Bennet and Hickenlooper Announce Selection Advisory Committee to Fill Federal District Court Vacancy

Committee will accept applications for upcoming vacancy until April 16

Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper announced the formation of an advisory committee that will implement an open application process to recommend highly qualified candidates for current and future vacancies on the U.S. District Court in Colorado. 

The committee will immediately begin working to fill an upcoming vacancy following Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s announcement that he will be taking senior status effective September 30, 2021. 

“We look forward to the expert advice and counsel of this advisory panel as we evaluate potential nominees for the federal bench,” said Bennet and Hickenlooper. “We are confident our advisory committee will help identify an outstanding pool of qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds to recommend to the Biden Administration.” 

April Jones and Michelle Lucero will serve as co-chairs of the committee. Jones and Lucero are both 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 on Bennet and Hickenlooper’s websites. Applications are due by April 16, 2021.

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 of Children’s Hospital Colorado and a past president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.

Committee Members:

Michael Burg – Founding shareholder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine. Past Colorado Supreme Court nominating commission member and 2016 inductee in National Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Maranda Compton Van Ness Feldman LLP. Compton’s practice focuses on Native American law and policy.

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 Public Utility Law. Koncilja is a former PUC Commissioner, former Colorado Bar President, and founding member of the Colorado Women’s Bar. 

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

Toni-Anne Nuñez 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? 

No. You may apply on either office’s website and 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 on the websites for the offices of Bennet and Hickenlooper

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 April 16, 2021.

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 May 8 of their selection for an interview with the committee. 

When will interviews take place?

Virtual interviews will take place the week of May 11. 

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

Please email:


Application Due Date: April 16, 2021

Notification of Interviews: By May 8, 2021

Applicant Interviews: Week of May 11, 2021