“I Michael J. Davidson do solemnly swear by the ever living God that I will support the constitution of the United States and state of Colorado……” That oath was spoken for as second time this past Friday as Attorney Michael Davidson was sworn in on October 30th as District Court Judge for the 15th Judicial District in Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa and Prowers Counties. Davidson was sworn in to office at the beginning of the month following his appointment by Governor Hickenlooper. The oath was delivered earlier as there would have been a vacancy in the department with the departure and retirement of the Honorable P. Douglas Tallman which took effect on October 3rd. The second event was a formal ceremony whereas the first one was a matter of expediency according to Judge Stan Brinkley, who delivered the second oath this past Friday in the Prowers County Courthouse.
Brinkley stated, “This is an important time for us, for setting the course for the district as it goes forward. The governor nominated a person who can carry us into the future.” Brinkley, the chief judge of the district explained his plans for a future transition between him and Judge Davidson. “As I told Judge Davidson, if I get retained, we plan to have him become senior judge two years before I retire.
Judge Brinkley said the transition would provide an opportunity for Davidson to assume the duties of the chief judge while Brinkley still be in office and offer his advice based on his experience.
He noted that Judge Tallman had three months to assume the bench from his swearing in, while Brinkley had a couple of weeks and Davidson had essentially a weekend to sit on the bench for the first time. Davidson addressed the courtroom gathering, thanking judges Brinkley and Stutler for their support and knowledge issues which will offer guidance in the early stages of his career. He also thanked mother, and wife Lorrie, for their support as well as the court staff for their professionalism.
Following the ceremony, Judge Brinkley explained the difference between his role as chief judge and that of Davidson. “I’m in charge of the administrative process in the district. We have orders I sign for everyone so we can be on the same page of the judicial process, but I don’t exert any control over any other judge. I do my work and Judge Davidson will work as a line judge. Our support comes from Denver and we adhere to their rulings. There’s not a lot of difference in legal duties, just in administrative.”
On the two year transition plans, Brinkley stated, “I have to step down when I’m 72, so if I’m retained next election cycle, my attitude is to turn over the position to him and help him understand the new processes while I’m still here. I had to do it alone, but this way will be a better process and transition of leadership.”
By Russ Baldwin
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