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Home Bios - Michael L. Bender
Home Bios - Michael L. Bender
Michael L. Bender

Date of Judicial Appointment: January 2, 1997
Became Chief Justice: December 1, 2010


Chair, Judicial Building Steering Committee for the New Ralph Carr Justice Center, 2006-;  Chief Justice Commission on the Legal Profession, 2010-; Fairness and Diversity Committee, 2010-; Liaison, Judicial Discipline Commission, 2009; Law Review Advisor, DULR, 2009- Chair, Jury Reform Standing Committee, 2006-; Chair, Colorado Judicial Code of Conduct Revision Committee, 2007-2009; Chair, Government Access to Third Party Records, ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, 2007-; Chair, ABA Criminal Section, 1990; Board Member, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, 2006-2010.  Adjunct faculty member, Professional Ethics, University of Colorado School of Law, 2004-2007.  Liaison Member to the following Supreme Court Committees: Planning and Analysis Standing Committee, 2008-2010; Colorado Supreme Court's Water Court Standing Committee, 2008-2009; Judicial Ethics Advisory Board, 2006-; Co-Chair, Colorado Supreme Court Standing Committee of Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, 2003-2010; Caseflow Leadership Taskforce, 2002; Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee, 1997-2010; Public Education Committee, 1998-2005; Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 1997-2010; Colorado’s Attorney Fund for Client Protection, 1998-2010; Committee on Ethical Issues in Family Law, 2000-2003; Colorado Judicial Branch Mentoring Committee, 2001-2003; Co-Chair, Committee to Review and Revise Attorney Regulation System, 1997-1998. Governor's Task Force on Civil Justice Reform, 1999; Colorado Bar Association: Board of Governors, 1989-1991, 1980-1982; American Bar Association: Member ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, 1997-2000. Member, Law Alumni Board, University of Colorado School of Law, 1999-2001; Member, U.S. District Court Committee for Criminal Justice Act for District of Colorado, 1991-1993; Colorado Trial Lawyer’s Association, Board of Directors, 1985-1987; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Board of Directors, 1984-1991.


Colorado Judicial Institute’s Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award,2013; Judicial Branch's award for Outstanding Service and Leadership, 2013; Colorado Law’s distinguished achievement award, Outstanding Judicial Officer of the Year, 2013; University of Colorado School of Law Distinguished William Lee Knous Award, the law school's highest honor in recognition of outstanding accomplishment and sustained service, 2013; University of Colorado School of Law Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, 2006; Outstanding Judicial Officer of the Year, 2000; Co-winner, Denver Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer of the Year, 1988. Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Outstanding Service Award, 1990. Received Faculty Award for Outstanding Student Work in the University of Colorado Law Review, 1967.


Colorado Supreme Court, 1997- . President and shareholder, Michael L. Bender, P.C., 1993-1997. Formerly in practice with: Bender & Treece, P.C., 1983-1993; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles, CA, 1979-1980. Adjunct faculty member, University of Denver College of Law, criminal law, criminal trial advocacy, and employment discrimination law, 1981-1986. Division Chief, Denver Public Defender, 1977-1978. Supervising attorney, Jefferson County Public Defender, 1975-1977. Associate Regional Attorney, Denver Regional Litigation Center, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1974-1975. Deputy State Public Defender, 1968-1971.


Born January 7, 1942. Received B.A. from Dartmouth College, 1964. Received J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law, 1967. Attended Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure, Masters Program, Georgetown Law Center, 1967; participated in Barrett E. Prettyman Fellowship Training, 1967. Married to Dr. Helen H. Hand; Children: Jeremy Bender, Aviva Siegel, Maryjean Hand-Bender, Tess Hand-Bender, and Benjamin Hand-Bender; grandchildren: Alison, Mitchell, and Liam Siegel; and Margot and Samuel Bender.

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