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TCL > September 2007 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

September 2007       Vol. 36, No. 9       Page  7
In and Around the Bar
Bar News

News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

Bar News is a monthly compilation of news from the Colorado Bar Association, including Sections and Committees, Administration, and Local and Specialty Bar Associations. It also includes notices of activities—past, present, and future—from local and national law-related organizations and groups. Please send information and photos to: Susie Vancura—, (303) 824-5316; call toll-free in-state: (800) 332-6736.

Explore the Meaning of Citizenship

The American Constitution Society (ACS), the CBA Bill of Rights Committee, the Sam Cary Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado present "The Meaning of Citizenship 150 Years After the Dred Scott Decision." The event will take place on Wednesday, September 19, 2007, at 6:30 p.m., at St. Cajetan’s Center on Auraria Campus, 1190 9th Street in Denver.

Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will moderate a panel discussion featuring Rep. Terrance Carroll, Colorado House of Representatives; Professor Clare Huntington, University of Colorado; and Cynthia Huntsinger, Deputy Attorney General, State of Colorado. Refreshments will be provided and parking will be available. Admission is free for ACS members and $10 for nonmembers. CLE credits will be requested. To sign up or for more information, visit

Lance Sears (left) presents the Don Sears Award to Richard F. Hennessey.

Don Sears Ethics Award

Richard F. Hennessey of Pendleton, Friedberg, Wilson & Hennessey, P.C. received the Don Sears Award from the CBA Ethics Committee on Saturday, June 16, 2007. The award was presented by Don Sears’s son Lance Sears, former president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and member of the Ethics Committee.

Don Sears was a Professor of Legal Ethics at the University of Colorado Law School. He was a member of the CBA Ethics Committee for many years. The Don Sears Award recognizes a CBA member "who has given tirelessly to the ethical enhancement of the legal profession in Colorado."


 YLD Retreat

The CBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) held its annual retreat for Executive Committee members on Saturday, July 28, 2007. The retreat served as an orientation for new members, and included a discussion of the mission and goals of the CBA YLD, as well as a preview of upcoming projects.

CBA YLD Executive Committee members in attendance were: Chair Melissa A. Ogburn; Chair-Elect Leia G. Ursery; Joseph Bernstein; Eric M. Bono; Christopher D. Bryan; Becky Bye; James R. Garts III; Erin E. Hickey; Mark E. Lacis; Devin M. Laiho; Matthew J. Ninneman; Carla A. Scarpone; Julie M. Schmidt; Jeremy (Jed) E. Scott; and Tiffany L. Warner.

Executive Committee members gathered on July 28, 2007 to plan for the coming year.

 Grillers Raise Money for Bar Foundations

On July 18, 2007, the Colorado Bar Foundation (CBF) and Louisiana Bar Foundation Summer Fundraiser at bd’s mongolian barbeque® raised $436. Participants who served as guest grillers included Chuck Turner, CBA Executive Director; Rick Poormon of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison, and Lewis; James Foltmer of Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne; Elsa Martinez Tenreiro, DBA President; Annie Kao, Asian Pacific American Bar Association President; Mitch Morrissey, Denver District Attorney; Mary Jo Gross, DBA Past President; Dick Scheurer and Charles Garcia, CBF members; Vicki Johnson, Thompson Marsh Inn of Court President; Judge Gerald Rafferty, Doyle Inn of Court President; and former Louisiana resident Bill Kelly of Hale Friesen LLP. The event was organized by Matthew Crouch of Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison, and Lewis. Thanks to CBA Assistant Executive Director Dana Collier Smith for her assistance and to all who attended. (Photos submitted by Matthew Crouch.)

Vicki Johnson and Bill Kelly.

Charles Garcia (left) and Mitch Morrissey.

 Record Turnout for Legal Night at Mi Casa

Volunteers at Legal Night at Mi Casa meet with attendees free of charge to provide information on immigration, credit, housing, landlord/tenant, employment, and family law. On July 17, 2007, nineteen attorney-volunteers assisted approximately 130 attendees at Legal Night at Mi Casa.

Legal Night at Mi Casa is one of two clinics sponsored by the Colorado Lawyers Committee and the Denver Access to Justice Committee each month. Volunteers are needed for Legal Night at Mi Casa Resource Center for Women (third Tuesday of each month at 4th and Acoma in Denver) and Centro San Juan Diego (first Wednesday of each month at 28th and Lawrence in Denver). To volunteer, contact Carolyn Gravit at (303) 824-5323 or

NAPABA Trailblazer Award

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe will receive the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Southwest Region’s annual Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes his achievements in paving the way for other Asian Pacific Americans in the legal profession.

When he was appointed in 1987, Watanabe became the first Asian American Colorado state court judge. In 1999, he became the first Asian American to be appointed to the federal Bench in the Tenth Circuit.

The award ceremony will take place on Friday, November 16, 2007, at the annual NAPABA convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about the convention, including details on lodging and program scheduling, visit

Colorado GLBT Bar’s Fourth Annual Awards Dinner

The Colorado Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Bar Association will host its fourth Annual Awards Dinner on October 4, 2007 at the Oxford Hotel Ballroom in Denver (1659 Wazee Street). In addition to presenting awards for the 2007 Outstanding GLBT Attorney and Outstanding GLBT Ally, the GLBT Bar Association will feature Shannon Minter as the event’s keynote speaker. Minter is the Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Cocktail hour will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Individual tickets are $75. For information about firm or corporate sponsorships, please contact Jason Prussman at (303) 866-0287 or

 Sentencing Issues, Prison Growth, and Public Safety

The CBA Criminal Sentencing Project held a conference on July 27, 2007 at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law to discuss criminal sentencing solutions. The program was co-sponsored by the DBA and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association.

More than 125 attorneys and community members attended the conference. Attendees discussed drug policy and criminal justice issues in Colorado. Panelists included Rep. Roger Goodman of Washington state, who was keynote speaker; Rep. Terrance Carroll; Senior District Judge Ken Plotz; Seventeenth Judicial District District Attorney Don Quick; Division of Criminal Justice Director Jeanne Smith; Criminal Defense Attorney Phil Cherner; and Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Director Christie Donner. Speakers addressed issues related to the adult criminal justice and juvenile justice systems, including the need for more drug and mental health treatment, as well as the possible expansion of the state’s drug court program.

 DBA Bench–Bar Committee September Program

On September 20, 2007, the DBA Bench–Bar Committee will host a CLE luncheon program entitled "Professionalism in the Courtroom: What Judges Expect From Lawyers." Judge Christina Habas, Judge Shelley Gilman, and Judge Martin Egelhoff will lead the discussion. The program will take place on September 20, 2007 from noon to 1:45 p.m. at the Denver City and County Building, 1435 Bannock St., in Courtroom 1. Two ethics CLE credits have been requested. The cost is $15 for DBA members and $20 for nonmembers. Lunch will be provided. To register or for more information, call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727, or e-mail

The Bench–Bar Committee also is planning a series of brown bag programs designed to increase the dialogue between judges and attorneys. For more information about Bench–Bar Committee programs or to suggest topics for future programs, please contact Erica Driver at (303) 824-5340 or

 Colorado Access to Justice
Second Season of Service Committee

The Colorado Access to Justice (ATJ) Commission’s Second Season of Service Committee is pleased to announce that Rule 223: Pro Bono/Emeritus Attorney was adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court on June 28, 2007 (effective July 1, 2007). This rule allows retired and inactive lawyers to provide pro bono legal representation to indigent or near-indigent persons through a nonprofit entity whose purpose is or includes the provision of such legal services. Attorneys licensed in Colorado or in other states are eligible to participate, subject to the limitations outlined in Rule 223.

Hon. JoAnn Vogt is the chair of the Colorado ATJ Second Season of Service Committee. Committee members are Jonathan Asher, Ilene Bloom, John Gleason, Justice Gregory Hobbs, Kathleen Schoen, Charles Turner, Gina Weitzenkorn, and Monique Westfall.

Rule 223 can be found at: and on page 125 of this issue. See also Judge Vogt’s article on page 75 of this issue, which explains the new rule.

Legal Aid Foundation 2006–07 Campaign for Justice

The Legal Aid Foundation extends its thanks to the lawyers, law firms, and others who contributed to its 2006–07 Campaign for Justice. The Campaign raised nearly $1.1 million for legal aid. For more information or to make a contribution, visit or call Diana Poole at (303) 863-9544.

Wheels of Justice

The CBA and DBA congratulate the Wheels of Justice cycling team (pictured at right) for its participation in the 2007 Courage Classic Bike Tour. The bike tour is a three-day, 160-mile ride through the Colorado Rockies and benefits Denver’s Children’s Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The 2007 team raised approximately $150,000.

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