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TCL > January 2011 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

January 2011       Vol. 40, No. 1       Page  5
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 Leadership Program
Sponsors Family Fun Run at City Park

The 2010 COBALT class sponsored the Home for the Holidays 5K and 1K Family Fun Run, which took place Sunday, November 14, at Denver’s City Park. Class members served as volunteers on race day, arriving at 6:30 a.m. to help set up for the race. They conducted registration, marshaled the course, handed out water and, at every opportunity, spread the word about the CBA and COBALT—the CBA’s leadership training program.

The race was part of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Gala for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. More than 400 runners, including several COBALT alumni, participated in the race to help raise money for the Coalition. The 2010 COBALT class raised approximately $1,200; COBALT alumni contributed another $500 in the match challenge.

For more information about the race and other Anniversary Gala events, visit For more information about the COBALT program, contact Dana Collier Smith at

Left to right: Siddhartha Rathod, Brad Varmo, James Rufus Garts, Jessica Muzzio, and Melissa Ogburn. Kristine Poston helps
set up for the race.


Members of the 2010 COBALT class on race day.

CBA President-Elect David Masters and his wife, Mary Jane Masters.

CBA Past Presidents Dinner

On November 6, the CBA hosted its annual Past Presidents Dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Highlights of the event included the presentation of the Past Presidents Pin to Immediate Past President David Johnson and a trivia contest led by Doris Truhlar and CBA Past President Bob Truhlar.

  Dave Johnson, left, and Bob Truhlar.


CBA President Named Trustee
of Boettcher Foundation

CBA President Paul Chan recently was named a trustee of the Boettcher Foundation. He is the first alumnus of the Foundation’s scholarship program to become a trustee of the organization.

Chan has been general counsel for the University of Denver (DU) since 1997, and previously served in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. He earned his undergraduate degree from DU and his JD from the University of California–Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law.

The Foundation’s scholarship program has provided thousands of scholarships to Colorado high school students to attend colleges in the state. The Foundation has given gifts and grants to communities around the state and has helped develop facilities such as the Boettcher Concert Hall and the Boettcher Conservatory at the Denver Botanic Gardens.


Emanuel Anton is Named
2010 Outstanding Young Lawyer

The CBA Young Lawyers Division recently named Emanuel Anton recipient of the 2010 Gary McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year award. Anton is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Anton Law Group, a law firm focused on international trade and business. He also is co-founder and President of Lakonian International, Inc., a maritime security firm that provides armed security professionals aboard vessels carrying U.S. Department of Defense cargos through high-risk waters. His work has helped shape the international legal framework to mitigate the global piracy problem by permitting armed embarked security teams.

Anton has been elected to and currently serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations. He has served as co-chair for the Metropolitan Arc’s Endowment and Finance Committees, and currently serves on Arc’s Advisory Committee. He has been a member of Arc’s Board of Directors since 2006. Additionally, he helped organize the Ed McCaffrey "Dare to Play" Football Camp for children and young adults with Down syndrome. Anton serves on three committees within the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and Practice. He is a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, and Society for International Affairs.

Michael Bender is Colorado’s
New Supreme Court Chief Justice

On November 10, Justice Michael L. Bender was chosen by his fellow justices as the forty-forth Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. His appointment was effective December 1, 2010. Justice Bender joined the Supreme Court in January 1997 after spending nearly twenty years in private practice. He has served in public defender offices in Denver, in Jefferson County, and for the State of Colorado, and has worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1964 and his JD from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1967.

Justice Greg Hobbs performed the swearing-in of Justice Michael Bender as Chief Justice on December 1, 2010. Pictured from left to right: Justice Greg Hobbs, Chief Justice Michael Bender, Justice Alex Martinez, Justice Nancy Rice, Justice Ben Coats, and Justice Allison Eid.

Jeffco/Gilpin CASA Director Recognized
as Staff Person of the Year

On October 25, Leah Varnell was presented the 2010 Staff Person of the Year Award from Colorado CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), which serves as the coordinating agency for CASA programs throughout the state. Varnell has worked for CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties since its incorporation in 2000 and has been its Executive Director since March 2005. She was recognized for her outstanding leadership skills, collaborative spirit, and commitment to acting in the best interests of child victims. Over the years, she has worked to have a CASA volunteer on every case so that every child victim in the community has a voice.


Leah Varnell, Executive Director of Jeffco/Gilpin CASA, with Lee Wheeler-Berliner, Executive Director of Colorado CASA.



Jerry Conover Receives
Philanthropic Leadership Award

On November 17, the Denver Foundation presented Moye White attorney and former CBA President Fredrick K. (Jerry) Conover with its 2010 Philanthropic Leadership Award. The award is presented annually to a person in the legal or finance community who helps guide others in making philanthropic decisions.

In 2002, Conover co-founded Hope for Generations, a fund held by the Denver Foundation. Hope for Generations "helps older Metro Denver residents work together to make a difference in the lives of young children. Contributions from donors are pooled and used to make grants to organizations serving children in their early childhood years." Over the past five years, the fund has donated more than $500,000 to support childhood development efforts.

New Attorney Orientation to Denver Courts

On November 18, the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division hosted an orientation program to help new attorneys become familiar with the district and county court systems for the City and County of Denver. The orientation was held in the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse at the Denver Justice Center and was attended by approximately ninety newly admitted attorneys. During the program, Denver district and county court judges and staff introduced the new attorneys to the facilities and provided information about court procedures and resources.

A panel addresses new attorneys at the Denver court orientation program. Attorneys Adrian Leonard and Rachel Mentz of Featherstone, Petrie & DeSisto were among program attendees.

EPCBA Wine Tasting

On October 22, the El Paso County Bar Association (EPCBA) and the EPCBA New Lawyers Section hosted their fourteenth annual Wine and Beer Tasting event. The event was held in the Julie Penrose Room at St. Paul’s Church in Colorado Springs. Event proceeds benefit the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation and the Pikes Peak Pro Bono Project.

EPCBA members mingle during the October 22 wine tasting. EPCBA Executive Director Claire Anderson (left) and attorney Lisa Blattner.

Local Bar Association Spreads Holiday Cheer

On December 2, the Adams/Broomfield Bar Association (ABBA) hosted its annual holiday party at the Ranch Country Club in Westminster. In lieu of paying for dinner, guests were asked to bring a wrapped gift for children in the Adams County foster care system, which averages between 600 to 800 children in a given month.

Left to right: ABBA Treasurer Katherine Gregg, Executive Director Stacey Moore, Vice President Mariana Vielma, and President Nathan Lucero.   Left to right: District Court Judge Mark Warner and his wife, Jefferson County District Attorney Jennifer Rhoads, and District Court Judge Chris Melonakis.
Stephen Bresler and Adams County
Judge Dianna Roybal. 
  Donelson Ciancio & Goodwin attorneys
Cyndy Ciancio (left) and Katie Laughlin. 
Soon-to-be-parents Sarah and David Goddard,
Adams County District Attorney.
  Vince Phelps, Chief Judge of the Seventeenth
Judicial District, and Mariana Vielma

Judicial Awards Honor Excellence in Colorado Courts

Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey speaks after being presented the Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award.

On Thursday, November 18, more than 600 people attended the Colorado Judicial Institute’s (CJI) Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner at the Denver Marriott City Center Hotel. The dinner is held annually to celebrate excellence and fairness in Colorado courts and to honor judges for their outstanding work. This year’s Judicial Excellence Award recipients were: Fifth Judicial District Court Chief Judge W. Terry Ruckriegle, who was lauded for his management of the Kobe Bryant case; Boulder County Court Judge Thomas J.B. Reed, who was honored for his close supervision of Boulder County’s DUI Integrated Treatment Court; and Second Judicial District Magistrate Diane Dupree, who was recognized for her special skill in domestic court, where she often handles contentious post-divorce and child welfare issues.

During the evening, the CJI also presented a special Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award to outgoing Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey. She was recognized for her numerous efforts to improve the administration of justice in Colorado, including developing a statewide case management system, establishing e-filing systems for trial courts, and developing the Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information System, which enables all criminal justice agencies to track offenders through the legal system.

In addition to recognizing judicial excellence, the annual dinner raises funds to support judicial education. Since CJI created its Judicial Education Fund in 2002, it has raised more than $200,000 to support continuing education for judges, magistrates, and full-time judicial department employees. Among other things, grants from CJI have paid for regional judicial conferences to replace those canceled by the recent budget crisis.

Rev. Tom Korson and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey.   The CJI’s 2010 Judicial Excellence Award recipients, left to right: Chief Judge Terry Ruckriegle, Magistrate Diane Dupree, and Judge Tom Reed.  


The Law Club provided entertainment at the annual awards dinner.

A Celebration of Diversity in the Judiciary

Jessica Clark, Executive Director of the Denver Urban Debate League.

On November 3, members of the Colorado legal community attended a reception at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building in Denver to celebrate diversity in the judiciary. The reception honored recently appointed judges Dianne Briscoe, Denver County Court; Maria Teresa Fox, Colorado Court of Appeals; Ann B. Frick, Second Judicial District Court; Monica Márquez, Colorado Supreme Court; Norma Sierra, Boulder County Court; Michael Vallejos, Second Judicial District Court; and Elizabeth Beebe Volz, Eighteenth Judicial District Court. Also during the event, organizers collected donations of gently used professional clothing; the items were given to Denver Urban Debate League students to wear at debate tournaments.

Nine Colorado specialty bar associations and legal organizations collaborated to host the event. The co-sponsors were: the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, the Colorado Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Bar Association, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the CBA/DBA Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee, Colorado Pledge to Diversity, the Colorado Indian Bar Association, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and the Sam Cary Bar Association.

Left to right: Newly appointed judges Elizabeth Beebe Volz, Norma Sierra, Ann Frick, and Dianne Briscoe.   Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez (left) and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Wiley Daniel. 


Left to right: Kyle Velte, Mari Newman, and Clemmie Engle.   Left to right: Matthew Rita, Nadia Malik, and Shella Neba.

DU Law Crowns Trial Advocacy Champs

The University of Denver (DU) Sturm College of Law recently crowned this year’s champions of its annual Hoffman Memorial Trial Advocacy Cup. The Championship Round was presided over by U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer and four scoring panelists. In a close final round, the team of Lindsey Sowder and Luke Volker prevailed over second-year students Eric Hobbs and John Maroney. Second-year student Chris Wilcox earned the Best Orator Award.

The Trial Advocacy Cup is hosted by the DU Advocacy Department and the student Moot Court Board. It is named for the late Daniel S. Hoffman, a DU alumnus and former DU Law School Dean. Dean Hoffman’s widow, Beverly, attended the event, along with her children and grandchildren.

Left to right: Eric Hobbs; attorney Max Gadd; Luke Volker; attorney Mike Lowe; Lindsey Sowder; Federal Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer; John Maroney; Denver District Court Judge John Madden; attorney Nicole Quintana; and DU Advocacy Department Director David Schott

Roundtable Event Addresses Diverse Attorney Retention

On November 4, the Center for Legal Inclusiveness (CLI), a Colorado-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the legal profession, hosted a roundtable event to address the issue of retention of diverse attorneys. The event was attended by participants of the CLI’s retention working group, which comprises prominent general counsel from Colorado companies and managing partners of CLI-member firms. The group meets twice a year to create solutions and action items for the retention and advancement of diverse attorneys.

In March 2010, Rich Baer, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Qwest Communications, created a Retention Initiatives leadership competition whereby managing partners and general counsel identified an action item to begin implementing. Managing partners submitted entries for consideration in the competition, and the winner was announced at the November 4 meeting. Rich Baer and his wife, Anne, posted a $5,000 award, to be given to the winner’s charity of choice.

Holme Roberts & Owen LLP (HRO) and Larry Theis, a partner and Chair of HRO’s Executive Committee, were selected as the 2010 leadership competition award winners. Theis chose to begin implementing an action item that called for HRO to make inclusiveness a same-level priority as other firm business initiatives. Theis and HRO selected the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the charity to receive the award money.

Left to right: Jacob Drescher, Make-A-Wish Foundation Director of Development; Larry Theis, HRO Executive Committee Chair; and Rich Baer, General Counsel and CAO of Qwest Communications.

Counselors for Critters Pet Adoption Event

On October 9, the First Judicial District and Golden PETCO hosted the ninth Counselors for Critters pet adoption event. Twenty-nine animal rescues and organizations brought animals needing homes to the event. Among the participating organizations were the Adams County Animal Shelter, the Denver Dumb Friends League, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley, and the Longmont Humane Society Dumb Friends League. By day’s end, 116 rescue dogs and cats had found their "fur-ever" homes.

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