Denver Bar Association
March 2000
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District Judge Kicks and Referees

by Kathy Dory

The first thing noticed about Judge McGahey is his engaging sense of humor. In a recent interview, he effortlessly flowed between quoting Mark Twain and his oldest son Peter, showing his own brand of humor.

The Honorable Bob McGahey is the newest District Judge sitting in the Domestic Relations division for the City and County of Denver. He was appointed Dec. 7, 1999, sworn in on Jan. 12, and began actively serving on Jan. 18.

Judge McGahey was a trial lawyer specializing in the arena of insurance defense for the last 25 years. He attended Princeton for his undergraduate training and graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1974. He believes that he brings a trial lawyer's perspective to the bench. Judge McGahey lives a full life outside the courtroom. He has worked extensively with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in various capacities as an instructor. He teaches mock trial courses at local junior highs and high schools. He is also on the Statistics Crew for the Colorado Rapids.

This brings us to a topic that definitely sparks the judge's interest--soccer. He is a licensed coach/referee and has coached all three of his children's soccer teams.

When asked about his pet peeves regarding attorneys in his courtroom, the judge's main sticking point is preparedness. If you are going to appear in Judge McGahey's courtroom, make sure that you know your case and its issues, have sufficient copies, and introduce appropriate exhibits.

While this would appear to be common sense to most lawyers, Judge McGahey believes being prepared is important not only becasue it's the right thing to do, but also out of fairness and responsibility to the parties involved.

Judge McGahey could easily be labeled an advocate for children. One of his primary goals while serving in the Domestic Relations division is to protect the rights and needs of the children brought before him.

He warns that he is not sympathetic to parents who use their children as weapons during the dissolution of their marriages. Parties set to appear before Judge McGahey would do well to remember to act like adults and refer to their children as "our children" and not "my child."

The judge feels that this mindset enables parents to put the needs of their children above their own, and thus come to a more just and fair settlement of the marital issues.

Throughout our conversation, Judge McGahey spoke endearingly about his wife Julia. The judge and his wife have known each other since the second grade. Of course they despised one another for many years, but eventually dislike turned to love and they have been married for 29 years. The McGahey's have three children: Peter, Myles and Emily.

As a first time jurist, Judge McGahey will face his own share of challenges.

We wish Judge McGahey well in his new appointment!



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