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TCL > August 2008 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

August 2008       Vol. 37, No. 8       Page  8
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 Klein at

Don Sears Award Presented to Hon. Phil Figa

U.S. District Court Judge Phillip S. Figa, who passed away on January 4, 2008, was recognized by the CBA Ethics Committee with the Don Sears Award. Candace Figa, senior partner at the Englewood law firm of Burns, Figa and Will, P.C., accepted the award on behalf of her husband at the June Committee meeting. Their two children, Ben and Lizzie, also were present.

The Don Sears Award recognizes outstanding commitment to the ethics of the legal profession. Judge Figa was a member of the Ethics Committee for fifteen years and served as Committee Chair. He also served as CBA President during 1995–96.

CJI Judicial Excellence Awards

Each year, the Colorado Judicial Institute (CJI) salutes outstanding jurists from around the state for their distinguished service in the communities and courts in which they work. In 2008, two district court judges, a county court judge, and a magistrate will be recognized at the Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner scheduled in November.

The esteemed recipients of the 2008 CJI Judicial Excellence Awards are: Chief Judge M. Jon Kolomitz of the Sixteenth Judicial District (J.D.); Judge Robert H. Russell II of the Eighteenth J.D.; Judge Alfred C. Harrell of the Denver County Court; and Magistrate Jane E. Westbrook of the Twenty-first J.D. Judge Kolomitz has served in Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties for more than twenty years. Since 1998, Judge Russell has been on the Bench that serves Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties. Judge Harrell has served on the Denver County Court Bench since 1985. Magistrate Westbrook has served in Mesa County’s Twenty-first J.D. since 1992.

The CJI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to the principles of judicial excellence and independence. For information about the November 18, 2008 Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner, contact the CJI at (303) 766-7501.

Kolomitz Russell Harrell Westbrook

COBALT Graduation

The Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training (COBALT) graduation took place on June 13 in Denver at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion. Governor Bill Ritter addressed the nineteen graduates during the ceremony.

COBALT helps CBA members develop their leadership skills. To find out more about this program, visit the CBA website, (click on "Inside the Bar" then "Bar Sponsored Programs"), or contact Dana Collier Smith at

CLEO Scholars Dinner

In 1968, the American Bar Association (ABA) developed the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) to expand opportunities for low-income individuals and members of racial and ethnic minority groups. The goal of the program is to diversify the legal profession.

Among members of CLEO’s Governing Council are representatives from the ABA, the National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association, the National Native American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Society of American Law Teachers. More than 140 ABA-accredited law schools participate in the CLEO Consortium of Diversity in Legal Education (Consortium).

Each year, the Consortium selects "CLEO Scholars"—pre-law students from throughout the United States—to participate in intensive programs designed to prepare them for law school. This year, the University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law hosted forty-one CLEO Scholars for six weeks.

In June, the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations sponsored a dinner to welcome CLEO Scholars. The dinner, which was held at the DU campus, was cosponsored by the Sam Cary Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.

DBA Recognizes Outstanding Members
at Annual Awards Party

Three outstanding attorneys and one jurist were recognized as exemplary Denver Bar Association (DBA) members at the 2008 DBA Annual Awards Party. Award recipients are: Stanton Rosenbaum, Award of Merit; Hon. Russell Carparelli, Judicial Excellence Award; Aaron Bradford, Young Lawyer of the Year Award; and Karen Wheeler, Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award.

The event took place on June 10 at the Colorado History Museum. The ceremony also marked the installation of new officers for fiscal year 2008–09. The DBA’s Immediate Past President, Elsa Martinez Tenreiro, passed the gavel to her successor, Mark Fogg.

Rosenbaum Carparelli Bradford Wheeler

ACBA Teams With "Celebration of Excellence"
to Support Foster Teens

Colorado’s "Celebration of Excellence" program recognizes foster children who graduate from high school or obtain a GED. For several years, members of local bars around the state have supported the program in a variety of ways.

The Arapahoe County Bar Association (ACBA), an annual supporter of the Celebration of Excellence program, participated in an event recognizing the educational achievements of Arapahoe County’s foster teens. The ACBA donated laptop computers to four students. The event was held on June 4 at the Tivoli Opera House at the Auraria Campus in Denver.

CU Law Students Victorious in
National Moot Court Competition

The University of Colorado (CU) Law School team was the winner of the 2008 Constance Baker Motley National Moot Court Competition, held in Washington, DC in June. Fifty-four teams from thirty-four law schools competed. This is the first time that one of CU Law’s teams has won the competition.

Students debated whether states can control fundraising activities of judicial candidates and whether states can control a judicial candidate’s affiliation with a political party. CU Law’s winning team, third-year students Cash Parker and Patrick Thiessen, argued that state restrictions are constitutional. Competition judges were: Ninth Circuit Court Judge William Fletcher; Judge Richard Roberts from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; and Massachusetts Court of Appeals Justice Peter Rubin.

A "Supreme" Visit for Delta and the
Seventh J.D.’s Law Day Celebration

The Delta County Bar Association (DCBA) and the Seventh Judicial District Bar Association hosted the Colorado Supreme Court on April 30, 2008. The appearance by members of the Court took place in conjunction with the 2008 Law Day "Courts in the Community" visit to the Delta Performing Arts Center. Local attorneys, students, and community members attended the event. DCBA is grateful to the justices and the Court’s support staff for reaching out to the community and "bringing the law to life."

Justice Hobbs, left, and Delta Attorney Aaron Clay. Justice Martinez, left, and Judge Charles Greenacre
(Seventh J.D.-Delta).

Mesa County Bar Association Installs New Officers

At its monthly meeting in June, the Mesa County Bar Association (MCBA) elected new officers for the 2008–09 year. Among the new MCBA officers are: Ed Nugent, President; Rob Zentner, Vice-President; Michael Santo, Secretary; and Leslie Castro, Treasurer. County Commissioner Craig Meis and Williams Company representative Susan Avillar also attended the luncheon to discuss the impact of current oil and gas matters on the Western Slope.

Left to right: Leslie Castro, Ed Nugent, Past President David Scanga, and Michael Santo.

MVL Welcomes Andy Hart
as Family Law Court Program Coordinator

Andrew Hart

In June, Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) announced that Andrew Hart is MVL’s new Family Law Court Program (FLCP) Coordinator. An avid skier, Andy was a ski instructor from 2003–04 at Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon. He also enjoys backpacking, running, cycling, and studying American history.

Andy and his wife Alexa came to Denver to pursue their graduate studies. He enrolled in law school at the University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law while she pursued her doctoral degree in astrophysics at DU. Andy was sworn in to practice law in Colorado in October 2007.

Anna Paschke

During law school, Andy focused on environmental law and served as a student intern for the Environmental Clinical Law Partnership at DU. He began as an intern with MVL in February 2008, where he assisted clients at FLCP clinics on a volunteer basis.

MVL bid a fond farewell to Anna Paschke, the previous FLCP Coordinator. In June 2008, Anna accepted an associate position at the Harris Law Firm, P.C. in Denver, which emphasizes family law. Anna was a valued asset to the MVL organization.

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