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

March 2011       Vol. 40, No. 3       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

Anthony van Westrum Receives CBA’s 2010 Award of Merit

The CBA named attorney Anthony van Westrum recipient of the association’s highest honor, the Award of Merit. The award is given annually to a CBA member for outstanding service to the association, to the legal profession, toward the administration of justice, and to the community. Van Westrum was presented the award during the Colorado Bar Foundation’s annual Bar Fellows Dinner on January 14.

Van Westrum, a solo practitioner, is a liaison to the CBA Board of Governors and has participated in more than a dozen CBA sections and committees, including the Ethics and Amicus Brief Committees. As a longtime member of the CBA’s Legislative Policy Committee, he has drafted and revised many of the state’s statutes governing corporations and other business entities, and has regularly testified before the legislature on business law issues.

Van Westrum also has been a member of numerous sections and committees outside the CBA. Among them are the Colorado Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Business Division Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee of the Colorado Office of Dispute Resolution, and the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Left to right: Attorney David Wood, CBA Award of Merit recipient Anthony van Westrum, CBA President Paul Chan, and CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner.

CBA Trust and Estate Section
Seeks Nominees for R. Sterling Ambler Award

The CBA Trust and Estate Section is currently seeking nominations for the 2011 R. Sterling Ambler Award. The award is presented annually to an individual who has substantially furthered Colorado law and contributed to the education of others and to the CBA Trust and Estate Section. It is named in honor of R. Sterling Ambler, an attorney who practiced law in Colorado for more than fifty years and who gave freely of his time and expertise to help others.

Denver attorney John DeBruyn was recipient of the 2010 Ambler Award. DeBruyn is a transactional lawyer whose practice emphasizes business, tax, and estate planning. He is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He speaks frequently at national, regional, and local CLE conferences for lawyers and certified public accountants.

For more information about the R. Sterling Ambler Award, including nomination criteria, see page 103 of this issue. The submission deadline for 2011 nominations is April 30.

COBALT Class Attends 2011 Inaugural Retreat

During January 20 through January 22, members of the CBA’s 2011 COBALT class gathered at the Cliff House in Manitou Springs for the first in a series of annual retreats on leadership. Among speakers at the event were Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender, CBA President Paul Chan, attorney Gary Jackson, and former Frontier Airlines CEO Sam Addoms. In the coming months, the twenty COBALT class participants will continue to hear from prominent members of Colorado’s legal community about their leadership experiences. For more information about the COBALT program, contact Dana Collier Smith at

Chief Justice Michael Bender speaks to members of the CBA’s Leadership Training Program at the 2011 COBALT inaugural retreat.
Front row, left to right: Shannon Sharrock, Ian McCargar, Gillian Bidgood, Sarah Steinbeck, Becky Bye, Dianne Van Voorhees, Sara Stieben, Nike Fleming, Frances Johnson, Robin Repass. Back row, left to right: Donald (Tripp) Lake, Teddi Ann Barry, Jessica Schmidt, Brian Mason, Beth Faragher, John Becker, Danielle Moore, Carlos Migoya, Troy Rackham, Dan Mong.

Mark Clouatre is the 2010 Davis Award Recipient

On Tuesday, January 25, Mark T. Clouatre was presented the 2010 Richard Marden Davis Award at a dinner in his honor at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. The Davis Award is presented annually to a Denver lawyer who is 40 years old or younger and who combines excellence as a lawyer with creative civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership, best exemplifying the character and promise of Davis at that stage in his career. The award is presented by Davis’s family, the Davis Graham & Stubbs law firm, and the Denver Bar Foundation.

Clouatre is a partner at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, where his practice emphasizes commercial and franchise litigation. He has been involved in a number of community organizations, many of which support his passion of improving education for children. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of Denver Kids, Inc. and is a member and former President of Denver Active 20–30 Children’s Foundation. He is on the Board of Directors for the Wildlife Experience and the Faculty of Federal Advocates. He also works to foster diversity in the legal profession through his participation in the Colorado Campaign for Legal Inclusiveness. He has been an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy since 2003 and teaches the Rocky Mountain Deposition Skills seminar.

Davis Award recipient Mark Clouatre and DBA President Stacy Carpenter.

CBA Co-Hosts Reception for My Sisters Made of Light

On Thursday, January 27, the CBA and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association co-hosted a reception to mark the publication of Jacqueline St. Joan’s new book, My Sisters Made of Light. The reception was held at the CBA offices and included a reading, slideshow, and discussion of the book, which tells the story of three activist sisters who dedicate themselves to helping the women of Pakistan.

St. Joan, who currently teaches Women and the Law at Metropolitan State College of Denver, has been involved in the legal intervention of violence against women for more than thirty years. A former county court judge, she developed the Denver Protection Order Court, which still exists today. She is donating half of her proceeds from My Sisters Made of Light to help pay for the construction of a safe shelter for abused women and children in Pakistan.

Jacqueline St. Joan reads from her book during
the January 27 reception

CBA Hosts "Meet and Greet" for New Members

On January 28, more than 100 people attended the CBA’s New Member Mixer at the Denver Athletic Club. The event drew a healthy cross-section of the membership—from first-year law students to bar leaders.

CBA President Paul Chan began the evening with a CLE presentation entitled "The Ethical Geek." After some mingling and appetizers, guests participated in a quick-paced "meet and greet" (mimicking speed-dating), during which they became introduced to the CBA’s sections and committees. The night ended on a casual note with a pool tournament for members.

Denver Law Firm Receives Pro Bono Award

For the second straight year, the Denver law firm of Onsager, Staelin & Guyerson, LLC has been named recipient of the Judge Donald E. Cordova Pro Bono Award by the Faculty of Federal Advocates. The award is given annually to an attorney or firm that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services through the Faculty of Federal Advocates Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program. The award is named after Donald E. Cordova, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge for the District of Colorado. Judge Cordova, who passed away in February 2003, was an early advocate of the Pro Bono Program.

The Faculty of Federal Advocates recruits attorneys to represent pro se debtors/defendants in adversary proceedings involving discharge or dischargeability claims. These claims usually are not included as part of the original legal representation for the filing of the bankruptcy petition. However, the failure of the debtor/defendant to adequately respond in the adversary proceeding may undermine the entire purpose of the bankruptcy filing. Two of the firm’s attorneys, Michael Guyerson and Andrew D. Johnson, were individually recognized for their personal effort and commitment to providing pro bono legal services to these debtors.

CHBA Annual Banquet Celebrates Strides in Hispanic Community

On Saturday, January 29, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) hosted its annual banquet and membership meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Denver. More than 400 guests attended the event, whose theme was "We’ve Come a Long Way." Among the night’s speakers were outgoing CHBA President Damian Arguello, incoming CHBA President Diego Hunt, and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia.

Four individuals and one company were honored at the event. Hans Meyer received the Community Service Award for his work in the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. D1 Solutions was presented the Outstanding Corporate Commitment Award for its exceptional commitment to the Hispanic community. The Outstanding Young Hispanic Attorney Award was given to Derek Blass of Messner & Reeves for his steadfast commitment to numerous Hispanic organizations. The Christopher A. Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer Award was presented to Stephanie Villafuerte, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and former Deputy Chief of Staff for Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Finally, the CHBA’s most prestigious award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to Gilbert Gutierrez, a retired district court judge from Weld County who was instrumental in developing Weld County’s first drug court and domestic violence programs.

CHBA President Diego Hunt presents the Outstanding Young Hispanic Attorney Award to Derek Blass. Stephanie Villafuerte accepts her Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer Award from Diego Hunt.
Diego Hunt congratulates retired Judge Gilbert Gutierrez on his Lifetime Achievement Award. CBA President Paul Chan and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia chat during the banquet.

Local Bar Highlights

Arapahoe County Bar Association

The Arapahoe County Bar Association (ACBA) hosted its Annual Judges Dinner on January 7 at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center. Among the 170 attendees were twenty-five ACBA Past Presidents and forty-one judicial officers.

During the event, Chief Justice William B. Sylvester gave a report on the Eighteenth J.D. and recognized individuals who were recently sworn in as judicial officers for the district. The night’s other honorees included District Court Judge Nancy Hopf and Douglas County Judge Michelle Marker, who are retiring from the bench, as well as recently retired Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey.

Judge Michelle Marker receiving her award from ACBA President Tom Tomazin.   Judge Nancy Hopf.   Hon. Mary Mullarkey and Tom Tomazin.

Aurora Bar Association

The Aurora Bar Association recently announced the election of its 2011 officers. They are: Timothy Franklin, President; Charles Peters, Vice President; Samuel Cheris, Secretary–Treasurer; and Dion Arguelles, Bette Heller, Martha Karnopp, and Natalie Lynch, Members at Large.

El Paso County Bar Association

On December 17, the El Paso County Bar Association (EPCBA) hosted its annual Family Law Conference at the Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs. The event featured a panel of judges discussing standards for modification of parenting time and maintenance and temporary orders and emergencies. The panel was moderated by attorney Lisa Dailey. Panel members were Fourth J.D. Judges Deborah J. Grohs and Scott Sells, and El Paso County Magistrates M. Flynn Feeney, Denise Peacock, and Evelyn H. Sullivan. Also during the conference, the EPCBA Family Law Section presented Judge Timothy J. Simmons its annual award in recognition of his contributions to family law in the Fourth J.D.

Larimer County Bar Association

The Larimer County Bar Association (LCBA) hosted a celebration in January to honor the appointment of Julie Kunce Field to District Court Judge for the Eighth J.D. Pictured here, from left to right, are: LCBA President Kathryn Sjulin Lonowski; attorney Daniel Muffly; Judge Field; Sue Beck Ferkiss, Executive Director of the Homelessness Prevention Initiative in Fort Collins; and attorney Nate Donovan.

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