Judge Gilbert M. Román

Court of Appeals Judge Gilbert M. Román

Judge Gilbert M. Román will take over as the head of the Colorado Court of Appeals, the first Latino to hold the position, following the retirement of Chief Judge Steve Bernard at the end of this year.

Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright of the Colorado Supreme Court announced on Friday that he had tapped Román, 59, to lead the state's 22-member intermediate appellate court. Boatright also indicated a new four-year term limit will apply for the chief judge position.

“I believe this allows judges of the Court of Appeals to develop and grow knowing that there will be future opportunities to lead the Court,” he said.

A 2005 appointee of Gov. Bill Owens, Román is one of the longest-serving members of the appellate court. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and worked for several corporate law firms focusing on complex civil litigation prior to his appointment.

He has been a board member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. According to his judicial biography, Román has served on several judicial branch committees, including the task force on attorney wellbeing, five-year planning committee, and the Court of Appeals' collegiality, wellness, culture and recruitment committees. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled by the trust placed in me by the Chief Justice and the judges and staff of the Court of Appeals to serve as administrative leader of such a talented and dedicated group of jurists and employees,” Román said in a written statement.

In 2016, 74% of voters chose to retain him on the Court of Appeals. The citizen-led performance commission that year found attorneys ranked him highly for his fairness, impartiality and courtesy.

"Judge Román exhibits a genuine interest in improving the court system at all levels," read the commission's narrative to voters.

The Court of Appeals handles approximately 2,500 cases annually. Litigants may appeal its decisions to the state Supreme Court.

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