JUDGE GERALD E. MCAULIFFE PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
Judge McAuliffe was a very active and respected member of his profession. The collection includes newspaper articles covering his cases, election certificates, award plaques, correspondence, and speech texts. The collection documents McAuliffe’s career from 1930-1974. The collection also documents his personal life and the McAuliffe family’s progress. Papers include correspondence, and newspaper clippings. Judge McAuliffe’s personal documents span 1923-1985.
The series spans Judge McAuliffe’s career from 1930 to his retirement in 1974. Included in the series are newspaper clippings, articles, bench appointment certificates, correspondence, and plaques. Materials document from his first position as City Attorney and progresses through his years as Municipal Judge and District Court Judge.
The series contains documents from school, family, and friends. Papers include correspondence, newspaper clippings, law school yearbooks, and loose items from scrapbooks. The series documents from 1923-1985.
The oversize material comprises scrapbooks documenting his professional years. Scrapbooks contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, bulletins, diplomas, membership cards, programs, campaign literature, press releases, election reports, and mementoes.
The photographs in this series document McAuliffe's career as a judge. One folder of photographs contains photos of Susan McAuliffe's classrooms. A few personal photographs are included.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Judge Gerald E. McAuliffe (1904-1985) was born in Dunlap, Iowa, but lived 74 of his 80 years in Colorado. His parents, Daniel J. and Mary McAuliffe, moved their family of ten children to Denver in 1910. Here, Judge McAuliffe received his education. He graduated from North High School in 1926 and attended the Westminster School of Law from which he received an LL.B. degree in 1930. McAuliffe’s father, a 25-year Denver City detective, set a law enforcement precedent for two of his sons. The Judge’s brother, Thomas, was a Colorado State Patrolman and Lake County undersheriff.
Judge McAuliffe began his 44-year law career immediately upon completing university studies. In September, 1930, the Colorado Supreme Court admitted the graduate to practice as an attorney. In 1931, McAuliffe became the Assistant City Attorney for Colorado. He relinquished this position in 1934 when he was elected Representative from Denver to the Colorado Legislature. McAuliffe was re-elected to the seat in 1936 and retained it until 1938. Among his legislative activities McAuliffe acted as Chairman of the Criminal Affairs Committee during his first term and as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee during his second term.
After Judge McAuliffe left the Legislature at the end of his second term, his career continued to thrive. From 1938 to 1940, he served as Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, responsible for all criminal case appeals before the Colorado Supreme Court. From 1942 to 1951, McAuliffe served with distinction in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.
Judge McAuliffe’s distinguished career as a municipal court judge and later as a district court judge began in 1952. In the spring of that year, Mayor Quigg Newton appointed him to the Denver Municipal Court and in June the Mayor promoted him to Presiding Judge. He remained in that position until 1961. During the years he held the post, each successive mayor, including Mayors Newton, Nicholson, Batterton, and McNichols, re-appointed him to the bench.
During his 9-year tenure as Presiding Judge, McAuliffe instituted reforms that won national recognition of and citations to the Denver Municipal Court. He pursued, in particular, improvements in the Traffic Court. Among his other reforms, the judge established a jury system for ordinance violation cases and instituted a new form of traffic ticket that enumerated the violations and their fines.
For such accomplishments, the American Bar Association awarded his court its citation for “Outstanding Progress in the Improvement of Traffic Court Practices and Procedures” in 1954 and 1958. In 1968, on the 25th anniversary of the ABA Traffic Court Program, McAuliffe received a Certificate of Appreciation for faithful service to that court.
In 1961, Governor McNichols named Judge McAuliffe to the Denver District Court to fill a vacant seat. In 1962, 1964, and 1970, when this seat was up for re-election by the general public, Judge McAuliffe conducted campaigns and won the bench appointment all three years. As District Judge, McAuliffe presided over cases in Domestic Relations and Criminal cases. In addition to his duties in District Court, Juvenile Court Judge Philip B. Gilliam appointed him in 1962, as Legal Advisor and Referee for the Juvenile Court.
In addition to Judge McAuliffe’s work in his own court, he participated in many legal committees and held numerous memberships:
- In 1957, he joined judges from around thecountry in the “Public Officials Traffic Safety Meeting” sponsored by the“President’s Committee for Traffic Safety”.
- From 1957-1958, McAuliffeserved on the Committee on Courts of Limited Jurisdiction of the American BarAssociation.
- In 1959, he sat on the Advisory Committee to the ColoradoLegislative Council on the Administration of Justice to study the need forjudicial reform in Colorado.
- From 1961-1963, Judge McAuliffe served on theAdvisory Committee, Legislative Council, and Criminal Code RevisionCommittee.
- In 1963, Mayor Currigan appointed Judge McAuliffe to theJudicial Advisory Committee to recruit and screen attorneys for DenverMunicipal Court Judgeships.
- The Judge was a member of the American,Colorado, and Denver Bar Associations, the American Judicature Society, and theNational Association of Municipal Judges (charter member).
Judge McAuliffe also belonged to several organizations outside of his profession including the Democratic Party, Sigma Delta Kappa, the Elk’s Club, the Denver Urban League, and the Knights of Columbus.
In 1940, Judge McAuliffe married Susan Crowe, formerly of Chicago. Mrs. McAuliffe received her master’s degree in education from the University of Denver and taught elementary school in Denver. Judge and Mrs. McAuliffe had a daughter, Mary. Their daughter, a Sister of the Sisters of Loretto order, also taught elementary school in the Denver area. Judge McAuliffe died in 1984 at the age of 80. Mrs. McAuliffe passed away two years later, in 1986.
1 Photo Envelopes
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, Sister Mary E. McAuliffe, 1987 and 2016.
Yearbooks from North High School and Westminster University of Law were removed and cataloged.
REVISED AND ENCODED BY:
- JUDGE GERALD E. MCAULIFFE PAPERS
- REVISED 2007
- Language of description
- Script of description