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TCL > September 2010 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

September 2010       Vol. 39, No. 9       Page  9
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

Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey
to Receive Herbert Harley Award


Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey has been named recipient of the American Judicature Society’s (AJS) 2010 Herbert Harley Award. Named after the organization’s founder, the award is the AJS’s highest state-based honor and recognizes outstanding efforts to improve the administration of justice in Colorado.

During her tenure as Chief Justice, Mullarkey created a public information officer position for the Colorado courts to foster a better understanding of the state’s justice system among members of the media and the general public. She has established the Problem Solving Court Advisory Committee and has effectively managed the Court’s resources despite significant budget reductions. As a justice on the state’s highest court, she wrote more than 500 opinions.

Chief Justice Mullarkey is the tenth Colorado recipient of the Herbert Harley Award. Past recipients include former U.S. District Judge Alfred A. Arraj in 1990, former Denver University College of Law Dean Robert B. Yegge in 1985, and former Colorado Chief Justice Edward E. Pringle in 1974. Chief Justice Mullarkey will be presented the award at a ceremony in the Denver Law Club on September 24.

The AJS is a nonpartisan organization with a national membership of judges, lawyers, and other citizens interested in improving our nation’s courts and the administration of justice. The mission of the AJS is to ensure a fair, impartial, independent judiciary; to improve the criminal justice process; to educate the public; and to build confidence in the justice system. For more information, visit

Kathleen M. Schoen is 2010 Sharon Corbitt Award Recipient

The American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Domestic Violence has named Kathleen M. Schoen the 2010 recipient of the Sharon Corbitt Award. Schoen received her award on August 6 during the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The award recognizes contributions by large-firm lawyers, solo practitioners, corporate counsel, nonprofit attorneys, and judges who demonstrate exemplary service to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Schoen has worked in the area of family violence prevention and intervention since 1985. She is the Director of the CBA Local Bar Relations and Access to Justice Department, and has served as the Bar’s Family Violence Program Director since 1997. In that capacity, she coordinates several projects, including the Domestic Violence: Make It Your Business Project, which provides training for employers on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace; the Colorado Alliance for Cruelty Prevention, a multidisciplinary group of professionals working on the link between domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and animal abuse; and the Domestic Violence and Legal Issues Committee, which brings together lawyers and domestic violence advocates who take on projects on an as-needed basis.

CBA Welcomes New Executive Director
of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center

On Wednesday, July 21,the CBAhosted a reception to welcome Stephanie Villafuerte as the new Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center (RMCLC). The RMCLC is a nonprofit agency that seeks to protect the lives of abused and neglected children through zealous legal advocacy, innovative programs, and public policy reform.

Villafuerte is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and former Chief Deputy District Attorney (DA) in the Denver DA’s Office. As manager of the Crimes Against Children Unit at the DA’s Office, she built a reputation as a prosecutorial advocate for molested children and battered women. In 2005, the Colorado DA’s Council named her Prosecutor of the Year. She has been a longtime supporter of the RMCLC and is a member of the Champions for Children cycling team, which raises funds for the abused and neglected children served by the RMCLC.

Villafuerte has succeeded Shari F. Shink as RMCLC Executive Director. Shink founded RMCLC in 1981 and continues as its President.On September 1, at its Raising the Bar dinner, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association will honor Shink and other women lawyers who have made a difference in the community.

RMCLC’s new Executive Director Stephanie Villafuerte. Among attendees at the reception were Denver attorney Seth Grob (left) and RMCLC Senior Attorney Jason Carrithers.


Colorado Secretary of State Presents at Local Bar Luncheon

Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher was the featured speaker at the Mesa County Bar Association’s (MCBA) monthly luncheon on July 26. His presentation, which dealt with corporate and legislative issues, earned attendees one CLE credit. Secretary Buescher is pictured below (second from left) with MCBA Board member Rob Zentner (far left), MCBA President Michael Santo, and University of Colorado Board of Regents Candidate Melissa Hart.

Legal Aid Foundation Recognizes Associates
Participating in Campaign for Justice

At its July Board of Trustees meeting, the Legal Aid Foundation (LAF) honored the representatives of the thirty law firms that participated in LAF’s Associates Campaign for Justice (Campaign). The representatives solicited donations from their colleagues over a six-week period, ending June 30.

The associates engaged in a friendly inter-firm competition to see which firm could achieve the highest per capita donation. Campaign Co-Chairs Marisa Hudson-Arney andKenzo Kawanabe distributed awards during the brief ceremony. The firms who came out on top were: Sherman & Howard in the large firm category; Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell among medium-sized firms; and Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell among smaller firms. Firms that achieved 100 percent participation among their associates were Davis Graham & Stubbs, Greenberg Traurig, Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, Jacobs Chase Kleinkopf & Kelley, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Littler Mendelson, Merchant & Gould, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti, and Sheridan Ross.

Campaign Co-Chair Kenzo Kawanabe (left) with Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell representatives Drew Unthank (center) and John Streelman. Campaign Co-Chair Marisa Hudson-Arney (right) and Patty Ho of Sheridan Ross.


Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Honors Outstanding
Attorneys at Annual Awards Dinner

On May 14, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) held its annual Awards Dinner at the University of Denver’s Cable Center. The CCDB’s highest honor, the Jonathon Olom award, was presented to Denver attorney Darren R. Cantor of The Law Offices of Darren R. Cantor, P.C. The Olom award recognizes an outstanding member of the criminal defense community who has made remarkable personal sacrifice in defense of the accused. Other award recipients were Cary Lacklen, who received the Alvin D. Lichtenstein award; Antony Noble, John K. Pineau, and Thomas R. Williamson, who received the Gideon award; and James E. Scarboro, who received the Champion of Justice award.

 Darren Cantor.  John Pineau.


SCBA Funds Assist Local Access to Justice Committee

Every June, the Southwest Colorado Bar Association (SCBA) contributes several thousand dollars to assist local nonprofit associations and to fund college scholarships. The SCBA Donations Committee actively promotes fund availability, screens applications, and makes recommendations of prospective recipients.

This year, the Donations Committee selected the Sixth Judicial District Access to Justice (ATJ) Committee as one of its grant recipients. The ATJ Committee will use grant monies to create a legal educational program for middle- and high-school students on the financial and emotional consequences of drug and alcohol use, such as losing driving privileges, facing extensive mandated counseling and future court appearances, and having a criminal record. The program is aimed at helping young people understand the ramifications of their conduct while gaining a general understanding of the legal system.

Colorado Lawyers Helping Lawyers
Celebrates Organization’s Founder

During its July 27 meeting, Colorado Lawyers Helping Lawyers (CLHL) presented a plaque to founding director Les Crispelle to acknowledge his years of service to the organization. Crispelle is pictured below (second from left) with (left to right) CLHL Vice Chair Barbara Ezyk, President John Holt, and Board members Emily Anderson and Damian Arguello.

CLHL is a court-approved, peer assistance program that offers support, education, and referrals to those who are experiencing problems with alcohol and substance abuse, and with mental health issues. The emphasis is on recovery and relapse prevention. Most services provided by CLHL are free and available statewide. CLHL is assisted by its partner, Peer Assistance Services, a nonprofit agency that provides peer support in Denver, Durango, Greeley, Boulder, Grand Junction, and Pueblo. For more information, visit

Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner is November 18

The Colorado Judicial Institute (CJI) is hosting its Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner on Thursday, November 18, at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel. The dinner occurs annually to celebrate the Colorado judiciary and to recognize the exemplary contributions of individual judges and magistrates.

This year, the following judges and magistrates are being honored with Judicial Excellence Awards: District Court Judge W. Terry Ruckriegle of the Fifth Judicial District (J.D.); Boulder County Court Judge Thomas J.B. Reed; and Magistrate Diane Dupree of the Second J.D. In addition, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey will be presented the Judicial Leadership Award.

Tickets and sponsorships for the event are available. For more information or to make a reservation, contact the CJI at (303) 766-7501 or visit the CJI website at

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