Vol. 33, No. 6
by Leona Martínez
• Law Day/Law Week 2004: The year 2004 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. The High Court’s ruling ended legally-imposed segregation not only in schools, but also in parks, libraries, and other public institutions. Law Day celebrations throughout the United States provided opportunities for bar associations, courts, legal advocates, and law-related organizations to consider the meaning of equality in a democracy and the role of the courts and the law in protecting the rights of citizens, in light of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Here is a sampling of Law Day events that were held in Colorado. Look for photos and more summaries of day- and week-long celebrations in a future issue of The Colorado Lawyer.
• Adams/Broomfield Counties Bar: A Law Day Breakfast was held on April 30 at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Henderson, Colorado. The assembly included more than 600 elected state and local officials, law enforcement personnel, judges, attorneys, and legal professionals from Arvada, Aurora, Bennett, Brighton, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Northglenn,
Thornton, and Westminster. Keynote speaker was Daniel S. Hoffman and the event included presentation of awards to the recognized outstanding clerk, peace officer, volunteer attorney, citizen, and legal secretary/paralegal of the year.
• Arapahoe County Bar: The ACBA held an Attorney/Student Luncheon on May 7. A luncheon panel that included high school students discussed the country’s pursuit of equality. The luncheon was held at the Franciscan Center in Centennial, Colorado.
• Colorado Supreme Court: On May 3, Trinidad High School hosted the Justices from the state Supeme Court to hear oral arguments in two murder cases, the rulings from which may be issued by the Court within three months. Students from Trinidad and Walsenburg, as well as members of the public, were in the audience for the educational outreach program provided through "Courts in the Community" and the Colorado Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. This program was initiated in 1986 as a Law Day event. Following the presentation of cases, the attorneys and Justices participated in a question- and-answer session with the students in the audience.
• Denver Bar: A luncheon program entitled "Brown v. Board of Education—Then and Now" was co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Bar, Colorado Hispanic Bar, Colorado Indian Bar, Colorado Lesbian & Gay Bar, Colorado Women’s Bar, and Sam Cary Bar Associations. The DBA Young Lawyers hosted the event, which featured U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch and attorney D. Rico Munn as guest speakers.
These specialty and minority bars also participated in the week-long "Law on the Mall" program in downtown Denver. Attorneys and legal staff were available to answer questions and provide information to members of the public who stopped by tables set up on for this purpose on the 16th Street Mall.
• Douglas-Elbert Bar: Colorado Trial Lawyers Association President Mike Hodges was the keynote speaker at the May 3 Law Day Breakfast held in Englewood. The Bar presented the Professionalism Award to former Douglas County Court Judge James S. Miller at the event.
• El Paso County Bar: Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb delivered the keynote address at the May 3 Law Day Luncheon in Colorado Springs. Special awards were presented, including Liberty Bell and Outstanding Young Lawyer Awards. Also, the Bar introduced the Catherine L. and Richard V. Lohman Award for "Excellence on Behalf of Children."
On May 6, the El Paso County Bar Auxiliary held its annual Law Day/Law Week cocktail reception to honor local judges. This event took place at the law offices of Dewhirst and Dolven LLP in Colorado Springs.
• Four Corners Bar: On May 5, the Four Corners Bar hosted a "Call-A-Lawyer Night." Attorneys answered questions and provided information to members of the public about legal concerns.
The Four Corners Bar also participated in the "Teen Maze Program" with local teens. Youth participants were presented hypothetical scenarios on such matters as drug possession, DUI, and petty criminal offenses. The scenario began with a plea before a member of the local bar, who posed as a "judge," and continued up to the sentencing stage.
• Larimer County Bar: This is the tenth year that the Larimer County Bar has held its Law Day Luncheon. The event took place on May 7. Hon. John W. Suthers, U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado, addressed the luncheon crowd at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. Awards were presented for outstanding jurist, legally-affiliated organization, and law enforcement professional. Local senior high school students were recognized for their winning essays, and elementary school students were given awards for posters best depicting the Law Day theme.
• Pueblo County Hispanic Bar: "Call-A-Lawyer" night was held on May 6 at the offices of Koncilja and Koncilja in Pueblo. Members of the Pueblo community participated at high levels. Carbs, cola, and coffee sustained Bar attorneys as they fielded more than sixty calls!
• San Luis Valley Bar: In a concerted outreach effort, the San Luis Valley Bar contacted every school district in the Valley, offering to make a presentation to the students on the Brown v. Board of Education case. An attorney or judge visited the five school districts that responded and spoke to the students about the legacy of the historic case, explaining the meaning of "equal protection for all" under the U.S. Constitution. Each school received a Law Day Proclamation that was signed by a school superintendent or principal.
BAR NEWS SPOTLIGHTS OUTSTANDING ATTORNEYS, JUDGES, AND VOLUNTEERS
• John Robert Marshall Award: The Boulder County Bar Association ("BCBA") and the Boulder County Legal Services ("BCLS") presented the John Robert Marshall Award to Susan K. Bryant. The award recognizes an attorney who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to providing pro bono services in Boulder County. It is named after the Boulder attorney who dedicated his professional career to serving the poor and underrepresented. Bryant is in private practice in Longmont. She is a member of the CBA Elder and Family Law Sections. For more information about the BCLS network of volunteers, call (303) 449-7575.
• "Playboy Playmate Mother Teresa of Haiti": Susie Scott Krabacher is a former Playboy Playmate who devotes her energies to helping the abjectly poor children of Haiti. Krabacher runs the Foundation for Worldwide Mercy and Sharing, which provides assistance to schools, orphanages, and medical clinics in Port-au-Prince. Krabacher has the strong moral and financial backing of her husband, Joe Krabacher, who is a corporate and real estate attorney in Aspen, Colorado. Susie Krabacher has been featured on television news programs and talk shows, as well as in magazine and newspaper articles. She is unyielding in her determination to improve the lives of the destitute children in Haiti. For information about the Foundation, visit http://www.HaitiChildren.com.
• 2004 Lewis Hine Award: Attorney Shari Shink was among the recipients of the 2004 Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children and Youth. Awards were presented by the National Child Labor Committee in an April ceremony in New York. Shink is the founder and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. The Center was founded in 1981. It provides direct representation of abuse and neglect cases, domestic matters, adoptions, education matters, and domestic violence proceedings. Shink also is Director of the Child Advocacy Law Clinic at the University of Denver College of Law. Visit the Center at http://www. rockymountainchildrenslawcenter.org.
• Colorado River Water Conservation District: Montrose attorney Steven M. Mathis was voted to serve a one-year term as President of the Colorado River Water Conservation District ("CRWCD") Board of Directors. The CRWCD was chartered in 1937 by the Colorado General Assembly for the conservation, use, protection, and development of water resources of the Colorado River Basin. Fifteen counties are included in the district: Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, Saguache, and Summit. A representative from each district, who serves a three-year term, is a member of the CRWCD Board of Directors. Mathis has practiced law in Montrose since 1978 and has much experience dealing with water law issues. He has been a member of the CBA since 1975, and participates in the CBA Elder Law, Real Estate, and Water Law Sections.
• Border Justice Fellowships: Denver native Daniel M. Kowalski is the only Colorado attorney-recipient of a 2003 "Border Justice Fellowship" awarded by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and the Institute for Justice and Journalism. Kowalski joined other recipients in a ten-day traveling seminar to San Diego, Tijuana, Tucson, and Nogales in November 2003. A subsequent workshop was held in Los Angeles in April 2004. Kowalski’s project is entitled, "Immigration Reform After 9/11: How Much is Possible?" Kowalski has been a member of the CBA and DBA since 1985. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the LexisNexis™ publication, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin.
• National Conference on Juvenile Justice: Fourteenth Judicial District Chief Judge Michael A. O’Hara was selected by the State Justice Institute to receive a scholarship to attend the National Conference on Juvenile Justice, which was held in Las Vegas in March 2004. The conference was co-sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, of which O’Hara is a member. O’Hara, who was appointed to the district court bench in August 2002, will be working with other judges in Colorado to integrate information from the training into the state’s program.
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