University of Denver

Carlos A. Samour, Jr.

Associate Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

Justice Samour was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court effective July 2, 2018. Before joining the Supreme Court, Justice Samour was a district court judge in the 18th Judicial District (encompassing Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties) for eleven and a half years. During his tenure as district court judge, Justice Samour presided over criminal, civil, domestic relations, juvenile delinquency, and dependency and neglect cases. On July 1, 2014, Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice appointed him Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District; he served in that role for four years until joining the Supreme Court. In 2015, Justice Samour received the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Judicial Officer of the Year Award. That same year, he received the Judicial Excellence Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2018, Justice Samour received the Charles B. Dillion Award of Merit for Outstanding Public Service.      

Before his appointment to the district court bench, Justice Samour worked as a prosecutor in the Denver District Attorney’s Office for approximately ten years. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, he worked in civil practice for almost five years at Holland & Hart LLP. His first job out of law school was a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Robert McWilliams in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. 

Justice Samour currently serves as the Chair of the Bail Blue Ribbon Commission. He was appointed Chair of that commission by Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice in 2018. The Bail Blue Ribbon Commission is charged with evaluating Colorado’s pretrial practices and making recommendations for improvement to the Colorado Supreme Court. Justice Samour is also the Chair of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. He is a member of the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Inn of Court, the Colorado Bar Association, the Arapahoe County Bar Association, and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. Justice Samour previously completed two terms on the Board of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.       

Justice Samour was born in El Salvador. He immigrated to the United States when he was 13 years old after his family was forced to flee El Salvador during a time of political upheaval. He grew up in Littleton, Colorado, where he graduated from Columbine High School. Justice Samour subsequently graduated with honors from the University of Colorado at Denver. In 1990, he graduated Order of St. Ives from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.