GJ lawyer picked for federal bench

U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel, right, joins Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher in chambers at the Wayne N. Aspinall federal building shortly after Daniel swore in Gallagher to his new position as magistrate with the U.S. District Court.

Grand Junction attorney Gordon Gallagher on Monday will preside over his first docket from the bench of the federal courtroom in Grand Junction.

Gallagher, who moved to Grand Junction to serve as a prosecutor in the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office and is now a criminal defense attorney, was sworn in Friday as the magistrate judge for Grand Junction by Judge Wiley Y. Daniel, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Colorado.

Magistrate judge is a part-time position with a four-year term and Gallagher will continue his private practice.

Gallagher was the unanimous selection of the court, which is based in Denver, Daniel said.

Gallagher, a Louisville, Ky., native, quoted U.S. Supreme Court justices Thurgood Marshall and Lewis Powell after his investiture before about 50 people that comprised several Grand Junction attorneys, court officials and relatives, including Gallagher’s wife, Christine, daughter Rachel and sons Noah and Gabriel.

Though he said he didn’t know how long he would serve on the federal bench,  Gallagher said he hoped to serve western Colorado and the federal courts in Grand Junction “for many years.”

Gallagher’s predecessor, Gudrun Rice, praised Gallagher’s “beautiful dedication” and said the Grand Junction court “is in good hands.”


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