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TCL > July 2012 Issue > Mark A. Fogg Brings Perspective, Enthusiasm to New Role

July 2012       Vol. 41, No. 7       Page  5
In and Around the Bar
Profile of the 2012-13 CBA President

Mark A. Fogg Brings Perspective, Enthusiasm to New Role
by Sara Crocker

About the Author

Sara Crocker is the Communications Specialist for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations and is editor of The Docket, the official publication of the Denver Bar Association—(303) 824-5347, scrocker@cobar.org.


 
  Mark and Pat Fogg participated in the Dancing with the Bar Stars segment of the Barristers Benefit Ball event on May 5, 2012. The Foggs were this year’s top fundraising dance couple.
   

Mark Fogg is the first to admit that when he travels he likes to get into the backcountry. That interest has taken him across the world with his family—from a safari in Africa, to the Philippines, to the rivers of Alaska.

There is one family trip that sticks out in the mind of Fogg’s oldest son, Jim. Their family was staying at Chico Hot Springs Resort in Montana, and Fogg rented a drift boat for him and Jim to float down the Yellowstone River. This was a time before the wide use of cell phones, so they arranged to have Fogg’s wife, Pat, pick them up downriver later in the day.

As they drifted down the Yellowstone, one of the oarlocks popped off and fell into the water. They couldn’t maneuver the boat without it, so Fogg jumped in to retrieve it. By the time they got the oarlock in working order, the afternoon had gotten away from them and it was beginning to get dark.

Fogg and Jim, who was 8 years old at the time, tried to navigate their way down the river.

"It’s to the point where I’m sitting on the front of the boat shining a flashlight on rocks or on points where we thought rocks might be," said Jim, who is now 24.

They realized this wasn’t going to be a safe way to get down to their designated meeting point, so they steered the boat to shore and started walking through the open land toward lights they could see in the distance. As they walked, they heard a thunderous noise to their right—it was a band of horses. Barking alerted them to a pack of dogs, and then dozens of glowing eyes revealed a herd of deer. Eventually, though, they got to the highway, where a police officer picked them up and took them back to where Pat was waiting for them. It was quite a harrowing journey for young Jim.

"I tell that story because it is the story that, when things get tough, I think about, and I realize there’s a way out," Jim said. "No matter how scared you are, no matter how hard it seems, no matter what’s going on around you, there’s a way out. It was cool to see my dad in the role of the person who would provide that path for me to get out of those situations when I needed it."

 
Fogg was a resident assistant at James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1975.   Fogg delivering the closing argument
at a murder trial in 1983.

Plans as CBA President

On July 1, Fogg, who is general counsel for COPIC Insurance, will begin his term as President of the CBA. He will be providing a path to help advance the CBA’s mission to improve the quality of its members’ legal practice, to support and improve the justice system, and to support the community.

Fogg’s leadership strategy is simple: set a few concrete goals and find the best way to achieve them. It’s something Fogg did as President of the Denver Bar Association (DBA) in 2008–09; as President of Kennedy Childs &?Fogg, PC; and as a member of the board of directors for Escuela de Guadalupe Elementary School.

"Mark is a consensus builder," said former Kennedy Childs partner Steve Michalek. "He listens to everyone’s perspective and then tries to find common ground to move a project forward. He’s a great leader."

The strategy reflects the type of pragmatism necessary to balance the needs of attorneys from all walks of the profession. After meeting with leaders of the bar, Fogg has worked to hone in on a few key issues that will mark his term as President.

A "Modest Means" Program—Connecting
Attorneys to the People Who Need Them

A major concern among members of the legal community locally and nationally involves two key issues: (1) ensuring that all members of the public have access to the courts, and (2) ensuring that new attorneys can find viable means of employment. Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Daniel Taubman proposed establishing a local "modest means" program. The idea involves connecting moderate-income members of the community who need legal services with attorneys who are unemployed or underemployed. Fogg wholeheartedly supports Judge Taubman’s proposal.

"I keep asking why the marketplace isn’t fixing this, because we have unemployed lawyers, too many—an oversupply—and then we have this demand of middle class people who can’t afford the justice system," Fogg said. "Why can’t they find each other?"

To address both of these issues, Fogg will appoint a task force to develop an economic model whereby community members will have access to justice and the attorneys will be paid for their services.

Increasing Commitment to Pro Bono

Commitment to providing pro bono legal services has been a key issue in the Colorado legal profession for a long time. The Colorado Supreme Court recognizes firms, solo practitioners, and in-house counsel groups who commit to providing at least fifty hours of pro bono legal services during the year.

This year, Fogg hopes the CBA can work with the Supreme Court and the Access to Justice Commission to increase this commitment by these groups, as well as public sector attorneys, by 30%. He considers it very important for organizations with a shared interest in advancing the legal profession to have shared goals they can work toward together. Providing legal services on a pro bono basis is one such goal.

Professionalism, Mentoring, and Work–Life Balance

Fogg, who is known by his colleagues for his professionalism and his personal commitment to passing on these values, participated in creating the CBA’s Professionalism Vignettes. The vignettes are high-quality interactive videos designed to be used as teaching tools at bench–bar functions, government agencies, law firms, law schools, local bars, and other venues. In 2009, the American Bar Association gave the CBA and DBA the Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award for the vignette program’s contribution "to the understanding of professionalism among lawyers." Fogg discussed the program in detail in his article "Teaching Professionalism: The Council’s Vignette Program," which was published in The Colorado Lawyer in 2010.1

Former Gov. Bill Ritter, who got to know Fogg in the Denver District Attorney’s (DA) Office, said Fogg has "impeccable ethics." Ritter said that when he was practicing law, he tried to emulate the kind of integrity Fogg displayed in the courtroom.

Fogg’s former partner Kim Childs agrees, noting that Fogg is the kind of attorney who is interested in what makes the practice of law a profession. "That’s probably one thing that sets him apart from other lawyers I know," Childs said.

Professionalism among attorneys was a priority when Fogg was DBA President and will continue to be a part of his mission during his CBA presidency. This may include creating interactive programs, such as Web tutorials; vignettes that show attorneys doing a decent job but then discuss what they can do to improve; or virtual conferences. "We need to get our practice and our manners and our civility caught up with technology," Fogg said.

The Mentoring Pilot Program that was launched by the CBA and the Supreme Court in January 2012 will wind down midway through Fogg’s term. This program pairs established attorneys with attorneys who are new to the practice of law to help promote and pass on the values and ideals of the profession, share best practices, and build relationships within the bar. The pilot program included participants from the Univeristy of Denver and University of Colorado (CU) Law Schools, DBA, Larimer County Bar Association, Minori Yasui Inn of Court, Seventh Judicial District, and Adams County District Attorney’s Office. It will be audited and evaluated to analyze what can be improved and to determine whether the program should be launched statewide.

Finally, work–life balance is an ongoing concern for members. Personally, Fogg strives to find that balance by annually taking stock of his activities and being sure he is committed to everything he is doing.

"Every year over the holidays, I will sit down and I will make a list of the ten to fifteen things that are taking up most of my time and I will look into my heart of hearts and I will say is that still meaningful to me? The bottom three or four things, I will fulfill my obligations but I will gracefully bow out of continuing it," he said. "That way, I can keep doing new things without taking on additional obligations on top of what I’m already doing."

To help members find ways to strike the right balance in their own lives, Fogg said he will work with the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program—COLAP—to develop a more detailed work–life balance program for legal professionals.

Paying It Forward

Growing up in Detroit and being raised Catholic, Fogg found himself surrounded by a number of Jesuits—a service-oriented, "thoughtful" segment of the church’s leadership. "Their credo is always, what more can I do?" Fogg said.

This, coupled with the values that his parents, Mildred and Ed, instilled in him, led Fogg to a career where he would have an opportunity to help people on a daily basis. In many ways, Fogg’s father inspired him to seek a career in law. Though his father was the son of a Polish immigrant and never finished high school, he had the "gift of gab." Fogg is very much "his father’s son," according to his sister Cheryl Rosinski. They share a strong work ethic, a love of family, and a strong faith. Most important, she said, they both can talk to anybody.

"My dad was a ‘people person’—extroverted, friendly, always having a story or joke to tell; he genuinely enjoyed being with people," Rosinski said. "Mark is very much the same way."

"My dad could have been a lawyer," Fogg said. "My dad was really good on his feet and really smart. He was kind of the classic guy who, if he had gotten an education, he really could have done other things in his life—and he recognized that."

Fogg attended Michigan State University’s James Madison College, where he studied justice, morality, and constitutional democracy. It was a degree that would lay a solid foundation for the philosophical issues of the law.

Fogg "liked the idea of living in the West," and enrolled at CU Law School after finishing his undergraduate studies. He interned at the Denver DA’s Office, which became his first employer out of law school.

Brooke Wunnicke recalled meeting Fogg when she was Chief Appellate Deputy at the DA’s Office: "I soon knew that I wanted him as an intern—a Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate, doing very well in law school, and a sparkle in his eye that revealed a talented and lively young man."

When he joined the office, it was staffed by a venerable group of legal legends:

> Norm Early, who was called "the preacher" and who taught Fogg "how to be a trial lawyer"

> O. Otto Moore, a former Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, who was a member of the DA’s office in the 1920s and took on the Ku Klux Klan, which at the time had influenced many political offices in Denver

> Dick Spriggs, who had served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and taught Fogg how to investigate complex cases

> Denver DA Dale Tooley, one of the best administrators Fogg has ever met

> Brooke Wunnicke, who had tried cases in Wyoming before women were even allowed to sit on juries.

"I can’t tell you how lucky I was to have taken that job. It was a total game-changer in my life, because I was suddenly surrounded by legendary, honorable, great lawyers," Fogg said. "I wish every lawyer could have that experience."

Fogg said Wunnicke in particular had a big impact on his life as a mentor. Wunnicke refers to Fogg as one of her children, and said she didn’t have to teach him about high moral values; all she had to do was show how those mattered to the profession.

"I tried to prepare Mark for the many ugly realities of practicing law, emphasizing that nothing should ever impair or diminish his ethical legal service," she said. "After sixty-five years, I still love the law and wanted Mark to feel that same love and adherence to the most noble precepts of our legal profession. I believe that Mark’s career proves his adherence to these teachings."

 
Mark Fogg, 2002 Catholic Lawyers Guild President, at the Guild’s Annual Dinner with Donna Deslauriers, 2003 Guild President, and Father Stephen Planning. Fogg received the St. Thomas More Award, which is given to individuals who exemplify the intellect, integrity, and moral courage of St. Thomas More in service to God, family, and profession.   Mark Fogg with mentor Brooke Wunnicke.

In that regard, Fogg has taken time throughout his career—in public practice and later in private practice as a medical malpractice litigator at Kennedy & Childs—to provide support to new attorneys.

"He brought them under his wing. He gave them meaningful responsibility," said Denver District Judge Edward Bronfin, who worked with Fogg at Kennedy Childs. "Mark paid it forward, always. I think he has a talent for teaching and mentoring lawyers that is exceptional."

Richard Murray started as an associate under Fogg at Kennedy Childs and says Fogg taught him the "dos and don’ts of being a young lawyer." Murray added that Fogg reminded him to cherish the position they are in as attorneys, saying that it’s a rare position in which they put the interest of another (the client) above their own, in hopes the result makes a positive change in that person’s life.

Fogg continuously has taken on leadership roles, but he also has been involved with furthering the profession at a grassroots level.

"A classic pattern for Mark is just to take on more and more and more—and do it very successfully, even though none of it is for him," said Denver Public Schools General Counsel John Kechriotis. Kechriotis worked with Fogg on the DBA’s Guest Teacher Initiative during Fogg’s term as DBA President.

It’s unanimous among people who know and work with Fogg that that level of selflessness is something that is just a part of who he is.

"His humanity and his big-heartedness starts with his family and continues with his law firm family, and extends to other lawyers," Bronfin said. "It’s not often that you see somebody who is that uniformly giving of himself and that generous."

The Value of Family

 
  Mark and Pat Fogg on their honeymoon
in New Zealand in 1985.

Fogg met Pat in Denver at a party in 1979 when he was in his third year of law school. Pat, a speech pathologist, had just moved to Denver for a job. Pat recalled that Fogg’s wonderful sense of humor and his ability to express himself were part of what drew her to him. They married in October 1984, and have three kids: Jim; Becca (age 23); and Mike (age 18), whom they adopted from the Philippines in 1995.

The Foggs are seeing their children forge their own paths. Jim has finished his first year of law school and is working at Reilly Pozner for the summer. Becca has just started nursing school at CU. Mike also will be attending CU in the fall; he plans to study film.

One of Fogg’s proudest moments was seeing his youngest son, Mike, create a work of art in front of a live audience during the talent segment of a high school pageant. Mike painted with glue and threw glitter on the canvas; once the glitter hit, it revealed a portrait of Bob Marley. "Mike looked like Van Gogh," Fogg recalled. Mike said he became interested in art when his family took a trip to Italy when he was 9.

Becca said her parents have taught them the importance of helping others and being a professional. This is apparent in their career choices.

Mike hopes he can work on documentaries and may use that as a way to return to the Philippines. "Someday, I hope to go back and live there for a year, or do a mission, or shoot a movie there," Mike said. He said he hopes that being a documentarian would be a way to give back and to raise awareness of global issues.

As a trial attorney, there were times when Fogg’s work life was hectic, but he always spent as much time with his kids as he could. Saturdays were slated for a day of fun, and every year, he and one child would go on a trip together. It was always just the two of them, and the kids called them their "dad and me" trips. With each, it was something different—Jim picked national parks, Becca chose long drives, and Mike liked to go to big cities and away sporting events.

"Those are some of my best memories with my dad," Becca said.

Pat says Mark’s favorite thing to do is get together with family or friends for dinner. They are close with their children, and make sure they stay that way. "At least once every two weeks we just pick a date and say let’s get together," Pat said.

 
The Foggs—Mark, Pat, Mike, Jim, and Becca—in downtown Denver, circa 2008, at one of their Sunday night dinner outings.   On the Transvaal in South Africa. Left to right: Pat, Becca, Jim, Mike, Mark, Jim’s girlfriend Becca, and Mark’s niece Lauren.

Being a great father is one of Fogg’s most notable accomplishments, according to longtime friend Dan Killebrew. "[His children] bring him a lot of happiness," Killebrew said. "He’s very proud of them."

Fogg agrees. "You always want to do the big things in life well. I consider the big things in life to be: make your marriage as good as you can make it—and certainly I understand that isn’t always possible; take care of your kids; and take care of your parents," he said. "If you can say, you know, I really did those things well, I think that’s 75 percent of a successful life."

In 1994, this was all put into perspective when Fogg was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He received radiation as a result, and in 2001, he found out that the treatment had caused a sarcoma tumor in his stomach.

"That was a life-changer," Fogg said.

At the time, Fogg was given less than a 20% chance of survival, but he’s been in remission for more than ten years. He recalls that, at the time, he prayed for ten years more, but now says he is "seriously renegotiating."

Life in a Stream

Beyond his family and lawyering, one of Fogg’s biggest passions is fly fishing.

"A guy in the DA’s Office handed me a rod and said, ‘You ought to try this.’ That was 1978," he said. Since that first cast, he’s been hooked.

"I love the ecology of a stream," Fogg said. "I love the movement of water and the flow, and [I love] reading a stream."

Fly fishing is a hobby that has brought him closer to many of his colleagues, but more important, it is a bonding point for Fogg and his son Jim. Fogg admits Jim "didn’t have a chance" when it came to taking up fly fishing. Over the years, they have fished around the country together, with Fogg’s favorite trip being those where they are in the backcountry of Alaska, floating down the river.

"It was the only thing he pushed on me, but he pushed it pretty hard," Jim said. "I am totally grateful he did it, because it’s been the thing that keeps us together in terms of being able to just call one another up. . . . It’s almost been a microcosm for the way our relationship has changed as I got older."

 
Mark and son Jim Fogg, during a weeklong float trip, hold up trout they have caught on a remote stream in Bristol Bay, in the southwest region of Alaska.   Mark Fogg and DBA President Jim Benjamin—both avid flyfishermen—in the water at Carson Nature Center in Littleton.

There has been an element of service with Fogg’s love of fly fishing, too. He volunteers with Project Healing Waters, an organization that assists in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly-fishing and fly-tying education and outings. Fogg was in the last draft of the Vietnam War; however, the war was scaled back before his draft was called up and he did not have to serve.

"The sacrifice made by those who served was just tremendous, and I didn’t have to make that sacrifice," he said. "Healing Waters is two great things I love together."

Looking Forward

 
2012-13 CBA President
Mark A. Fogg.
 

Fogg has been with COPIC Insurance as general counsel since September 2011, and he plans to practice as an attorney until he’s 70. He and Pat hope to do a mission together.

"I love being a lawyer but I just would like to do something more concretely for other human beings in some way before I croak," he said.

Pat says that they would like to find an opportunity that would combine their love of Jesuits with the Philippines. They have been to the Philippines twice; first when they adopted Mike and again when their children were older. "I thought it was just an amazing experience for all of us," she said. They certainly would like to go back. For now, though, their mission plans are still in "the thought stage," Pat said.

Service is something Fogg always has and always will be drawn to. "A long time ago, I intuitively understood that there was never enough money, power, or accolades to be satisfied—because you always want more, and those things are self-limiting," he said. "Service to others is limitless and has its own reward. It is a transactional universe."

Fogg has other "bucket list" items in mind, such as prosecuting war crimes at the Hague and getting better at horseback riding. For now, though, his focus is on the coming year with the CBA. His friends and colleagues are looking forward to the coming year, as well.

Longtime Kennedy Childs partner Barbara Glogiewicz said that part of Fogg’s personality is just to "throw himself in whole-hog" to the cause he’s working on. Others agreed that those qualities that make him a successful attorney—his drive, his attention to detail, and his tireless pursuit of a purposeful goal—will serve him well in his term as CBA President.

"He’s a very ethical, competent lawyer. He is a lawyer’s lawyer," said Eighteenth Judicial District Judge Richard Caschette, who worked with Fogg in public and private practice. "We’re very privileged to have people like him in our practice."

Note

1. See Fogg, "Teaching Professionalism: The Council’s Vignette Program," 39 The Colorado Lawyer 73 (Jan. 2010), available at www.cobar.org/tcl/tcl_articles.cfm?articleid=6368.

© 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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