EDWIN L. FELTER, JR. is Senior Administrative Law Judge, Colorado Office of Administrative Courts (OAC), which is an independent central panel of ALJs. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 2006 ——-. He was director and chief judge of the OAC from 1983 – 1998. He has been a government lawyer and an ALJ for almost all of his professional life. Presently, as Senior Administrative Law Judge, he hears and decides workers’ compensation cases; he mediates special education and licensing board cases; he has been in charge of the OAC Law Clerk Program since 2001; and, he has coordinated the judicial in-house training program for the OAC for approximately fifteen years.
Judge Felter has served as Chair of the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division (GPSLD), 2012-2013, of the American Bar Association (ABA), and was on its Council from 2002 through 2014. He also serves as Co-Chair of the GPSLD Ethics Committee, 2007-present. The GPSLD is the 12th largest entity in the ABA, with a membership over 7,300.
Judge Felter was Chair of the National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary (NCALJ), ABA, 2000/2001. During his NCALJ Chair year, he guided the passage of Resolution 101.B (2001), supporting the judicial independence and accountability of the administrative law judiciary, through the House of Delegates with a vote of 279 to 2. He has served as Chair of the NCALJ Ethics (2002-2015) and International Law Committees (2004—present).. He has also served on the Judicial Division Ethics Committee and International Courts Committee for several years. In this capacity he worked with the leadership of the Judicial Division (JD), along with 9th Circuit Judge Randy Smith (Former Chair of the Appellate Judges Conference) and Judge Robert Pirraglia of Rhode Island (former Chair of the Special Courts Judges Conference) to achieve satisfactory modifications to the Judicial Disqualification Proposal of the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence. In this role, Judge Felter worked with the leadership and rank-and-file members of all Conferences of the Judicial Division to achieve a satisfactory result outcome.
In 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2013, Judge Felter coordinated, along with Judges McDaniel and Cooper, a program for NCALJ members to attend Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals’ (CCAT) international administrative law conferences in Quebec City (2001), Toronto (2004 and 2013) and Montreal (2010). He also coordinated a CCAT Guest Program for CCAT members to attend the 2011 ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto.
Judge Felter served as Chair of The Colorado Lawyer Board (2014-2016). The Colorado Lawyer is the official publication of the Colorado Bar Association, reaching a readership of approximately 15,000 lawyers. He was Chair of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) Grievance Policy Committee several years ago; and, he served on the CBA Ethics Committee (1974-1986). He has maintained an active membership in the CBA and Denver Bar Association for over 40 years. Judge Felter was a consultant in administrative law for the STAR Viet Nam Project, and spent the months of December 2003 and March 2006 in Viet Nam, assisting the Drafting Committee of the Government Inspectorate (GI) in revising the Law of Complaints and Denunciations (Viet Nam’s version of an Administrative Procedure Act). The project involved a proposal for the creation of a Central Administrative Tribunal of Viet Nam. He has consulted with the States of Hawaii, Alaska and Pennsylvania on the establishment of central panels; with the Republic of Panama on judicial administration; and, with the workers’ compensation judges in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Recently, in March 2016, the ABA Center for Human Rights sent Judge Felter to the Kingdom of Lesotho (South Africa) to observe the impeachment trial of Dr. Kananelo Mosito, President of the Lesotho Court of Appeals. The trial was postponed until August 2016, however, Judge Felter and his colleague, Thulani Rudolf Maseko (human rights lawyer from Swaziland), laid important groundwork to ensure that Justice Mosito will be accorded full due process protections.
Judge Felter was the Disciplinary Prosecutor for the Supreme Court Grievance Committee, 1975 – 1978; Assistant Attorney General, Colorado, 1975 – 1980; and, Deputy Colorado State Public Defender, Fort Collins, 1971 – 1975.
Judge Felter’s article entitled “Special Problems of State Administrative Law Judges,” 53 Admin. L. Rev. 403 (2001) [re-published in 8-10 Law and Justice: Journal of the United Lawyers Association 41 (2001-2003), New Delhi, India], surveys ethical structures for state ALJs in the United States. His article, “Accountability in the Administrative Law Judiciary: The Right and the Wrong Kind,” 86 Denv. U.L.Rev.157 (2008) [reprinted in 30 J.NAALJ 19 (2010)] explores the reasons why political accountability is not appropriate. In 2003, Judge Felter was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor conferred on 1/3rd of 1% of all lawyers. He is now a Life Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation. From 2006-2009, he served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (a presidential appointment). He presently serves on the ABA Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law (also a Presidential appointment). In August 2016, GPSLD awarded Judge Felter the Nelson Award, recognizing long-term, exceptional service to the ABA by a public lawyer.