DINOSAUR | Matthew Bradley is either one of the youngest — or the youngest — judge to be appointed to the bench in the United States. Just a few days prior to his 25th birthday, Bradley was sworn in as the new municipal judge for the Town of Dinosaur.
Hailing from a small town in New Mexico, Bradley said he likes the small town atmosphere and believes he can make a difference.
He earned his undergraduate degree in two and a half years at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado, and then went on to Notre Dame for law school where Amy Barrett — now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice — was one of his instructors.
“She was certainly the most notable professor,” Bradley said.
During the summers in law school, he worked for Judge David Furman, who serves on the Colorado Court of Appeals, and last year he worked for U.S. District Court Judge Damon Leichty in Indiana. Bradley clerked for Colorado State Supreme Court Justice Nathan Coats before Coats retired in January 2021, and then Bradley went into private practice in Denver, where he currently resides.
“I always had the intention of serving on the bench in some capacity,” Bradley said. “As a fairly new attorney there aren’t many options to do that.” The application to be the municipal judge for the Town of Dinosaur presented itself as an opportunity.
Bradley intends to commute to Dinosaur from his Denver home for court days and work remotely the rest of the time.
Asked about his goals in his new role, Bradley said, “I would like to bring the Dinosaur Municipal Court into the 21st Century with technology and the like, giving the court some structure.” He also hopes to make sure the community he serves understands the reasons behind a judgment he makes. “I don’t anticipate writing very many written opinions, but when I do I would like them to be easy for people to read and understand.”
By NIKI TURNER – firstname.lastname@example.org