Veteran lawyer Milburn is new magistrate

A longtime Grand Junction trial lawyer will take the oath Monday as the new federal magistrate judge in Grand Junction.

Laird Milburn, senior partner at Dufford, Waldeck, Milburn & Krohn, will replace Gudrun Rice, who was appointed to the position eight years ago and retired Thursday.

Milburn is a former president of the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Mesa County Bar Association. His practice has emphasized commercial, product, personal-injury and professional-liability litigation.

After practicing for 37 years, Milburn said, he was looking to ease toward retirement, and the post of magistrate judge fortunately was available.

“It seemed like a nice way to spend my last few years of contact with the law,” he said.
Magistrate judges serve four-year terms. Rice last year informed the U.S. District Court in Denver she would not seek a third term.

Magistrate judges are appointed by the district court and deal with criminal activity on federal lands.

That can lead to crowded dockets, Rice said, because of the amount of federal land in western Colorado.

Agencies that frequently bring cases before the Grand Junction magistrate judge include the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

Magistrate judges assist district judges in trial preparation and can conduct criminal trials with the agreement of defendants. They also can conduct civil trials if both sides agree.

Milburn and his wife, Barbara, have two adult daughters. Barbara Milburn is a retired high school teacher.


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