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TCL > June 2005 Issue > Bar News

June 2005       Vol. 34, No. 6       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.


Colorado Bar Association ("CBA") President-Elect Roger Clark, CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner, and Denver attorney and former Chair of the CBA Young Lawyers Division Julie Haines have returned from a recent trip to Washington, D.C., where they met with members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation to solicit support of legal services funding. Law students Jason Hagerman, from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Chrisanta Martinez, from the University of Colorado School of Law, were present at these meetings, as well. The CBA visitors also discussed the issue of student loan forgiveness programs for lawyers in public service with the Congressional representatives in Washington.

Among the Congressional delegates with whom the CBA group met to discuss these vital issues were Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar, as well as Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette. The meetings were considered successful, as the Congressional leaders made commitments to support these issues, which are very important to Colorado’s legal community.

Also present at the meetings in Washington was Karen Mathis, who has been nominated to serve as President-Elect of the American Bar Association ("ABA"). ABA Delegates will vote on her nomination at the ABA’s 2005 Annual Meeting in August in Chicago. If elected, Mathis will become the first person from Colorado to hold the position.

In Washington, left to right: Roger Clark, Chrisanta Martinez, Karen Mathis, Senator Ken Salazar, Julie Haines, Chuck Turner, and Jason Hagerman. Left to right: Jason Hagerman, Chuck Turner, Julie Haines, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Chrisanta Martinez, and Roger Clark.


Approximately 1,000 people, 900 of whom were senior participants and adult children, gathered on April 7, 2005 at the University of Denver ("DU") Sturm College of Law for the Seventh Annual Colorado Senior Law Day. The free event was co-sponsored by DU’s Elder Law Institute, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, AARP Elder Watch, and the Colorado Bar Association’s ("CBA") Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Sections and Civic and Community Affairs Committee. There were about 100 volunteers and vendors on hand to assist the senior attendees at workshops and with material handouts.

Photo courtesy of Mary Weikert


The workshops were held between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. They covered such topics as end-of-life decisions, including funeral options; estate tax issues; housing options; public benefits; the probate process; wills and trusts/estate planning; financial exploitation and identity theft; social security; and hands-on computing.

Attorney volunteers and other business professionals conducted the workshops. They also met individually with attendees to answer questions. In keeping with tradition, each participant was presented with a free copy of the CBA’s Colorado Senior Law Handbook.

Awards for Exceptional pro bono efforts presented by
Boulder County Bar Association at Annual Luncheon

On April 7, the Boulder County Bar Association ("BCBA") held its 29th Annual Pro Bono Luncheon at the St. Julien Hotel. Attorneys were recognized for their efforts to provide free legal assistance to low-income residents of Boulder County. Volunteer attorneys working through the Boulder County Legal Services ("BCLS") program donated 4,528 hours of pro bono legal services in 2004. That translates into approximately $996,000 of free legal assistance.

BCLS is a branch office of the statewide Colorado Legal Services program, which is dedicated to assisting needy residents in civil legal matters. During the luncheon program, the BCBA recognized individual attorneys who donated more than fifty hours of legal assistance, as well as firms that had 100 percent participation by members. Individuals who were recognized for donating 100 hours of pro bono legal assistance through BCLS are: Anne Byrne, Martha Ridgway, and Scott Tippett. Individuals who performed fifty to seventy-five hours of pro bono legal assistance to residents of Boulder County are: Bev Nelson, Sarah Keys, Chris Ebner, and Louisa Young.

The BCBA event also included the presentation of the John Marshall Award, which recognizes a Boulder attorney whose efforts during the year upheld the high standards of the legal profession exemplified by the award’s namesake. Marshall dedicated his life and career to serving the poor and underrepresented in Boulder County.

Boulder attorney Beverly Nelson was presented the John Marshall award by BCBA President Melody Fuller. Nelson worked closely with BCLS staff during intake sessions. She provided ready assistance to indigent clients with a variety of legal needs.

Nelson is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. She has practiced domestic relations law in Boulder for twenty-four years. In addition to volunteering many hours on no-fee cases, she serves on the BCBA’s Professionalism Committee and is chair of the Family Law Section. Nelson has been integral in developing a program that offers legal advice to pro se litigants who are seeking divorce. She also has acted as a mentor to many new attorneys who are beginning their legal practices in Boulder.

Left to right: Anne Byrne, Martha Ridgway, and Scott Tippett. Left to right: Bev Nelson, Sarah Keys, Chris Ebner, and Louisa Young.

Bev Nelson, left, with BCBA President Melody Fuller.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nancy E. Rice
presented 2004 Mary Lathrop Award by CWBA

In 1975, Nancy E. Rice received her J.D. degree from the University of Utah College of Law. August 2005 will mark the seventh year that she has sat on the Bench of the Colorado Supreme Court. The Colorado Women’s Bar Association ("CWBA") considers Rice a "trailblazer" during her thirty-year involvement in the legal profession. The CWBA recently acknowledged her many contributions to the profession by awarding her the 2004 Mary Lathrop Award. The prestigious award recognizes Rice’s "pioneering" contributions to the Colorado Judiciary and to Colorado Jurisprudence. The award was presented to Justice Rice at the CWBA’s 28th Annual Convention on May 13–15, 2005, held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Justice Rice has been honored throughout her legal career. In 1993, the Denver Bar Association ("DBA") presented her with its Judicial Excellence Award; in 1997, the Colorado Bar Association ("CBA") presented her with an award for the best litigation article; and in 1998, Rice received the Phi Alpha Delta Award for Judicial Merit.

Before her appointment to the state’s highest court, Rice served as a Denver District Court Judge from 1987 to 1998. She was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado, from 1977 to 1987. Rice continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Law in trial advocacy at the University of Colorado School of Law. She has served in this capacity since 1987.

In 1990, Rice became an elected member of the CBA Board of Governors, serving for two years. She also was an appointed member of the CBA Executive Council. Rice was a Master, Rhone-Brackett Inn of Court, during 1993 to 1997. She also served on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Revision of Colorado Civil Rules and the Court’s Civil Rules Committee.

Mary Lathrop, the namesake of the CWBA’s annual award, was a true trailblazer. She was a "first" in many arenas. She was the first woman lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1913, Lathrop became the first woman to join the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations and, if she was not the first, she was among the first women admitted to the American Bar Association. It is reputed that in 1917, Lathrop was the first woman to be admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, she is thought to have been the first woman to argue before the Colorado Supreme Court. Lathrop practiced probate and real estate law in Colorado from 1898 until her death in 1951.

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