Michael L. Bender

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Michael L. Bender
Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
In office
December 1, 2010 – January 7, 2014
Succeeded by Nancy E. Rice
Associate Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
In office
January 2, 1997 – December 1, 2010
Appointed by Roy Romer
Preceded by Mary Mullarkey
Personal details
Born (1942-01-07) January 7, 1942 (age 76)
Spouse(s) Helen H. Hand
Alma mater Dartmouth College,
University of Colorado Law School

Michael L. Bender (born January 7, 1942)[1] is the 44th and former Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Bender earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1964 and a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School in 1967.[1] Prior to becoming a judge, he worked in private practice, for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and as a public defender in Denver and Jefferson County and for the state.[2] Bender also taught criminal law, criminal trial advocacy, and employment discrimination law at the University of Denver College of Law.[1]

Bender was first appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court January 2, 1997 by Governor Roy Romer.[1] He won retention in 2010, despite opposition from conservative and Libertarian groups.[2] He was voted Chief Justice by his fellow justices in 2010, taking the position on December 1, 2010. He retired from the court on January 7, 2014.

Bender is a registered Democrat.[2] He has five children with his wife, Helen H. Hand, a psychologist who runs Colorado Free University; the couple live in the Stapleton development in Denver.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Bio - Michael L. Bender, Colorado State Judicial Branch, retrieved June 22, 2012 .
  2. ^ a b c d Cardona, Felisa (November 11, 2010), "Michael L. Bender to lead Colorado's top court", The Denver Post, retrieved June 22, 2012 .