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2024 Annual Conference - Santa Fe New Mexico - 08/01/2024 to 08/03/2024

Justice Melissa Hart, Colorado Supreme Court

Justice Hart was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court on December 14, 2017. Prior to joining the Court, Justice Hart was a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where she directed the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. Throughout her years as a professor, Justice Hart maintained an active pro bono practice, writing amicus briefs in appellate courts and representing clients through Metro Volunteer Lawyers. Her teaching and scholarship focused on access to justice, constitutional law, judicial decision making, legal ethics, employment discrimination, and civil procedure. Justice Hart grew up in Denver, where she graduated from East High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard-Radcliffe College and then spent a year teaching at a high school in Athens, Greece. She returned to study at Harvard Law School, where she was the Articles Editor for the Harvard Law Review and Book Review Editor on the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. After graduating from law school in 1995, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court. She practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Justice Hart is a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Sam Cary Bar Association, and the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. She is a founding member of the Sonia Sotomayor Inn of Court, a 2017 graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program, a 2016 graduate of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training (COBALT) program, and a Commissioner on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission. For her active work in community service, Justice Hart has been recognized with the 2016 Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 Raising the Bar Award from the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the 2012 Chase Faculty Community Service Award from the University of Colorado, the 2011 Clifford Calhoun Public Service Award from the University of Colorado Law School, the 2009 Serving Communities Award from the CU-Boulder Institute for Ethical and Civil Engagement, and the 2008 Outstanding Community Service Award from the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. Justice Hart and her husband, Kevin Traskos, have two children.

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