|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 33, No. 2 [Page 82]
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The Colorado Bar Association Remembers
The Lives and Contributions of Colorado Attorneys
Denver attorney Robert S. Appel died December 20, 2003. He was 77. A Denver native, Appel earned his B.A. degree from the University of Colorado–Boulder ("CU") and his LL.B. degree from the University of Denver ("DU") College of Law. He was licensed to practice law in Colorado in 1952. His legal career spanned more than fifty years of practice, including a thirty-nine year tenure with the Denver firm of Rothgerber, Appel & Powers, of which his father, Walter Appel, Sr., was a partner. Robert Appel was a pioneer in computer technology in the legal arena, and was instrumental in bringing it to the Rothgerber firm before technology became a standard in the profession. When Appel left the firm, he maintained a private practice in Denver for more than ten years. Appel was an Honor Life member of the CBA and DBA, which he joined in 1952. He was a regular contributor to the Metro Volunteer Lawyers organization. Appel is survived by three children and seven grandchildren. Contributions in Appel’s memory may be made to the DU College of Law Scholarship Fund, c/o First Bank of Colorado: (303) 274-5000 or (800) 964-3444.
Linda "Lynn" Obernyer died December 26, 2003, in a single car crash on Colorado Highway 285. She was 59. Obernyer received her B.A. degree from Chatham College in Pennsylvania. She earned her J.D. degree from DU College of Law. Obernyer was licensed to practice law in Colorado in 1975. She practiced with the Denver law firm of Duncan Ostrander & Dingess. Obernyer had been a CBA and DBA member for twenty-eight years.
William K. Ris, a Denver native, died December 5, 2003. He was 88. Ris received his undergraduate degree from CU–Boulder. He graduated first in his CU law school class of 1939. After serving in the Army infantry during World War II, Ris was appointed to the faculty of the Judge Advocate General’s School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1949, Ris co-founded the Denver law firm of Wood, Ris & Hames. He was an accomplished litigator, and his legal career included an oral presentation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ris served as President of the CBA during 1962–1963, was President of the Denver Law Club, and was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers Board of Regents. He served on the original Colorado Supreme Court committee on civil jury instructions and participated in the design of the state’s judicial merit selection system, which was adopted in 1966. Ris also was the recipient of the DBA Award of Merit. Ris is survived by his wife Patty Nash Ris, two sons, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Attorney Patricia C. Tisdale died January 6, 2004. She was 52. Tisdale graduated summa cum laude in 1971 from the University of Detroit. She earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from DU College of Law. She was licensed to practice law in Colorado in 1979. Tisdale served as deputy city attorney for the city of Arvada and as special counsel to the cities of Golden, Edgewater, Arvada, Fort Collins, Greeley, Parker, Westminster, Loveland, and Berthoud. She also was City Attorney for Lafayette, Colorado and Town Attorney for the town of Frisco. At the time of her death, Tisdale was a partner in the Denver law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, emphasizing municipal law, eminent domain, and land use. She was a member of the CBA and DBA and served as CBA Convention Chair in 1984–1986. She was President of the Denver Metro City Attorney’s Association and Colorado Municipal League City Attorney’s Section from 1994 to 1995. Tisdale is survived by her husband Doug and four children.
Denver native Wayne D. Williams died December 9, 2003. He was 89. Williams received his undergraduate degree from DU. In 1937, he married Virginia Deale, who died in 1992. In 1938, Williams earned his J.D. degree from Columbia University and was admitted to practice law in Colorado. He served as a captain in the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Office from 1943 to 1946, where he handled appeals of Japanese defendants in World War II war crime cases. He went into private practice after retiring from military service, specializing in labor law and, later, in water rights. Williams served as general counsel for the Denver Water Board for fourteen years, retiring in 1992 at age 78. In 1995, Williams married Thelma Ralston. He was an Honor Life member of the CBA and DBA. He served as DBA President in 1974. He was a member of the CBA and DBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections and the DBA Legal Fee Arbitration and Professionalism Committees. He lectured on international law at DU College of Law. Williams was a member of the Masons and Lions Club. He was an avid mountaineer and bridge player, as well as an accomplished classical pianist. Williams is survived by his wife Thelma, one daughter, and one granddaughter. Contributions in Williams’s memory may be made to Anchor Center for the Blind, 3801 Martin Luther King Blvd., Denver, CO 80205; Savio House, 325 King St., Denver, CO 80219; or University Park Methodist Church, 2180 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210.
The Colorado Bar Foundation ("Foundation") was established in 1953, and is one means of commemorating members of the profession. The Foundation functions exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, and promotes the advance ment of jurisprudence and the administration of justice in Colorado through grants. Gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. For complete information and to become a Foundation supporter, call Dana Collier Smith in Denver at (303) 824-5318 or (800) 332-6736.
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