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TCL > March 2009 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

March 2009       Vol. 38, No. 3       Page  11
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

CBA Award of Merit

Timothy P. Fox is this year’s recipient of the Colorado Bar Association’s highest award—the Award of Merit. The award is given annually to a member of the CBA for outstanding service to the association, the legal profession, the administration of justice, and the community. Fox was presented his award on Friday, January 9, at the Colorado Bar Foundation’s annual Bar Fellows Dinner at the Regency Denver Convention Center. CBA President Bill Walters presented the award.

Tim Fox, center, with Amy Robertson and Bill Walters.

In 1991, Fox received his law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review and president of his graduating class. He and his wife Amy Robertson founded Fox and Robertson, P.C. in 1996. Fox has litigated numerous cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Housing Act, and Colorado and California state laws protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. He has spoken frequently on the topic of the rights of persons with disabilities, having made presentations for the National Employment Lawyers Association, the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Services, the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, the National Lawyers Guild, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and the CBA. He has been a member of the CBA and DBA since 1996, and is a member of the CBA Disability Law, Elder Law, Labor Law, and Litigation Sections.

Members may submit nominations of future Award of Merit candidates throughout the year. Please contact Tracy Rackauskas, CBA Awards Committee liaison, at for information.

CBA Ethics Committee and the
Harkness Heights Neighborhood
Provide Gloves to Children in Afghanistan

Afghani children at a displaced persons’ camp on the
outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. In larger cities such as
Kabul, electricity is intermittent, available only
for several hours every few days. As the winter
temperatures set in, the nights are especially cold.

The CBA Ethics Committee recently joined forces with the Harkness Heights Neighborhood Association of West Denver to donate nearly 600 pairs of mittens, gloves, and socks to Afghani children. A prominent member of the Ethics Committee who is currently working in Afghanistan is helping coordinate local distribution.

So far, the cold weather items have been distributed to children living in a displaced persons’ camp on the outskirts of Kabul. It is hoped that deliveries can be made to the poorest schools in the provinces of Herat, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar, and Paktia, as well. If possible, the items also will be delivered to provincial prisons.

Programs such as these provide humanitarian aid and foster goodwill toward Americans living in Afghanistan. Many people can be applauded for their generosity and assistance in making this effort happen.

Mary Lathrop Award

Elizabeth A. Starrs has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA) Mary Lathrop Award. The award is presented annually to recognize a female "trailblazer" who has substantially impacted the Colorado legal profession. Starrs, a longtime member of the CWBA, is being recognized as one of Colorado’s leading complex civil litigation lawyers. She will receive the award at the CWBA’s Thirty-Second Annual Convention in May.

Starrs is a founding partner and principal of Starrs Mihm & Pulkrabek, LLP, a boutique litigation firm in Denver. She is a Past President of the CBA (2006–07), and a Past President of the Denver Bar Association (2002–03). She is the first Colorado woman to be inducted into the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the third Colorado woman to become a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

IP Section Lunch on
Investment Strategies for Emerging Companies

On January 20, attorneys and members of the Colorado business community attended a panel discussion on development of intellectual property (IP) investment strategies in early-stage companies. The discussion featured three panelists with extensive experience working with early-stage companies. Richard Ogawa, IP Counsel for Khosla Ventures, presented on clean tech starts emerging from Silicon Valley. Ian Blasch, Managing Director of the Ventures Group at Micron, spoke about Micron’s direct and passive investing in the start-up area. Bill Cadogan, Chairman of Mutual Capital Partners, related his experience working within start-ups, from inception to merger and acquisition. Other participants included Townsend and Townsend and Crew’s Michael Drapkin, who moderated the discussion, and Greenberg Traurig’s John Posthumus, who provided the introductions.

The panel focused on how IP can add value in different technology sectors and at different stages in a company’s lifecycle. Another goal of the panel was to provide insight, from the perspective of those who invest in and purchase early-stage companies, into the characteristics of IP (and patents in particular) that consistently add short- and long-term value. The panelists spoke about the state of venture capital during the economic downturn. They also discussed issues regarding IP valuation for early-stage companies and due diligence, and explained how IP can add real value to a start-up. A video recording of the panel discussion is available at More news and information from the CBA IP Section can be found in the Section’s online newsletters, which are available at

COBALT Retreat in Estes Park

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey spoke to the 2009 CBA Leadership Training (COBALT) class at the program’s annual retreat in Estes Park. The retreat, which took place from January 15 to 17, marked the beginning of the six-month leadership program.

COBALT presents seminars featuring respected members of the profession and engages participants in community involvement programs. The training is geared toward equipping participants with the necessary vision, knowledge, and skills to serve as leaders in the profession and in the community.

The 2009 COBALT class.

Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, keynote
speaker at the January COBALT retreat.

CBA Strategic Planning Committee Highlights

The CBA’s Strategic Planning Committee began meeting in August 2008 to review the organization’s goals and future plans. The committee is chaired by CBA President-Elect David Johnson. Other committee members are CBA President Bill Walters; Past President David Lytle; Treasurer Charlie Garcia; former Treasurer John Holt; and Vice Presidents Jen Peters, Melissa Ogburn, and Sam Starritt. For a summary and update of the committee’s recent planning efforts, see page 33 of this issue.

Break-out sessions of the CBA Strategic Planning Committee during the November 2008
CBA Board of Governors meeting in Colorado Springs.

First J.D. Judges and Legislators Dinner

Judges of the First Judicial District (J.D.) congregated on January 27 for the annual social dinner with legislators from the district, sponsored by the First J.D. Bar Association. Nearly every First J.D. county court and district court judge attended the dinner, as well as two state senators and five state representatives. The theme of the evening was one of cooperation, understanding, and resolution.

As might be expected, the economy and the state’s budget loomed large and dominated the conversation among attendees. Another topic garnering interest by the attending legislators was sentencing.

First J.D. Chief Judge R. Brooke Jackson described to the legislators the cooperation between the Bench and the various local law enforcement departments to implement a "soft cap" on the Jefferson County correctional facilities to avoid the "hard cap" scenarios being faced by other judicial districts. Judge Jackson further reported that jail-bed usage has continued to decline in the First J.D. He also spoke of the judiciary’s willingness to cooperate with the impending budget cuts, including indefinitely postponing appointments to the newly allocated judicial positions within the district.

Left to right: Hon. Margie Enquist,
Hon. Lily Oeffler, and Sen. Moe Keller.

Rep. Cheri Gerou and
Hon. Brooke Jackson.

Davis Award Dinner

DBA President Mark Fogg presents
the Davis Award to Mari Newman.
The 2008 Davis Award Dinner was held on January 14 at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. The event honored Mari Newman, who is the recipient of the 2008 Richard Marden Davis Award. The Davis Award is presented annually by Davis Graham & Stubbs, the Denver Bar Foundation, and the Davis family to a Denver lawyer under the age of 40 who has combined excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership in the tradition of the award’s namesake, Dick Davis.


Newman is partner with Killmer Lane & Newman, LLP. She has distinguished herself as a respected civil rights attorney, a well-recognized leader, and an expert in public interest litigation. In addition to her considerable pro bono efforts, Newman has served as co-counsel in numerous cases that protect and advance the civil rights of individuals. She is a frequent public speaker and educator on civil rights issues. She has been a CBA and DBA member since 1998.

David Lane speaks about his
firm partner, Mari Newman.

Among those who attended the dinner were, from left to right:
DBA Immediate Past President Elsa Martinez Tenreiro,
DBA President Mark Fogg, DBA Past President Paul Chan,
and Hon. William Hood.

Mari Newman in pictured among past Davis Award recipients. Left to right: David Powell, Kenzo Kawanabe, Hon. Gilbert Román, Natalie Hanlon-Leh, Paul Chan, Mari Newman, Chris Little, Michael Carrigan, Kristin Bronson, Hon. Richard Gabriel, and Todd Fredrickson.

Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award

On January 22, CBA HonorLife member Laurence W. DeMuth, Jr. was presented the 2009 Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award at the Denver Marriott Tech Center Hotel. The award honors individuals who make unique contributions to the community. The recipient receives a $2,000 cash award to designate to a nonprofit agency of his or her choice.

Throughout his career as an executive at US West, DeMuth promoted community involvement and charitable giving. After his retirement in the 1990s, he immersed himself in leadership of the Colorado Judicial Institute and at the Griffith Center for Children. Both organizations were influenced by his guidance and dedication, and experienced tremendous growth.

Water Damage, Warranties, and Wine

On January 22, the New Lawyers Committee of the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA) hosted a two-part event entitled "Water Damage, Warranties, and Wine." Approximately forty people attended the event, which was held at the Hotel Monaco in Denver. Molly Allen, Chair of the CDLA New Lawyers Committee, served as program coordinator.

The event began with a one-hour CLE presentation on deposition strategies in construction defect cases. The guest speaker was David Bush, a shareholder with Markusson Green & Jarvis P.C. specializing in construction defect law. Bush’s presentation focused on the most effective ways to prepare, take, and defend depositions of fact and expert witnesses in construction defect cases.

Following the seminar, guests were treated to a wine-tasting event. Panzano Restaurant wine experts poured Italian wines for guests to taste alongside chef Elise Wiggins’s delicious antipasti platters.

Left to right: Jan Spies, Karen Wilcynski, Leigh Anderson,
David Bush, and Aldo DelPiccolo.

Left to right: John Riley, Scott Landry, and
Gerald Pratt served as greeters for the event.

Brendan Powers, left,
and Jack Robinson.

Dave Bush leads a seminar on taking and defending
depositions in construction defect cases.

ECPA Family Law Conference

The El Paso County Bar Association (ECBA) held its annual Family Law Conference on December 12, 2008 at the Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs. The event was coordinated by Deanne Cain Fischlein, Chair of the ECBA Family Law Section.

More than eighty attorneys and judges attended the ECBA’s 2008 Family Law Conference.

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