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TCL > June 2006 Issue > Bar News

June 2006       Vol. 35, No. 6       Page  7
In and Around the Bar

Bar News
by Kate Arganese, Mindy Marks

Bar News is a monthly compilation of news from the Colorado Bar Association,
including Sections and Committees, Administration, and Local and
Specialty Bar Associations.

Please send information and photos about Bar events and activities taking place around the state to: Kate Arganese—, (303) 824-5333; or Mindy Marks—, (303) 824-5312. Call toll-free in-state: (800) 332-6736.

JUNE 15, 2006

James Beasley persuaded his elderly mother to sell her home by telling her he would use the proceeds to take care of her. Instead . . . he abandoned her in a Joliet hospital emergency room and moved to Vermont, where he used the cash from the sale of her house to buy a home for himself. . . . The sale [of the home] netted at least $160,000, [but Mrs. Beasley] wound-up in a nursing home with Medicaid picking up the tab.

From  “Man guilty of exploiting mom”
by Art Golub
Chicago Sun-Times, July 1, 2005

Jacqueline Watts took her 92-year-old grandmother to the emergency room . . . claiming the woman had been sexually assaulted. . . . [D]octors found no evidence of sexual assault [but] found bedsores and signs of apparent neglect. The victim was dehydrated, malnourished and completely uncommunicative. Watts, who is unemployed, had obtained a power of attorney for her grandmother . . . and recently took out a $200,000 mortgage on the woman’s home. [Watts] also recently purchased a $60,000 Hummer and a plasma TV was found in the home.

From “Competence an issue in elder abuse”
Palo Alto Online News, July 12, 2005

By Kate Arganese

The excerpted reports above are just two examples of a very serious and growing problem that exists throughout the world. In the United States, the number of reported cases of elder abuse and financial exploitation appears to be increasing daily, and it can be assumed that there is an equally large number of cases that go unreported.

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse ("INPEA") was founded in 1997 and is dedicated to global dissemination of information about the escalating problem of the abuse of older people and the efforts that exist to combat the problem. In this regard, INPEA has designated June 15, 2006 to be the First Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

On June 15, there will be organized activities around the world to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. Special events on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day are intended to raise awareness of abuse and neglect of older persons and promote efforts to eradicate it by governments, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, professionals in the field of aging, as well as older persons themselves.

Governor Bill Owens has officially proclaimed June 15, 2006 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Colorado. This proclamation acknowledges that abuse of older people is a public health and human rights concern in Colorado.

In its 1997 report to the Colorado Bar Association ("CBA") Board of Governors, the CBA Task Force on Family Violence defined violence within the family unit to include spousal and intimate partner abuse, child abuse, and abuse of the elderly. Abuse of the elderly is further defined to include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, intimidation, and other forms of power and control.

The Colorado legal community supports World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and will act as a catalyst to help develop pro-active methods to address and combat the problem. Legal professionals who work with older people recognize the need to seek justice under the law in the work against abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

The CBA has formed a network with the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services, Elder Watch, the CBA Elder Law Section, and other agencies specifically dedicated to educating the community about abuse and financial exploitation of older people. A purple ribbon worn on June 15 will symbolize support of the effort. The public is invited to participate in programs scheduled on June 15, 2006. For complete information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day events in Colorado and to find out how to participate in the effort, please visit the CBA Elder Advisory Committee’s website at Also visit INPEA’s website at

CBA Communications Law Section Plans for the Year

The CBA Communications Law Section announced its slate of officers for the 2006–07 year: Co-chairs are Melissa Hubbard and Sue Weiske; Secretary is Sharon Black; and Treasurer is Andrew Newell.

Monthly lunches, with one CLE credit offered, are scheduled for September 6, October 4, and November 1, with topics to be announced. On December 6, 2006, the Section will hold a wine tasting event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Lunches will resume on the first Wednesday of each month through April, with a wine tasting for the 2007 May meeting. Cost of lunches and CLE is $10.

All meetings are held on the ninth floor of the CBA offices. For complete information, contact

Boulder County Introduces "Law and Justice" Series

The Boulder County Bar Association ("BCBA") and Boulder Public Access Cable TV Channel 8 are collaborating to produce a series of legal education programs titled "Law and Justice." Eight one-hour programs will be produced by Channel 8 and will be available on other local public access stations to reach audiences in additional Front Range communities. Each of the one-hour programs will air three to five times per week for four or five weeks. They also will be shown on Channel 3 in Longmont and Channel 12 in Broomfield, as well as on the Internet at the Channel 8 and the BCBA websites.

The series addresses broad legal topics and offers a "how-to" guide for viewers to follow when faced with a legal problem. Topics are criminal, family, real estate, employment, water and natural resources, estate planning and wills, and municipal court matters. Each month, the BCBA will produce a one-hour program in a "talking head" panel format. Generally, there will be a panel of five people, including a moderator, a representative from the judiciary, lawyers, and other business professionals who will give a fair representation of the issues discussed. The viewer will learn about the court system, how to work effectively with a lawyer, and how to be a pro se litigant. Programming in Spanish and special programs focusing on legal issues facing the Latino population also are in the works.


Christine Szymczak, 20th Judicial District Probation Department (Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Unit), and Karl Kumli, Dietze & Davis, prepare for a first shoot of "Law and Justice."
The first program was taped Thursday, April 13, 2006 and aired the first week of May. The taping of this first program, which addresses DUI, was a success due to the hard work of the panel members: Denean Hill, R. Denean Hill, PC; Mary Claire Mulligan, Mulligan & Mulligan; Mike Rifik, Collins & Rifik; Mike Foote, Boulder Deputy District Attorney; Officer Steve Sisson, Longmont Police Department; Art Julian, Department of Motor Vehicles; Christine Szymczak, Boulder Probation Department; and the Editoral Committee: Pat Furman, University of Colorado School of Law; Amy Waddle, Twentieth Judicial District; Ariel Calonne, Boulder City Attorney; Don Chapman and Ron Rose, Channel 8, Christine Hylbert, BCBA Executive Director; and Karl Kumli, Dietze & Davis, PC and member of the BCBA Board of Directors.



Robert F. Gallagher Receives Arapahoe County Bar Association Martin P. Miller Lifetime Achievement Award

From left: Bob Gallagher, Martin P. Miller, and Jim Peters.

On March 30, 2006, the Arapahoe County Bar Association ("ACBA") honored Robert F. Gallagher, Jr. as the second recipient of the ACBA Martin P. Miller Lifetime Achievement Award. Gallagher is former District Attorney of the Eighteenth Judicial District ("18th J.D."). Approximately 140 judges, attorneys, former deputies, investigators, and friends attended the ACBA-hosted dinner in Gallagher’s honor.

Gallagher was instrumental in the creation of one of the first victim/witness programs in the state, as well as the 18th J.D. Juvenile Diversion Program. Also, he participated in the founding of the following programs within the 18th J.D., which are currently ongoing: Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter; the first Child Support Collection Program in Colorado and the only program that operates through the district attorney’s office, collecting money for parents who did not receive child support; and Sungate Child Advocacy Center, which is considered a "safe haven" for children of abuse to begin the process of seeking justice.

For twenty-eight years, Gallagher served as 18th J.D. District Attorney, which he considers an "absolutely fantastic experience that could not have been any better." He was a private practice attorney for eight years prior to his district attorney appointment and served as a municipal court judge for four years. After three weeks of retirement, Gallagher opened Robert F. Gallagher, Jr. PC in Arapahoe County—his new private practice.

Bar News Highlight

The "Highlight" page of Bar News spotlights recent activities and special events around the Bar, and presents brief stories that deal with lawyer activities outside the practice of law or short profiles of estimable individuals. If you have print or digital photos of a recent event to share; if you would like to recommend a colleague to be "highlighted"; or if your local or specialty bar or legal organization has marked a notable milestone and there’s a short story to tell about it, the "Bar News Highlight" page might be the place to showcase the information. For more information or to submit an article, contact Leona Martínez at

Colorado Minority Bar Exam Preparation
Scholarship Consortium

In the early 1990s, several specialty bar associations created the Colorado Minority Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship Consortium ("Corsortium") to raise funds to assist minority Bar applicants with the expenses associated with the Bar examination and its preparation. For many years, members of the Colorado Bar Association ("CBA") have been very generous. Several members have elected to make voluntary contributions to the Consortium when renewing their CBA membership. With membership support, Bar exam preparation scholarships were awarded to deserving candidates; however, in recent years support and contributions have diminished significantly.

Data supplied by the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Law Examiners indicate that minority candidates do not pass the Colorado Bar exam at the same rate as non-minority candidates. Some progress has been made to close the gap, but a chasm still exists. The reasons for this phenomenon have been explored and discussed for years, resulting in more theoretical speculation than concrete explanation.

However, there is ample anecdotal evidence that indicates minority candidates work long hours supporting themselves and their families while they also are preparing for the Bar exam. Scholarships provided by the Consortium might help candidates overcome financial hurdles that make proper exam preparation difficult. For example, funding allows candidates to work fewer hours and have more study time while preparing for the Bar exam.

The administration of Consortium scholarships recently has changed. The funds now rest with the Colorado Bar Foundation ("CBF"). Assistant Deans of Students at the University of Colorado School of Law and University of Denver Sturm College of Law will review scholarship applications and give their recommendations to the CBF. One student from each law school will receive scholarship monies for Bar preparation courses and the Bar exam.

Please consider assisting this worthy cause the next time you pay your CBA dues. Below, portions of the CBA Membership Invoice illustrate how to make a voluntary contribution to the Consortium. Please help us help others.

Daniel A. Vigil
Assistant Dean
Sturm College of Law

Lorenzo A. Trujillo
Assistant Dean
University of Colorado School of Law

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