Sherman & Howard Adds One, Partner Joins Ballard Spahr, Lewis Roca Announces Appointment of Denver Attorney to the Firm’s Executive Committee

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Law firm updates

Sherman & Howard on April 12 announced Morgan Steele joined the firm’s litigation practice group. Steele, a former deputy district attorney with trial experience, grew up outside of the U.S. and is fluent in Spanish. She graduated in 2022 from the Syracuse University College of Law where she was the Legal Pulse editor and executive board member of the Syracuse Law Review. She earned her undergraduate degree from Pensacola Christian College in 2017.

Mike Kilgarriff on April 15 joined Ballard Spahr’s litigation department, commercial litigation and dispute resolution and consumer financial services groups as a partner, firm chair Peter Michaud announced. Kilgarriff is resident in the firm’s Denver office. He’s the second partner to join Ballard Spahr in Denver inside of a month, following Joseph Schuster, a business and transactions and consumer financial services partner who joined on April 1.

Lewis Roca on April 15 announced the appointment of Susan Sperber to its executive committee, effective April 1. Sperber will serve a four-year term, taking over responsibilities previously held by Denver partner Mike Plachy. Sperber, also a Denver partner, focuses on labor and employment law, religious institutions law and immigration law. As a member of the executive committee, the firm noted Sperber will play an integral role in guiding its strategic initiatives, enhancing client services and ensuring the firm’s success.

The judiciary

The 20th Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission will hold a public hearing on April 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Courtroom F at the Boulder County Justice Center. The commission will receive public comments on 20th Judicial District judges eligible for retention in the 2024 general election, including Judge J. Keith Collins, Judge Robert Gunning, Judge Dea Lindsey, Judge Thomas Mulvahill and County Court Judge Jonathan Martin. State law requires the commission to evaluate the performance of the judges and provide voters with a ‘Meets Performance Standard’ or ‘Does Not Meet Performance Standard’ recommendation in the Blue Books distributed to all voters before the November 2024 election. Anyone interested in commenting on the performance of these judges may speak at this hearing or provide an email or a written letter to the commission. Letters must include the name and address of the person submitting the comments, and each judge will receive a copy of any letters providing comments regarding that particular judge. All letters must be received by April 24. 

The 22nd Judicial District Nominating Commission on April 17 nominated two candidates for a Dolores County Court judgeship created by the retirement of Judge Matthew Margeson on June 1. Nominees Ian MacLaren of Dolores and Kristin Tarrin of Edwards were selected in a meeting on April 15. Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from April 16 to appoint one of the nominees. Comments regarding either of the nominees may be emailed to the governor. Contact Ian MacLaren at 970-564-4174 and Kristin Tarrin at 970-565-1111. 

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright on April 17 appointed Judge D. Cory Jackson to serve as chief judge in the 7th Judicial District serving Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties. As of July 1, Jackson will replace Judge J. Steven Patrick, who was appointed as a district court judge in 1993 and has served as chief judge since March 2000. Patrick announced his upcoming retirement earlier this year.

Gov. Jared Polis on April 17 appointed Hollie Wheelwright to the Mineral County Court in the 12th Judicial District. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Ruth Acheson, effective May 1. Wheelwright previously served as the clerk of court for Rio Grande and Mineral counties from 2013 to 2023, clerk and specialist of Rio Grande and Mineral Combined Courts from 2006 to 2013 and court judicial assistant for the Saguache and Rio Grande Combined Courts from 1997 to 2006.

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright on April 18 appointed Judge Brittany Schneider as chief judge in the 14th Judicial District serving Grand, Moffat and Routt counties. Schneider will replace Judge Mick O’Hara III, who was appointed as a district court judge in 2002 and has served as chief judge since January 2003. O’Hara will retire at the end of his current term on Jan. 14, 2025. A judicial vacancy announcement will be made later this year, according to the judicial department.

Polis on April 18 appointed Magistrate Judge Andrew Poland to the 1st Judicial District Court. This appointment fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ann Meinster and is effective June 1. Poland is a Jefferson County Court magistrate in the 1st Judicial District, a position he’s held since 2023. His docket consists of domestic relations and juvenile matters, according to the announcement. Previously, he was an attorney at Poland Law, LLC from 2012 to 2023 and adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University from 2021 to 2023.

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