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Home Bios - Karen M Ashby
Home Bios - Karen M Ashby
Karen M Ashby


Judge, Denver Juvenile Court. September, 1998 to 2013. Presiding Judge, July, 1999 to 2013.;Judge, Aurora Municipal Court. March, 1995 to 1998; Sole Practitioner. Denver, Colorado, September, 1988 to 1998. Emphasis on criminal and family law cases-trial and appellate; Deputy State Public Defender. Denver Trial Office, 1983 to 1988; Law Clerk. The Honorable Leonard P. Plank, Denver District Court, 1982 to 1983.


B.A. Williams College, Williamstown, MA, B.A. Spanish Literature, June, 1979; J.D. degree from University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 1983.

Bar Admissions

State of Colorado, 1983;  United States District Court for District of Colorado, 1987.

Professional Affiliations

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), member, Board of Trustees, 2004 to 2011; Colorado Court Improvement Committee, member, 1999 to present; Co-Chair, 2002 to 2011; Chair, 2011 to   present.  

Honors and Awards

Professionalism award, Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, April, 2013; Excellence in Practice Award-Judicial Officer, Colorado Department of Human Services/Colorado Court Improvement Project, June, 2012; Friend of Children Award, North American Council on Adoptable Children, October, 2011; Bicentennial Medal, Williams College, 2009; Raising the Bar award, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, 2008; Public Service Award, Sam Cary Bar Association, 2007; Judge of the Year, Colorado CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), 2006; Distinguished Jurist Award, Sam Cary Bar Association, 2003; Trailblazer Award, American Association of University Women, Denver Chapter, 1999.


Youth Aging Out of Foster Care and Transitioning to Independent Adulthood: Perspectives on Strategies for Improving Opportunities for Success and Identifying Resources, Colorado Bar Association Juvenile Law CLE presentation, April, 2013; Cross-Over Youth Practice Model, Colorado Court Improvement Project Best Practice Court Convening, April, 2013;Adolescence Innovative Practices , Georgetown University Public Policy Institute LEAD conference, panelist, January, 2013; Family Drug Court Models-Parallel versus Integrated, SAMHSA Family Drug Court conference, September, 2012, Family Drug Court Learning Academy Webinar, October, 2012; Cross-Over Youth Practice Model, Colorado Summit on Children and Families, June, 2012; Improving Outcomes for Status Offenders, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ 73rd annual conference, presenter, July 2010; National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) annual conference, presenter, “Courts Catalyzing Change”, March, 2009; Co-occurring Disorders: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and National District Attorneys’ Association, presenter, 33rd annual conference on Juvenile Justice, March, 2006; Institute for Faculty Excellence in Judicial Education, Participant, October, 2004 and March, 2005; Adoption Education for Legal Professionals, The Adoption Exchange, presenter, April, 2004; Delinquency, Crime and Substance Abuse, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others, presenter, May, 2004; Stepping Up to Juvenile Court (training for judicial officers rotating to Juvenile dockets), CO State Court Administrator’s Office, presenter, February, 2004; Colorado New Judges’ Orientation, faculty (Juvenile Law), 2001 to 2008; National Association of Counsel for Children Annual Conference, presenter, “Institutional Diversity”, March, 2008; National Institute for Trial Advocacy, faculty, 1992 to 1994.


“Report-Writing Tips for Guardians ad Litem in Dependency and Neglect Cases”, 31 Colorado Lawyer 87, (October 2002); “Implementing C.A.R. 3.4 to Expedite Appeals in Dependency and Neglect Cases”, 34 Colorado Lawyer 47 (June, 2005); “Colorado’s Model Courts: Innovation in the Juvenile Court System”, 36 Colorado Lawyer 10 (October, 2007)

More Information

Phone: 720-625-5000

2 East 14th Avenue
Denver CO 80203

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