Kirwan, Pototsky nominated for Garfield County Court judgeship opening |

Kirwan, Pototsky nominated for Garfield County Court judgeship opening

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Two Glenwood Springs attorneys have been nominated to fill the Garfield County Court judgeship being vacated in January by Jason Jovanovich, who opted not to stand for retention this year.

Jovanovich, whose decision to not seek retention followed accusations of “inappropriate behavior” toward his staff, will remain technically on the job until early January.

He has been suspended from active service in the meantime, due to the accusations, but continues to draw his pay.

The selection of a replacement judge, by Gov. Bill Ritter, must take place within 2 weeks, under state law. The vacancy becomes effective on Jan. 11, 2011.

Both nominees told the Post Independent they are prepared to move to Rifle as part of the job requirements.

Joe Kirwan works at the Tom Silverman law offices in Glenwood Springs, with Silverman and Katie Hays, where the three practice in the areas of criminal defense, including DUI; personal injury; family law [divorce, custody, child support] and bankruptcy.

Kirwan, 56, is primarily a defense attorney in criminal cases, but also has been a prosecutor in his native state of Kentucky. He also put in a stint as a public defender. He holds degrees from the University of Louisville and the Brandeis School of Law.

He has tried everything from murder cases to sex abuse and rape, traffic violations to federal conspiracy cases, according to an interview with the Post Independent and information on the Silverman Law Office’s website.

He moved to the area in 2006 and started working for Silverman’s law firm right away, and believes he is ready for the job of being a judge.

“I wouldn’t have put my name in if I wasn’t serious,” he remarked.

The other nominee, Jonathan Pototsky, 44, hails from Michigan, and has worked as a prosecutor in the Ninth Judicial District for the past two years. His degrees are from the University of Miami in Florida, and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.

Prior to coming to Colorado two years ago, according to his resume, he has owned his own law firm, been a partner in another and an associate in several others.

Pototsky has practiced in criminal defense, divorce and family law, neglect and abuse cases and murder trials.

He also was a public defender in Kent County, Mich., with a case load of more than 200 felony files per year, according to his resume.

He said he also was a court-appointed mediator, “because I have experience doing plaintiffs’ work and defense work.”

“I think I have the experience, I think I have the temperament” to do the job, Pototsky said. “Whether it’s a murder case or a speeding ticket, that day in court is the most important day of his life to that defendant.”

Comments regarding either of the nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at

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