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Judicial Excellence Awards

2006 Judicial Excellence Award Recipients - Judge Dennis Maes, Judge Lynn J. Karowsky, Magistrate Louis Gresh

District Court Judge
Honorable C. Dennis Maes

Chief Judge Maes was appointed to the District Court Bench in April 1988. He became Chief Judge in September 1995. Judge Maes has served the legal community with his presence on committees designed to improve the delivery of services to the citizens of Colorado, mentor young lawyers, guide the bar association and provide judicial discipline. He has served on the executive council of the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors; Supreme Court Committees on Delay Reduction, jury instructions and multiculturalism; and, the Governor’s Task Force on Civil Justice Reform. Judge Maes’ dedication to his community includes service on the Pueblo Regional Planning Commission, the Board of Trustees of the Sangre De Cristo Arts and Conference Center, the Board of Directors of the Eastside Child Care Center, the Board of Directors of Pueblo County Legal Services, Inc., the 10 th Judicial District Board to Certify and Monitor Domestic Violence Treatment Facilities, and the David & Lucille Packard Advisory Board. His work with the Teen Pregnancy Initiative has included attending community forums and working with the police department and school board to ensure that resource officers remained in local schools. Recently Judge Maes has served as a personal mentor to a middle school student.

Judge Maes spearheaded numerous innovative, positive changes in the 10 th Judicial District. He created a position for a family court facilitator/case manager to shepherd cases of juvenile delinquency, dependency and neglect, and domestic relations to a timely conclusion resulting in a delay reduction of 30%. Judge Maes worked with the bar to increase the appropriate use of alternative dispute resolution and elicited the assistance of Senior Judges to preside over settlement conferences and summary judgment motions. In cooperation with a Juvenile Magistrate, the schools and the Department of Human Services, a new truancy program was created to work with at-risk youth as a preventative measure. As part of the truancy program, he personally supervises Friday afternoon study hall and works with parents to reduce the dropout rate.

Judge Maes is widely respected throughout the district and the legal community. He has maintained an open door policy for all staff that includes “Chat with the Chief’ sessions where anything of importance can be discussed. His creation of an “Employee Appreciation” event kept moral high even during times of budget crisis and incredible workloads. His “Sonny and Cher” lip-sync is renowned!

County Court Judge 
Honorable Lynn J. Karowsky

Judge Karowsky celebrated 25 years on the bench August 1, 2006. He is remarkably well-respected by his peers, court personnel, members of the bar, and litigants. Judge Karowsky has been the presiding County Court Judge for 8 of the last 10 years, serves as a mentor to judicial officers, and participated in the establishment of a dedicated domestic violence court in Weld County. The judge is a past President of the Weld County Bar Association and is a founder of the Byron White Inns of Court. He served on the committee that drafted small claims rules in 2000 and on an underage drinking coalition. Judge Karowsky, in one of many letters of support, was described as “very creative in imposing conditions of sentencing to accommodate individual circumstances” and demonstrating a commitment to justice that is second to none. The district administrator notes that “He recognizes the work of each judge and employee as important and vital to the entire court system, and encourages everyone to provide suggestions.”

Judge Karowsky has served the Weld County community with commitment and innovation for decades. He taught business law at the University of Northern Colorado and chaired the Monfort Executive Professor Program. He has been named Professor of the Year for the entire business college and for the business department three times. He has served as President and Vice-President of the Weld County United Way as well as Chair of the United Way Budget & Allocation Committee. Judge Karowsky served as Vice President of the National Organization of Women – advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment. He helped to institute the first rape crisis hotline in Weld County and the first battered women’s hotline which later became A Woman’s Place. Judge Karowsky was an incorporator and board member of the Greeley Chamber Orchestra and served on the Greeley Philharmonic Board for eight years. He served on the Union Colony Civic Center board and the board of the Beth Israel Synagogue, including eight years as President of the Board and four years as Sunday School Principal.

Honorable Louis A. Gresh

Magistrate Louis Gresh was appointed a District Court Magistrate in 1986. He also currently serves as a Municipal Judge for Castle Rock, Larkspur and Lone Tree. In his nomination he was described as always “efficiently, expeditiously, and yet, ever objectively managing his domestic cases and dockets – ever rife with high drama and conflict.” Magistrate Gresh is recognized as having extensive family law expertise and a commitment to innovation necessary to save litigants time, money and emotional energy.

Magistrate Gresh has worked with the Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education program since 1986 serving as a lecturer and panelist on the issues of domestic relations law, magistrates’ rules, and delinquency. Since 2004 he has been on the Douglas County Partners Advisory Board working to provide mentors to at-risk youth.

Magistrate Gresh has been active in community service organizations. He served as a board member and chair of the Rocky Mountain Heart Fund for Children successfully working to require insurance companies in Colorado to cover heart birth defects at the time of birth. He has served on the board of Denver Mobility, Inc. to ensure that handicapped people have access to safe and reliable transportation. Magistrate Gresh has a long standing relationship with the United States Tae Kwon Do Federation, has served as an Athlete Arbitration Judge for the United States Olympic Commission and has practiced tae kwon do for a number of years. Magistrate Gresh was also the winner of the Douglas County Culinary Challenge in 2000 where he displayed his impressive culinary skills!

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