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TCL > August 1998 Issue > Pro Bono Success in Colorado's Northwest and Southwest

August 1998       Vol. 27, No. 8       Page  55

Pro Bono Success in Colorado's Northwest and Southwest

Robert Glenn White is a retired attorney who moved here from Pasadena, California. He previously practiced international tcl-1998august-whitetrade law with a firm in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. His resume is spiced with West Point experience, CIA duty in the Far East, Mayor of Pasadena, and pastor of the local Unitarian fellowship.

Shortly after arriving in our area, Robert volunteered for a six-month stint in the CBA's Lend-A-Lawyer program, traveling daily from his north Vallecito home to the Colorado Rural Legal Services office in Durango. After the six-month assignment, he stayed on as a pro bono attorney, working on civil rights cases on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation. He also retained two special cases from his days as a Lend-A-Lawyer that resulted in his reporting 180 hours last year of pro bono work. This year, he has reported more than 1,000 hours of pro bono work.

Robert has been instrumental in improving the Towaoc court system. This "Code of Federal Regulations court" is federally funded and supervised by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Federal regulations require an appeals court, and the Towaoc system had none. Robert pursued the issue to a stipulated settlement whereby the Towaoc court would join the Southwest Indian Tribal Court of Appeals ("SWITCA"). This has apparently dislodged the jam in the system.

Robert is now pursuing the original cases. Robert, although a transplant to our state, shows an amazing commitment to equal justice to all in our community.

Northwest Colorado Legal Services
by Barbara Williams

Sarah, a Northwest Colorado Legal Services client, finalized her dissolution of marriage in Denver District Court. At the time of the dissolution, Sarah received sole custody and her ex-husband was given liberal parenting time.

For more information about pro bono opportunities in your area, call Jo Ann Viola Salazar in Denver at (303) 860-1115 or (800) 332-6736

During a two-week Christmas break, Sarah allowed the children to visit their father at his home in northwest Colorado. While the children were visiting their father, he petitioned the district court in that county for an ex parte modification of custody. The father was somehow able to persuade the judge to give him full custody and deny parenting time for Sarah.

It has taken many hearings over the past year to restore the case to the Denver District Court. Custody of the children has finally been restored to Sarah. Judith Carlson, one of our 100-Hour Club members, generously donated her time and energy to bring this case to a close. Attorneys like Judith are the people who make pro bono efforts work in rural Colorado.

Northwest Colorado Legal Services serves Clear Creek, Eagle, Grand, Gunnison, Jackson, Lake, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit Counties. We depend on our volunteer attorneys to help us meet the legal needs of our community, and we appreciate their efforts to provide access to the legal system to those who would otherwise have none.

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