For new district judge Bruce Langer, a dream finally came true

Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter (right), swears in new district judge Bruce Langer. Photo by Lars Gesing

Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter (right), swears in new district judge Bruce Langer. Photo by Lars Gesing.

By Lars Gesing

Bruce Langer has a new job title after all. He is no longer the chief deputy for District Attorney Stanley Garnett, but can now refer to himself as District Judge Bruce Langer.

Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter of the 20th Judicial District (Boulder County) officially swore Langer into his new office on Friday afternoon.

In a packed Courtroom F at the Boulder County Justice Center —  with guests including Sheriff Joe Pelle, Langer’s former boss District Attorney Stanley Garnett, friends and family — a dream finally came true for the husband and father of two sons.

In his acceptance speech, Langer told the audience three things he learned from his son Justin’s baseball coach that have since come to define his ethics: “Work hard. Appreciate the game. Be a good team player.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Langer two weeks ago to succeed former District Judge Gwyneth Whalen, who retired from the bench on Aug. 31.

Langer’s new career didn’t start all that smoothly, though.

When Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter confused the order of sentences in Langer’s oath, she had to start afresh. The room burst with laughter. “I’m new at this,” Berkenkotter said, smirking. She took the seat as 20th Judicial District Chief Judge only weeks ago, on Sept. 1.

After 18 years as a prosecutor in the DA’s office, Langer is switching sides, something he wanted to do for years.

“I have figured out how to get the job. Now I need to figure out how to do the job,” Langer said after the ceremony. “But I am sure that everyone will be a big help. This bench is very collegial.”

“I felt relief. He has tried several times before. He will be a great judge,” Langer’s wife, Jill, said.

Langer will start his new job on Monday (Sept. 30).

To review live coverage of Friday’s ceremony, click here.


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