be held in the jury assembly room at 3 p.m. for all adopted on November 18 and in the past. Cameras will be allowed in the courtroom with permission of the families. For more information, contact Angeline Roles, Mesa County Department of Human Services, at (970) 248-2453 or angeline.roles@mesacounty.us.

For more information about Adoption Day events, click here.

Twenty-first Judicial District Announces Mesa County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, November 3, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Mesa County Court in the Twenty-first Judicial District. The vacancy will be created by the appointment of Hon. Gretchen B. Larson to the Twenty-first Judicial District Court, effective January 1, 2017.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Mesa 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 Twenty-first Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood, III. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on December 1, 2016, to be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on November 23, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Gretchen Larson Appointed to 21st Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Gretchen Larson to the Twenty-first Judicial District Court Bench. She will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Thomas L. Deister, effective January 1, 2017.

Larson is currently a Mesa County Court judge. She was appointed to the bench in 2006, and she oversees a mix of civil and criminal cases. Prior to her appointment to the Mesa County Court, Larson was a District Attorney in the Twenty-first and Ninth judicial districts. She received her undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Honorable Thomas M. Deister to Retire from 21st Judicial District Court

DeisterOn Friday, August 19, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Thomas M. Deister from the Twenty-first Judicial District Court, effective January 1, 2017. Judge Deister was appointed to the Mesa County Court in 1994 and the Twenty-first Judicial District Court in October 2005. Prior to his appointment to the county court bench, he was in private practice in Grand Junction and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corp. in the U.S. Navy for nine years. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Twenty-first Judicial District at the time of investiture 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 Twenty-first Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on September 26, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so in writing no later than September 19, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Lance Timbreza Appointed to 21st Judicial District Court

IMG_0263-209x300On Friday, July 1, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Lance Timbreza to the district court bench for the Twenty-First Judicial District. Timbreza will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. David A. Bottger, effective August 12, 2016. The Colorado State Judicial Branch also announced that District Court Judge Brian Flynn will replace Judge Bottger as the Chief Judge of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court.

Timbreza is currently at the Daniels Law Group, LLC, where he focuses on real estate litigation, commercial litigation, and family law. Prior to his work at the Daniels Law Group, Timbreza was at Traylor, Tompkins & Black, P.C., in Grand Junction. Timbreza is very active in the legal community. He has served as president of the Mesa County Bar Association, was chair of the CBA’s Young Lawyers Division, and is a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation and has served on its Board of Trustees. Timbreza also is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He received his undergraduate degree from Mesa State College and his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Vacancy on 21st Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, June 16, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that the Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission selected three finalists for a vacancy on the District Court, occasioned by the retirement of Hon. David A. Bottger, effective August 12, 2016. The three nominees are Michael J. Gratton, III, of Grand Junction; Gretchen B. Larson, of Grand Junction; and Lance P. Timbreza, of Grand Junction.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from June 15 in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the bench. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us.

For more information about the vacancy and the nominees, click here.

Hon. David A. Bottger to Retire from 21st Judicial District Court

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. David A. Bottger of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, effective August 12, 2016.

Judge Bottger was appointed to the district court bench in 1987, and was appointed Chief Judge of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court in 2005. Prior to his appointment, Judge Bottger was Mesa County’s first magistrate, where he served from 1983 to 1987. He was in private practice from 1977 to 1983 and also served as a law clerk for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Lee. He is a member of the Colorado and Mesa County bar associations. Judge Bottger received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern and his law degree from Notre Dame University School of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the twenty-first 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 Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Allison H. Eid. Application forms must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 18, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on May 11, 2016.

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.

Adoption Day Events Scheduled in Colorado Courts Throughout November

November is National Adoption Month, and to celebrate, Colorado’s courts are holding Adoption Day events throughout the month. This month, Colorado judges will finalize adoptions for 159 foster children. National Adoption Day is a national effort to raise awareness of more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving families. It occurs on the Since its inception, nearly 54,500 children have been adopted as part of National Adoption Day. This year’s National Adoption Day will be November 21, 2015. The following events are occurring in Colorado’s courts throughout the month of November to celebrate National Adoption Day:

  • First Judicial District: 22 children will be adopted on Saturday, November 21, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Second Judicial District: 50 children will be adopted on Friday, November 13, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Eighth Judicial District: 20 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the day.
  • Tenth Judicial District: 10 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the morning.
  • Eleventh Judicial District: 8 children will be adopted as part of the National Adoption Day celebration.
  • Twelfth Judicial District: All families who finalized an adoption in November are invited to a reception on Wednesday, November 18.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District: A celebration for the families of all 12 children adopted in 2015 will be held on Tuesday, November 17.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District: 13 children will be adopted on Saturday, November 21, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District: 7 children will be adopted in Arapahoe County on Thursday, November 19, and in Douglas County, 4 adoptions were held on November 6 and 3 more will be held on November 20.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: 13 children will be adopted throughout the day on Friday, November 20.
  • Twentieth Judicial District: 3 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the morning. A public celebration of Adoption Day will be held following the hearings.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District: 6 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, from 1 to 2 p.m.

To find out more about National Adoption Day and Colorado’s court participation, and for information about whether media coverage is permitted at the various events, click here.

Daniel P. Rubinstein Appointed District Attorney for 21st Judicial District

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the governor appointed Daniel P. Rubinstein as District Attorney for the 21st Judicial District, effective October 16, 2015. Rubenstein will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Pete Hautzinger.

Currently, Rubenstein is Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 21st Judicial District, where he manages a caseload of murder cases, racketeering, and organized crime, and supervises felony prosecution for the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office. He has been a prosecutor in Grand Junction since 1996, minus two years in private practice from 2003 to 2004. From 2005 to 2011, he was cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney where he targeted cartels and organized crime. He received his undergraduate degree from University of the Pacific and his law degree from Drake University Law School.