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Wiley Daniel

Wiley Daniel

United States District Court for the District of Colorado Denver, Colorado

Born: Louisville, Kentucky-September 10, 1946
Education: Howard University (B.A. 1968, J.D 1971).
With his appointment on June 30, 1995, Judge Daniel became the first African-American to be appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and only the second to be appointed in the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed by President Clinton.

The importance of education and hard work were instilled in Judge Daniel very early by his parents, who were both educators. His father was a school principal and his mother taught elementary school. Raised in the segregated South, Judge Daniel was very well aware of the vital role that lawyers played in the desegregation movement. This understanding, his belief that lawyers strive to create a system of laws that promote fairness and equality for all, and his overriding desire to help others, motivated him to pursue a career in law.

Judge Daniel attended Howard University for both his undergraduate and law degrees. While at the law school, Daniel was the Managing Editor of the Howard Law Journal and authored "Alternatives to Case-By-Case Attacks on School Segregation," 16 Howard Law Journal 575 (1971).

He began his legal career as an associate at the Detroit law firm of Dickinson, Wright, Mckean & Cudlip (1971-1977), making him only the second African-American attorney with the firm. Thereafter, he was an associate and partner at Gorsuch, Kirgis (1977-1988) and later became a shareholder and managing partner at Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd. (1988-1995).

In addition to practicing law, Judge Daniel has enjoyed teaching law. He was an Adjunct Professor at both Detroit College of Law (1974-1977) and at the University of Colorado School of Law (1977-1980). He has also been a lecturer on issues concerning trial tactics and commercial law for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA), Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and various other organizations.
Judge Daniel was president of the Colorado Bar Association in 1992-1993, a past officer of other bar associations, a past member of the Supreme Court Grievance Committee and has been active in bar and civic organizations throughout his career.  From 1998 to 2003, he was a Trustee of the American Inns of Court Foundation, an organization which promotes professionalism, ethics and civility within the legal profession. From 2000 to 2004, he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Iliff School of Theology.

Judge Daniel enjoys all aspects of his job, especially the trial of complex civil cases. Judge Daniel presently serves on the Judicial Conference's Committee on Judicial Resources, is chair of its Statistics Subcommittee and is vice-president and a member of the executive committee of the Federal Judges Association.

One of the people who inspired Judge Daniel to become a federal judge was deceased federal judge, Wade McCree. Judge Daniel recalls:

When I started as a practitioner in 1971, I remember talking to Judge McCree, who attended Fisk University with my father, about his experiences as a federal judge. Judge McCree planted a seed that blossomed in the 1990's when I realized I too had aspirations of sitting on the federal bench.

That aspiration was realized with his appointment to the federal bench in 1995. Today, Judge Daniel brings honesty, integrity, compassion and great vision to his service as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Colorado.

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