December 18, 2018

Juan G. Villaseñor Appointed to 8th Judicial District Court; Alexandra O. Robak Appointed to Fremont County Court

On Thursday, September 13, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointments of Juan G. Villaseñor to the 8th Judicial District Court and Alexandra O. Robak to the Fremont County Court. Villaseñor will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Devin Odell, effective October 6, 2018. Robak will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Norman Cooling, effective January 8, 2019.

Villaseñor is currently Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he has been since 2008. He represents federal agencies and employees in criminal and civil cases in his role as AUSA. Villaseñor has also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney, an Assistant Attorney General with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, a First Amendment Fellowship Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, and a Law Clerk to the Honorable William J. Haynes in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Villaseñor received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College and his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Robak is currently a Deputy State Public Defender in the Salida Regional Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. She has been with the Public Defender’s Office since 2013. She represents indigent clients accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

For more information about these appointments, click here.

Several Judicial Vacancies Announced This Week

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced several forthcoming vacancies on district and county courts throughout Colorado, due to the retirements of several judges. See below for details.

  • In the 13th Judicial District, Judge Michael J. Schingle will retire from the Morgan County Court, effective January 8, 2019. Judge Schingle was appointed to the Morgan County Court in 2000. Prior to his appointment, he was a private attorney in general practice with emphasis on criminal litigation. He has served as the president of the Morgan County local bar association and the Thirteenth Judicial District Bar Association. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico and his law degree from the University of Tennessee Law School. Applications for this position are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 23, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 16.
  • In the 8th Judicial District, Judge Devin R. Odell will retire from the district court bench, effective October 6, 2018. Judge Odell was appointed to the bench in 2009. Prior to his appointment, he had a private general practice, worked for the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office, and clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from the University of California Davis School of Law. Applications for this vacancy are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 19, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than July 12.
  • In the 11th Judicial District, Judge Norman C. Cooling will retire from the Fremont County Court, effective January 8, 2019. Judge Cooling was appointed to the Fremont County Court in 2007. Prior to his appointment, he was a Deputy District Attorney in the 11th Judicial District for 21 years. He also worked in private practice and was a clerk for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’ presiding judge. He received his undergraduate degree from Augustana College and his law degree from Tulsa College of Law. Applications for this position are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 19; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than July 12.
  • In the 20th Judicial District, Judge Noel C. Blum will retire from the Boulder County Court, effective January 8, 2019. Judge Blum was appointed to the Boulder County Court in 2003. Prior to his appointment, Judge Blum was a Deputy District Attorney in Jefferson and Gilpin counties for 19 years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law. Applications for this position are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 20, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so by July 13.
  • In the 20th Judicial District, Judge Karolyn Moore will retire from the Boulder County Court, effective January 8, 2019. Judge Moore was appointed to the Boulder County Court in 2011. Prior to her appointment, she was a Deputy District Attorney in Colorado’s First, Ninth, and Twentieth Judicial Districts. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado. Applications for this position are due no later than 4 p.m. on July 20; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so by July 13.

For all of these positions, eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the counties or judicial districts in which the vacancies will occur. For the vacancies in the 8th, 11th, and 20th Judicial Districts, applicants must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. For the Morgan County Court vacancy, applicants must have graduated from high school or obtained the equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the district nominating commissions.

For more information about the individual vacancies, click on the links above. For information about all of the vacancies, click here.

Chief Judges Appointed in 6th and 8th Judicial District

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the appointment of Jeffrey R. Wilson as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District and Judge Stephen E. Howard as Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District.

Judge Wilson will replace Chief Judge Gregory Lyman, who will retire from the bench on January 10, 2017. Judge Wilson was appointed to the Sixth Judicial District Court in 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice as the founder of Wilson & Crawford, and also served as a district attorney in the Twenty-Second Judicial District.

Judge Howard will replace Chief Judge Stephen J. Schapanski, who will retire from the bench on January 10, 2017. Judge Howard was appointed to the district court bench in 2011. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was an attorney in private practice in Fort Collins from 1978 through 2011, where he had a general practice emphasizing business and real estate litigation.

Hon. Stephen J. Schapanski and Hon. Daniel J. Kaup to Retire from 8th Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirements of Hon. Stephen J. Schapanski and Hon. Daniel J. Kaup from the Eighth Judicial District Court, both effective January 10, 2017.

Judge Schapanski2Judge Schapanski was appointed to the district court in June 2007, and was named Chief Judge in August 2009. His docket includes civil, criminal, probate, juvenile, domestic relations, and appeals from magistrate orders. Prior to his appointment to the district court, he was a district court magistrate in the Eighth Judicial District from 1993 to 2007. He was in private practice in Fort Collins from 1974 to 1993. He received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Kaup (Formatted)Judge Kaup was appointed to the district court in October 2001, where his docket consists of civil and criminal actions and domestic relations cases. He was also appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court to serve as a water judge in the North Platte, Yampa, and White River basins from 2002 to 2008. He is also the presiding judge for the Adult Drug Court. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice for 23 years in the North Park area, Jackson County, and the City of Walden, where he had a general practice. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his law degree from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancies. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Eighth Judicial District 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 Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Completed applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 4, 2016. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 28, 2016.

For more information about the vacancies, click here.

District Court Judges Appointed in Eighth and Nineteenth Judicial Districts

On Monday, November 25, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced the governor’s appointment of judges to fill vacancies in the Eighth and Nineteenth judicial districts.

Michelle Brinegar was appointed to the Eighth Judicial District bench. She will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Dave Williams, effective December 19, 2013. W. Troy Hause was appointed to the bench in the Nineteenth Judicial District. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Dinsmore Tuttle, effective November 30, 2013.

Ms. Brinegar is currently a Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Eighth Judicial District, where she supervises the juvenile division and the crimes against children/sex assault units. She received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University.

Mr. Hause currently is a solo practitioner in private practice. He has owned his own practice since graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School, and he specializes in family law, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, and mediation. He also has expertise in mental health certifications, juvenile law, and probate.

Nominees Selected for District Court Vacancies in Second and Eighth Judicial Districts

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees for the vacancy on the Eighth Judicial District Court. Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from November 12 in which to appoint a nominee. The vacancy will be created by the December 19, 2013, retirement of Hon. Dave Williams.

The three nominees are C. Michelle Brinegar, John A. Jostad, and Randall C. Lococo. All three nominees are from Fort Collins. Contact information for the nominees is available on the State Judicial website.

State Judicial announced three nominees for the vacancy on the Denver Juvenile Court on Thursday, November 14, 2013. The vacancy became effective November 4, upon the appointment of Hon. Karen Ashby to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The three nominees for the Denver Juvenile Court are Laura A. Clark, Andrea L. Eddy, and Susan L. Street, all of Denver. Contact information for these nominees is also available on the State Judicial website. Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days from November 15, 2013, in which to appoint a nominee to the Denver Juvenile Court bench.

Eighth Judicial District Phone Numbers Will Change August 9, 2013

The Eighth Judicial District, which includes Jackson County and Larimer County, announced that all of its phone numbers will be changing on August 9, 2013. The phone numbers to change include the district court, county court, Loveland County Court, clerk of court, court administration, and all probation department locations.

The changes will be effective at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, August 9, 2013. The new numbers are listed below.

  • Clerk of Court main number Larimer County Justice Center – 970-494-3500.
  • Jury Commissioner – 970-494-3555.
  • Probation Larimer County Justice Center – 970-494-3900.
  • Probation Midpoint Office – 970-494-3960.
  • Loveland County Court main number – 970-622-2100.
  • Probation Loveland Police and Courts – 970-622-2150.
  • Probation Loveland 6th Street – 970-622-2180.

For more information, visit the webpage of the Eighth Judicial District or click here.

ICCES Implementation Delayed in 8th Judicial District

The implementation of the pilot transition to the Integrated Colorado Courts E-Filing System (ICCES) has been delayed in the 8th Judicial District, which encompasses Larimer and Jackson counties. Originally scheduled for December 3rd, the ICCES pilot program will now begin there on December 19th. All electronic case filing must be done through ICCES once a pilot district goes live. ICCES has already begun in the 14th, 17th, and 20th Judicial Districts, and will go statewide January 1, 2013. For more information on ICCES, go to the State Court Administrator’s Office website.

Six New Judges Appointed to Colorado District and County Courts

Last month, Governor Bill Ritter announced the appointments of six new county and district court judges:

  • John Joseph Briggs of Windsor will become a new Weld County Court judge, effective January 1, 2011. Briggs has been an associate attorney in the Law Office of Robert E. Ray since 2004. His practice focuses on criminal law, domestic relations, and appeals. He also worked as a law clerk for the Kansas Court of Appeals. He received his law degree from Washburn Law School in 1993.
  • Francis Stephen Collins of Parker will become a new District Court judge in the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties), effective February 1, 2011. He is currently a shareholder at Ducker, Montgomery, Lewis & Bess, P.C., where he has practiced since 2000 and is now a commercial litigator. Prior to that, he was an associate and partner with Pendleton, Friedberg, Wilson & Hennessey; an associate with Parcel, Meyer, Schwartz, Ruttum & Mauro; and a law clerk to the Alaska Supreme Court Justice Edmond W. Burke. Collins received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1979.
  • Julie Kunce Field of Fort Collins will become a new District Court judge in the 8th Judicial District (Jackson and Larimer counties), effective January 1, 2011. Field is currently a sole practitioner. She previously worked as a litigation associate with Nutter, McClennen and Fish; associate professor and clinic director of Washburn University Law School; clinical program director for the University of Denver College of Law; adjunct faculty and guest lecturer for the University of Colorado-Denver Masters’ Program in Public Policy; and as a special consultant to International Monetary Fund and World Bank. She earned her law degree from the University of Chicago in 1985.
  • Debra Marie Gunkel of Springfield will become a new Baca County Court judge, effective January 11, 2011. She is currently a sole practitioner. She previously worked as a deputy district attorney in the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She earned her J.D. from Southwestern University in 1989, and an LLM in taxation from Boston University in 1991.
  • Stephen Enderlin Howard of Fort Collins will become a new District Court judge in the 8th Judicial District, effective January 1, 2011. He is currently a partner at Howard and Francis. He previously worked at Fischer and Wilmarth as an associate and a partner. He earned his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1978.
  • Cindy Lu Wilson of Coalmont will become a new Jackson County Court judge, effective February 9, 2011. She is currently a certified public accountant with her own practice. She previously was the owner/operator of the Shamrock Ranch and she was a CPA with Tredway, Henion and Kerr and with Wilson & Co.

District court judges serve an initial provisional term of two years. Then, if retained by voters, they serve six-year terms.

County court judges serve an initial provisional term of two years. Then, if retained by voters, they serve four-year terms.