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Hickenlooper, Bennet Convene District Court Advisory Committee to Fill Federal District Court Vacancy

Feb 28, 2022

Committee Extends Applications for Upcoming Vacancy Until March 31

Denver –– Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet announced that they will convene their District Court advisory committee to fill an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The committee will begin an open application process and recommend highly qualified candidates to Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet following Judge William J. Martínez’s announcement that he will be taking senior status effective February 10, 2023.

“As we evaluate potential nominees for this vacancy, we look forward to working with our committee again to identify qualified Coloradans to serve on the federal bench,” said Hickenlooper and Bennet. “We are confident that our advisory committee will help us find experienced candidates from diverse backgrounds to recommend to the Biden Administration.”

The senators initially formed the selection committee in March 2021 to fill previous federal court vacancies. 

April Jones and Michelle Lucero will continue to serve as co-chairs of the committee. Jones and Lucero, prominent Colorado attorneys, have been involved in numerous community activities and boards, and have practiced in various state and federal courts. Jones is a practicing family law attorney in Denver and the current president of the Sam Cary Bar Association in Colorado. Lucero, a former president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, is the general counsel of Children’s Hospital Colorado.  

Co-chairs Jones and Lucero are seeking highly qualified individuals to apply for the upcoming vacancy. Application forms can be found online hereComplete applications are due by 5pm MDT, March 31, 2022.

Hickenlooper and Bennet have worked to fill three U.S. District Court vacancies for the District of Colorado since February 2021. The senators recommended Regina Rodriguez, Charlotte Sweeney, and Nina Wang to serve on the District Court. The Senate confirmed Judge Rodriguez to her position on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in June 2021. In August 2021, President Biden nominated Charlotte Sweeney to fill Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s vacancy on the court. In January 2022, he nominated Judge Nina Wang to serve on the court once Judge Christine Arguello takes senior status. 

Committee Chairs:

April Jones – Jones Law Firm. Jones is a family law attorney in Denver and the current President of the Sam Cary Bar Association in Colorado.

Michelle Lucero – Lucero is the General Counsel for Children’s Hospital Colorado and a past president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.

Committee Members:

Catherine Chan – Chan Law Firm. Chan provides representation in immigration practice and policy.

Charles Garcia – Former Colorado Public Defender and Colorado Bar President. Garcia is a current member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Karl Hanlon – Karp Neu Hanlon. Hanlon’s practice is on the West Slope where he focuses on municipal, land use, and water law and policy.

Frances Koncilja – Koncilja Energy Law and Policy, LLC. Koncilja is a former PUC Commissioner, former Colorado Bar President, and founding member of the Colorado Women’s Bar. 

Rick Kornfeld – Recht Kornfeld, P.CKornfield is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, former Special Assistant AG, and now practices primarily in the area of criminal defense.

Toni-Anne Nuñez – Pro Bono Programming for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. Metro Volunteer Lawyers Director. Nuñez is a family law attorney who works to combat systemic inequities in access to justice in the Denver-metro area.

Lori Potter – Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell. Potter is a past Managing Attorney of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice) and works primarily in environmental law.

FAQ’s and Procedures:

Do I need to apply to the offices of both Senator Bennet and Senator Hickenlooper? 

Application materials are available online here. When you submit your application to, your application will be reviewed by the District Court Advisory Committee that advises both senators.

Where can I find an application for consideration? 

The application is available online here

Should I provide additional materials with my application? 

The application indicates which additional materials should be included in your application, including up to two letters of reference. The committee will only review the completed application. Please do not provide additional materials with your application.

Is this a confidential process? 

Yes, this is a confidential process. The only names that will be shared publicly are those who are ultimately recommended to the Biden Administration by the senators. 

When are applications due to the senators’ office? 

To ensure consideration, applications must be received by 5pm MDT March 31, 2022.

How should I submit my completed application? 

Applicants should submit their entire completed application as a single PDF to

How will I know if I am granted an interview? 

Staff for Bennet and Hickenlooper will notify interviewees by April 15, 2022 of their selection for an interview with the committee. 

When will interviews take place?

Interviews will take place the week of April 18. 

If I have further questions, who can I contact for assistance? 

Please email:


Application Due Date: COB Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Notification of Interviews: By April 15, 2022

Applicant Interviews begin: Week of April 18, 2022

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