2002 Metro Volunteer Lawyers Honorees
Every year select attorneys are honored at the Denver Bar Foundation’s Barristers Benefit Ball for their extraordinary efforts and dedication to pro bono legal services.
Randall Arp, Susan Smith Fisher, Patricia Fredrick and Eric Liebman will be recognized for supporting free legal services to the poor through Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL). Faegre & Benson is the recipient of the "Law Firm of the Year" award in recognition of its exemplary commitment to pro bono services.
The Barristers Benefit Ball will be Saturday, April 27 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center, 7800 E. Tufts Ave. Tickets are still available. Call Dana Collier Smith for more information or to reserve your place at the ball at (303) 824-5318.
Faegre & Benson has initiated a new model for large firm participation in pro bono work. In 2001, Faegre & Benson began its Post-Decree Clinic in Denver County and District Court. MVL volunteers trained the Faegre & Benson staff in domestic relations law and procedure, prior to the clinic’s start. The training was videotaped and materials duplicated, so new participants can "cycle in" at any time. The clinic is based on MVL’s Family Law Court Program model, but only the firm’s attorneys and legal assistants staff the clinic, which is held once a month. The participants first assist MVL clients in filing motions for modification of parenting time and child support orders or for issuance of contempt citations. The firm’s attorneys enter an appearance and represent the clients for the final hearing held in front of the Denver District Court Magistrates on the clinic date. Morgan Costello and Jessica Toll coordinate the program for the firm.
Randall Arp and his firm have been long-time supporters of the mission of MVL. Randy currently volunteers for the Family Law Court Program, mentors a University of Denver College of Law evening division student, serves as a First Judicial District Bar Association representative on the MVL Governing Board and takes individual cases. Over the years, Randy has represented more than 30 MVL clients, many of them with difficult issues and short deadlines.
As president of the Denver Bar Association for the 2000/2001 fiscal year, Susan Smith Fisher conceived and initiated the DBA Board of Trustees’ Pro Bono Challenge. Susan first challenged each member of the Board of Trustees to accept a pro bono case and set a positive example for the rest of the bar. The board then voted to challenge other bar associations around the state to do the same—"Just Take One" pro bono case in response to the challenge. Susan visited a number of local and specialty bars, including the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, to present the challenge and hand out MVL cases. For the first time in several years, the number of attorneys accepting MVL cases increased instead of declined.
Patricia Fredrick is the perfect example of how a government attorney can make a difference through pro bono representation. She is an assistant county attorney in the Adams County Attorney’s Office and is the immediate past president of the Adams County Bar Association. Patti is a volunteer for MVL’s Family Law Court Program in Adams County, spending one afternoon a month representing clients in divorce and custody matters.
Despite a busy litigation practice, Eric Liebman finds time to represent indigent clients on a regular basis. He has accepted difficult cases and difficult clients. In 2001, he concluded a custody matter for a particularly needy client and did it with great patience and professionalism.
To become a MVL volunteer,
call Barb Chamberlain at (303) 866-9378.