CASA and the Colorado Springs legal community is saddened by the passing of retired District Court Judge Douglas Anderson on April 12, 2015. Judge Anderson served as a district court judge in the 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller Counties) for 17 years. He was a true innovator for how family law cases are handled in the court system.
Judge Anderson chaired a committee that created a new Sexual Abuse Protocol that was designed to handle allegations of child sexual abuse in high conflict custody cases quickly and efficiently. He established the Divorce with Dignity program that helped reduce the adversarial nature of divorce cases and created a more creative approach to resolving family conflict. His efforts encouraged divorcing couples to work together in a collaborative way to find solutions that were more efficient, less costly and focused on the best interests of the children.
He was a past recipient of the CASA President’s Award for his work in helping to establish the Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time (SEPT) program at the courthouse. After he retired from the bench he served as a mediator and arbiter for 13 years and founded the Pro Bono Project of the El Paso County Bar Association that provides free legal assistance to the indigent, disabled and disenfranchised.
Judge Anderson’s colleagues have described him as a “…giant….a mentor…a hero…an extraordinary man…a great judge…irreplaceable…a man who cared deeply for the cause of access to justice and for the people who came to him for help.” He was an avid sportsman and baseball fan and a devoted husband, father, grandfather and true friend. He encouraged all who came to him to “…find the better angels in themselves…” so their lives and those of their children would follow a more positive path. He will be deeply missed.