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Menendez

Menendez

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Published by Circuit Media

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Published by: Circuit Media on Oct 20, 2011
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10/20/2011

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A
USA
Name: MJ MenendezTille: Assistant United Siaies AI/orneyDivision: OCDETF Unit
September 7,2011Chief Justice Michael Bender
United States Attorney
District olColorado1225 Seventeenth Street, Suite
700
(303) 454-0100Seventeenth Street Plaza (FAX) (303) 454-0400Denver, Colorado 80202
Ex
Officio Chair Supreme Court Nominating Commission
101
West Colfax Avenue, Suite 800Denver, Colorado 80202To the Members of the Nominating Commission:My name
is
M,J, Menendez. I was asked
by
the Honorable Judge Brian Boatright to submit aletter
of
recommendation
on
his behalf as he makes application for the Colorado Supreme Court. Iunequivocally support Judge Boatright's application. Please allow me to share some
of
my
historywith Judge Boatright, as
it
is
from such history that I know him to be a jurist, scholar, colleague, andhuman being who
is
most worthy of appointment to the highest bench
in
the State of Colorado. Fairwarning; this letter
is
a long one, but at the conclusion I hope you will find that Judge Boatright
is
deserving of a letter that thoroughly documents his professionalism, commitment, fidelity to hismission, and character.Judge Boatright was known to me as 'Brian' when I joined the Jefferson County DistrictAttorney's Office
in
1994. I quickly learned that Brian willingly gave
of
his time to mentor youngattorneys on trial techniques, ethics, written work product, and legal culture, while he maintained alarge, active criminal docket. Brian conducted the first domestic violence trial I ever witnessed, and heobtained a conviction on a brutal Second Degree Assault with a recanting victim. He conducted theexamination
of
the victim with compassion and dignity, while carrying out his sworn mission to findjustice. I now realize that the demeanor, professionalism, integrity and ability demonstrated
by
BrianBoatright
in
that trial has been repeated daily during his service to the People of the State
of
Coloradoas Deputy District Attorney, and as District Court Judge. As a practitioner
in
the DA's Office, Iappeared before Judge Boatright
on
many occasions, and I sat
in
his courtroom
on
docket dayswhere he dealt with anywhere between fifty and eighty cases a day. Judge Boatright never deviatedfrom calm, professional, authoritative demeanor.
He
listened carefully and patiently, but he thenmade the hard decision as to trial scheduling, bond setting, or sentenCing. He was born to the benchfrom the beginning of his appointment.When Judge Boatright was appointed to the Jefferson County District Court bench, I wasprivileged to attend his investiture. I specifically recall Judge Boatright talking about how he had
 
contemplated the qualities that comprise the character
of
a fine judge before seeking appointment.Brian spoke of the importance
of
respectful and tempered judicial demeanor, the utmost regard heheld for the law and the adversarial process, and his heart-felt hope that he would always treat allpersons, criminal defendants, family law litigants, attorneys, probation officers, and court personnelwith dignity, respect and integrity. I recall thinking, "Wow, he has some lofty principles
in
mind:
I wascorrect; his principles were and are lofty. What I could not know at that juncture was that JudgeBoatright, without fail, united his principles with action, leadership, and foresight in a manner that hasmade him a reigning voice
of
authority, wisdom and discretion on the highly regarded JeffersonCounty bench.I am uniquely situated with regard to Judge Boatright, as I am his former colleague from theJefferson County District Court bench; a position I resigned
on
July 17, 2009.
If
you are asking whyJudge Boatright would ask someone who spent a time on the bench, realized it wasn't my calling, andwalked away for a letter, please know I wondered the very same. When I asked Brian, he said,"Because you know me, you know judging, you personally know when someone
is
a fit for the bench,and you have the guts to tell the truth." Please allow me to share some
of
that truth.When I arrived at Jefferson County to assume a position on the District Court bench, Brianimmediately sought me out. He went over docket management, ECF filings, standard practicesregarding setting and routine rulings, and he provided encouragement around the length
of
timeneeded to get a good grasp
on
a docket.
He
also shared his wisdom on the challenges
of
the blackrobe. I recall him telling me, in paraphrase, as I can best recall:You aren't going to get feedback here
on
whether your decision is wrong or right,
or
whether you did a good job or a bad job today. You are the judge; everyone will tellyou that you did a good job. We have precedent, rule
of
law, our internal compassesand each other. Once you have utilized all
of
those tools, you have to rest
in
yourdecision and move forward. That is our oath. That is our solemn duty.Time after time, I went to Judge Boatright's office to ask him all kinds
of
questions relating tosuppression issues, family law custody decisions, complex medical malpractice motions practice,mistrial motions, and docket management. Judge Boatright makes no decisions without rigorousdiscussion and contemplation
of
relevant facts, posture
of
the case, and pertinent legal authority, butafter considering all
of
those things, he makes decisions. I have watched Judge Boatright sentencemurderers, terminate family rights, and enter not guilty verdicts on horrendous personal injury trials.His heart is compassionate, but he rules by law and not by emotion. He makes the hard decision withintegrity and certainty.When Judge Boatright called and asked me to write this letter, he stated that he believes hecan contribute the existing wealth
of
authority, knowledge, experience and wisdom on the ColoradoSupreme Court through his experience
as
a jurist assigned to a dedicated courtroom specializing inthe legal arenas
of
juvenile law, dependency and neglect work, and non-dissolution
I
family law. Incustomarily bold fashion, I asked Judge Boatright, "Is there really that much work
in
thse areas doneat the appellate and Supreme Court level?' Judge Boatright's answer spoke
of
commitment to therule
of
law in those areas, but the spoken verbiage did not convey the information that I wish toexpress to you. What you should know is that Judge Boatright's commitment to the law is interwovenwith his
paSSion
for the people and children involved in these extraordinarily difficult, personal andheart-wrenching cases. Judge Boatright quickly informed me about judicial cases and trends in the
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