Local Firms Announce New Attorneys, Judicial Districts Open Nominations, Gov. Polis Appoints New Judge

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Law Firm Updates

Sherman & Howard announced June 12 the addition of Hannah Taylor to its Denver litigation practice group where she will focus on family law. Taylor will work with high-net-worth clients on divorce or allocation of parental responsibilities cases. Prior to joining the firm, Taylor worked at the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, covering Broomfield and Adams counties, where she tried a variety of cases before judges and juries. She has also volunteered on family law matters with Colorado Legal Services. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of New Mexico. She earned her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law with a concentration in advocacy.

Holland & Hart announced June 13 corporate associate Chris Wittels joined the firm’s Denver office. Wittels advises private and public companies, as well as private equity and venture capital investors, in mergers, acquisitions, minority investments, divestitures, financings and general business matters. He focuses primarily on mid-market deals, with target enterprise values between $10 million and $2 billion and has led numerous transactions for local clients. Wittels maintains an active pro bono practice that includes providing legal assistance for veterans and supporting indigent clients. He received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announced June 15 that Marta Orpiszewska joined the firm’s environmental & public lands group as of counsel. Orpiszewska’s practice focuses on environmental and energy matters, an emphasis on compliance counseling, commercial transactions and contaminated land cleanups. Before joining DGS, Orpiszewska was a senior associate in the Denver office of an international law firm. Orpiszewska received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. 

The Judiciary 

The 18th Judicial District announced June 12 that its nominating commission will interview and select nominees for an upcoming opening on the Arapahoe County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Judge LaQunya Baker to the 18th Judicial District Court and will occur on August 1. Application forms are available at the office of Justice Carlos Samour, Jr., at the office of the court executive Shaun Clark. Applications must be sent to [email protected] by 4 p.m. on June 29. Candidate suggestions are due  June 22.

The 1st Judicial District announced June 13 that its nominating commission will interview and select nominees for an upcoming vacancy for the district court,  covering Gilpin and Jefferson counties. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Lily Oeffler and will occur on September 1. Application forms are available from the office of Justice William Hood III, the office of the court executive Jennifer Mendoza and here. Applications must be sent to  [email protected] by 4 p.m. on July 6.  Candidate suggestions are due by 4 p.m. on June 30.

The 1st Judicial District announced June 15 three candidates for an upcoming district court judgeship created by the resignation of Judge Robert Lochary on July 29. The nominees are Chantel Contiguglia of Centennial, Christopher Rhamey of Arvada and Marianne Tims of Littleton. Under the Colorado constitution, the governor must appoint the position by June 30. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent to [email protected].

Gov. Jared Polis appointed Sarah Stout June 15 to fill an upcoming vacancy on the 17th Judicial District Court, covering Adams and Broomfield counties. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Robert Kiesnowski Jr. and is effective July 1. Stout is senior lead deputy district attorney in the 17th Judicial District, a position she has held since 2021. Her practice consists of criminal prosecution. Stout earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 2009 and her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2012.


Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, an international firm with an office in Denver, announced June 9 that the firm earned a number of recognitions in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In Colorado, the firm received a Band 1 ranking for intellectual property. Partner Darin Gibby also received a band 1 ranking for intellectual property. 

National firm Adams and Reese announced June 13 that partner Hilary Morgan, who practices in both the Denver and Tampa offices, was among the top construction law attorneys in the 2023 Chambers USA Guide.

Lathrop GPM LLP, a national firm with an office in Denver, announced June 14 it was named among the 2023 50 Best Law Firms for Women & Diversity by Seramount, a DEI-focused businesses consulting group. The firm has been included in the annual list for three consecutive years. According to the announcement, in 2022, more than 50% of the partner compensation committee and the firm’s practice group leaders were women and last year, nine women were promoted to partner. 

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