Date of Judicial Appointment: July 5, 2006
Steve Bernard was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1952, where he grew up. He received both of his degrees from the University of Colorado, a B.A. in political science in 1975 and a law degree in 1978.
Mr. Bernard began his legal career at the District Attorney’s Office for Colorado’s Seventeenth Judicial District (now Adams and Broomfield Counties) in 1978. He served as a deputy district attorney from 1978 to 1982, handling child support, misdemeanor and felony trials and appeals. He became a chief trial deputy in 1982, responsible for arguing appeals before Colorado’s appellate courts and trying major and complex cases, such as death penalty prosecutions, civil forfeitures and grand jury proceedings. Mr. Bernard became the assistant district attorney in 1993, assisting the district attorney in the day-to-day management of a large district attorney’s office, as well as continuing to be involved in trial and appellate litigation of significant cases. During this period of time, he was a frequent lecturer on a variety of legal subjects, ranging from the death penalty, to the law of evidence, to constitutional law, to trial techniques. Mr. Bernard retired from this position in December 2004.
In January of 2005, Mr. Bernard became a chief deputy district attorney with the Nineteenth Judicial District (Weld County). He was responsible for filing felony cases, training new prosecutors and police officers and conducting grand jury litigation.
Mr. Bernard has been involved in a variety of professional and community activities. He served on the governing board of the Colorado District Attorneys’ Association, Colorado’s statewide prosecutor’s organization. He is a former member of the Adams County Bar Association and a present member of the Weld County, Colorado and American Bar Associations. He served as a member of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission from 1997 to 2002. He was chairman of the Adams County Community Corrections Board from 1994 to 2000 and a member of the Weld County Community Corrections Board from 2005 to 2006. Mr. Bernard was co-chairman of Save Open Space, a nonpartisan group that worked to secure an open space sales tax in Adams County in 1999 and to extend the tax in 2004, and he served on the Adams County Open Space Advisory Board from 2000 to 2004.
In 2002, Mr. Bernard was named Lecturer of the Year for his contributions to educational programs sponsored by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council. He was named appellate prosecutor of the year for United States Region I by the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation in 2001.
Mr. Bernard and his wife Molly were married in 1975.
Governor Bill Owens appointed Mr. Bernard to the Colorado Court of Appeals in May 2006. Mr. Bernard took the oath of office as a Court of Appeals Judge on July 5, 2006.