November 18, 2018

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints Judges to Second and Fifth Judicial District Courts

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, the governor’s office announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of judges to the district courts in the Second and Fifth Judicial Districts.

Darryl Fitzgerald Shockley was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court. He will fill a vacancy occasioned by the retirement of Hon. William Robbins, effective December 31, 2018. Shockley is currently a Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Denver DA’s Office, where he serves in the Economic Crimes, Family Violence, and Gang Units. He has been a prosecutor for 14 years and spent many years focusing on white collar crimes, including computer crimes, embezzlement, identity theft, securities fraud, and organized crime. Before becoming a DA, Shockley was a civil defense litigator with White and Steele, where his practice included construction defect litigation and medical malpractice. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Missouri and his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law.

Catherine Jane Cheroutes was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court. She will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Wayne Patton, effective February 1, 2019. Cheroutes is currently the managing partner of Cheroutes Zweig PC, where she primarily practices domestic relations law. She also represents clients in criminal defense, and accepts court appointments in dependency and neglect, juvenile delinquency, and divorce cases. She received her undergraduate degree from Franklin & Marshall College and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Reed Wilson Owens was also appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Frederick Gannett, effective January 1, 2019. Owens is currently the Lead Deputy Public Defender in the Dillon Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. His practice consists of criminal defense, including juvenile delinquency, misdemeanor, and felony matters. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointments, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jay Grant and Jennifer Torrington Appointed to Denver District Court

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Jay Grant and Jennifer Torrington to the Second Judicial District Court. Grant and Torrington will fill vacancies created by the retirement of Hon. R. Michael Mullins and the resignation of Hon. Ann B. Frick, effective July 1, 2016.

Jay Grant is currently a lead attorney in the Denver office of the Colorado State Public Defender. He previously was an attorney at Stiner, Beck, Jonson & Nolan, where he practiced criminal defense and family law, and was an attorney at Cudd & Associates, where he practiced securities law. He received his undergraduate degree from New Mexico State University in 1989, a Master’s Degree in History from New Mexico State University in 1992, and his J.D. from Oklahoma City University in 1997.

Jennifer Torrington is currently a magistrate in the Denver District Court where she oversees post-decree domestic relations cases. Prior to her work on the Denver District Court, Torrington was a magistrate for the Denver Juvenile Court from 2004 to 2015. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 1993 and her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of law in 1999.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Nominees Selected for Vacancies on Second Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission announced its selection of six nominees to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Second Judicial District Court. The nominees are Christopher J. Baumann, Jay S. Grant, Frances E. Simonet, Jay B. Simonson, Jennifer B. Torrington, and Christine A. Washburn.

Christopher J. Baumann is the head of the Denver office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Jay S. Grant is lead attorney at the same office. Frances Simonet is a magistrate in the Seventeenth Judicial District. Jay B. Simonson is a First Assistant Attorney General. Jennifer B. Torrington is a magistrate in the Second Judicial District. Christine A. Washburn is the Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from March 29 in which to appoint two of the nominees to the vacancies. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Hon. R. Michael Mullins to Retire and Hon. Ann Frick to Resign from Second Judicial District Court

On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. R. Michael Mullins will retire from the Second Judicial District Court, effective July 1, 2016, and Hon. Ann Frick will resign from that court, effective July 1, 2016.

Judge Mullins was appointed to the district court bench in 1990. Prior to his appointment, he practiced in the litigation section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and was a trial attorney in the Denver Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. He was also an attorney in private practice, specializing in criminal, administrative, and workers’ compensation law. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Judge Frick was appointed to the district court bench in June 2010. Prior to her appointment, she spent several years at the boutique firm, Kelly, Haglund, Garnsey & Kahn, and also worked at Holme Roberts Owen (now Bryan Cave) and the Denver District Attorney’s Office. She also was a founder and name partner of the Jacobs Chase firm, where she practiced complex business and real estate litigation.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancies. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Second Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and are also available from the ex officio chair of the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on March 8, 2016. Anyone wishing to nominate another person must do so in writing no later than 4 p.m. on March 1, 2016.

For more information about the vacancies, 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.