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Colo. Supreme Court Will Be Short One Justice At Next Oral Arguments

By Matt Masich, LAW WEEK COLORADO

DENVER — Lawyers appearing before the Colorado Supreme Court next week will notice that it’s short one member.

Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey’s retirement takes effect at midnight Nov. 30, the same day the court begins three days of oral arguments. Justice-designate Monica Marquez won’t be sworn in until Dec. 10.

Mullarkey won’t participate in any of the oral arguments, won’t participate in any court business after Nov. 30 and will be moved out of all judicial facilities by that date, confirmed courts spokesman Jon Sarche. A private retirement celebration, date and time not disclosed, is scheduled.

But even though Marquez won’t be on the court for next week’s oral arguments, she will still get to vote on those cases.

“Any cases released after Ms. Marquez is sworn in may include her vote, as long as she hasn’t recused, regardless of when the oral arguments occurred,” Sarche said in an e-mail.

The Supreme Court normally releases decisions on Mondays, and Dec. 6 is the only Monday that falls within the 10-day stretch when the court has a vacant seat.

Because Marquez, a deputy state attorney general, has represented the state on a number of cases that are likely to come before the Supreme Court, she may recuse herself on a higher than usual number of cases in her first few years on the bench. Justice Allison Eid, appointed to the court from the attorney general’s office in 2006, recused herself on a number of cases involving the office.

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