Judge position in a federal trial court in a Western state is seeking to fill a vacancy for a magistrate. This is following an announcement that Kathleen M. Tafoya will retire in January 2022.
Judge Duties Designated in this Position
Magistrate judges handle several of the similar duties as federal district court judges. That is with the exception of presiding over felony criminal trials and sentencing. More often, the first judicial officers that a criminal defendant will encounter. In fact, their assignments can vary from court to court.
Judge: Selection Process
There is a selection process that does differ from the presidential nomination and the U.S. Senate confirmation. It will require lifetime appointments of the district and appeals court judges. There is a merit selection panel of lawyers and non-lawyers that reviews magistrate judge applications and also makes candidate recommendations to the district court judges. They are selected by the new judge by a majority vote. There is an eight-year term for the magistrate judge.
Kathleen M. Tafoya’s Position
Since January 2008, Tafoya has held her position with the U.S. District Court for Colorado. Previous to her appointment, she was a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney Office. She specializes in multi-jurisdictional, complex gang and drug also investigations. In fact, her cases do also include prosecutions of the Rolling 30s Crips and Gallant Knights Insane gangs.
Tafoya has also worked as the health care fraud coordinator, investigating and prosecuting matters involving Medicaid and Medicare billing practices. She is also a University of Colorado and CU Law School graduate.
The U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix, who is president of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association and joined the bench in Colorado one year before to Tafoya, has sung the praises of her colleague’s contributions to the district court.
“In fact, her background in both criminal and civil work with the United States Attorney’s Office. It provides a huge amount of experience from which we all including the judges, the court, and litigants have benefitted,” Mix said. “Moreover, we will miss her sense of humor and no-nonsense approach.”