O'Hara sworn in as chief district judge

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— Michael "Mick" O'Hara was sworn in Monday as chief district judge of the 14th Judicial District.

O'Hara was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens in August to replace retiring 14th Judicial District Judge Richard Doucette.

"I thank you for all the support ... you gave me for this job," O'Hara told the small audience of family, friends and colleagues gathered in the Routt County district courtroom.

O'Hara has worked in the law office of Oliphant, Hammond, O'Hara & Atwell since moving to Steamboat Springs in 1991.

He practiced law for several years in California after graduating from the University of San Diego Law School in 1985. Most of his career has been spent in litigation.

The 14th Judicial District covers Routt, Grand and Moffat counties.

O'Hara takes the bench for the first time Thursday in Moffat County.

Although Monday was Doucette's last day as chief district judge, he will preside over cases in the 14th Judicial District through January.

"He's just going to go ahead and continue on with his cases," Routt County Clerk of Court Tracey Epley said.

Doucette, although retired, is serving in the Colorado Senior Judge Program.

The program places retired judges who meet certain requirements in judicial districts where they are needed. Routt County Court Administrator Evan Herman said judges in the program might fill in where busy court dockets demand another judge or where judges have recused themselves because of conflicts of interest.

Herman said Doucette would fill in as a "senior judge" in the 14th Judicial District until District Judge Joel Thompson's replacement is named and has made the transition to his new position.

Owens is expected to announce his appointee at the end of the week. The nominees include 14th Judicial District Attorney Paul McLimans and Steamboat attorneys Gary Engle and J. Richard Tremaine.

Doucette offered the younger judge some advice before O'Hara took the oath of office.

He spoke of the respect the office brings and the respect it deserves.

Doucette also offered some practical advice.

"I would always encourage you to use blue ink," he said.

Blue ink, he said, helps to differentiate documents from the original documents signed with black ink.


-- To reach Danie Harrelson call 871-4203

or e-mail dharrelson@steamboatpilot.com

O'Hara was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens in August to replace retiring 14th Judicial District Judge Richard Doucette.

"I thank you for all the support ... you gave me for this job," O'Hara told the small audience of family, friends and colleagues gathered in the Routt County district courtroom.

O'Hara has worked in the law office of Oliphant, Hammond, O'Hara & Atwell since moving to Steamboat Springs in 1991.

He practiced law for several years in California after graduating from the University of San Diego Law School in 1985. Most of his career has been spent in litigation.

The 14th Judicial District covers Routt, Grand and Moffat counties.

O'Hara takes the bench for the first time Thursday in Moffat County.

Although Monday was Doucette's last day as chief district judge, he will preside over cases in the 14th Judicial District through January.

"He's just going to go ahead and continue on with his cases," Routt County Clerk of Court Tracey Epley said.

Doucette, although retired, is serving in the Colorado Senior Judge Program.

The program places retired judges who meet certain requirements in judicial districts where they are needed. Routt County Court Administrator Evan Herman said judges in the program might fill in where busy court dockets demand another judge or where judges have recused themselves because of conflicts of interest.

Herman said Doucette would fill in as a "senior judge" in the 14th Judicial District until District Judge Joel Thompson's replacement is named and has made the transition to his new position.

Owens is expected to announce his appointee at the end of the week. The nominees include 14th Judicial District Attorney Paul McLimans and Steamboat attorneys Gary Engle and J. Richard Tremaine.

Doucette offered the younger judge some advice before O'Hara took the oath of office.

He spoke of the respect the office brings and the respect it deserves.

Doucette also offered some practical advice.

"I would always encourage you to use blue ink," he said.

Blue ink, he said, helps to differentiate documents from the original documents signed with black ink.

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