Court Opinion: Presiding Disciplinary Judge Opinion for June 7

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People v. Lance Phillip Timbreza

Lance Timbreza was a judicial officer in June 2022 when he attended a Colorado Bar Association conference at a mountain hotel complex, according to the disciplinary opinion. On the conference’s first night, eight of the attendees, including Timbreza and a younger lawyer, were in the hotel lobby for an informal social gathering. Most members of the group were drinking alcohol, according to the opinion. Several witnesses reported Timbreza became visibly intoxicated around midnight. 

According to the disciplinary opinion, during the gathering, Timbreza privately made repeated sexual propositions to the lawyer, including requests that they leave the gathering together to go to the lawyer’s hotel room by themselves. Timbreza used his cell phone to show the lawyer at least one inappropriate image. Timbreza believed he had the lawyer’s permission to show the picture, but the lawyer disagreed, according to the opinion. Several witnesses reported that the lawyer appeared comfortable with Timbreza initially but as Timbreza became more intoxicated, the lawyer appeared uncomfortable and tense when talking to Timbreza. Some witnesses also reported Timbreza and the lawyer looked at a cell phone for a couple of minutes and appeared to be sitting very close together.

The lawyer reported being nervous about Timbreza’s overtures and attempted to politely decline, rather than forcefully reject them. Ultimately, at the end of the evening, Timbreza and the lawyer went to the lawyer’s hotel room. On the way, Timbreza kissed the lawyer, who did not want the kiss but did not physically stop Timbreza or tell him no, according to the disciplinary opinion. Timbreza entered the lawyer’s hotel room and the facts following his entry are disputed.

Timbreza acknowledged his alcohol consumption that night compromised his judgment and his ability to objectively perceive events, and the disciplinary option noted he recognized his conduct was inappropriate.

The Presiding Disciplinary Judge approved Timbreza’s stipulation to discipline and publicly censured him, effective June 7. Timbreza must also complete a sexual harassment awareness and prevention program within one year’s time.

Timbreza appeared before a special tribunal of the Colorado Supreme Court earlier this year connected to the same incident where he was publicly censured. He resigned from his position on the 21st Judicial District Court in September 2022.

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