Hon. John P. Leopold (Ret.)

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Hon. John P. Leopold (Ret.) served as a District Judge for 19 years, and as Chief Judge for 4 years, in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, the largest district (in terms of population) in the state. Prior to his appointment, he was a private practitioner, representing a wide range of individuals in civil, domestic, probate, juvenile, and criminal matters.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Judge Leopold has presided over a variety of complex matters involving many types of law, including medical malpractice, business litigation, personal injury, insurance coverage, and contracts (commercial and personal). For the past 4 years, he has heard Arapahoe County’s probate and civil cases. He has been the presiding judge in numerous high-profile cases, including the formation of the City of Centennial [City of Greenwood Village v. Proposed City of Centennial, 3 P.3d 427 (Colo. 2000) and Colorado’s first reported case concerning the establishment of special litigation counsel [Hirsch v. Jones Intercable, 984 P.2d 629 (Colo. 1999)].
  • Judge Leopold was lead faculty and facilitator for Colorado’s Advanced New Judge Orientation for several years and continues as one of its faculty members. He was instrumental in establishing the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Mentor Judge Program and is working to modernize the program and make it more effective. His commitment to mentoring extends to his law clerks, most of whom are successful attorneys in Colorado and other states. In addition, he serves as a mentor for a first year student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law each year.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Received Martin P. Miller Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arapahoe County (Colorado) Bar Association, January 2012
  • Received 1999 Judicial Excellence Award from the Colorado Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates; 2001 Outstanding Judicial Officer Award from the Colorado Judicial Branch; Lifetime Membership, Colorado Association of Community Corrections Board
  • President, Colorado District Judges Association (1998); Vice President, Colorado Trial Judges Association (1998); President, Arapahoe County Bar Association (1985-1986); Fellow, Academy of Court Appointed Masters
  • Master, Thompson G. Marsh Inn, American Inn of Court
  • Member: Colorado, Arapahoe County, and Colorado Women’s Bar Associations
  • Frequent presenter at CLE programs for Continuing Education in Colorado, Inc. (Colorado Bar Association); Colorado Judicial Branch; Colorado Women’s Bar Association; Arapahoe County Bar Association
  • Member, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Alumni Council (Chair: 2008-2010); Co-Chair, Council's Bar Passage Committee

Background and Education

  • Chief Judge, Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, 2002-2006
  • District Judge, 18th Judicial District, 1987-2006
  • Private Practice of Law, 1974-1987
  • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1974
  • B.A., Colby College, Waterville, ME, 1968
  • United States Air Force, 1968-1972