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Bench press

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City names municipal, alternate judges to two-year terms

By Gene Sears

Taking the position vacated by Municipal Judge Paul Sacco, the Hon. Louis Gresh takes over bench duties for the city, for a two-year term effective immediately.
    While the city will be a new experience for the veteran judge, magisterial duties will not, with over a quarter century of experience on the bench. The replacement comes along with multiple others at the city, part of a re-evaluation of contract services.

    “A while back, City Council asked that we re-evaluate any long-term contracts to make sure we are getting the best quality for the citizens’ money,” said court coordinator Jeanelle Andersen. “The city attorney was expected at the end of the year, and so was the judge, because those are both contract positions.” 
    The city put out multiple advertisements bidding the job, resulting in a wealth of qualified candidates seeking the bench. From that pool, the top two finalists received offers for employment.
    “We had 11 returns on our bid, and the top candidate was Louis Gresh,” Andersen said. “The second candidate was Willard Hardesty.” (Hardesty will join the city as alternate judge.)
    A Douglas County Magistrate from 1986 to 2009, Gresh owns and operates Gresh Mediation Group, a practice specializing in divorce mediation services. He also sits on the benches of four additional municipalities and a liquor authority.
    “He is an administrative law judge and a municipal judge for, currently, the town of Larkspur, the city of Lone Tree, the city of Castle Pines and the Lone Tree Liquor Authority,” Andersen said.
    “I became interested in law in college,” Gresh explained, sitting before court opened last Tuesday. “I had a constitutional law professor who was really, really fascinating. That is what got me interested, and I started in as a law clerk before I went to law school, which is not a common path. When I went to law school, I had already clerked for four years.”
    The experience gave Gresh valuable insight into the legal field, experience he carried into his next assignment in the appellate defender’s office as a clerk while in law school.
    “Then when I got out of law school, I was hired by a firm that had a murder defense specialist in it,” Gresh said. “My first two years of private practice, I worked on four death penalty cases, one of which resulted in a full acquittal.”
    With a work history since largely focused on civil and family law, Gresh brings a seasoned eye to his municipal appointment, along with skill in handling thorny domestic issues.
     “Fourteen thousand, I believe is the number, of divorce cases I handled,” Gresh said. “Twenty-three years of them.”
    Gresh is married with two children to Marlene Gresh, a practicing lawyer.
    “We have two daughters, Brittany, she is 26 and a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and Lauren, who is a sophomore at CU in the school of engineering. She wants to be an architect.”
    According to the judge, visitors to Gresh’s court will receive fair treatment at the podium despite the infraction. 
    “I always try to consider that it could be me behind the podium, or a neighbor, and always try to treat people with respect and courtesy. Most municipal violations are in some ways like the small claims court of criminal law, so they are not major crimes of any kind, they are just the normal infractions that occur in life.”