When Matthew Tjosvold took an internship in 2008 with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, he found himself in the middle of a major event for law enforcement — the Democratic National Convention.
“We’d have daily meetings and briefings with the Secret Service, and all that,” said Tjosvold, who will be joining the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Moffat County next week. “That provided some interesting exposure to high-level law enforcement and security issues.
“From a legal standpoint, you’re writing memos on the type of security that you can require to keep. You’ve got (Barack) Obama and the rest of the whole democratic contingent coming in, so where are the lines drawn between free speech and security and all that stuff?”
Before the internship, Tjosvold had been interested largely in environmental law. Beyond the convention, he also researched and helped prosecute cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office that summer.
“That’s when I learned that this was my path,” Tjosvold said.
After graduating from Vermont Law School, that path continued to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
“I actually interviewed in Craig to begin with,” Tjosvold said. “They hired three people, and they placed us all in different places.”
He was sent to Grand County.
Marty Galloway was given the job in Moffat County. However, Tjosvold will soon replace Galloway, who is moving to the Front Range, at the Moffat County office.
Tjosvold said he will have similar responsibilities in Moffat County as he did in Grand. He will primarily handle county cases involving misdemeanors such as child abuse, DUI and domestic violence.
“I’m going to be doing the exact same thing, so whatever I did down here totally prepared me to get up there and be able to hit the ground running,” Tjosvold said.
But the move to Moffat County also will allow him to pursue felony cases in district court, he said.
When he gets to Craig, he won’t have much time to adjust. He said he’ll finish up his current work Friday in Grand County.
On Monday, he will begin work in Moffat County and will have his first trial starting Wednesday. It’s a transition he’s confident in making because of his experience.
“It’s intense in the sense that you’re moving into a new office and you start Monday and you’ve already got a trial Wednesday,” Tjosvold. “I told my judge about it down here and he said, ‘You know, you guys are all interchangeable and if they need you to step in, you should be able to do it.’”
He said he expects to start contributing immediately to the office because of his experience within the district.
“The benefit for the people of Moffat County is that they’re getting a new DA with experience,” Tjosvold said. “They’re getting someone who can step into the courtroom and automatically have experience and automatically know what he’s doing and be able to effectively prosecute their cases. I think that’s important because now the office will have three experienced attorneys instead of just two and having to waste the time trying to train someone.”