The 11th Judicial District Nominating Commission is seeking candidates to fill two vacancies that will be created by the resignation of District Judge Ramsey Lama and the retirement of District Judge Stephen E. Groome.
The holidays will be on July 23 and November 9 respectively.
The commission will meet June 13 at the Fremont Mixed Courts to interview and select nominees for the governor to appoint as district judge for the 11th Judicial District, which includes Chaffee, Custer, Fremont and Park counties.
Lama submitted his resignation on April 26, citing mainly health reasons. However, he will return to private practice after his July 25 end date.
Lama was appointed to the District Court bench in January 2016. Prior to his appointment, he was an independent practitioner at the law firm of Ramsey Lama, LLC. According to the Colorado Judicial Branch website, his practice focused on criminal defense. Prior to starting his own business, Lama worked for the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office in its offices in Salida and Grand Junction.
District Court Judge Ramsey Lama announces his resignation, effective July 25
According to the Colorado Judicial Branch website, Groome was appointed to the District Court Bench in June 2007. He is primarily assigned to Park County District Court in Fairplay. Prior to being a judge, he was a Park County prosecutor for more than four years and worked in private practice specializing in real estate, commercial and real estate law in Colorado for 15 years. For the 10 years prior to his arrival in Colorado, Groome practiced in California, including eight years on the legal staff of the California Association of Realtors.
Although each position is a district-wide position and the appointed judge occasionally appears in the other counties in the district, one of the positions is primarily in Park County and the other in Fremont County. If the candidate is applying for a specific position and would not be able to accept an appointment to the other position, they should note this in their application.
To be eligible, the nominee must be a qualified voter of the 11th Judicial District at the time of nomination and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. The current annual salary for this position is $183,816. The initial term of a district judge is a two-year provisional term; thereafter, the sitting district judge, if approved by the voters, serves a six-year term.
Nomination forms are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating committee, Judge Melissa Hart, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, or from the office of the court executive, Lisa Rowe, Fremont Combined Courts, at 136 Justice Route du Centre. Applications are also available on the court’s home page at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm.
The completed application must be emailed to the address given in the instructions no later than 4 p.m. on May 27. Late applications will not be considered. Anyone wishing to nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by letter to be submitted to any member of the Nominations Committee, with a copy to the ex officio Chairman, no later than 4:00 p.m. on May 20.
The members of the nominating commission are William Holt, of Westcliffe; Tawny Peyton of Buena Vista; Julie Katz, of Coaldale; Marianne Wancura, Randy Canney and Richard Gast, from Salida. This commission currently has a vacancy.
For more information, visit http://www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm.