May 25, 2019

Six Candidates Nominated for Two Vacancies on Second Judicial District Court Bench

On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the nomination of six candidates to fill two vacancies on the Second Judicial District bench. The vacancies will be created on December 31, 2013, by the retirement of Hon. Robert S. Hyatt and Hon. Anne M. Mansfield.

Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days from October 22, 2013, in which to appoint two of the nominees. The appointed judges will serve a two-year term and will then stand for retention in the next general election. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at

The six nominees are Ross Buchanan of Denver, Kandace Gerdes of Denver, Andrew McCallin of Denver, Joseph Mellon of Denver, Peter Stapp of Brighton, and Colin Walker of Denver. Contact information for the nominees may be found on the State Judicial website.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Finalists Selected

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission has selected three candidates for a vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court created by the retirement of the Hon. Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. The vacancy is effective Jan. 7, 2014. The nominees are John Daniel Dailey, William W. Hood and David Prince.

John Dailey has been a judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals since 2000. Prior to that, he was with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

William Hood was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in 2007. Before becoming a judge, he was a partner at Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C., where he practiced both civil and criminal law.

David Prince has been a district court judge for the 4th Judicial District since 2006. Prior to that, he was a commercial litigator with Holland & Hart.

Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days from Oct. 10, 2013, within which to appoint one of the nominees as a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at

Patrick T. Murphy Appointed Chief Judge for the 17th Judicial District

On October 7, 2013, Chief Justice Michael L. Bender appointed District Judge Patrick T. Murphy as the new chief judge for the 17th Judicial District, which encompasses Adams and Broomfield counties. He replaces retiring Chief Judge C. Vincent Phelps, who was appointed to the District Court bench in 1996, and named chief judge in July 2008. Judge Murphy’s appointment is effective Jan. 31, 2014.

Judge Murphy was appointed to the District Court bench in 2004 after 22 years in private practice, including starting the firm of Purvis, Gray and Murphy. From 1981 to 1986, he served as an assistant United States attorney, and before that, served in the Weld County and Boulder County district attorney offices.

Mark D. Thompson Appointed Chief Judge of Fifth Judicial District Upon Retirement of R. Thomas Moorhead

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Chief Justice Michael Bender appointed Mark D. Thompson as the Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Thompson will replace Hon. R. Thomas Moorhead, who will retire effective December 1, 2013.

Judge Moorhead has been the Chief Judge since 2010. He was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court bench in 2002, and prior to that he was the Eagle County Attorney. He was the town attorney for the Town of Vail from 1993 to 2001, and also spent a great deal of his career in Ohio. He received his J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1975.

Judge Thompson was appointed to the Fifth Judicial District Court bench in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Denver School of Law, and was partner at a Denver firm before moving to the mountains and joining the Breckenridge firm of French, West & Brown, where he became partner in 1999.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Michael Martinez Named to Succeed Robert S. Hyatt as Chief Judge of Denver District Court

On Monday, September 23, 2013, Chief Justice Michael Bender announced that Hon. Michael A. Martinez will replace Hon. Robert S. Hyatt as the Chief Judge in the Denver District Court. Judge Martinez’ appointment will be effective January 10, 2014, upon Chief Judge Hyatt’s retirement.

Robert S. Hyatt was appointed to the Denver District Court bench in November 1987. He also served on the Denver County Court bench from 1984 to 1987, and worked at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office prior to that. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Denver and has judged moot court competitions. He received the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Judicial Excellence Award in 2012.

Michael A. Martinez has served on the Denver District Court bench since September 2000. He has worked in all divisions of the Denver District Court, and is currently the Civil Division’s Presiding Judge. He is active in his community, and has served on boards and commissions for several local entities, including the Rose Community Foundation, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and the Denver Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee. He is a frequent presenter on topics related to trial advocacy.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

New District Court Judges Appointed in Weld and Boulder Counties

On Monday, September 16, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointments to the district court benches in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Judicial Districts, encompassing Boulder and Weld counties.

Shannon Douglas Lyons was appointed to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court bench in Weld County, effective October 11, 2013. Mr. Lyons is currently senior litigation counsel for Otis, Coan & Peters, LLC. He has focused on trial work throughout his career, specializing in complex constitutional, statutory, and commercial issues. Mr. Lyons is a regular presenter for the Weld County Bar Association, and was presented with that organization’s Professionalism in the Law Award in 2007.

Bruce Langer was appointed to the Twentieth Judicial District Court bench in Boulder County, effective immediately. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. M. Gwyneth Whalen. Mr. Langer currently works at the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, where he oversees general felony prosecutions and the felony intake unit. Previously, Mr. Langer was an associate at Franco Domenico and Associates.

For more information about the appointments and other judicial vacancies, click here.

Nominees Selected for Judgeship in Larimer County Court

The Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission met on April 10, 2013, to select nominees for a judgeship in the Larimer County Court in the Eighth Judicial District. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Hon. Ronald L. Schultz, effective April 30, 2013.

The three nominees are David Ayraud of Fort Collins, Mary Berenato of Fort Collins, and Kraig Ecton of Fort Collins. Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from April 11, 2013 to appoint one of the nominees. Comments about any of the nominees may be submitted to the governor via email at

For the full press release, including contact information for the nominees, click here.

Raymond P. Moore Confirmed by U.S. Senate as New U.S. District Court Judge

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed Raymond P. Moore as the new district court judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Judge Moore will fill a vacancy created when Chief Judge Wiley Daniel became a Senior Judge on January 1, 2013.

Judge Moore graduated from Yale College in 1975, and from Yale Law School in 1978. He first practiced law with Davis, Graham, & Stubbs, then served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado for four years, returning to Davis, Graham, and Stubbs in 1986. He again left DGS in 1992 to work at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, and became a Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming in 2004.

Judge Moore’s appointment was celebrated by Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, who praised his initial nomination and urged the Senate to confirm him quickly.

Click here for the announcement from the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

William Herringer Appointed to Sixth Judicial District Court Bench

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper appointed William Herringer to the bench of the Sixth Judicial District Court, effective March 11, 2013. He will replace Hon. David L. Dickinson, whose retirement was effective February 28, 2013.

Prior to his appointment, Herringer was an attorney in private practice at Greenberg & Herringer, LLC, in Durango. He primarily focused on criminal defense, but also handled personal injury cases and protection order hearings. He earned his law degree from University of Colorado Law School, and his undergraduate degree from Colorado College.

Judge Herringer’s appointment will be effective for two years, at which time he will face a retention election. If retained, he will remain on the bench for an additional six years.

New District Court Judgeships Created in Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts

Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 13-1035 on March 8, 2013, which created one additional district court judgeship in the Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts. The bill is effective July 1, 2013.

The Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on May 17, 2013, to interview and select nominees for the vacancy. Nominees must be qualified electors of the Ninth Judicial District and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years.

The Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on May 20, 2013, to interview and select nominees. To be eligible, nominees must be qualified electors of the Fifth Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years.

Application forms for these judgeships are available on the Colorado State Judicial Branch website. Instructions for completing and submitting the application for the Fifth Judicial District judgeship are available here. For instructions for the Ninth Judicial District applications, click here.

e-Legislative Report: March 11, 2013

Michael Valdez, the Director of Legislative Relations for the Colorado Bar Association, discusses notable bills at the Capitol in this week’s edition of the e-Legislative Report. The Legislative Policy Committee did not meet on March 8, so there is no update from LPC.

At the Capitol

  • HB 13-1138. Concerning Benefit Corporations. By Rep. Lee and Sen. Kefalas. On Friday, March 9, the House Appropriations moved the bill to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading. The bill will be on the calendar for 2nd Reading sometime during the week of March 11.
  • On March 8, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law, HB 13-1035. Concerning an increase in the number of judges in certain judicial districts, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. The bill creates two new district court judgeships; one each in the 5th and 9th Judicial Districts. Although the bill was signed on March 8, the act doesn’t take effect until July 1.
  • Almost 10 years in the making, SB 13-33. Concerning in-state classification at institutions of higher education for students who complete high school in Colorado was given final approval by the House of Representatives on Friday, March 8. The bill requires an institution of higher education in Colorado to classify a student as an in-state student for tuition purposes if the student: 1) attends a public or private high school in Colorado for least 3 years immediately preceding graduation or completion of a general equivalency diploma (GED) in Colorado; and 2) is admitted to a Colorado institution or attends an institution under a reciprocity agreement
  • Civil Unions watch: SB 13-11. Concerning authorization of civil unions, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Ferrandino. On March 6, the Finance Committee approved the bill and referred it to the Appropriations Committee. On March 8, the Appropriations Committee adopted the bill and sent it to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading. Why all the attention to SB 11? Once approved, the vast majority of the bill goes into effect on May 1. View the current bill version online.

Also available in the e-Legislative Report are summaries of 20 bills of interest — 10 from each house. Click here for the full list of bill summaries, or stay tuned to CBA-CLE Legal Connection.

Samuel Vigil Selected for Judgeship in Bent County Court

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced his selection of Samuel S. Vigil for a part-time judgeship in Bent County. Judge Vigil will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Mark A. MacDonnell to the Sixteenth Judicial District Court bench. Judge Vigil’s appointment is effective immediately.

Samuel Vigil works in private practice in Las Animas. Previously, he worked as a Deputy District Attorney in the Sixteenth Judicial District. He also worked at Hudson Legal, where he practiced criminal law. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and his juris doctorate from Tulane University Law School.