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TCL > November 2003 Issue > Carnival Times and Pro Bono—and Your Board of Governors

November 2003       Vol. 32, No. 11       Page  33
CBA President's Message to Members

Carnival Times and Pro Bono—and Your Board of Governors
by Robert J. Truhlar

Subject No. 1: It’s the Right Thing to Do

When I started traveling with a carnival in the summer while I was in high school, I worked as a penny arcade change-maker and a trouble-shooter, a bear-pitch barker ("step right up, if your nickel lands and stays on the plate, you win a teddy bear") and a horse-derby race announcer ("comin’ around the far turn, it’s Bettlebomb by a length followed by Man-0’-War").

In addition to public speaking skills for future clients, judges, and juries, there were other lessons to be learned. I soon discovered that there were special rules among carnival people. If you let carnival ride guys play your game of skill (read "chance") for free, they let you and a guest ride for free on the tilt-a-whirl or the ferris wheel. A very civil arrangement for the fairgrounds. The amicable trade made it much easier to sit down with the scruffy ride guys in the morning at the only open greasy grill joint that cooked warm food for breakfast before the gates opened and the public came in.

"Hey, Rube!"

The most interesting rule was that if a carnival worker was in trouble, he yelled "Hey, Rube!" Other carnies paid attention and came running. The ultimate extension of the battle cry occurred at times when playing a small fair, on a vacant lot where the city limits ended. At least one young resident believed he or his girlfriend had been cheated or insulted while wandering the midway that day. A group got together to raid the carnival grounds and wreak some havoc. This usually happened after shutdown, around 11:00 p.m. Everything would be dark and cars would start coming up the roads toward the carnival with teenagers (or some in their early twenties) piling out and courageously walking toward the carnival grounds in a bunch. "Hey, Rube!"

Not only did the carnies gather to face this group, but they performed a ritual. I learned that, at the entrance to the carnival midway, there was a popcorn/cotton candy wagon, operated by the spouse of the owner. Prior to video cameras, it was the eyes of the carnival midway; placed strategically at the entrance to see all and know all. It was also the carnival bank. If under attack, you could take your valuables and money kept in your tent, pitch it through the popcorn wagon window, which would be locked and defended at all costs. The first time I did this, I hoped I wasn’t the only one doing it and that everyone else wasn’t in on a complex practical joke, which would end up in me never seeing my money again. I always got it back.

We stood in front of the popcorn wagon, opposite twenty young adults whose spokesperson stated that Jimmy had been taken for a ride, no pun intended, and the game he had been playing all night to win a kewpie doll had been rigged. It is very difficult to knock over those three weighted bottles when the weights are placed on the outside of the triangle on the bottom two bottles. A game worker with no mercy may never place the bottles strategically to the advantage of the townie spending the money he saved all year to win a prize for his date.

At the standoff, the owner of the carnival, with many rough rowdies standing around him, spoke words of wisdom: "Why don’t you all go home?" The townie replied, "I’m not going home until I get my money back or get me one of these stuffed animals."

Pro-Bono on the Midway

The owner of the carnival acted as mayor, chief of police, and chief judicial officer with no juries or appeals courts. He came up with a solution: "Why don’t you come back tomorrow, and we’ll give you a couple free throws and see if you can win that girlfriend of yours a great big teddy bear?" The townies, now staring at a bunch of workers who appeared tougher than nails, accepted this gracious way out and said: "We’ll be back and take you up on that." The carnival opened the next day as usual and, perhaps, the pitchman running the bottle throw graciously set the base bottles with the weights toward the center where one ball could potentially knock all three down, creating an instant winner. A few extra stuffed animals left my concession the next day. It was the right thing to do.

What does this have to do with pro bono work? Well, it seems that when we start discussing pro bono work, we feel threatened, especially when the word "mandatory" is used. We pitch our collective opposition into the popcorn wagon and defend our time, our freedom to decide what we are going to do and when we are going to do it, and our ability to manage our own practices. That’s normal, but when someone yells "Hey Rube," you still have to take defensive action. You still have to solve the problem.

It is human nature to protect what is your own, but then we must remember the next day that it may come down to a few "free turns" to keep things on an even keel, especially for those who need it. We are blessed by giving to those who have less. This is more true when what is at stake is civil justice and not just a coveted teddy bear. It’s the right thing to do.

Subject No. 2—Your CBA
Board of Governors

The Colorado Bar Association formulates its policy primarily through its Board of Governors. The Board of Governors includes approximately 150 attorneys representing individual local bar associations, substantive law sections, specialty and minority bar associations, courts of specific jurisdiction, and political entities. A list of this year’s Board of Governors members follows this article. If you peruse it, you’ll know at least one person on the Board, and more than likely a dozen or two.

The first Board meeting of the fiscal year 2003–04 will be held November 8, 2003, in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor Hotel. Important issues that will be addressed and debated include a report of amicus brief activity, the status of proposed amendments to C.R.C.P. 16, a pro bono report, the updated strategic plan of the CBA to benefit its members, recommendations of the Legislative Policy Committee about legislation for next year’s session of the General Assembly, and the bar association’s preliminary formulation of its response to the state judicial budget crisis.

Board of Governors members are at their best at these meetings. They adeptly analyze and make counterpoint presentations. It is refreshing and stimulating to come together with well informed, committed people who are focused on improving the justice system. In anticipation of the November 8 Board meeting, please contact one or more of the appropriate representatives and share your interests with them. Then the Board’s discussion will be even more reflective of all of our members across the state, as we work together as a community of lawyers to better our profession and our state.




Adams County

Cynthia L. Ciancio, Westminster
Debra W. Dodd, Brighton

Arapahoe County

Christine N. Chauche, Englewood
Nancy A. Hopf, Centennial
Michael P. Miller, Littleton
Tamra A. Palmer, Englewood
Doris B. Truhlar, Littleton


Steven L. Fisher, Aurora

Boulder County

Robert M. Cooper, Broomfield
Bruce F. Fest, Boulder
David J. Driscoll, Louisville
David B. Harrison, Boulder
Joan M. Norman, Boulder
Daniel A. Vigil, Boulder

Continental Divide

Inga H. Causey, Avon
Paul Dunkelman, Frisco

Delta County

Thomas A. Nelson Jr., Montrose

Denver County

Andrew S. Armatas, Denver
John T. Baker, Denver
Michael H. Berger, Denver
Bryan D. Biesterfeld, Denver
Megan F. Brynhildsen, Denver
James F. Carr, Denver
Lisabeth Perez Castle, Denver
Joseph B. Dischinger, Denver
Michael P. Dulin, Denver
Laura B. Embleton, Denver
Jeffrey A. Esses, Denver
Paula D. Greisen, Denver
Mary Jo Gross, Denver
Wesley B. Howard, Denver
Gregory B. Kanan, Denver
Marc J. Kaplan, Denver
Kenzo S. Kawanabe, Denver
Robert R. Keatinge, Denver
Sherri H. Kuhlmann, Denver
Christopher B. Little, Greenwood Village
Randall M. Livingston, Denver
Kent J. Lund, Denver
Mary A. Malatesta, Denver
A. Lenore Martinez, Denver
Elsa Martinez Tenreiro, Denver
Dawn M. McKnight, Denver
N. Nora Nye, Denver
Aleene J. Ortiz-White, Denver
Lori J. Potter, Denver
Regina M. Rodriguez, Denver
Gilbert M. Roman, Golden
Elizabeth A. Starrs, Denver
Penfield W. Tate III, Denver
B. Lawrence Theis, Denver
Catherine A. Traugott, Denver
Whitney C. Traylor, Denver
Anthony J. Viorst, Denver
Joann L. Vogt, Denver
Carolynne C. White, Denver
David S. Woodruff, Denver

Douglas-Elbert County

Traci E. Fruhwirth, Parker
David W. Heckenbach, Lone Tree

El Paso County

Lauren Bynum Jenkins, Colorado Springs
Andrew C. Gorgey, Colorado Springs
Kenneth A. Jaray, Colorado Springs
Timothy J. Schutz, Colorado Springs
Evelyn H. Sullivan, Colorado Springs
Michael R. Waters, Colorado Springs

First Judicial District

Michael C. Beutz, Littleton
Dee Ann Keller, Golden
W. Robert Montgomery, Lakewood
Frederic B. Rodgers, Golden

Four Corners

Todd M. Starr, Cortez


Daniel Slater, Cañon City

Heart of the Rockies

Ernest F. Marquez, Salida

Larimer County

Peter Bullard, Fort Collins
Dianne H. Peterson, Loveland
Randolph W. Starr, Loveland

Mesa County

Susan M. Corle, Grand Junction
Michael J. Russell, Grand Junction

Ninth Judicial District

Jill H. McConaughy, Glenwood Springs

Northwestern Colorado

Claire Sollars, Steamboat Springs

Pitkin County

John Lassalette, Aspen

Pueblo County

William D. Alexander, Pueblo
E. Tuck Young, Pueblo

San Luis Valley


Seventh Judicial District

Clayton R. Miller, Gunnison

Sixteenth Judicial District

Tad Overturf, La Junta

Southeastern Colorado

Karen Verhoeff, Holly

Southern Colorado

Lee A. Hawke, Trinidad

Southwestern Colorado

Sheryl A. Rogers, Durango

Thirteenth Judicial District

Alvin Raymond Wall, Holyoke

Weld County

William L. Crosier, Greeley
Rebecca Koppes Conway, Greeley

Agricultural & Rural Law Section

James S. Witwer, Denver

Business Law Section

Anthony C. van Westrum, Denver

Criminal Law Section

Peter A. Hofstrom, Boulder

Family Law Section

Helen C. Shreves, Denver

Health Law Section

Linda L. Siderius, Denver

Judiciary Section

Edward P. Timmins, Denver

Litigation Section

A. Michael Chapman, Durango

Mineral Law Section

Kendor P. Jones, Denver

Real Estate Section

Richard H. Krohn, Grand Junction

Solo/Small Firm Section

D. A. Bertram, Denver

Taxation Law Section

Eugene P. Zuspann II, Denver

Trust & Estate Section

Robert L. Steenrod, Jr., Denver

Workers Compensation Section

Thomas L. Kanan, Denver

Young Lawyers Division

Julie E. Haines, Denver

ABA Delegates

Judith H. Holmes, Denver
Mark J. Loewenstein, Boulder
Beverly J. Quail, Denver
W. Terry Ruckriegle, Breckenridge
Jerry B. Tompkins, Grand Junction
Brian D. Zall, Denver

Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Neeti Pawar, Denver

Colorado Court of Appeals

Daniel M. Taubman, Denver

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association

Richard L. Ott, Jr., Denver

Colorado Defense Bar Association

Kevin Amatuzio, Denver

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association

Jesus M. Vazquez, Denver

Colorado Indian Bar Association

Anetra Parks, Boulder

Colorado Lesbian & Gay Bar Association

H. Lawrence Hoyt, Boulder

Colorado Public Defenders

Charles F. Garcia, Denver

Colorado Supreme Court

Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., Denver

Colorado Trial Lawyers

Richard "Mike" Hodges, Denver

Colorado Women's Bar Association

Diana M. Poole, Denver

County Judges Association

Barney Iuppa, Monument

District Attorneys Association

Al M. Dominguez, Greeley

District Judges Association

Rebecca S. Bromley, Colorado Springs

Municipal Judges Association

George W. Boyle, Arvada

National Association of Black Women Attorneys

Cynthia D. Jones, Denver

Sam Cary Bar Association

Wayne Vaden, Denver

State House of Representatives

Tambor Williams, Greeley

State Senate

Daniel Grossman, Denver
Douglas L. Lamborn, Colorado Springs

United States District Court

Zita L. Weinshienk, Denver

University of Colorado School of Law

David H. Getches, Boulder

University of Denver College of Law

Mary Ricketson, Denver

CBA Historian

David L. Erickson, Denver

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