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Aspen Attorney Robert A. Francis


Robert A. Francis has been an attorney for more than 54 years, 51 of them in Aspen, Colorado.

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1940. He graduated from Western Hills High School in 1958.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1962. While at Indiana, he met and married his wife, Judi. He and Judi recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have three daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom reside in the Aspen area.

Following his graduation from Indiana, he spent 3 1/2 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, mustering out as a First Lieutenant in 1965. After the Marine Corps, he attended the University of Michigan law school, graduating in 1968 with honors.

After law school, he practiced in Ann Arbor for three years, focusing primarily on criminal defense. He gained national exposure as the first attorney representing the most infamous serial killer in Michigan’s history, John Norman Collins.

During that time, he served as the lawyer-practitioner supervising a U of M student program in which the students appeared at real-life hearings under his supervision.

He and his family moved to Aspen in 1971. In Aspen, he joined the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office as a part-time Assistant District Attorney for approximately three years. His practice consisted of criminal defense (because of his involvement with the Collins case he was asked by Pitkin County District Judge George Lohr, who later became a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, to defend Ted Bundy shortly before his escape from the Garfield County Jail) and real estate. He obtained his Colorado real estate brokers license in 1975.

He served as the President of the Pitkin County Bar Association in 1974-75.

He has tried more than 75 jury trials. The first was as a junior in law school. His first criminal defense was of a court martial in the Marine Corps.

He is admitted in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Michigan and the District of Colorado, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

He has appeared in the state Courts of every jurisdiction in Michigan and Colorado except the Supreme Court of Michigan. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Colorado.

Before various orthopaedic injuries he was a runner, having completed two marathons, a 16-miler, 7-8 half marathons, and numerous 10-K’s. He also participated in many stage bicycle rides.

He and his wife, Judi, served in Aspen Mountain Rescue for more than 10 years. In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, watercolor, and is gaining traction in speaking several foreign languages.