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Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs dies

Thursday, December 2, 2021

DENVER – Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs died on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at the age of 76. His family shared with the Court that Justice Hobbs died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.

“Justice Hobbs was a unique person, who was passionate about law, poetry, photography, and the history and landscape of Colorado. His affinity for the outdoors and his love for exploration were unmatched, as was his desire to inspire others,” Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright said. “Justice Hobbs’ passing is a huge loss for the Court and for the legal profession. He will be greatly missed.” 

 Justice Hobbs served on the Colorado Supreme Court for 19 years, having been appointed in 1996 by Governor Roy Romer. During much of his time on the Court, he was widely, and deservedly, regarded as the Court’s leading expert on natural resources and water law. He was also a fierce advocate for access to justice, and was the Court’s liaison to the Colorado Access to Justice Commission for many years.

After retiring from the Court in 2015, Justice Hobbs continued to serve the Judicial Department as a senior judge handling water mediation and served on the faculty at the Denver University Sturm College of Law.  Hobbs was the standing vice president of Water Education Colorado, which he helped create in 2002. He also served as its publications chairman the past 19 years, overseeing the nonprofit's Headwaters magazine, as well as its Citizens Guide series.

Justice Hobbs graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the University of California School of Law at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was the Supreme Court Editor of the California Law Review.  His community interests include serving as the Vice-President of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, a Co-convener of Dividing the Waters (Western Water Judges educational project), and a member of Colorado’s Access to Justice Commission. He also authored several books on water law and of poetry. Before his appointment to the Court, Justice Hobbs practiced law in public and private practice for 25 years with emphasis on water, environment, land use and transportation. In public practice, he served as a First Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado and an Enforcement Attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he was a sixth grade teacher.

There will be a celebration of Justice Hobbs’ life when it's safe to do so his family said. His loved ones asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Water Education Colorado by clicking here. Checks also can be mailed to Water Education Colorado, 1600 N Downing St., Suite 200, Denver, CO 80218.

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