Kapelke was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1994, following a distinguished career in commercial litigation including oil and gas, antitrust, real estate, corporate, securities and contract disputes. While in private practice, Kapelke was active in alternative dispute resolution forums including serving as a panelist with the American Arbitration Association and as a member of the Denver panel of arbitrators for the Center for Public Resources headquartered in New York.
Active in the community, Kapelke has served as the president of the Denver Rotary Club, a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Judicial Institute, president of the University Club, past chair of the University of Colorado Law Alumni Board, and past chair of the George W. Clayton College for Boys. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a past president of the Denver Bar Association, a past member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and a past member of the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association.
Colorado Court of Appeals Judge, 1994-2005
- Award of Merit, Colorado Bar Association, 2007
- Joined JAG as an arbiter in 2005
- Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Colorado Law School, 2005
- Denver Bar Association Award of Merit, 2001
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Law Club of Denver
- Partner, Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker & Grover (Chair, Commercial Litigation Section)
- Associate, Dayton Denious
- Law Clerk, Hon. Alfred A. Arraj, Chief Judge, United States District Court in Denver
Community and Professional Activities
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Past President, Denver Bar Association
- Former President, Denver Rotary Club
- Past President, University Club
- Former Chair, University of Colorado Law Alumni Board
- Past Chair, George W. Clayton College for Boys
- Former Member, House of Delegates, American Bar Association
- Past Member, Board of Governors, Colorado Bar Association.
- Is founder of the “Burden of Spoof,” a troupe of Denver-area lawyers and judges who have been presenting satirical music revues on legal topics and current affairs since 1994.