Boyd’s selection as judge praised | AspenTimes.com

Boyd’s selection as judge praised

Naomi HavlenAspen Times Staff Writer

Local officials say they’re pleased that the newly appointed 9th District Court judge is a Pitkin County resident with plenty of local experience.Aspen attorney James Boyd, 47, was appointed to the position on Tuesday by Gov. Bill Owens. Boyd, a resident of Snowmass Village, has practiced law in the Roaring Fork Valley for 20 years.”The opportunity to be a judge is something that has been a goal of mine for more than 10 years,” he said. “It’s something that’s always appealed to me in the general field of law. To be in the role of trying to protect fairness in the process and look for justice in the result is a piece of the legal system that intrigues me.”Boyd was born in Ohio but moved to Colorado Springs at the age of 2. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Denver and then went to Stanford Law School.He worked for the Aspen law firm Holland & Hart for 13 years, practiced on his own afterward and teamed up with attorney Ronda Bazil four years ago to form Boyd & Bazil, his current firm. He describes his current work as primarily civil litigation, rather than criminal law.Although the 9th Judicial District Court handles both criminal and civil cases, Boyd said his case load will be determined by working with Judge Thomas Ossola, chief judge for the 9th Judicial District. Ossola and current Judge J.E. DeVilbiss have exchanged some duties so DeVilbiss handles criminal cases and Ossola handles civil suits.DeVilbiss, an Aspen resident, is leaving his position in January after 20 years on the job.Assistant District Attorney Lawson Wills said his office is “thrilled” with the appointment.”Obviously he’s someone we knew and an established member of this community who lives and works here,” he said. “That’s important to me from an availability aspect, as well as his general knowledge of what goes on in this community and someone who cares about this county.”Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said he is also pleased with the choice of a local attorney.”He was the only [finalist] that lives in Pitkin County,” Braudis said. “I’m glad to have a Pitkin County resident in the position. People who know him better than I do speak highly of him, and he’s been around for a while.”Pitkin County Juvenile Investigator Bruce Benjamin has regular contact with Boyd, since Boyd is often chosen by judges to represent children in abuse and neglect cases in district court. Benjamin has worked with Boyd for over 15 years.”I’ve found him to be very caring and concerned about young people who are having difficulties,” Benjamin said. “I’ve always found him to be extremely ethical and fair, and I’m hoping he’ll be assigned to the juvenile docket in Pitkin County.”[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]