Colorado Court of Appeals
Honorable Richard L. Gabriel
Retention Year: 2010
The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 10 to 0 that Judge Richard L. Gabriel BE RETAINED.
Judge Gabriel is fairly new to the Colorado Court of Appeals, having been appointed in 2008. He graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in American Studies. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1987. In 2007 he was named Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado and a Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers USA. Judge Gabriel is involved in numerous bar association and community service activities. He frequently gives public presentations on the Colorado court system to citizen and school groups, and provides continuing legal education for lawyers.
Prior to his appointment to the Court, Judge Gabriel was in private practice as a partner with Holme Roberts & Owen LLP. His practice focused on commercial, intellectual property, probate, and products liability litigation, as well as appellate proceedings. He also served as City Prosecutor for Lafayette, Colorado for four years and undertook pro bono representation in habeas corpus, civil rights, and dependency and neglect matters.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions indicate that, compared to the other appellate judges, Judge Gabriel’s performance is somewhat stronger in several areas, including being fair and impartial and issuing opinions in a timely manner. Several attorneys commented that he is courteous, well prepared for and engaged in oral argument, and that he has a good legal mind. The judges surveyed indicate his performance is comparable in most respects to other appellate judges, with several noting that Judge Gabriel is hard-working and thoughtful. The Commission reviewed a number of opinions that Judge Gabriel wrote. His opinions demonstrate intellectual honesty in presenting opposing arguments and a careful attentiveness to the factual and legal issues presented. Though sometimes overly detailed, his written decisions contain a meticulous and thoughtful analysis of those issues and reflect respect toward any differing opinions of his colleagues. Judge Gabriel consistently demonstrates that he is an intelligent, fair, and hard working judge.
Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 82% recommended to retain, 10% not to retain, and 8% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 89% recommended to retain and 11% not to retain. Of all judges surveyed, 70% recommended to retain, 3% not to retain, and 28% expressed no opinion. Excluding those who had no opinion, 96% recommended to retain and 3% not to retain. (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)