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TCL > September 2006 Issue > In Memoriam

September 2006       Vol. 35, No. 9       Page  136
Notices, Products, and Services

In Memoriam

In Memoriam
The Colorado Bar Association Remembers
The Lives and Contributions of Colorado Attorneys

Arnie R. Brassart died on May 6, 2006. He was 69. Brassart was an attorney with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. He is survived by a daughter and three grandchildren.

Leonard M. Campbell died on July 16, 2006. He was 88. A lifetime Colorado resident, Campbell attended the University of Colorado, where he obtained his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees in only four years. He joined the law practice of John Gorsuch and Fred Kirgis, where he later became a partner. During his sixty years with the firm, the practice grew from three attorneys to nearly 100. In 1947, Campbell took a one-year leave of absence from the firm to serve as Manager of Safety and Excise for the City and County of Denver. From 1951 to 1953, he took a leave of absence to serve as Denver’s City Attorney. Campbell was Past President of the CBA and DBA and was presented with the CBA Award of Merit in 1967. He also served as State Chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Chairman of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners, and was appointed to Denver’s Charter Commission. Campbell is survived by two sons, a daughter, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Contributions in Campbell’s memory may be made to the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Mail Stop B140, P.O. Box 6511, Aurora, CO 80045-6511 (; or the Leonard Martin Campbell Student Loan Fund at the University of Colorado School of Law, c/o Julie Levine, Director of Development, 401 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309.

Jason L. Dotson died on July 21, 2006. He was 41. Dotson received his J.D. degree from the University of Iowa in 1990. He previously worked as a prosecutor with the Denver District Attorney’s Office. He also had worked for Coors and a Denver law firm. He was a member of the CBA and DBA.

David Graven died on July 29, 2006. He was 56. Graven spent the 1980s and 1990s working as senior enforcement attorney and regional trial counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Denver. After being seriously injured while skiing on Vail Mountain in 1992, Graven sued Vail Associates, alleging that the resort’s failure to warn skiers of a known, dangerous condition resulted in his injuries. The trial court ruled in favor of Vail Associates and Graven appealed. He successfully represented himself before the Colorado Supreme Court, which reversed the lower court’s ruling in a 4–3 decision. In what later became known as the "Graven Rule," the Court held that Colorado’s amended Ski Act did not provide full immunity to ski operators, and the question of whether a hazard was "inherent" could, in some cases, be determined by a jury. [See Graven v. Vail Associates, Inc., 909 P.2d 514 (Colo. 1995); Chalat, "Colorado Ski Law," 27 The Colorado Lawyer 5 (Feb. 1998).] Graven recently relocated to New Mexico. He is survived by his wife Lisa and a daughter and son.

Peter L. Holm died on June 20, 2006. He was 77. Holm earned his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees from Yale University. After serving in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps, Holm worked for the Sandusky Foundry and Machine Co. in Sandusky, Ohio. He served as President of the company from 1965 to 1982. Holm was a member of the CBA and DBA and was involved with the United Way and the Rotary Club. He is survived by his daughter, son, two grandchildren, and sister.

James M. Nelsen died recently. He was 88. Nelsen obtained a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and MBA and Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Denver. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Nelsen worked for the Internal Revenue Service. He practiced law for more than forty years, specializing in trust and estate, corporate, and tax law. Nelsen was a longtime member of the CBA and DBA; in 2002, he was honored for fifty years of membership. He was a member of Phi Delta Phi law fraternity and the Colorado Society of CPAs, and was Past President of the Denver Tax Council. Nelsen and his wife frequently attended Denver Broncos games and visited 138 countries. He is survived by his wife Helen, a daughter, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Donations in Nelsen’s name may be made to Hospice of Metro Denver, 501 S. Cherry Street, Suite 700, Denver, CO 80246 (

The Colorado Bar Foundation ("CBF") was established in 1953 and is one means of commemorating members of the legal profession. The CBF functions exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, and promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and the administration of justice in Colorado through grants. Gifts to the CBF are tax-deductible. For complete information and to become a CBF supporter, contact Dana Collier Smith in Denver at (303) 824-5318, (800) 332-6736, or

Send "In Memoriam" information to: Mail to: Tracy Rackauskas, The Colorado Lawyer, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, CO 80203. Call (303) 824-5326 with questions. Print or electronic photographs also may be sent. "In Memoriam" items are printed as production deadlines and space permit.

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