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TCL > July 2001 Issue > Celebrate "Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children"

July 2001       Vol. 30, No. 7       Page  69
2001 Law Day/Law Week Statewide Events

Celebrate "Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children"
by Leona Martínez

The purpose of Law Day/Law Week is to advance community awareness of how the legal system works and demonstrate what the concept of "justice for all" truly means. The week-long activities that take place each year beginning May 1 serve to strengthen the image of lawyers, judges, and all those who practice and enforce the law. Bar associations throughout the country, individual lawyers, members of the judiciary, and law enforcement officials participate in a variety of events and ceremonies in honor of Law Day/Law Week. Members of the legal profession and judiciary in Colorado are especially active in such events. Here are some of the ways that members of the Colorado Bar celebrated "Law Day 2001: Protecting the Best Interests of Our Children." Congratulations to everyone for their fine efforts!

  • The Adams County Bar Association ("ACBA") hosted a "Law Day Breakfast." Tables were decorated with gift bags containing children’s toys that were later donated to the Adams County Social Services Department "Foster Care Program." The keynote address was delivered by Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles D. Gill, who is the co-founder of the National Task Force for Children’s Constitutional Rights. Each year, the ACBA recognizes individuals for their dedication and inspiration in serving the Adams County community. Recipients of the 2001 ACBA Law Day Awards are: Tom Bunten, Peace Officer of the Year; Cyndy Ciancio, Volunteer Attorney of the Year; Dr. Phil Corn, Liberty Bell Award; Sherri Coates, Clerk of the Year; Amity Strauss, Floyd Mark’s Scholarship; Elizabeth Hilton, Michelle Miller Sprague Scholarship; and Diane Campbell, Secretary/Paralegal of the Year.
  • Arapahoe County Bar Association "(AC Bar") hosted its annual "Law Day Luncheon" for approximately 130 ACBar lawyers and area high school teachers and students. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Cheryl Post provided a judicial perspective on the "best interests" standard. Program organizer Donna Hinds moderated a panel composed of teenagers and young adults who are children of divorce and whose experiences with the court system have had an impact on their lives. Students and teachers hailed from Aurora Central, Arapahoe, Cherry Creek, Heritage, Smoky Hill, Rangeview, Gateway, and Thunder Ridge High Schools.

tcl-july2001-ab luncheon
Cherry Creek High School students with teacher
Robert Hall (top R) at AC Bar luncheon.

Student panelists with program organizer Hinds (L)
at AC Bar luncheon.

AC attorneys Andrew Goertzel (L) and Stephen
Dawson (R) with Heritage High School students.

  • In honor of Law Day/Law Week, the Boulder County Bar Association sponsored a legal public symposium entitled "Writes and Wrongs: A Free Press or Fair Trial—Must We Choose?" Panelists, moderated by University of Colorado ("CU") Law Professor Pat Furman, included Twentieth Judicial District Chief Judge Roxanne Bailin, District Attorney Mary Keenan, Editors Barrie Hartman from the Boulder Daily Camera and Dean Lehman from the Times Call, and CU Law Professor Mimi Wesson. Approximately sixty attendees witnessed the discussion of such issues as pretrial publicity and the conflict between the right of the press to report on court cases and the rights of the defense and prosecution to conduct a fair trial without interference or influence from the press. These discussions served to open the lines of communication between the media and the bench and the bar.
  • Eighth grade students from four Denver schools participated in a mock trial in the Denver Juvenile Court as part of the 2001 Law Day/Law Week celebration. The trial script, written by Denver Juvenile Magistrate Kathleen Janski, featured a case involving juvenile delinquency at the turn of the twentieth century. Denver’s Juvenile Court was established in 1903 and is the second oldest court of its kind in the country. This year’s program demonstrated how the judicial process has changed in 100 years. Participating students represented Kunsmiller, Kepner, Morey, and Place Middle Schools.

Magistrate Janski (L) assists student in mock trial.

Magistrate Palmer Boyette (R) appeared as judge during mock trials.

  • El Paso County Bar Association ("EPC Bar") celebrated Law Day with an elder law symposium and a weekend "Ask-A-Lawyer" program with booths set up at two malls. Colorado Governor Bill Owens was the guest speaker at the EPC Bar "Law Day Luncheon." The Bryan S. Gardner Outstanding Young Lawyer Award was presented to Katie Hays, and the Liberty Bell Award was given to Janet Kerr of the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence. Also, recognition was paid to the Doherty High School Mock Trial Team for winning the state championship.
  • In honor of Law Day 2001, Fremont/Custer Counties Bar Association participated in a "Call-A-Lawyer" night for members of the community. President Bryan Fredrickson and a local bar cohort appeared on the local radio "Morning Line" program and addressed callers’ legal issues as they pertained specifically to the Law Day theme.
  • The Mesa County Bar Association’s ("MCBA") Community Outreach Program assisted the Colorado Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in two cases in Grand Junction. The 500 high school and junior high school students in attendance were given summaries of the cases, which were prepared by MCBA members, to help them understand the arguments they would hear. MCBA also hosted the Court for a dinner on the evening before the Court heard oral arguments.


Colorado Supreme Court heard oral
arguments in Grand Junction.

MCBA attorneys meet with students
to discuss cases.

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