TARA JORFALD is a senior associate at The Noble Law Firm and focuses her practice on appeals, judicial reviews, and postconviction proceedings in juvenile delinquency and criminal cases.
Tara focuses her practice on complex cases in which she challenges serious felony convictions and lengthy prison sentences. She also provides assistance to clients with applications for parole, pardons, and clemency by gathering extensive mitigating evidence and advocating for the release of her clients from prison.
Tara is a member of a litigation committee that actively advocates for sentencing reform for juvenile offenders. She has been at the forefront of many important juvenile sentencing issues. For instance, in People in the Interest of J.C., 428 P.3d 617 (Colo. App. 2018), she persuaded the Colorado Court of Appeals that a juvenile could not be sentenced as a repeat juvenile offender for cases that were settled on the same day and that a juvenile could not be committed to the Division of Youth Services for an indeterminate term. The decision she obtained in this appeal allows defense attorneys to advocate for sentences shorter than the typical “up to two years” commitment being ordered in most juvenile cases and allows judges to use their discretion to craft an appropriate commitment rather than a standard sentence.It also provides defense attorneys the ability to settle a juvenile’s multiple cases as part of a global disposition without concern that the settlement could lead to an aggravated sentence.
Tara also litigated one of the seminal cases on juvenile life sentences in Colorado, Estrada-Huerta v. People, 394 P.3d 1139 (Colo. 2017), in which the Colorado Supreme Court found that the categorical ban on sentences of life without parole for juveniles did not apply to consecutive term-of-years sentences. Despite the supreme court’s decision, Tara remains active in litigating, teaching, and lobbying on the issue—that juveniles deserve a meaningful opportunity for release based on demonstrated maturity.
As an advocate for her clients, Tara has:
It is difficult to obtain a successful outcome on appeal or in postconviction proceedings, and most cases are not successful. Tara therefore provides her clients with an honest assessment of their cases before proceeding with litigation. If they decide to proceed, Tara will give her full dedication to obtain results even in the most difficult cases.
Tara graduated in law from the University of Denver. She received her BA in International Relations and Spanish from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and her MPhil in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law.
Tara has always been committed to social justice.
Before practicing law, Tara spent time working as a counselor at a Colorado residential treatment center for at-risk youth. She also worked for the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers where she provided legal aid and assisted with asylum appeals. She then worked for the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights where, among other things, she managed a development program to strengthen human rights and democracy across South Africa.
Tara is fluent in Spanish and Norwegian.
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