Date of Judicial Appointment: April 30, 2008
CAREER: Private practice (1988-2008): Partner (1994-2008) and Associate (1990-94), Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, Denver, CO; Associate, Shea & Gould LLC, New York, NY (1988-90). Practice focused on commercial, intellectual property, probate, and products liability litigation, all including appeals. Also served as City Prosecutor for Lafayette, Colorado for four years and undertook pro bono representation in habeas corpus, civil rights, and dependency and neglect matters. Judicial clerkship (1987-88): Law clerk, Hon. J. Frederick Motz, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.
EDUCATION: B.A. cum laude in American Studies from Yale University (1984); J.D. from University of Pennsylvania School of Law (1987). Articles editor, University of Pennsylvania Law Review (1986-87). Winner, Keedy Cup Moot Court Competition (1987).
PROFESSIONAL: Admitted to state bars of New York (1987) and Colorado (1990) and to the following federal courts: U.S. Supreme Court (1999); U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth (1988), Fifth (2007), Ninth (1998), Tenth (1990), and Eleventh (2001) Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the District of Colorado (1990), Central District of Illinois (2006), Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (1989), and District of Maryland (1988). Member: American, Colorado, Denver, and New York Bar Associations. Honors: Champion for Children, Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center (1997); Forty Under 40, Denver Business Journal (2002); Richard Marden Davis Award, Denver Bar Foundation (2002); Finalist, Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, Denver Business Journal (2003); Best of Class, American Intellectual Property Lawyers (2006-07); W. Dean Salter Award for Lifetime Achievement to Holme Roberts & Owen (2006); Colorado Super Lawyer (2007-08); Chambers’ Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-08); Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year, Law Week Colorado (2007); Named as a Lawyer of the Year, Lawyers USA (2007).
CIVIC: CBA Board of Governors (DBA representative, 2010-2012); CBA/DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council (member, 2009-present); CBA Judicial Liaison Section (member, 2008-present); American Bar Foundation (vice-president, 2012-2013, fellow, 2013-present); Colorado Bar Foundation (fellow, 2003-present); Colorado Judicial Institute (director, 1999-present, vice chair, 2001-02, chair, 2004-06); Our Courts (executive committee, 2008-present, federal courts committee, 2007-2008, content committee chair, 2009-present); Minoru Yasui Inn of Court (member, 2009-present, vice president, 2012-13, president, 2013-present); Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (director, 1999-2005, advisory board, 2005-08); Colorado Wind Ensemble (trumpeter, 1990-present, director, 1993-2008, president, 1994-2008); Volunteers of America (Meals on Wheels volunteer and Thanksgiving Food Drive chair, 1990-2008); 9 Who Care (board of governors, 2000-05); Colorado Lawyer (Civil Litigator column editor, 1996-2005); Denver Teen Court Partnership (director, 1994-2000); ACLU Legal Panel (1992-97).
PUBLICATIONS: "The Strickland Standard for Claims of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: Emasculating the Sixth Amendment in the Guise of Due Process," 134 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1259 (1986); "Rule 702: Admissibility of Expert Testimony Regarding Eyewitness Identification," 21 Colo. Law. 927 (1992); "Rule 1006: Admissibility of Summary Evidence," 22 Colo. Law. 35 (1993); "Rule 501: The Privilege of Self-Critical Analysis," 23 Colo. Law. 1291 (1994); "Rule 615: Exclusion of Witnesses," 24 Colo. Law. 1299 (1995); Book Review, "Modern Evidence: Doctrine and Practice," 25 Colo. Law. 48 (1996); Co-author, "Chapter on Rule 26," Colorado Civil Procedure Forms and Commentary (Debra Knapp ed. 1996); "Rule 606(b): Competency of Jurors as Witnesses," 25 Colo. Law 47 (1996); "Professionalism in Today's Competitive Legal Market," 39 Colo. Law. 65 (2010); numerous continuing legal education papers (1990-present).
PERSONAL: Born March 3, 1962, Brooklyn, NY. Married to Jill M. Wichlens, an appellate attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s office, Denver, CO. Rich and Jill have two wonderful daughters, Laura and Kathleen.