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TCL > October 2008 Issue > In Memoriam

October 2008       Vol. 37, No. 10       Page  90
Notices, Products, and Services

In Memoriam

The Colorado Bar Association remembers
the lives and contributions of Colorado attorneys
and members of the legal community.

James C. Flanigan

James Flanigan died on August 30, 2008. He was 92.

Flanigan obtained his bachelor’s and JD degrees from the University of Denver. He was the first African American deputy district attorney in Denver and the first African American municipal court judge. In 1964, Flanigan became the first African American to serve as a Denver District Court judge. He served on the Bench until his retirement in 1984. Flanigan received many awards and honors throughout his career. His portrait hangs in the Denver Public Library Ford-Warren branch’s Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame. He was an HonorLife member of the CBA and had been a CBA member since 1947.

Flanigan enjoyed golfing, bowling, and playing poker. He is survived by his son, one grandchild, and three great-grandchildren.

James J. Johnston

James (JJ) Johnston died on August 6, 2008. He was 86.

After earning bachelor’s and JD degrees from the University of Iowa, Johnston moved to Denver in 1945. Within a year, he started teaching at the University of Denver (DU). He was a professor at DU’s Daniels College of Business, where he taught business law for sixty years. Johnston also set up a law practice near DU’s campus and represented students. In 1996, he helped establish an endowed scholarship fund for business and accounting students, and he did fundraising work for DU after he retired from teaching. He was an HonorLife member of the CBA, and had been a CBA member since 1946.

In his spare time, Johnston enjoyed biking, camping, traveling, and hockey. He is survived by his wife Jean, a daughter, and five grandchildren. Contributions in Johnston’s memory may be made to the JJ and JB Johnston Endowment, DU Advancement, Denver, CO 80208; or Denver Hospice, 501 S. Cherry St., Ste. 700, Denver, CO 80246.

Sean D. May

Sean May died on August 27, 2008. He was 37.

May obtained his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. After law school, he moved to Denver and started working as a litigation associate at Cooley Godward. He left the firm to work for the Adams County District Attorney’s office, where he remained for the next seven years. He started in county court, where he handled DUI, traffic, and domestic violence cases. He later moved up to district court and recently was promoted to the position of chief deputy district attorney, where he was responsible for training and supervising new deputy district attorneys. He was a member of the CBA since 1998.

He is survived by his wife Corin, his parents, and one brother. Contributions in May’s memory may be made to the Sean May Memorial Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank; proceeds will go to his wife and the couple’s child, who will be born this fall. See for more information.


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 and photos 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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