Judge Espinosa was appointed to the Denver County Court, by Mayor Michael B. Hancock on September 19, 2014. He was sworn in on January 13, 2015, and on January 14, 2015 began presiding over a civil docket in Denver County Court.
Judge Espinosa earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his law degree from Washburn University. He spent his final year in law school as a visiting student at the University of Denver College of Law and upon graduation began practicing in Colorado as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Michael A. Martinez, the current Chief Judge for the Second Judicial District (Denver).
Prior to his appointment to the Denver County Court, Judge Espinosa served as senior trial attorney for the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. In that capacity, he investigated and litigated lawyer disciplinary proceedings, disability proceedings, reinstatement proceedings, and admission proceedings before the Colorado Supreme Court Presiding Disciplinary Judge and the Colorado Supreme Court. Judge Espinosa also practiced before the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Committee, the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney’s Fund for Client Protection, and the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Law Examiners. While at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Judge Espinosa served as lead counsel in several trials before the Presiding Disciplinary Judge and as lead counsel in several appellate cases before the Colorado Supreme Court. Several of the appellate cases resulted in oral arguments before the Colorado Supreme Court or resulted in published opinions including, In re Attorney F, 285 P.3d 322 (Colo. 2012), In the Matter of David Jerome Greene, 302 P.2d 690 (Colo. 2013), and 13SA0254 In the Matter of Juliet Gilbert, 13SA0254 (Colo. 2014). In addition, Judge Espinosa taught Professionalism School, Ethics School, and numerous Continuing Legal Education courses to lawyers and law students across the State of Colorado.
Before joining the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Judge Espinosa served as a Deputy District Attorney in several Colorado counties, where he focused on the prosecution of serious felony matters, up to and including first degree murder cases. As a Deputy District Attorney, Judge Espinosa served on the Gang and Drug Unit, the Grand Jury Unit, the White Collar Crime Task Force and the Adult Drug Court Team, the latter two of which Judge Espinosa played a key role in founding and developing. Judge Espinosa also served as Special Prosecutor on felony matters in Boulder and Larimer Counties.
Judge Espinosa is active in the community, having been appointed to and served on numerous local, state, and national boards, committees and commissions, including: the Denver Crime Prevention and Control Commission and the Justice Coordinating Sub-Committee, the Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners (Vice-Chair), the Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Super Committee, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Client Protection, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (past President-Elect), the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Modest Means Task Force (Chair of the Unbundled Legal Services Section; Vice-Chair of the Ethics Section), the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training Program (graduate and sessions committee member), the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, the Colorado Bar Association Budget Committee, and the Denver Bar Association Nominating Committee.
Judge Espinosa is a frequent lecturer and author for the Colorado Bar Association, local bar associations, law schools, and other groups on various legal, ethical, and professional responsibility topics. He has taught over sixty continuing legal education courses and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Denver. Judge Espinosa has also published several articles in the area of legal ethics, and pro bono and modest means representation including, “Ethical Consideration When Providing Unbundled Legal Services,” 40 The Colorado Lawyer 75 (Sept. 2011), “Limited Scope Representation Under the Proposed Amendment to C.R.C.P. 121, 1-1” 40 The Colorado Lawyer 89 (Nov. 2011) (co-author), and “Successful Business Planning: Representing the Moderate Income Client,” Colorado Bar Association (Aug. 2013) (contributing author).
Judge Espinosa has dedicated his legal career to public service, public safety, and access to justice. He is committed to serving the people of Denver and to the improvement of our Courts.