Judith James Carlson

Judith James Carlson

Principal and Founder
Frisco, Colorado

Judith James Carlson is a principal and founder of the firm. A former Family Court, Juvenile Court and Probate Court Judge, Ms. Carlson focuses her practice on Family Law, Divorce and Custody, Wills, Trusts and Probate matters.

Ms. Carlson is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School. She served as a Senior Assistant Public Defender in Ann Arbor, Michigan, gaining valuable experience in more than 400 felonies and misdemeanor trials. During her tenure, Ms. Carlson tried numerous difficult capital cases including Murder. Later, she was appointed an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan for the Department of Mental Health. There she prosecuted child abuse in state facilities, gaining extensive Federal Court experience in 42 USC 1983 Civil Rights cases and the defense of Medical Malpractice cases. After leaving government service, Ms. Carlson established a successful private practice in the Washtenaw County, Michigan area, which encompassed the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

In 1984, Ms. Carlson was overwhelmingly elected the first woman Judge in Washtenaw County history. As Chief Juvenile Court and Probate Court Judge, she served distinguishably, implementing major reforms and taking a no-nonsense approach to serious crime while at the same time implementing creative and advanced juvenile treatment programs.

Ms. Carlson and her family moved to Colorado in 1990 and soon found a home in the Summit County mountain resort town of Frisco, Colorado. Drawing upon her extensive experience, she has primarily practiced in the Family Law area with a guiding philosophy of providing superior legal services while simultaneously putting the best interests of the children first. She continues to counsel clients in Probate and Estate Planning measures.

Ms. Carlson has been professional recognized by her peers and community organizations with numerous awards for community service and excellence. She is co-author of Marital Torts with firm partner Paul Dunkelman. She is licensed to practice law in Colorado and Michigan.

Ms. Carlson and her husband have three adult children. She enjoys hobbies of camping, hiking and gardening. In addition to being a licensed attorney in two states, Ms. Carlson is also a certified Master Gardener.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1992

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Divorce and Custody
  • Wills
  • Trust
  • Probate
  • Felony
  • Misdemeanor
  • Child Abuse
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Estate Planning

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Master Gardener

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, 1990
  • Michigan, 1974
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1990


  • Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, Michigan
    • J.D. - 1974
  • Wayne State University
    • B.A. - 1971

Published Works

  • Co-Author, "Marital Torts", Colorado Lawyer, January, 2001

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
  • Continental Divide Bar Association
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association, Juvenile Law Section, Member, Legislative Committee
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Women Lawyers Association
  • Women Judges Association
  • State Bar of Michigan

Past Employment Positions

  • Washtenaw County, Michigan, Probate and Juvenile Court Judge, 1985 - 1990
  • Washtenaw County, Michigan, Chief Judge, 1986 - 1990
  • State of Michigan for the Department of Mental Health, Assistant Attorney General