New Hires at Local Firms, Court Vacancies Across the State

Have an announcement for Law Week Colorado’s people section? Let us know

Law Firm Updates

International firm Arnold & Porter announced on March 1 that Jessica Kaiser joined its Denver office and intellectual property practice as a partner. Kaiser, a Chicago-Kent College of Law graduate with a B.S. in engineering from Colorado School of Mines, formerly worked as a lead administrative patent judge at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Her USPTO experience involved management and decisions in appeals and America Invents Act trials as well as agency rulemaking and procedures. Kaiser previously clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. and Judge Joan Gottschall from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

On March 1, Koenig, Oelsner, Taylor, Schoenfeld & Gaddis PC announced Jon Taylor was named as the firm’s new managing partner. Taylor, a Duke Law School graduate, has been at KO for 17 years with experience in emerging company issues, venture capital, M&As and private equity. Now, Taylor will help guide KO’s strategic vision and oversee operations at the firm’s offices in Denver and Boulder. 

Regional firm Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announced on March 3 that Sarah Barr joined its trial group as an associate. Barr, a Georgetown University Law Center graduate, will work at the Denver office and focus on complex commercial litigation. During law school, Barr was a judicial intern for Judge Raymond Gruender of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Randolph Moss, was a member of the Supreme Court Institute and was a student criminal defense attorney with the Georgetown Criminal Justice Clinic. After graduating, she clerked for Colorado federal Judge Brooke Jackson and was an associate at a large, international firm. Outside her practice, Barr regularly volunteers with Food for Thought and coaches for the Special Olympics.

On March 1, Kalamaya | Goscha announced Leanna Gavin joined the Colorado boutique firm as its newest family law attorney. Gavin, a University of Colorado Law School graduate, will work out of the Denver office on divorce, parenting disputes and family law matters. As a law student, Gavin was recognized with CU Law’s Leaders in Law and Community Fellowship award and is a certified trauma-informed yoga teacher. She volunteers with Phoenix Multisport, teaching yoga to people in recovery from addiction and brings experience working with those processing trauma to her family law practice. 

The Judiciary 

On Feb. 28, the 17th Judicial District Nominating Commission announced an upcoming vacancy for an Adams County judgeship. The April 29 vacancy is created by the upcoming retirement of Judge Brian Bowen. Qualified applicants must apply by March 14 for consideration. 

The 12th Judicial District Nominating Commission announced on Feb. 28 an upcoming vacancy on the Conejos County court. The vacancy will occur on April 1 and is created by the appointment of Judge Kimberly Cortez-Rodriguez to the district court. Qualified applicants must apply by March 11 for consideration. 

Gov. Jared Polis announced new appointments to state boards and commissions on Feb. 28. 

Jaime FitzSimons from Breckenridge was appointed to the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice for a term expiring on June 20. FitzSimons serves as a member from the sheriff’s department to help the commission engage in evidence-based analysis of the Colorado criminal justice system and report to state officials and the Colorado Supreme Court. 

The governor also made appointments to three of the state’s judicial district nominating commissions which nominate candidates for district and county judicial vacancies. The appointees all have terms expiring on Dec. 31, 2027. 

  • Tawny Peyton from Buena Vista was appointed to the 11th Judicial District Nominating Commission as an unaffiliated, non-attorney from Chaffee County. 
  • Tejwant Mangat from Lafayette was appointed to the 20th Judicial District Nominating Commission as a Democrat, non-attorney from Boulder County. 
  • Laura Sparks from Boulder was appointed to the 20th Judicial District Nominating Commission as a Democrat, non-attorney from Boulder County. 
  • Clarisa Feuily from Cortez was appointed to the 22nd Judicial District Nominating Commission as a Republican, non-attorney from Montezuma County. 

The Colorado Judicial Department extended the application period for a vacancy on the Ouray County Court. First announced in January, the Feb. 26 vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge Zachary Martin. Qualified applicants must apply by March 16 for consideration. 

On March 3, the Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission announced three finalists for an upcoming district court judgeship vacancy. The March 31 vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge David Miller. The three candidates are Diana May and Amanda Philipps, both from Colorado Springs, and Theodore McClintock from Woodland Park. Gov. Jared Polis must appoint one of the nominees by March 18.  

Gov. Polis appointed Kim Shropshire on March 2 to an upcoming vacancy on the 6th Judicial District Court covering La Plata, Archuleta and San Juan counties. Shropshire fills the role after Judge William Herringer’s March 9 retirement. Shropshire, a University of Denver Sturm College of Law graduate, has been a staff attorney at Colorado Legal Services and a guardian ad litem through appointment by the Ute Mountain Ute CFR court since 2006. Her practice focuses on civil law matters related to poverty including family law, housing and public benefits. 

Movers & Shakers

National firm Lewis Roca announced on March 1 that it finished moving its Denver office to McGregor Square in Lower Downtown. This is the first time Lewis Roca has moved its Denver location in 35 years and the office offers views and a design with hybrid work in mind. Take a look inside the new office.

Previous articleDiscriminatory Juror Strike Reverses a 1997 Attempted Murder Conviction
Next articleCourt Opinions: Colorado Court of Appeals Opinions for March 3


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here