Not a CBA Member? Join Now!
Find A Lawyer Directory
Legal Directory

TCL > March 2007 Issue > Bar News

March 2007       Vol. 36, No. 3       Page  7
In and Around the Bar
Bar News

Bar News
by Mindy Marks, Cheryl Law

 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—, (303) 824-5312;
call toll-free in-state: (800) 332-6736.


The Colorado Bar Foundation held its annual Bar Fellows Dinner on Friday, January 5, 2007. It is at this event that the CBA presents the Award of Merit—its highest award—to an individual whose career has demonstrated outstanding service to the legal profession, to the administration of justice, and to the community. Hon. Robert J. Kapelke is the recipient of the 2006 Award of Merit. Judge Kapelke is pictured at right with CBA President Liz Starrs.

Kapelke served for more than ten years as a Judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals. He retired in January 2005 and currently serves as an arbiter with Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc.

He received his JD from the University of Colorado (CU) Law School and Master of Comparative Law degree from the University of Chicago School of Law. Before his service on the Bench, Kapelke practiced law with the Denver law firm of Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker & Grover, where he was a partner and chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Section.

Kapelke’s accomplishments are extensive. He has been a member of the CBA Board of Governors and Executive Council and served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates. He chaired the CU Law Alumni Board; was on the Board of Editors of the CU Law Review; was Order of the Coif; and was awarded CU Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. He is a past President of the Denver Bar Association, which awarded him its Award of Merit in 2001.

Among his many other accomplishments, Kapelke served as President of the Law Club and was acknowledged with its Lifetime Achievement Award. He also served as President of the William Doyle Inn of Court. He served as the President of the Denver Rotary Club; was a member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Judicial Institute; was President of the University Club; and was chair of the George W. Clayton College for Boys. Kapelke also is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.


The Mesa County Pro Bono Project presented James Giese with the Charlie Traylor Pro Bono Award. Giese was honored at a Mesa County Bar Association luncheon on January 22, 2007.

The Charlie Traylor Pro Bono Award is presented each year to an attorney who makes a significant commitment to pro bono representation of low-income individuals. Previous winners of the Charlie Traylor Pro Bono Award include Randall Pierce and Stephanie Rubinstein.

Geise is a member of the Pro Bono 100 Hour Club. Much of his pro bono work has dealt with dissolution of marriage cases that involve victims of domestic violence. He is recognized as an attorney who does not shy away from the difficult or complex cases.

Giese has served on the Pro Bono Project’s Board of Directors since 2003 and has served in the capacity of Board Vice-President and President. He has been a key player in the Project’s fundraising activities. Geise also is very active in the Lion’s Club.

James Giese is pictured here with Rachelle Roberson, current President of the Pro Bono Project. For information about the Project, contact Roberson at rrober

The Charlie Traylor Pro Bono Award was named for Grand Junction attorney Charles "Charlie" Traylor, who was considered by his colleagues to be a strong spokesman and champion for the less advantaged in the community. Throughout his career, Traylor made himself available "to fight the hard fights" for the needy of the community who didn’t have money to hire an attorney. He frequently was successful on behalf of his clients.


The 2007 class of COBALT participants are (left to right): Front row: Dick Gast, Charlie Garcia, Will Hood, Jack Donley, Dave Stevens. Second row: Kato Crews, Lauren Bynum Jenkins, Marian Carlson, Kara Veitch, John Duval. Third row: Neeti Pawar, Becky Brelsford, Jen Rice, Jen Wascak, Mindi Conerly. Fourth row: Connie Eyster, Ilene Bloom, Valerie Garcia, Tim Schutz.

CBA President Liz Starrs devoted her first President’s Message to a discussion of a new program called "COBALT," which stands for Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training. In her July 2006 article, Starrs stated that participants would share common goals of becoming "leaders with respect to ethical, professional, and community service issues; [of building] relationships among legal leaders throughout the state; and [of building] a pool of members from which the CBA and local bar associations [can] draw service."

The inaugural COBALT retreat was held January 18–20, 2007 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. During the three days, the "class" of nineteen participants became a cohesive group working toward those goals expressed in the President’s Message.

COBALT encourages leadership in bar associations and in the community. Participants in the program will acquire the vision, knowledge, and skills necessary to be leaders, as well as skills to build relationships among leaders. The program’s topics are meant to raise awareness about issues facing the legal community.

The COBALT program comprises an initial retreat (two-and-one-half days), four full-day workshops on substantive issues, and a graduation celebration. The COBALT Chair is Liz Starrs; Vice-Chair is Bill Walters. COBALT Steering Committee members, who have been instrumental in implementing the program, are: Roger Clark, Joe Dischinger, John Frey, Drew Gorgey, Mary Jo Gross, Julie Haines, David Lytle, Brian Popp, and Kirk Rider. Before her move to California, Megan Brynhildsen also served on the Steering Committee.

For information about the COBALT program, contact CBA Assistant Executive Director Dana Collier Smith by e-mail at For a discussion of the COBALT program, see Starrs, "CBA President’s Message to Members: Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training (‘COBALT’)," 35 The Colorado Lawyer 7 (July 2006).


Every year, Davis Graham & Stubbs, the Denver Bar Foundation, and the family of Richard Marden Davis acknowledge a Denver lawyer under the age of 40 who has combined excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership. In January 2007, the prestigious Davis Award was presented to Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons partner Kristin M. Bronson.

Bronson, pictured here with Denver Bar Association (DBA) President Paul Chan, has distinguished herself as a real estate trial lawyer and as a leader in the legal community. She is President of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Denver for 2007, and has served on its board and chaired related committees for more than five years. Bronson recently received CREW’s "Woman Who Makes a Difference" award. Her numerous other volunteer commitments include serving on the CBA Board of Governors; participating as a moot court judge for the University of Colorado and the University of Denver; taking pro bono cases through Metro Volunteer Lawyers; representing abused women for SafeHouse Denver; and volunteering for Dress for Success and Girls, Inc.

Bronson also serves on the Board of Directors for the Curious Theatre Company and provides legal services for the company. Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens appointed Bronson to serve as a member of the Colorado Advisory Committee on Licensing of Child Care Facilities, which advises and consults on regulation and enforcement. She was a nominee for the Denver Business Journal’s "Outstanding Women in Business" award in 2005 and 2006.

The Davis family and the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs established the award in 1992 to honor Richard Marden Davis’s fifty-year devotion to the legal and civic community. Davis believed that great lawyers should be professional and community leaders. He served as DBA President in 1959 and was integral in the Colorado Public Expenditures Council, the Museum of Natural History, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the Denver Rotary Club, and the Denver Art Museum.


The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) held its 2007 Annual Banquet on January 20, 2007, at the Westin Tabor Center Hotel in Denver. More than 400 people were present to recognize Colorado’s Hispanic legal pioneers and to celebrate the CHBA’s thirtieth anniversary.

The honorees at this year’s gala were: Hon. Roger Cisneros, Hon. Carlos Lucero, Hon. Dennis Maes, Robert Maes, Hon. Jesse Manzanares, Hon. José D.L. Marquez, Francisco Martínez, Pepe Mendez, Joe Montaño, Ken Padilla, and Ralph Torres. The event’s keynote speaker was Federico Peña, who was introduced by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar.

Among the awards presented during the evening, and award recipients, were: Chris Miranda Award for Outstanding Attorney—Lorenzo Trujillo; Outstanding New Hispanic Attorney Award—Meshach Y. Rhoades; Outstanding Corporate Commitment Award—Faegre & Benson, LLP; Outstanding Community Service Award—Latin American Law Enforcement Association; and Lifetime Achievement Award—Robert B. Yegge. A video presenting the history of the CHBA was dedicated to Yegge, University of Denver Dean Emeritus, who died in December 2006.

Proceeds from this annual event support CHBA’s efforts throughout the year. In addition to promoting professional development of Hispanic attorneys in Colorado, CHBA sponsors CLE programs and awards scholarships to law school students. For information about the CHBA, visit

Colorado’s Hispanic legal pioneers (left to right): Ken Padilla; Hon. Roger Cisneros; Hon. Dennis Maes; Ruth Casares; Hon. Jesse Manzanares; Pepe Mendez; Joe Montaño; Hon. José D.L. Marquez; and Ralph Torres.


Left to right: Doris Waters, Nancy Perry, Theresa Spahn, Sue Thibault, Barbara Shaklee, Toni Gray, Donna Worley, and Joe Pickard.

In November 2006, the CBA Juvenile Law Section held a symposium at the Wolf Law Building at the University of Colorado Law School entitled "Voices of Youth in the Courtroom: Is it Time for a Change?" Attendees of the symposium were members of the professional community who work with children in the legal system. A cocktail reception was held at the end of the first day of the symposium.

The Juvenile Law Section gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsors for the event: Gina Bischofs; Barry Frieder, MD; Alan Harbatuk; Nancy Perry; Joe Pickard; Margaret Ware; Carolyn Waters; Doris Waters; Karin and Geoffrey Waters; and Raymond Waters.


Arthur R. Jacobs is the recipient of the Southwestern Colorado Bar Association’s (SWCBA) Professionalism Award. He was presented the award in December 2006 at the local bar association’s annual party. Jacobs is Managing Attorney of the Durango office Colorado Legal Services, Inc. office. He is the current SWCBA President.

Jacobs serves on the Board of SWCBA’s Volunteer Legal Aid, Inc. pro bono program and is active with the local Access to Justice Committee. He has served on the Board of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Southwest Colorado and was a recipient of CBA’s Jack Donahue Award.

The SWCBA periodically presents the Professionalism Award. Past recipients include: Frank Anesi, Beth Crane, Rob Crane, Hon. David L. Dickinson, Hon. Gregory G. Lyman, Keith Newbold, and Ellen Stuart Roberts.

© 2007 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