Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced the appointment of Anthony N. Baca to the Dolores County Court in the 22nd Judicial District.
Upon acceptance of the appointment, he will replace the Honorable E. Dale Boyd, who is retiring after serving on the bench for 15 years.
Baca earned a law degree from University of Texas School of Law in 2009, and has passed the bar exam in Colorado and New Mexico.
Baca also owns and runs the consulting firm Baca Consulting, which he founded in 2016.
Previously, he was the manager of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver; an attorney at the Office of the Municipal Defender in Denver; an attorney at Mountain Legal; and assistant to the public defender at New Mexico Public Defenders.
In the past five years, 98% of Baca’s casework has involved criminal law, according to his resume, obtained by The Journal in a public records request.
In his resume, Baca states that in the past decade, he has handled thousands of cases across Colorado and has supplemented his practice with research that directly addresses judicial issues in communities.
He is interested in working for Dolores County because of the personal nature of the law in rural communities.
“I am committed to fostering a legal system that works for the all people,” Baca states.
He grew up in the Four Corners area and said he understands that the law is different when judges are known and respected in the community.
“In order to earn that respect in the courtroom, I intend to couple my strong sense of fairness with my deep understanding of how judicial procedure can impact victims, defendants, and the integrity of the judicial system,” Baca states in the resume.
While working at the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, he worked with former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Kourlis on nonpolitical approaches to the application of the law.
As a Dolores County judge, he plans to work on access to justice issues.
“I believe that access to justice is of the utmost importance in rural communities where both physical and mental barriers prevent many issues from coming before the courts,” Baca states. “It is of paramount importance that our courts fairly and efficiently resolve the issues before them and that counties have judges whom they believe to be fair.”
Baca was one of two applicants considered for the job.
The other was Deyell-Lawrence, of Cahone, who has been the Clerk of Court for Dolores County Combined Court since 2009. She has a degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and attended Kensington Law School from 1995-1996. Deyell-Lawrence previously worked as a legal assistant for the Loomis & Loomis law firm for nine years. She was also the county general assistant manager for Glenwood Springs, according to her resume.