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TCL > April 2005 Issue > Bar News

April 2005       Vol. 34, No. 4       Page  4
Bar News

Bar News
by Leona Martínez

Bar News is a monthly compilation of news from the Colorado Bar Association Sections and Committees, administration, and local and minority/specialty bar associations. If you have information and photos about Bar events and activities that you would like included in Bar News, write to: Leona Martínez, c/o CBA/TCL, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, CO 80203-4336;; call (303) 824-5324 or toll-free in-state: (800) 332-6736; fax: (303) 830-3990.


ABA House of Delegates will Vote on Nomination at Annual Meeting in August 2005:

In February 2005, Denver attorney Karen J. Mathis was nominated to become President-Elect

of the American Bar Association ("ABA"). The ABA House of Delegates will vote on her nomination in August 2005 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. If elected, Mathis will serve as ABA President-Elect until August 2006, at which time she will assume the office of ABA President for a one-year term.

Mathis would become the third woman President in the ABA’s history and the first person from Colorado to hold the position. Mathis has held leadership positions in the ABA, including a two-year tenure as chair of the ABA House of Delegates, which is the ABA’s second highest office.

A partner in the Denver office of the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, Mathis is a commercial and business lawyer with more than thirty years of experience. She received her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1975. She also has received an honorary Order of the Coif from the University of Colorado and an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Sienna College in New York.

Mathis has been a CBA and DBA member for approximately thirty years. She has served on the CBA Board of Governors and participated in the CBA Alternative Dispute Resolution and Business Law Sections. She also is a member of the CBA and DBA Membership Services Committees, as well as the DBA Real Estate Law, Taxation Law, and Trust and Estate Sections.

Colorado Pledge to Diversity Reception in February for Law Students, Judges, and Attorneys

Tenth Circuit Court Judge Carlos Lucero Featured Speaker at Event:

The Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program is a coalition of Denver law firms and corporations that have signed a pledge to hire more diverse attorneys. The CBA Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee is among the sponsors of the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program.

Left to right: Karen Perez, incoming Chair of the
Pledge to Diversity Program (Faegre & Benson);
Judge Carlos Lucero, Tenth Circuit Court of
Appeals; Stuart Crenshaw (Morrison & Foerester);
and Dean Heizer (Parsons, Heizer & Paul).

On February 17, 2005, the Denver law firm of Kutak Rock LLP, on behalf of the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program, hosted a reception for law students from the University of Colorado ("CU") School of Law and University of Denver ("DU") Sturm College of Law. Colorado judges and attorneys also were in attendance.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Carlos Lucero spoke at the reception. Judge Lucero related stories of growing up in the small Colorado town of Antonito, recalling that he was one of only a handful of Hispanic members of the Colorado Bar when he began his legal career. Judge Lucero expressed his ardent support of the mission of programs like the Pledge to Diversity Program.

The February reception was part of the Pledge to Diversity Program’s annual effort by law firms and corporations in the state to interview and hire as summer clerks diverse first-year law students from DU and CU. It is anticipated that twenty law firms and corporations in Colorado will hire first-year law students in 2005.

For information about the Colorado Pledge to Diversity Program, contact Dean Heizer, Program Committee Chair at; and Stuart Crenshaw, Clerkship Chair, at For information about the CBA Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee, contact CBA staff liaison Kari Brandt at (303) 824-5340, (800) 332-6736, or


J. Kemper Will Recognized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

J. Kemper Will, a partner with the Englewood law firm of Burns, Figa & Will, P.C., recently was presented with the Environmental Achievement Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection

Carol Rushin presents
J. Kemper Will the
EPA’s Environment
Achievement Award.
Agency ("EPA"). Will was given this prestigious award for "leading the development of a remediation of the Approved Oil Services (AOS) site in Commerce City, Colorado that minimized stakeholder costs and liability." The remediation effort was designed to achieve clean closure and provide maximum liability protection to stakeholders. All liquids and sludges remaining in tanks were removed, followed by off-site incineration. Demolition of existing site structures and off-site disposal of impacted soils also were conducted.

Will specializes in environmental litigation, regulatory matters, and contaminated property transactions. He is in charge of the environmental and water law practice group at Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. Will received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University. He is licensed to practice law in Virginia and Colorado. He is a member of the Colorado, Denver, and American Bar Associations and participates in the CBA Environmental Law and LPC Liaison Sections.

Law Firm Honored by Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce:

In January 2005, Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. was presented with the Corporate Business of the Year Award from the Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes the firm’s

Accepting the Corporate Business of the Year
Award from David Starck (right) of Highlands
Ranch Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of
Burns, Figa & Will, P.C., are Sean Velarde (left),
the firm’s Managing Director, and Tim Knight,
firm Administrator.
business achievements and corporate citizenship specifically related to the Highlands Ranch community.

In 2004, the law firm sponsored and developed the first annual Chamber of Commerce of Highlands Ranch Turkey Day 5K Family Fun Run/Walk. A portion of the event’s proceeds benefited the Colorado National Guard Foundation. The Foundation provides interest-free loans and grants to soldiers and airmen of the Colorado Army or Air National Guard who are in need of emergency financial assistance.



Online Law Library Getting Ready to Launch:

Casemaker, the unique legal research method that already includes Bars in approximately twenty states, soon will be available as a free benefit to CBA members. The Casemaker library will provide access to state and federal materials, as well as access to articles printed in The Colorado Lawyer from November 1971. Keep a lookout for notices about the actual launch date.

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