Hon. Christopher C. Cross (Ret.) served as a county and district court judge for 18 ½ years in the most populous judicial district in the State of Colorado. He presided over domestic relations, civil, and criminal dockets. As noted by the Judicial Retention commission in its most recent evaluation, Judge Cross “received some of the highest ratings of any judge . . .in the State,” and “Attorneys [and] litigants all have a high degree of admiration for his courteous and professional demeanor in the court room.” One appellate judge commented, “He is one of our best.” Judge Cross is known for his fairness, ability to listen, in-depth preparation, and the ability to resolve complex legal and factual issues—all with compassion and a sense of humor. Prior to his appointment, he practiced complex civil litigation, professional disciplinary administrative actions, both criminal defense and prosecution, and family law.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
• Regularly selected as the “neutral” arbitrator for complex civil cases while in private practice.
• Innovated “mediation with a robe” in domestic relations court.
• Frequent lecturer, teacher, mentor, and author on a wide variety of topics, including new judge training, panel discussions, and moderator of presentations.
• Developed and facilitated discussions with the bench and bar, including the Colorado Judicial Philosophical Society, Courageous Conversations about Race and the Judiciary, and Promoting Diversity on the Bench.
• Selected to be on the team assembled by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) to create the standards and rules for the Civil Access Pilot Project (CAPP) in Colorado, which morphed into the new Colorado rules of civil procedure regarding discovery and better access to the courts.
• Certified mediator after attending a forty-hour mediation training at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada (June, 2015)
• Certified conflict coach after attending a two-day training course from Common Ground Mediation and Coaching, LLC (August, 2015)
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
• Nominated for the outstanding district court judge award by the Colorado Judicial Institute (2015)
• Member of Colorado, Arapahoe County, and Douglas-Elbert County Bar Associations (CBA Board of Governors, various years between 1989 and 2006; ACBA Board of Directors, 1998-2007, Secretary, 2002, Treasurer, 2003, President-elect, 2004, President, 2005-2006; Past-President, 2006; and ACBA Foundation Board, 2006-2008
• Board member of the Criminal Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association (2014-2015)
• University of Denver Sturm College of Law Alumni Council, 2006 -2012
• Appointed by Governor Ritter to the Governor’s Community Corrections Advisory Council (2008-2015; chair, 2012 -2015)
• Lakota Outreach (one of the founders and member of the steering committee of a year-round outreach and public service to the Lakota Natives on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, 1997-present) and other community service involvement.
Background and Education
• County and District Court Judge (1997-2016)
• Week-long classes at the National Judicial College, including complex civil litigation, financial and economic issues in litigation, evidence, and constitutional law.
• Private practice, including large and small firm experience (1984-1997)
• Denver District Attorney’s Office (1979-1984)
• J.D., University of Denver College of Law, Denver, Colorado (1979)
• B.A., cum laude, Denison University, Granville, Ohio (1974)