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TCL > June 2012 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

The Colorado Lawyer
June 2012
Vol. 41, No. 6 [Page  9]

© 2012 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

All material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is copyrighted by the Colorado Bar Association. Before accessing any specific article, click here for disclaimer information.

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 sklein@cobar.org.


CBA Honored by the General Assembly for Providing
Legal Assistance to Colorado Veterans and Their Families

On Wednesday, May 2, the CBA’s Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans program was recognized in a Colorado State Senate resolution for its efforts to provide access to justice for veterans and their families. Two of the program’s founders, CBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Chair Ben Currier of Miller & Steiert, P.C. and John Vaught of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, were present for the signing of the resolution, which took place at the Colorado State Capitol Building. The resolution also recognized the Fourth Judicial District’s (J.D.) Veteran Trauma Court.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans is a joint program of the CBA and the CBA YLD. It was launched in November 2011 to assist veterans and their families with legal issues related to veterans’ resources, benefits, taxes, housing, and family law. Eligible veterans can attend clinics throughout the state and meet with an attorney at no charge. Program attorneys also volunteer their time on a pro bono basis to assist veterans and their families.

 
Senator Kent Lambert presented the resolution.   Left to right: Jerry Marroney, State Court Administrator; Rick Mattoon, Fourth J.D. Deputy District Attorney; and Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans founders John Vaught and Ben Currier.
     

New Initiative Matches Low-Income Inventors
With Patent Attorneys

On April 25, the CBA Intellectual Property (IP) Section co-hosted a kick-off party for a new program designed to help low-income inventors pursue patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The project, called the Colorado Pro Bono Patent Initiative (ProBoPat™), is a joint effort of the CBA IP Section, the Mi Casa Resource Center, and the USPTO. It will match low-income inventors with practicing patent attorneys, who will counsel them, help write patent applications, and file the applications with the USPTO. The work will be provided on a pro bono basis or for significantly reduced fees.

The program, which is the first of its kind in the United States, not only should help local entrepreneurs, but also will provide pro bono opportunities for local patent and IP attorneys. To learn how attorneys and firms can contribute to ProBoPat, visit www.ipsectioncolorado.org/pro-bono-patent-project.


Ceremony Recognizes Pro Bono Contributions
of Metro Denver Attorneys and Firms

On Friday, April 13, the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Access to Justice Commission co-hosted a pro bono recognition ceremony for firms and attorneys from Denver, Adams/Broomfield, and Boulder Counties. The attorneys and firms that were honored had pledged to provide pro bono legal assistance in accordance with Colo. RPC 6.1. Thirty-eight firms, in-house counsel, and solo attorneys were honored for achieving the pro bono commitment goal in 2011. Also recognized was Veronica DeJoie, paralegal at Stern and Curray, LLC, who was named the Colorado Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year by the CBA and the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association.

 
Before the ceremony, guests were invited to attend a hard-hat tour of the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center, which is scheduled to open in spring 2013.   Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender spoke to the group about some of the special touches to the Court’s new home.
     
 
Colorado Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year Veronica DeJoie with (left to right) Justice Brian Boatright, Chief Justice Michael Bender, Justice Greg Hobbs, and Justice Nathan Coats.   Donna Hochberg was among those recognized for pro bono achievement during the April 13 ceremony. She was accompanied by her sons, Joshua and Kyle, and her husband, Dan.
     
 
Denver Bar Association President Ilene Bloom was recognized by the Supreme Court for her dedication to pro bono legal work.   Dianne Van Voorhees, Executive Director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers, celebrated local pro bono efforts on behalf of the organization.

Photo credit: Bryan Lopez, P.C., Support Coordinator for the
JBITS division of the State Court Administrator’s Office.


First J.D. Recognizes Pro Bono Efforts of
Attorneys and Law Firms in Jefferson and Gilpin Counties

On Friday, April 20, the First J.D. Access to Justice Committee, in conjunction with the First J.D. Bar Association and the Colorado Supreme Court, hosted a pro bono recognition ceremony for attorneys and law firms in Jefferson and Gilpin Counties that provided pro bono services in 2011. During the event, twenty individual attorneys and twenty-three law firms were recognized for their pro bono efforts.

Many districts throughout the state have instituted programs for those individual attorneys who do not fall within the requirements of the Colorado Supreme Court Pro Bono Legal Service Commitment and Recognition Program, but who have provided desperately needed pro bono legal services for their local indigent citizenry. The objective of these events is to recognize contributing attorneys, enhance the public image of the legal profession, and improve the coordination of pro bono delivery efforts across Colorado.

With the help of individual attorneys and local law firms, the citizens of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties can receive the legal representation they need, regardless of their financial situation. If you or your law firm are interested in learning more about providing pro bono legal assistance, please contact Robyn McDonald at (720) 242-8887 or robyn@mmgadr.com.

 
First J.D. Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger and Erin Hickey, President of the First J.D. Bar Association.   Left to right: Chief Justice Michael Bender, Justice Allison Eid, attorney Jim Chalat, Justice Greg Hobbs, and Justice Brian Boatright.
     
 
John Hugger receives a certificate of pro bono achievement from Justice Hobbs.   First J.D. Access to Justice Commission member Robyn McDonald with Justice Boatright and Justice Hobbs.
     

Colorado Celebrates Law Day 2012

Law Day was established by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 as "a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law." Each year since then, bar associations, courts, schools, and civic groups throughout the country have hosted Law Day programs on or around May 1. This year’s theme, chosen by the American Bar Association, was "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom." This theme focuses attention on the need of all individuals to have access to the court system. Presented here are some of the Law Day programs held in Colorado this year.

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On Friday, April 27, the Weld County Bar Association hosted its third annual Law Day Breakfast at the Weld County Courthouse in Greeley. More than 150 people attended the event, including judicial officers, court personnel, district attorneys, public defenders, probation officers, police officers, and attorneys.

 
Left to right: Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, attorney John J. Barry, Margie Martinez of the Weld County Sheriff’s Department, Weld County District Court Judge Thomas Quammen, and Weld County District Court Judge Daniel Maus.   Weld County District Court Chief Judge James Hartmann (center left) and Weld County District Court Judge Thomas Quammen (center right) with two members of court staff.
     
 
The event provided a unique opportunity for attorneys and judges to meet with others working in law-related fields, including law enforcement.   Weld County District Court Magistrate Rebecca Koppes-Conway (center left) and Weld County District Court Judge Julie Hoskins (center right) with two court staffers.
     
 
Left to right: Magistrate Rebecca Koppes-Conway, Judge Daniel Maus, and attorney Tom Grant.   City of Greeley Attorney Rick Brady (left) and attorney John J. Barry.

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On Wednesday, May, 2, the Joint Judicial Task Force, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), and the Colorado Judicial Institute hosted a Law Day CLE program on Colorado’s merit selection system. Panelists included Rebecca Love Kourlis, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and current IAALS Executive Director; Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson; Gene Ciancio, a shareholder of Donelson, Ciancio, & Grant, P.C.; Malia Reddick, IAALS Director of Judicial Programs; and Theresa Spahn, of counsel for Wedgle and Associates. The panel provided an overview of Colorado’s merit selection system, discussed how the system compares to others nationally, and addressed ethical dilemmas and challenges when litigating in states with other judicial selection systems.

 
IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis (left) served as the moderator for the panel, which included Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson.   Left to right: Judge Davidson, Gene Ciancio, Malia Reddick, and Theresa Spahn.

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On May 2, the Colorado Access to Justice Commission hosted a Law Day CLE program featuring former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez. Martinez—who previously served as a public defender and a trial judge and who currently is Denver’s Manager of Safety—reflected on his career in the justice system and spoke about the practical aspects of the Law Day theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom." All of the event’s proceeds benefited the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado.

Alex Martinez, who retired from the state’s
highest Court in October 2011.

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On Thursday, May 3, the Denver Bar Association YLD hosted a well-attended cocktail reception at The Lobby in Denver. Former Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis presented on "Protecting and Rebuilding the Courts."

Attendees at the YLD’s Law Day cocktail reception.
 

Boulder County Legal Services Hosts
Pro Bono Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Boulder County Legal Services (BCLS) celebrated the outstanding tradition of pro bono legal service in Boulder County’s Twentieth Judicial District (20th J.D.) at its annual Pro Bono Luncheon on April 23 at the Boulder Marriott. BCLS honored local attorneys, mediators, law students, and paralegals who, in 2011, provided 5,500 hours of no-cost or low-cost legal services to low-income residents of Boulder County.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs, as well as judges and magistrates of the 20th J.D., attended and presented certificates and awards for achievement in the delivery of pro bono services. Colorado Legal Services Executive Director Jon Asher gave the opening address, and 20th J.D. Chief Judge Roxanne Bailin was the keynote speaker. Bailin emphasized the ethical obligations of serving the poor and disadvantaged members of the community.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the Boulder County Bar Association’s (BCBA) John Robert Marshall Award to Mary Nagle Street. Street, a volunteer on the BCLS pro bono panel for two decades, was recognized for her energy, enthusiasm, and compassion in taking on the challenges of complex family law cases and for her unflagging advocacy on behalf of her clients.

 
Individuals recognized for serving 50–75 pro bono hours in 2011 were, from left to right: Steven Barnett, Judson Hite, Mary Street, Peter Jarldane, Tucker Katz, and Leonard Tanis. Judge Gwyneth Whalen (far right) presented the certificates.   20th J.D. Chief Judge Roxanne Bailin delivered the keynote address.

 

 
BCBA President Ellen Cadette (left) presented Mary Street the John Marshall Award for outstanding pro bono service.   Left to right: Magistrate Carolyn Mclean presented certificates for serving 75–100 pro bono hours to Christina Ebner, Howard Bernstein, and Mary Louise Edwards.

 

 
Individuals recognized for serving 100–200 pro bono hours were, from left to right: Craig Small, Emma Pinter, Meg Quiat, and Susan Bryant. Judge Patrick Butler (far right) presented the certificates.   Individuals recognized for serving more than 200 pro bono hours were, from left to right: Bruce Wiener, Chris Jeffers, Judge Thomas Mulvahill (presenting), Brandy Rothman, and Norton Steuben.

 

Justice Greg Hobbs (center) with representatives from firms with 100% pro bono participation. Left to right: John Tweedy (Robinson Tweedy); Kim Gent (Ebner & Gent); Laura Moore (Warren Carlson & Moore); Jordan Dorrestein and Don Goulart (Goulart & Associates); Ron Jung (Jung & Associates); Rick Romeo (Vincent Romeo & Rodriguez); Christina Ebner (Ebner & Gent); Leonard Tanis (Cooper Tanis & Cohen); Helen Stone (Stone & Rosen); Chris Bosch (Robinson Tweedy); and Connie Eyster (Hutchinson Black & Cook).

 

 
BCLS Managing Attorney Joel Hayes (left) acknowledges the outstanding contributions of paralegal Vicki Strickland (center) and attorney Sheila Carrigan to the BCLS Pro Se Program.   Staff and attorneys from the firm of Vincent Romeo & Rodriguez, which was recognized for 100% pro bono participation. Left to right: Bev Gould, Diana Cheatum, Karen Buchanan, Dave Kirk, Tony Rodriguez, Tom Rodriguez, Richard Vincent, Sandy Tobin, and Rick Romeo. 

Colorado Judicial Institute’s Annual Breakfast
Focuses on the Crisis in the Judiciary

The Colorado Judicial Institute (CJI) hosted its Sixth Annual Breakfast at the Denver Athletic Club on Thursday, April 19. Approximately 200 CJI members and guests attended the event, which featured Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender as the keynote speaker.

Chief Justice Bender’s speech focused on the crisis within the Colorado justice system, which he said is burdened by crushing workloads. The growth in cases has collided with cuts in personnel and other resources caused by Colorado’s fiscal crisis. The result is that very few cases actually come to trial. Approximately 99% of civil cases are settled out of court, and only about 2–3% of criminal cases proceed to trial. Additionally, in 56% of civil cases in Colorado, at least one party is not represented by a lawyer. In domestic relations cases, that figure is 70%. Another problem is waning public confidence; some polls indicate that as much as 75% of the public lacks trust in the judicial decision-making process.

Notwithstanding the less than positive statistics, Chief Justice Bender remained optimistic about the future of the justice system in Colorado. He noted that attorneys, legislators, and judges are committed to improving the justice system. He also highlighted some favorable news for the judiciary. For the first time in years, the judiciary received its full budget request from the legislature, adding two new judges, support staff and training, and hardware for the Court’s expanding online activity, which will culminate in its own online filing system for civil cases. Pro se centers in Adams, Denver, and El Paso Counties have been created to help citizens who can’t afford an attorney. There currently are sixty-six problem-solving courts, and the creation of nine more is underway. Additionally, more mentoring programs for young lawyers are being implemented. The Chief Justice also praised the award-winning Our Courts program, a joint project of the CJI and CBA that helps explain the Colorado legal system to citizen groups.

   
CJI Board members Anne Garcia and David Hersh.   Justice (ret.) Rebecca Love Kourlis (left)and CJI Board member Sheila Gutterman.    Justice Nancy Rice and CJI Board member Judge Russell Carparelli.
         
   
Chief Justice Michael Bender and CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner.   CJI Board member Ellie Greenberg and Judge Scott Crabtree.   CJI Board Chair Otto Hilbert II.
         
   
CJI Board member Larry DeMuth.   CJI Board member Bob Miller.   Chief Justice Bender.

Children’s Law Center Annual Dinner
Raises $200,000 for Abused and Neglected Children

The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization for abused and neglected children, raised approximately $200,000 at its annual dinner on April 27 at the Hyatt Regency Denver. Among attendees were Judges Jason Carrithers, Andrew Fitzgerald, KJ Moore, and Robert Russell, as well as CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner and Jim Lyons of Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP. The evening included live music from the Hazel Miller Band, dancing, and a silent auction.

 
Volunteer Claire Christensen and CBS4’s Ed Greene, the evening’s emcee.   Children’s Law Center Executive Director Stephanie Villafuerte (left) with Judge Andrew Fitzgerald and his wife, Leah.
     
 
Little Callen (on lap) found his forever home with the Golden family with the help of the Children’s Law Center.   Children’s Law Center founder and president emeritus Shari Shink speaks to the attendees.
     
 
Fun on the dance floor.   Guests look over the silent auction items.

© 2012 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2012.


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