Caplan & Earnest Expands With Family Law Group

The firm has added five attorneys in creation of the new practice group

Caplan & Earnest announced Wednesday that it has added five attorneys and three paralegals through the creation of a family law and divorce practice group.  

All five attorneys joined Caplan & Earnest from the Boulder/Vail firm Stevens Littman Biddison Tharp & Weinberg. Andrew Littman, who has 40 years of family law and divorce experience in Boulder and Vail, leads the new practice group. In addition to Littman, the attorneys who have joined Caplan & Earnest are Chris Tomchuck, Rohn Robbins, Craig Weinberg and Delphine Farr.

Additionally, paralegals Tia Inglefield, Patricia Celich and Elizabeth Ehlert have joined the firm to support the practice group.

“For more than 50 years, Caplan & Earnest has cultivated a reputation for having innovative attorneys who bring a creative, problem-solving approach to client matters,” said Jim Branum, managing member. “We’re excited to have these five experienced attorneys join our firm and bring that level of innovation and attention to our new family/divorce law practice. Their knowledge, experience and professionalism will greatly benefit our clients throughout Colorado.”

ASSOCIATE WATCH

Moye White announced Patrick Akers has joined the firm as an associate in the trial section.

Akers focuses primarily on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation. He represents public and private entities in matters including avoidance actions, business torts and class actions among others.

Prior to joining Moye White, Akers worked as an associate in the litigation group of an AmLaw

200 firm. Akers also served as a communications officer in the United States Air Force.

Akers received a legal degree from the Notre Dame Law School. He also received an MBA from Auburn University and his undergraduate degree in international studies from the University of Iowa.

Coan Payton & Payne announced Tuesday that Christopher Schmidt has joined the firm. Schmidt’s practice focuses on all areas of commercial and residential real estate, financing, mergers and acquisitions, general business and tax law. 

He is a member of the Colorado Bar Association Tax Law Section executive council and a financial advisor with the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.

Schmidt received an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a law degree from the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law. Schmidt also received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Colorado State University.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie announced Nov. 11 Tyler Owen has joined the firm’s Denver office as an associate in the litigation practice group.

Owen’s practice focuses on general commercial litigation matters. He has experience researching and drafting pleadings, motions and memoranda in various areas of law, including first-party bad faith insurance claims, risk management and complex corporate litigation.

Prior to joining the firm, Owen served as a judicial intern to Judge Maria Teresa Fox of the Colorado Court of Appeals and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

While in law school, Owen was a Rothgerber Teaching Fellow for Constitutional Law and a Research Assistant with a focus on the federal budget process. He received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

JUDICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Gov. Jared Polis on Nov. 16 appointed Melina Hernandez to serve on the Arapahoe County Court in the 18th Judicial District. She will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Don Toussaint to the District Court. The vacancy is effective Jan. 12. 

Hernandez is currently a part-time magistrate in the Denver Juvenile Court, a position she has held since 2017. She also is a bilingual family court facilitator for the Denver District Court, a position she has held since 2013. Previously, Hernandez was a domestic law clerk for Justice William Hood in the 2nd Judicial District; domestic law research fellow for Judge Christopher Cross in the 18th Judicial District; and fellow at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.

Hernandez received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2011.

The 1st Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a district court judgeship created by the retirement of Judge Chris Bachmeyer. The vacancy will occur on Nov. 30. Nominees Amy Cardone and Jason Carrithers, both of Golden; and Crystal Littrell of Arvada were selected by the commission on Nov. 17.

The governor has 15 days from Nov. 18 to appoint one of the nominees as district court judge for the 1st Judicial District (Gilpin and Jefferson counties).

The 8th Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a district court judgeship created by the retirement of Chief Judge Stephen Howard, which will occur on Jan. 12. Nominees Sarah Cure and Joseph Findley, both of Loveland; and Matthew Zehe of Fort Collins were selected by the commission on Nov. 16.

The governor has 15 days from Nov. 17 to appoint one of the nominees as 8th District judge.

The 17th Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for an Adams County court judgeship created by the retirement of Judge Sabino Romano, effective Nov. 1. Nominees Courtney Dinnel of Arvada, Madoche Jean of Westminster and Brett Martin of Commerce City were selected during a videoconference on Nov. 18.

The governor has 15 days from Nov. 19 to appoint one of the nominees as Adams County judge.

Comments regarding any of the above nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at [email protected]

The 17th Judicial District Nominating Commission will also meet via videoconference on Dec. 21, to interview and select nominees for appointment by the governor to a district court judgeship. The vacancy will be created by the decision of voters to not retain Judge Tomee Crespin. The vacancy will occur on Jan. 12.

Applications are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Carlos Samour Jr., 2 E. 14th Ave. in Denver, and the office of the court executive, Patricia Kmitta, 1100 Judicial Center Drive in Brighton. Applications also are available on the court’s home page at www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm

Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. Dec. 7. Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by 4 p.m. Nov. 30.

The members of the nominating commission for the 17th Judicial District are: Jennifer Chavez, Martin Flaum, and Jennifer Hostetter, all of Westminster; Michelle Stermer and Gina Weitzenkorn, both of Aurora; and Jonathan Datz and Andy Kramer, both of Broomfield. 

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