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TCL > May 2003 Issue > Bar News

May 2003       Vol. 32, No. 5       Page  4
Bar News

Bar News
by Lindsay Packard


CBA-CLE welcomes the following new staff members in the Publications Department: Dawn McKnight is Director of Publications and Darlene Johnson is Managing Editor. CLE also welcomes Christina Ashley as the new administrative assistant.


From left, Wes Burke, Reuben Hernandez,
Hon. Victor Zerbi, Charlie Willman, and
Hon. Ken Jaynes participated as mock trial coaches


Glenwood Springs High School students prevailed over Boulder High in the championship round of the CBA’s 18th Annual High School Mock Trials on March 7–8, 2003, in Colorado Springs. The competitions began with seventy-seven teams from high schools throughout Colorado competing in the CBA-sponsored tournament. Eighteen teams progressed to the competition’s final rounds. These teams represented Boulder, Broom­field, Cheyenne Mountain, Clear Creek, Coronado, Doherty, Evergreen, Glenwood Springs, Kent, Monarch, R-5 (Grand Junction), Ralston Valley, Regis, Standley Lake, and Windsor. Photo highlights of high school teams that competed in the 2003 High School Mock Trials competition begin on page 25 of this issue.


The University of Denver (“DU”) College of Law has selected Donald Kortz, J.D. ’64; Doris Truhlar, J.D. ’80; Robert Truhlar, J.D. ’81; D. Rico Munn, J.D. ’96, and adjunct law professor Brooke Wunnicke as the 2003 “DU Law Stars.” The DU Law Stars commendation was created to honor distinguished alumni and faculty who have shown active involvement in the community, outstanding dedication to the legal profession, and continued support of DU College of Law. The five honorees, picured on the next page, will be recognized at the 2003 DU Law Stars dinner on September 18, 2003, which will be held at the Marriott Hotel City Center in Denver. Proceeds from the dinner support the DU Student Law Office and the DU Law Alumni Merit Scholarship Fund. Please call (303) 871-6398 with questions or for complete information about the 2003 DU Law Stars event.

The CBA Paralegal Committee will host its annual Open House for paralegal students and prospective CBA members on Saturday, May 17, 2003, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 1900 Grant Street, 3rd Floor, Denver. The Open House will include presentations on CBA member benefits, the CBA website, and vendor products. For more information, contact Michelle Gersic at (303) 824-5342, (800) 332-6736, or



The Larimer County Bar Association and the Larimer County Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) are sponsoring the 2003 Law Day celebrations in Larimer County. This year’s activities take place on May 2, 2003, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. The keynote speaker will be Hon. W. Hickman Ewing, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee. Ewing was Deputy Independent Counsel under Kenneth Starr, heading the Whitewater investigation in Arkansas. He will speak on the nature, history, and duties of the Independent Counsel’s Office.

Additional Law Day activities in Larimer County will include awards to local schools for law-related essays and posters. The Larimer County YLD also will present awards for outstanding jurist, outstanding law-enforcement personnel, and outstanding legally affiliated association of Larimer County.

On March 14, 2003, Northwest Colorado Legal Services presented pro bono services awards at its annual ski day meeting of the Continental Divide Bar Association. Michele R. Couch received the 200-Hour Club Award, and Anne E. Parmley and Carol L. Curtis were presented the 100-Hour Club Award.

Participants from the 2002 Henry Hall Golf
Tournament  (left to right): David Kurter, Sally Simon,
Marlene Curtis, and Harvey Curtis.


On Monday, May 19, 2003, the Denver Bar Association will host the annual Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament. The 2003 tournament will take place at the challenging Inverness Hotel and Golf Club in Englewood. Last year’s event was sold out, so early sign-up is encouraged. The tournament is a favorite among participants, and prizes for the winners and the door prizes are a bonus! Participants can sign up as a single or as a group. For a registration form, visit, and click on the scrolling menu on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. If you have questions, please contact Dana Collier Smith at (303) 824-5318, (800) 332-6736, or



Advanced Mechanics Liens: This timely and unique program on May 8, 2003, will address specific, advanced, and sometimes rare situations that go beyond the “ordinary” or “standard” mechanic’s liens issues that attorneys may encounter. Presenters will cover the following topics in-depth: frivolous, spurious, and excessive liens; indemnity bonds and clearing title; 101 versus 105 liens; abandonment; waivers and setoffs; problems in arbitration; unusual lienable items and parties; and payment problems.

Cost to attend this program is $109 for CBA Real Estate Section members, $129 for CBA members, and $149 for non-members.

Appellate Brief Writing: This May 9, 2003 program is designed for lawyers with all levels of experience. It will provide a thorough review of how to write a winning appellate brief. Those who want to receive personal assessments of their writing styles may sign up to submit an appellate brief for review and critique by a Colorado appellate judge and an experienced appellate practitioner. Program cost is $169 for CBA Litigation Section members, $179 for CBA members, and $199 for non-members.

Technology in the Federal Courts: On May 15, 2003, attendees of this program will see firsthand the new technologies employed in Denver’s federal court system. The demonstration will take place at the Alfred A. Arraj Federal Courthouse in Denver. The remainder of the program will be held at CBA-CLE offices, with a session on how technology can streamline the litigation process. Attendees will be shown trial preparation and trial presentation software. There also will be demonstrations on how to locate and retrieve information before and during trial, and how to design an effective litigation support system. Cost to attend this program is $149 for CBA Litigation Section members, $169 for CBA members, and $189 for non-members.

For more information about these or other programs, and for a list of CBA-CLE publications, see the “CBA-CLE Planning Guide” in each issue of The Colorado Lawyer or call (303) 860-0608 or toll free in-state, (888) 860-2531. Link to more information about CBA-CLE seminars, publications, home study, and more from the CBA website,




Bar News Highlight . . .


The “Highlight” portion of Bar News presents, among other things, vignettes about lawyer activities outside the practice of law and/or member contributions to the community. If you have an interesting avocation, story, or tall tale to relate, or if you would like to recommend someone to be “highlighted,” please contact Lindsay Packard at: News and photos of Bar events, awards, and activities continue to be in great demand, so keep them coming as well!



Jerry Kearns’s fascination with the
game of chess is still strong
after thirty years of playing.


by Lindsay Packard


How many ways are there to open a chess game? Most chess players would respond with a few tried and true moves learned during their years of playing the game. Ask Denver attorney Jerry Kearns that question and you’re in for a full-blown, serious analysis of this centuries-old board game.

“Learning chess is basically learning to recognize recurring patterns and how to play these positions. The best book I have read on the topic is entitled Thought and Choice in Chess by Adriann Degroot, which reported the results of a detailed study on the differences in thinking between chess masters and non-masters. This is a massive book, but, in a nutshell, chess mastery is basically pattern recognition.”

That is but a shaving of what Kearns has to say on the game of chess. His stories and ideas about the game have a long history.

Jerry Kearns has been playing in serious chess tournaments since 1972—back when Bobby Fischer was playing Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship. Sparked by
Fi­sch­er’s incredible talent, Kearns began seriously studying the game. Soon enough, the 15-year-old Kearns met attorney Walter Gerash at the Denver Chess Club. At the time, Gerash was actively engaged in promoting and sponsoring junior chess tournaments. Kearns was on his way to becoming more than just a student of the game; he was quickly becoming a “master.”

Since those early years, chess has been a serious hobby for Kearns. In 1978, he won the Colorado Junior Championship. By 1979, he was a “National Master,” which means he was in the upper one percent of all of the members of the U.S. Chess Federation, with a rating over 2,200.

In 1986, Kearns was a patent examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, Virginia. That year, he attained the “National Senior Master” title, after scoring well at the New York Chess Open. By 1992, Kearns had achieved the status of “Life Master” in the chess world.

After graduating from George Mason University Law School in Arlington, Virginia, Kearns returned to Colorado to pursue his legal interests. Even as he practices law, Kearns is able to draw parallels between his job as an attorney and his hobby as a chess master.

“An analogy can be made in that most lawyers specialize in one of the many different legal fields, as it is not possible to become expert in all areas of the law. Most chess players specialize in certain openings, as it is not possible to learn them all in detail. For example, our law firm (Webb, Lewis and Kearns, LLC) typically practices intellectual property law, which can be compared to practicing a few choice moves when playing chess.”

In thirty years, Jerry Kearns has managed to attain a level of chess playing and a status as a chess player that most amateurs can only dream about. A successful attorney, husband, and father, Kearns likes to sit back and just play chess at his leisure. With the advent of the Internet and computer-related chess activities, it’s a whole new chess world out there!

So, how many ways are there to open a chess game? Give Jerry a call; he’ll give you a few ideas.

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