In celebration of the Colorado judiciary, CJI announced the recipients of the 2013 CJI Judicial Excellence Awards. The recipients were Chief Judge James F. Hartmann, Jr., Judge Leroy Kirby and Magistrate Emily Anderson.
District Court Chief Judge James F. Hartmann, Jr., Nineteenth Judicial District
Chief Judge James F. Hartmann, Jr. was born in Chicago and relocated to Colorado at the age of 9 with his parents and two younger brothers. He considers Windsor his hometown in that he graduated from Windsor High School and this is also where his childhood memories reside.
With the goal of going to medical school, Hartmann attended the University of Northern Colorado studying biology and chemistry. In his junior year at UNC, a conversation initiated by a professor teaching a writing class changed the direction of his career, replacing medical school with law school.
Hartmann graduated from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 1989, and then spent 13 years with the Weld County District Attorney’s office as a deputy district attorney. He was appointed as a district court judge by Governor Owens in 2002. Chief Justice Mullarkey appointed Hartmann as the Water Judge for Division One Water Court in April, 2009 and as Chief Judge in July, 2009.
Most precious to Hartmann are his wife and two teenage sons, his extended family, and his many friends and colleagues. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor activities including hunting and fishing, and watching his sons participate in sports and playing in the school orchestra.
Chief Judge Hartmann is grateful for that particular conversation with his professor, as he has had many wonderful experiences as an attorney and a judge.
County Court Judge Leroy D. Kirby, Adams County
County Court Judge Leroy Kirby was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Haswell, Colorado with his parents at the age of 5. Haswell, a small farming community with a population of less than 100, is a town full of opportunities for a motivated young man. Kirby gained the skills of door to door sales, paperboy, and mastered many farm- related chores.
Kirby’s legal career has been and still is intertwined with a career in the military. After graduating from Regis University in Denver with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, he became a Naval Officer. Kirby graduated from Officer Candidate School and continued on active duty until 1992. Today he continues in the Navy Reserves as a Commander. Kirby graduated in 1995 from the University of Denver School of Law. In 2006, he and his wife were married by the Honorable Chief Judge Harlan Bockman in his courtroom just weeks before Kirby left for Iraq. Kirby was a deputy public defender for the State of Colorado until his appointment as a magistrate in 2007. He was appointed to the Adams County Court bench by Governor Ritter in July, 2009. Kirby has a docket of criminal, civil and the drug court which he created in October of 2010.
Kirby loves being a father to his two young daughters and believes it will undoubtedly be the most important thing he does in his life.
Magistrate Emily E. Anderson, 17th J.D.
Magistrate Emily E. Anderson was born and raised in Oklahoma City with two older brothers. She considered herself the “responsible” kid. She loved school, was in the honor society and student council, sang in the choir, studied piano and art, and played competitive sports.
Colorado was the family’s home away from home. In 8th grade, her parents agreed that if she got excellent grades in high school, she could attend college in Colorado. Anderson graduated with a fine arts degree from Colorado College, Cum Laude, in 1986. During her senior year as an art major, her career took a turn from being an artist to helping artists with legal issues. She wanted to be an entertainment lawyer.
Anderson attended the University of Denver School of Law, graduating in 1989. Upon graduation, Anderson intended to move to California to sit for the bar exam, but two things happened. She met her life-partner who had a job in Denver and she interned for a family law attorney. She discovered she wanted to help regular people, not stars.
Before becoming a Magistrate in the Seventeenth Judicial District, Anderson was a in the private practice of law and served as a Magistrate in the Second Judicial District. She has served as a Magistrate for the Seventeenth Judicial District since July, 2005. Anderson’s first attorney position was for a small civil litigation firm, followed by her own practice for 11 years. Her private trial practice focused on family law, representing the LGBT community and mediation.
Anderson is a member of CHBA, APABA, the CWBA, and the GLBT Bar Association. She worked tirelessly to establish parental rights for LGBT parents and provided pro-bono/low-cost mediation services to the LGBT community.