DENVER, CO, Nov. 15, 2016 – The Governing Commission of the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa A. Michaelis as the new Executive Director of the agency, effective immediately. Michaelis served as Acting Executive Director, since August 2016, and previously as Deputy Director, since February 2016.Michaelis said, “It is with a great deal of humility that I announce that the ORPC Commission has selected me as the Executive Director of the ORPC. I have accepted with the recognition that there are many challenges ahead, but I am also hopeful that I can meet those challenges so that our agency can support respondent parents’ counsel in the work that they do every day on behalf of the parents and families of Colorado.”Prior to joining the ORPC, Michaelis served as Lead Attorney at the Colorado State Public Defender’s Pueblo Regional Office, where she defended the constitutional rights of indigent defendants for nearly seven years and was part of the office management team. Her passion for family defense stems from her tenure as a public defender and from a long-held belief that indigent people need excellent legal advocates to be their voice in court and protect their constitutional and statutory rights. Michaelis received her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, where she was an assistant editor of the Wayne Law Review, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.
The Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) provides legal representation for indigent parents in child welfare cases in Colorado.Respondent Parents’ Counsel play a critical role in achieving the best outcomes for children in child welfare cases by protecting the legal and due process rights of parents, presenting balanced information to courts, and promoting the preservation of family relationships. To learn more, visit https://coloradoorpc.org/.Contacts:Sara SettleAdministrative and Marketing Specialist303firstname.lastname@example.org://coloradoorpc.org/Melissa MichaelisExecutive Directormmichaelis@coloradoorpc.org# # #