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This month's newsletter...

CJI’s Judicial Education Fund Supports the Colorado Court Employees Conference

By Amy Ostheimer, CJI Executive Director

For the seventh consecutive year, CJI’s Judicial Education Fund supported the Colorado Court Employees Conference (CCEC) with a scholarship award. The CCEC takes place at the same time as the Colorado Judicial Conference.

The CCEC kicked off last week as court and probation staff gathered from across the state. There were 390 attendees, representing 21 of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts. Participants came from various job positions such as court judicial assistants, collections investigators, probation support staff, clerk of court and supervisors.  There were 24 different class options offering a leadership track and on-the-job training. The leadership track included classes to improve listening skills, reading body language, setting and accomplishing goals, problem solving, mindfulness and innovation. The on-the-job training focused on protection orders, trial coding, financial entry and customer service. Keynote addresses included “Leadership is an Action, Not a Position” and how to be “People Smart.”

CJI recognizes the need for continuing education for all court employees and the positive impact it has on not only the court employees but to all who come in contact with Colorado’s courts.

CJI Honors Four Outstanding Colorado Judges at 2017 Judicial Excellence Dinner

 By Amy Ostheimer, CJI Executive Director

CJI will honor four outstanding judges at this year’s Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner.

Magistrate Award Recipient
Magistrate Frances R. Johnson, 4th Judicial District  

Frances R. Johnson is a Magistrate Judge in the 4th Judicial District presiding over probate and mental health cases since 2013. She attended the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and went on to earn a J.D. at the University of Texas Law School.  Over the next fifteen years, she served in various positions including assistant state attorney general, public defender, municipal prosecutor, civil and appellate litigator, solo practitioner and guardian ad litem.  In 2013 she was hired by Chief Judge Gil Martinez as a magistrate where she has served for the past 4 and a half years. Magistrate Johnson has co-presented at multiple probate CLEs and has additional experience in criminal, civil, appellate and juvenile law.

County Court Judge Award Recipient
Judge Gary M. Jackson, Denver County Court

Judge Gary M. Jackson was appointed to the Denver County Court in September 2012 after practicing law for 42 years in Colorado. He served as a Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney in Denver and as a prosecutor in the United States’ Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. In private practice, he represented clients in civil and criminal cases at all levels of Colorado courts. Judge Jackson co-founded the Sam Cary Bar Association in 1971. He served as president and on the boards of numerous institutions including History Colorado, U.S. District Court Federal Selection Committee, Judicial Performance Commission for the 18th J.D., the American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, the National Bar Association, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Minoru Yasui Inn of Court. Judge Jackson earned his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Colorado. He has received awards and recognition from the University of Colorado School of Law, the Colorado Bar Association, the National Bar Association and the Sam Cary Bar Association.

District Court Judge Award Recipient
Judge John E. Popovich (retired), 17th Judicial District

Judge John E. Popovich received both his undergraduate degree and J.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder which included time in the U.S. Army. After he was admitted to the bar, Judge Popovich became a Vista Volunteer for the Domestic Peace Corp.  He was an attorney with the Denver Legal Aid Society, assigned to Adams County in Brighton, Colorado. After a year, he was hired as a staff attorney. In 1975, he moved from Legal Aid to private practice as a trial lawyer and litigator. He worked as a District Court Magistrate prior to being appointed a District Court Judge in 1986. He currently serves as a board member for the Community Reach Center Board of Directors (Adams County Mental Health Center).  He participates in the 9 to 5 Program through the Adams County Education Consortium affording high school students the opportunity to meet with individuals to discuss different professions.

Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award  
Judge Gale T. Miller, Colorado Court of Appeals (retired)

Judge Gale T. Miller was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in August 2008. Prior to his appointment, Judge Miller was a litigator at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP from 1973 to 2008. Prior to his work at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Judge Miller was a trial attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. He received his undergraduate degree from Augustana College and his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Judge Miller served on the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Civil Jury Instructions Task Force and chaired the Colorado Attorney General’s Task Force on Petroleum Marketing Practices. He is past chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, the Colorado Judicial Institute, the Colorado Lawyers Committee and Senior Housing Options.  He also served on the board of the Denver Legal Aid Foundation. He continues to serve on the Executive Committee of Our Courts and on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission. In addition to being cited in Chambers USA 2008 “The Client’s Guide,” he has been listed in Who’s Who editions, the Denver Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Professional Services and The Best Lawyers in America.

Judge Miller recently received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award; he was the recipient of the Colorado Lawyers Committee Outstanding Sustained Achievement Award; and he received the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Community Service Award.

The honorees will be recognized at the 2017 Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner on October 18th at the Denver Marriott City Center.


CJI welcomes the submission of guest articles directly related to our mission and activities.  Upon careful review by CJI officers and staff, submissions may be published in the newsletter.  Questions about submitting articles for the CJI newsletter should be directed to the CJI office via email or phone at 303-766-7501.

Past CJI Newsletters

New at CJI: Judge Miller Honored with Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award/Judicial Excellence Dinner Announces Key Note Speaker
New at CJI: CJI Announces 2017 Judicial Excellence Awards Honorees and New JPE Legislation
New at CJI: Judicial Excellence Nominees Announced and CJI Welcomes New Board Members
New at CJI: Education Grants for Pro Se Litigant Training/Nominations Open for Judicial Excellence Awards
Colorado Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Judicial Merit Selection
Support CJI on Colorado Give Day, December 6
Judicial Excellence Dinner Celebrates 50 Years of Fair and Impartial Courts
Reserve your Seats Now for the 2016 Judicial Excellence Dinner
CJI Supports Amendment 71
Politico Author to Speak at CJI Dinner/CJI Tackles ADR Issues
CJI Announces 2016 Judicial Excellence Awards Honorees/CJI’s Public Education Program Adopts the Informed Voters and Fair Courts Project
Results of CJI Annual Meeting Elections/Judicial Excellence Awards Nominees Announced
Flood of ‘Dark Money' Drowns Public Confidence in Politics
CJI to Recognize Five Judicial Officers at 2015 Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner
CJI Welcomes New CBA Executive Director and Elects New Board Members at Annual Meeting
Judicial Election Spending Decried at 2014 Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner
“Know Your Judge” Also Means “Know the Process”
Is it I? The President of the American Judicature Society Reflects on the Bias Inherent in Judicial Elections
Plaintiff in Caperton Vs. Massey Speaks on Impact of Campaign Money
CJI Honors Five Outstanding Jurists for Maintaining Excellence in Colorado Courts
O’Connor Gives Merit System Ringing Endorsement
Chief Justice’s Directive Defines Aid to Pro Se Litigants; Changes Tone of Colorado Courts
States Making it Harder to Get Timely Justice
Iowa Experience Shows Vital Role of CJI
CJI Newsletter Special Editon September 2010
CJI Supports Amendment 71


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