Hon. (Ret.) Russell E. Carparelli

Former Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Russell Carparelli has litigated, tried, and presided as a judge in more than 1,000 cases. He retired from the Colorado Court of Appeals in December 2013, and now brings extraordinary breadth and depth of experience to mediation. His subject matter expertise includes the full breadth of civil law and complex litigation. Russ also brings special expertise in negotiations, having negotiated scores of settlements and taught and lectured on the subject of negotiation strategy and tactics.


Russell Carparelli has been a lawyer, judge, leader, and innovator throughout his professional life. Before becoming an appellate judge, he was a prosecutor, commercial litigator, and Air Force Judge Advocate. During his military career, Russ served in the Pentagon as the Chief of Civilian Personnel and Labor Litigation when the Air Force had 300,000 civilian personnel and hundreds of pending lawsuits around the nation. He later served as special litigation counsel to the Air Force Secretary and General Staff. He retired from Air Force active duty in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. His experience in private practice and on the Colorado Court of Appeals includes commercial and government contracts, construction and real estate, employment, environmental, insurance coverage and bad faith, professional liability, personal injury, probate, and aircraft leasing and maintenance.

Judge Carparelli is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators. His mediation focus is on complex disputes in the following areas:

  • Commercial Contracts
  • Government Contracts
  • Construction and Real Estate
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Professional Malpractice & Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate

Russ is a graduate of the USAF Academy, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and the University of Virginia School of Law. He has completed judicial training courses at New York University, the Federal Judicial Center, and the National Judicial College, and mediation training courses at the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado.


  • 2008 Denver Bar Association Judicial Excellence Award
  • 2010 American Bar Association Coalition for Justice, Burnham “Hod” Greeley Award for outstanding contribution to promoting public awareness of the importance of a fair, impartial and independent judiciary through the Colorado Bar Association Our Courts Project.
  • 2012 Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr., Award in recognition of outstanding skills as a member of the judiciary as well as his contributions to the National Trial Advocacy College and the legal profession.
  • 2012 American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Civility and Law Award.
  • 2012 Colorado Bar Association recognition for dedication to civility in the legal profession.

Russ is on the Board of the Colorado Judicial Institute, the Chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division Judicial Outreach Network, co-founder of the Colorado Judicial Institute & Colorado Bar Association Our Courts public education initiative, co-founder of Our Courts America, a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation, a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations Professionalism Coordinating Council, and a past member and working group chair of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession. He was also a member of the Chief Justice’s select committee to develop the Judicial Learning Center at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center. His professional memberships and activities also include the following:

  • American Bar Association
  • American Inns of Court
  • American Judicature Society
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Foundation
  • Colorado Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession
  • Colorado Judicial Institute
  • Colorado Judicial Learning Center
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Justice at Stake
  • National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia
  • Our Courts America
  • Our Courts Colorado
  • Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators

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