Juanita Rice served in the Colorado Judicial Department from 1987 through 2009 when she retired. She was appointed by the Colorado Governor as a District Court Judge in April of 2000 and was Presiding Domestic Trial Judge for the Eighteenth Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, and Elbert Counties) from 2001 through January, 2009. Prior to this she served as a District Court Magistrate in Arapahoe, Douglas and El Paso Counties. Additionally, she lived and worked in rural Cambodia as a Senior Legal Advisor from 1995 to 1997, with the Cambodian Court Training Project funded by USAID.
Juanita earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Minnesota in 1979 and her Juris Doctorate from the University Of Colorado School Of Law in 1981. After completing law school and before joining the District Court bench, she worked as a trial lawyer in Colorado Springs with an emphasis on family law issues.
For more than 20 years Judge Rice has dedicated her professional career efforts primarily to family and juvenile law cases. She has regularly been invited to provide presentations to professionals in the field as well as citizens at large throughout Colorado, on juvenile and domestic law topics including the positive effects of mediation on the divorce process. Her own continuing education included certificates in conflict management and alternative dispute resolution and most recently 45 hours of high conflict mediation training.
During the course of her legal career, Judge Rice has received recognition for her service to the legal community and the community at large in the form of awards from the Universities of Minnesota and Colorado as well as the El Paso and Arapahoe County Bar Associations, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Girl Scouts of America and Children's Advocates. She was honored as the Colorado State Judicial Officer of the Year in Child Support Enforcement. Judge Rice remains a life member of Girl Scouts USA and has served as a Cadette troop leader and motivational speaker for the Wagon Wheel Council of Girl Scouts.
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