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TCL > July 2006 Issue > Bar News

The Colorado Lawyer
July 2006
Vol. 35, No. 7 [Page  13]

© 2006 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

All material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is copyrighted by the Colorado Bar Association. Before accessing any specific article, click here for disclaimer information.

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:
Mindy Marks—mmarks@cobar.org, (303) 824-5312.
Call toll-free in-state: (800) 332-6736.


SPRING SWEARING-IN CEREMONY

On Wednesday, May 17, 2006, the Colorado Supreme Court Admission Ceremony was held at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Keynote speaker Dennis C. Maes, Chief Judge of the Tenth Judicial District in Pueblo County, welcomed the 277 new attorneys.

Other speakers included: Hon. Lewis T. Babcock, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; Christopher B. Little, Denver Bar Association ("DBA") President; and Kerri J. Atencio, Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Colorado Bar Association ("CBA").

Fran, new attorney Stephen, and Richard Mathews at swearing-in ceremony in May. Janet and Dave Martínez, with daughter Laura (center), newly admitted Colorado attorney.


PARALEGAL RECEPTION A SUCCESS

More than sixty people attended the second annual Colorado Paralegal Day Reception at the CBA offices on Thursday, May 4, 2006. Many paralegals attended with their employing attorneys. Attendees also included two former DBA Presidents, Mary Jo Gross and Joe Dischinger; 2005–06 DBA President Chris Little; and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. Door prizes included four half-priced CBA "Associate" memberships.

Attorneys can sponsor CBA memberships for their paralegal employees. For more information on the CBA Paralegal Committee, contact staff liaison Michelle Gersic at (303) 824-5342, (800) 332-6736, or mgersic@cobar.org.

The CBA Paralegal Committee gratefully acknowledges sponsors of the Paralegal Day Reception (representatives pictured here): CLS Copying & Scanning, Attorneys Service Center, Paralegal Resource Center, Robert Half International, Rossi Legal Staffing, Special Counsel, Strategic Staffing Associates, Today’s Legal Staffing, Gibson Arnold & Associates, and Kelly Law Registry. Reception Planning Committee members, left to right: Kay McCarthy, Barbara Biondolillo (Committee Co-Chair), Sheryl Kamicar, Charlotte Bocquin, and Mary Jane Vinette (Committee Co-Chair).


 JOHN DOLL -- GUEST SPEAKER AT IP LUNCHEON

John Doll, Commissioner for Patents of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), spoke on "The Future of the PTO" at the Intellectual Property Section luncheon on May 17, 2006, which was held at the Pinnacle Club of the Grand Hyatt Denver. Doll, pictured at leftt, oversees all aspects of the patent-granting process in the United States, which includes supervising more than 5,000 employees and administering an annual budget in excess of $970 million. Previously, Doll served as Deputy Commissioner for Patent Resources and Planning, on a detail assignment as Special Assistant to Jon Dudas, PTO Director. He also was Director of Groups 1610 and 1630, which focus on organic chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.

Natalie Hanlon-Leh, CBA Intellectual Property Section Chair; Craig Neugeboren, Intellectual Property Section Secretary/Treasurer; Beth Magnuson, Chair-Elect of the Intellectual Property Section; and Thomas Frey, of The DaVinci Institute, were the luncheon’s organizers.


 UPCOMING CWBA EVENTS

The Colorado Women’s Bar Association ("CWBA") Foundation will hold its 2006 Golf Tournament on Monday, July 24, 2006, at Pinehurst Country Club, 6255 W. Quincy Ave., Denver. Following a 7:00 a.m. breakfast and warmup, the four-person modified shotgun start will begin at 8:00 a.m. For more information, call (303) 831-1040 or e-mail execdir@cwba.org.

The CWBA’s "Raising the Bar" event will honor three dynamic women lawyers currently serving in important roles: Karen Mathis, ABA President; Elizabeth Starrs, CBA President; and Vanessa Walton, CWBA President. Raising the Bar is September 12, 2006, at the Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th St., Denver. A reception will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. RSVP by noon on September 5, 2006, to (303) 831-1040 or execdir@cwba.org.


Pro bono award recipient Thomas M. Riser (right) with Distict Court Judge Steven Patrick and CLS Coordinator Candace Sparks.

RISER RECEIVES PRO BONO HONOR

Thomas M. Riser, of Riser, Fogo & Trezise in Gunnison, was honored at the annual Karl Ranous Luncheon on Monday, May 15, 2006. Riser received the Rebekah A. McBride Award, which is given by the Northwest Colorado Legal Services ("CLS") Project to honor its pro bono attorneys who have done outstanding work to provide legal services to the poor. Riser, an attorney in Gunnison since 1998, provides free legal services to youth and adults in the Gunnison Valley. He also presents the "Now that You’re 18" seminar to high school seniors in the Gunnison Valley; represents victims of domestic violence who otherwise would be lacking legal representation; volunteers for the "Talk to an Attorney Free" monthly program; and serves on the local pro bono panel of attorneys.

 

 


DEBA ANNOUNCES OFFICERS AND NEW WEBSITE

The Douglas Elbert Bar Association ("DEBA") announced its officers for the 2006–07 year. They are: Laura Ammarall, President; Wendy Monteith, President-Elect; Theresa Slade, Secretary; and Rebecca Goldmanis, Treasurer.

DEBA’s new website is http://www.cobar.org/group/index.cfm?EntityID=dgls. The site also can be reached at http://www.cobar.org (click on "local bar associations" on the drop-down menu). Visit DEBA’s website for its monthly newsletter and more.


DU STURM COLLEGE OF LAW WELCOMES NEW DEAN

José Roberto Juárez, Jr.
The University of Denver ("DU") announced the appointment of José Roberto ("Beto") Juárez, Jr. as the new dean of the Sturm College of Law, effective July 1, 2006. Juárez, the first Hispanic dean in the history of the DU law school, currently is a professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. He earned a B.A. degree in History from Stanford University and a J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1981.

Juárez will succeed outgoing Dean Mary Ricketson, who has served since 2000 and announced last September her plans to step down at the end of this academic year. During Dean Ricketson’s tenure, the college advanced forty-one places in the U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, attaining the highest ranking in the school’s history. Also, fundraising for the past five years exceeded that of the previous twenty-five years and a state-of-the-art law school building was constructed. During the same time period, applications doubled, LSAT scores for incoming students improved dramatically, sixteen new faculty members were hired, and a pro bono community service requirement for students was introduced. In September 2004, Donald and Susan Sturm, owners of Denver-based American National Bank, gave $20 million to the College of Law, the largest single donation ever made to the school.


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 leonamartinez@cobar.org.


From the Bar to Ambassador

by Dave Ells
former CBA Director of Public Legal Education

Have you ever sat on your couch watching coverage of an incredible natural disaster and thought, "Wow, if I had some useful skills, perhaps I could help"? How can a person help in recovery efforts without having basic skills in disaster recovery? This is a brief account of one couple’s efforts to contribute at a time and place in need.

On December 26, 2004, the second largest earthquake ever recorded (9.0) ripped across 1,000 miles of the boundary between the Philippine and Australian tectonic plates. This happened ninety miles off the western coast of northern Sumatra, in less than one second. In some places, the ocean floor jumped vertically more than twenty feet. The quake unleashed three waves, one of which was 100 feet tall.

Happiness is (left) receiving your family’s portrait and (below) seeing your first photo in Matta Ie, Durung, Aceh Province.

The destruction to Aceh Province, the northernmost province on the island of Sumatra, truly was unbelievable. More than 100,000 people died. Tens of thousands of homes were wiped off the face of the earth. Livelihoods were destroyed. Virtually no life in the region was untouched by this hand of Nature.

Response was delayed for a short time while the government of Indonesia negotiated a peace treaty with a separatist movement that had barred Westerners from entering Banda Aceh, the provincial capital and largest city of Aceh, Indonesia. Once relief efforts began, however, they flowed abundantly—and largely from the Western world.

That was eighteen months ago. Much of the physical devastation has been cleaned up, although earthquake-damaged buildings are still visible everywhere. Lives continue to rebuild.

The Salam-Aceh Project was initiated by several Western non-government relief agencies to rebuild capacity in village health care and rebuild houses and livelihoods. "Salam" is the Arabic word for "peace." The project was meant to bring peace to Aceh Province. Salam Aceh personnel built approximately 350 new homes and refurbished more than 400 homes that had been destroyed or damaged by the tsunami. Project personnel built fishing boats and rebuilt a huge system of aquaculture ponds. When the tsunami receded, it virtually erased every evidence of previous ponds used for raising shrimp, prawns, and fish.

Lynne, my wife of forty-one years, and I were asked to join a team on a singularly unique project. Our project was to work in six villages east of Banda Aceh to photograph families who had survived the tsunami, and to provide them with a finished 8 x 10 framed family portrait. Many of the families had lost family members, as well as their homes, livelihoods, and possessions. Our project was meant to bring back a bit of normalcy to their impoverished lives.

Our team of ten comprised four photographers (all shooting digital cameras), with a fifth teammate at our headquarters processing the images and preparing them for printing and framing. We were in Aceh Province for ten days—ten very hot and humid days! We were provided interpreters and village facilitators, who helped us immensely.

Out of respect for the Muslim traditions, during our stay, Lynne wore a head covering. We all wore long pants and the women wore baggy blouses (no curves or bare skin allowed). We understood that complying with this dress code of preference might eliminate a potential for other problems, as well as lead to better acceptance among villagers.

Families came in droves to be photographed. We were incredibly busy for eight days, photographing more than 300 families. The stories the villagers related to us were heart-rending, to say the least, and brought tears to our eyes. It’s tough to photograph when you’re crying; nevertheless, our team was successful in returning more than 1,000 photographs to the Acehenese people.

Photo distribution in Cot Riwat, Durung, Aceh Province.

Overall, it was an interesting test for us—and I do mean test. Other than having some management and teaching abilities, Lynne and I see ourselves as fairly average folk, without extraordinary talent or skills. This project, however, resonated with us and, as it turns out, brought out the best of what skills and talents we do have. We learned that even our ordinary skills and talents are valuable in ways not previously imagined. We don’t have construction skills or know how to drive earthmovers; but what we did take to the Acehenese people appeared to be plenty.

Hollywood movies define America and the Western world to an incredible number of people around the globe. We surely didn’t match any of the images the people had seen in the movies, but in the end that didn’t matter. We were able to leave the Acehenese with the inestimable photographs—perhaps some may have been tear-stained—and memories of a few decent Westerners.

Lynne and I have returned to the environmentally and tectonically comfortable climes of Colorado. We still maintain contact with our translator and one of our village facilitators. Perhaps, in some small way, with our humble goodwill ambassadorship, we have shown a few of the Acehenese that Americans actually care about them and that we don’t all fit the Hollywood mold.

© 2006 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2006.


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