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TCL > May 2005 Issue > Bar News

May 2005       Vol. 34, No. 5       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.


Law Day/Law Week events are held around the county to celebrate the freedoms of democracy. The theme of the 2005 celebrations is "The American Jury: We the People in Action."

Many local bar associations and members of the legal community in Colorado actively participate in Law Day/Law Week events each year. The legal community makes concerted efforts to include elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as law students and members of the general public, in Law Day/ Law Week activities and events. Below are samplings of this year’s activities from Bars around Colorado. Additional information about Law Day/Law Week events in the state and around the county can be accessed from the American Bar Association website,

Adams/Broomfield Bar Association

The long-standing tradition of celebrating Law Day/Law Week was upheld by the Adams/Broomfield Bar Association ("ABBA"). The annual ABBA Law Day Breakfast was held on April 29 at the Adams County Regional Park Complex. More than 500 attendees enjoyed a hearty breakfast and entertainment by a local bagpipe group. Among attendees were judges, legislators, councilpersons, members of police and law enforcement agencies, and local attorneys and ABBA members.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nathan B. Coats spoke at the breakfast, where awards for Clerk of the Year, Legal Secretary/Paralegal of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year were presented. This year, a new award for Probation Officer of the Year was established. Additionally, a law student was awarded the Floyd Marks Scholarship, which honors the Adams County District Attorney.

El Paso County Bar Association

Law Day/Law Week activities in Colorado Springs took place during April 29 through May 4. A reception was held at the historic Pioneer’s Museum on April 29, honoring students who participated in poster and essay contests. Many of the El Paso County judiciary were in attendance. Awards were presented for the poster and essay that best depicted the Law Day theme.

The El Paso County Bar Association ("EPCBA") hosted a day-long Elder Law seminar on April 30. EPCBA members provided information to community seniors regarding estate planning issues. On April 30 and May 1, the EPCBA hosted "Lawyers at the Mall." Throughout the day, a panel of lawyer volunteers were on hand to answer legal questions from the public.

Closing celebrations on May 4 welcomed author Clay Jenkinson, who portrayed President Thomas Jefferson. This event was open to the public and included the presentation of the Molly Walker Award, which honors dedication and volunteer service to law-related education; the Lohman Award, honoring efforts to improve the lives of children; the Liberty Bell Award; and recognition of high school mock trial participants. For complete information about this event, visit the EPCBA online at

Denver Bar Association

The Denver Bar Association ("DBA"), DBA Bench-Bar Committee, and Denver County Court co-sponsored many Law Day/Law Week activities. Elementary school students made "thank-you drawings" for jury members. These drawings were posted on the walls of the Jury Assembly Room. High school students engaged in a speech competition on the questions: "What protection does the jury system provide? Why was it so important to the writers of the U.S. Constitution?" The winner of the competition was awarded a $250 prize at the DBA’s Young Lawyers Division Annual Law Week Luncheon. The DBA also hosted a morning call-a-lawyer program.

Douglas Elbert Bar Association

The Douglas Elbert Bar Association Law Day Breakfast was held on May 2 at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center. It featured Carol Chambers, District Attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial District.

Pueblo County Bar Association

On May 11, the Pueblo County Bar Association hosted an "Ask-A-Lawyer" television program based on the Law Day theme. Program guests included Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez and a local citizen who served as jury foreperson on a homicide trial.


Criminal Defense Attorney Phil Cherner Named "Abolitionist of the Year" By Coloradans Against the Death Penalty

At its Annual Dinner on March 30, 2005, the Coloradans Against the Death Penalty ("CADP") acknowledged criminal defense attorney Phil Cherner with its "Abolitionist of the Year" Award. The award recognizes Cherner for his tireless efforts on behalf of his clients, as well as his "zeal for the defense of the poor and downtrodden." CADP refers to Cherner as a "death penalty lawyer" who is "diligent, determined, and dedicated."

Born in Harvey, Illinois, Cherner received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University. He is admitted to practice in Colorado and before the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado. He also is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cherner has been a member of the Colorado Bar Association since 1989. He is a past-member of the CBA Attorney Regulation Policy Committee. He has written several articles that have appeared in The Colorado Lawyer. His most recent article, "Felony Sex Offender Sentencing," was printed in the December 2004 issue. He also co-authored a position piece on the election regarding a new justice center in Denver, which appears in the April 2005 issue.

Cherner is an accomplished photographer. Several of his photographs have been printed on the cover of The Colorado Lawyer.

CADP is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to abolishing the death penalty in Colorado through religious, educational, political, and victims rights efforts." Among its membership CADP lists "concerned citizens, religious leaders, political leaders, criminal defense lawyers, and relatives of murder victims."


Denver Bar Association Annual Party: Thursday, June 9, 2005
Outstanding DBA Members will be Honored

The Denver Public Library will open its doors on June 9, 2005, to the Denver Bar Association ("DBA") for its 2005 Annual Party. In addition to good food and good converation, the DBA will acknowledge the fine efforts of many of its members.

The DBA’s highest award, the Award of Merit, will be presented to former DBA President John S. Castellano. Awards for Judicial Excellence will be given to Denver County Court Judge James B. Breese and Denver District Court Judge John W. Coughlin. Attorneys James A. Castle and Elsa Martinez Tenreiro will be recognized as Volunteer Lawyers of the Year, and Ilene Bloom and Kenzo Kawanabe each will be presented with a Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

The Thursday evening event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free. Reservations can be made by calling the DBA at (303) 860-1115.

John S. Castellano Hon. James B. Breese and Hon. John W. Coughlin James A. Castle and Elsa Martinez Tenreiro Ilene Bloom and Kenzo Kawanabe



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