Bachelors Degree, Social Work, University of Illinois, Champaign
Masters Degree, Social Work, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Law Degree, University of Denver
Before entering the field of law, Kathy worked as a social worker for over ten years helping people with intellectual disabilties and mental illness. She was first introduced to the criminal system when a young man with Down Syndrome was accused of homicide and she found herself advocating in court as a non-lawyer for community placement rather than prison or institutionalization. She continued to work in the mental health field while attending law school and, upon obtaining her law degree, immediately put it to use as a criminal defense attorney where she proudly served as a public defender. Kathy worked for ten years in the Golden Office of the Public Defender. In 2004, she was promoted to the position of Office Head of the Douglas County Office of the Public Defender in Castle Rock. In both offices, Kathy handled every kind of criminal and juvenile delinquency case imaginable.
Throughout the years, Kathy has represented individuals charged with the most serious of offenses, including murder, sexual assault on children, rape, violent crimes involving serious injuries, securities fraud, drug possession and distribution, and property crimes. She has tried over one hundred cases through jury verdict (an extraordinary number).
Along with her vast experience in serious criminal cases, Kathy recognizes that seemingly “minor” charges carry lifelong consequences well beyond the immediate loss of liberty or threat of jail. Kathy has represented juveniles charged in delinquency proceedings and adults charged with misdemeanor offenses including domestic violence charges. She has an expert understanding of the intricacies of both the criminal and juvenile code as well as the rules of evidence and is particularly skilled at determining how to use a person’s individual life circumstances within the context of these rules and laws.
In addition to the practice of law, Kathy has been involved in the task force responsible for re-writing the drug sentencing laws which reduces prison sentences in cases involving drug possession and low level distribution and requires the cost savings to be directed to drug treatment programs.
Additionally, Kathy was involved for many years with a task force responsible for studying issues and making recommendations for changes in the laws affecting people with mental illness who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Kathy was a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar beginning in 2010 and was chosen to lead the organization as its President from 2017-2018.
Most importantly, throughout the years, Kathleen has developed a reputation with her peers, judges and prosecutors as a tireless advocate, and a thoughtful and passionate litigator.
Colorado Criminal Defense Bar – Board of Directors 2010-2018, President 2017-2018.
Drug Policy Task Force – This task force is responsible for the reformation of the drug sentencing laws, resulting in reduced prison sentences for drug offenders. 2007-2010.
Legislative Task Force for the Continuing Study of Issues Related to Persons with Mental Illness Involved in the Criminal Justice System – This task force is responsible for making recommendations to the state legislature concerning laws which affect people with mental health conditions. 2008-2016, including Chair 2011-2013.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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