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Judicial Excellence Awards

2007 Judicial Excellence Award Recipients - Judge Roxanne Bailin, Judge Jay Breese and Magistrate Dinsmore Tuttle

District Court Judge
Honorable Roxanne Bailin
20th Judicial District

District Court Judge Roxanne Bailin was named to the district court bench in 1987 and has been Chief Judge since 1998. In one of her many letters of nomination, she is praised as “a great leader, innovator, mentor and highly intelligent and decisive judicial officer”.

Judge Bailin has spearheaded many innovative improvements in the 20 th Judicial District particularly for cases involving substance abuse and mental illness. Among these are the Integrated Treatment Court and the Integrated Family Treatment Court established as alternatives to incarceration for treating people while keeping them in the community.


She has been a leader in building collaborative relationships with law enforcement and human services agencies. In 1999, she initiated the Boulder County Mental Health Task Force. The Task Force helped to develop the PACE Program – a specialized probation program integrating mental health services, nursing services, case management throughout probation, life skills, employment assistance, and housing assistance under one roof. Judge Bailin formed the Boulder County Family Access Task Force in 1999. The Task Force developed safe exchange and supervised visitation services for children of families in conflict. The purpose of these services was to allow children to be exchanged by their parents without experiencing violence and conflict and to allow children to see parents who are incapable of safely caring for them on an unsupervised basis. Judge Bailin also developed a truancy project--combining forces with a juvenile magistrate, juvenile case facilitator, school personnel and families--that uses trackers and a conferencing model to develop treatment plans for delinquent youth.


Since 1994, Judge Bailin has served on the Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Instructions and currently chairs that committee. She is a member of the Chief Judges Council and has served as the Chief Judge Liaison to the Judicial Branch Human Resources Standing Committee. She has served on the Chief Judge Mentoring Committee and the Legislative Task Force for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System. Judge Bailin is also a member of the Social Action Committee of Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder.


It is not surprising that during her career, Judge Bailin has been recognized by many organizations for outstanding service to the community. Her awards include: the State Judicial Branch “Outstanding Judicial Officer “ Award, the Voices for Children “Champions for Children” Award, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association “Judge of the Year” Award - twice, the YWCA of Boulder County “Hall of Fame” Award, the Colorado Association of Special Advocates “Judge of the Year” Award, the American Board of Trial Advocates “Judicial Excellence Award”, the Boulder County Bar Association “Beyond the Gavel” Award for Extraordinary Service to Boulder County, and, most recently, the Boulder County Public Health “Healthy Community Award” for exemplifying the Boulder County Public Health mission and values of improving the health and well being of the people and environment of Boulder County.


County Court Judge 
Honorable James B. Breese

Denver County Court

A County Court Judge since 1987, Judge Breese believes the best changes are accomplished through education and collaboration among all affected parties.


Bringing together stakeholders to improve processes has been a hallmark of his 20-year career. Judge Breese created the Court/Sheriff committee to address conflicts between the two agencies leading to the establishment of uniform procedures to handle prisoners. While in Denver’s juvenile court, Judge Breese vigorously developed and adapted treatment programs to help juveniles and their families. He forged stronger relationships between the court and the schools by meeting with high school and middle school principals. He encouraged schools to treat problems internally when possible, and he began the Quick Turnaround Program to reduce the amount of time juvenile offenders missed class. He improved cooperation between the municipal and state juvenile courts and created systems to end the misfiling of serious cases in the municipal court.


Judge Breese is a Trustee of the Denver Bar Association and serves on the DBA Bench-Bar Committee. During his tenure as co-chair of this Committee, Judge Breese developed pamphlets to help pro se defendants understand their rights and obligations and how the courts operate. Under his leadership, the Committee also made significant improvements to the Denver Jury Service System by implementing a more efficient communication program, securing commitments from community organizations to provide benefits for juror service--including free museum admissions, discounted parking and meals--and improving the Jury Room with ever changing art exhibits and new TV monitors. Judge Breese serves on the Executive Council of the Colorado County Judges Association and the Supreme Court Jury Reform Committee. A charter member of the Marsh Inns of Court, Judge Breese chaired its Program Committee and served as President of the Inn. An active speaker about the court system, Judge Breese has lectured to judges, journalists, civic groups, and law students. He helped to author portions of the Judges DUI Benchbook


Judge Breese has been recognized with the Judicial Excellence Award from the Denver Bar Association, the Marsh Inn Alfred Harrell Award for Distinguished Service and the Faculty Humanist Award for Teacher Excellence from the University of Colorado. To quote one of his nominators, “In sum, Judge Breese represents the highest intelligence, competence, fairness, judicial temperament and community involvement that the society he serves expects and…with a very good amount of humor”.



Honorable Dinsmore Tuttle
19th Judicial District


 Magistrate Dinsmore Tuttle was appointed as a District Court Magistrate in 1997. In her nomination she was described as “dedicated to helping parties to move efficiently and effectively through the system” while giving ample time for all parties to address their issues. In one of the fastest growing jurisdictions in the state, she is known for being very innovative and creative in dealing with courtroom processes.


After presided over the delinquency docket for three years, Magistrate Tuttle now serves in the Family Court hearing domestic relations and dependency and neglect cases. Magistrate Tuttle collaborated in the creation of a Family Treatment Court to confront the methamphetamine crisis and its impact on families. The Family Treatment Court actively involves parents in establishing/achieving treatment goals and progress assessments, and works to address the overall needs of the family in a more individualized, less standardized manner.


Magistrate Tuttle serves on the Supreme Court Standing Committee on Family Issues and the Respondent Parents’ Task Force. She piloted in Weld County, along with several other counties, the simplified dissolution process that lead to the creation of Rule 16.2 codifying the timely disclosure of information from all parties.


Magistrate Tuttle and her husband have lived in the same house in “what used to be” rural Larimer County for 22 years. Her proudest accomplishment is her three children: Eason, Drew and Brooke.


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