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Oklahoma federal judges help Denver colleagues

BY ROBERT E. BOCZKIEWICZ Published: September 20, 2009
DENVER — A group of federal judges from Oklahoma City are traveling to Denver to lend a hand with Colorado court cases.

The last time that happened was in 1996 when the Murrah Federal Building bombing case was in court in Denver.

Three judges from the Western District of Oklahoma federal court are presiding over cases part-time, indefinitely, in federal court in Denver.

"They need some help (and) we’re most amenable to help,” said Senior U.S. District Judge Timothy Leonard, speaking from his chambers at the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City.

Two judges short
The U.S. District Court for Colorado is short two judges because of a death and a resignation.

Because the case against Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols was moved from Oklahoma City to a federal judge in Denver, federal judges in Oklahoma City traveled to Denver to help the bombing case judge with some of his other case load.

The current assignment of visiting judges to Denver’s federal court will continue until President Barack Obama nominates and the U.S. Senate confirms replacements for the two vacancies. There is no indication when that will happen.

Fitting schedules
Besides Leonard, judges David Russell and Robin Cauthron will occasionally conduct trials of Colorado federal court civil cases.