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TCL > June 2013 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

June 2013       Vol. 42, No. 6       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 CBA legal editor Susie Klein at

First Judicial District Bar Association
Memorializes Attorney Claudia Miller

Attendees at Claudia Miller’s memorial service were reminded of her love of life and family. She is pictured here with her grandson at a Colorado Rockies game.  

The First Judicial District Bar Association (1st J.D.) held a memorial service on April 19 for Claudia Miller, who was killed in her Lakewood office in March. More than 100 people, including many of Miller’s former clients, attended the memorial service. Among those who shared their memories of Miller were 1st J.D. District Court Judge Stephen Munsinger; attorney Joe Pickard; Barbara Ezyk, director of the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program; and attorney Christina Patierno.

Miller was a family law attorney whose practice focused on domestic relations, juvenile law, adoptions, and estate planning. She was an active member of the CBA Family Law Section and the 1st J.D. According to one of her colleagues who spoke during the service, "Claudia was a professional. She had an openness to hear the other side and was never too busy or preoccupied to give of her time to maintain friendships. Her smile and her warm personality warmed up the chilliest of rooms."

Friends, colleagues, and clients gathered in the atrium of the Jefferson County Courthouse to pay tribute to Miller.

Boulder County Legal Services
Annual Pro Bono Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Boulder County Legal Services (BCLS) held its Annual Pro Bono Luncheon on April 29 at the Boulder Marriott. The event honored local attorneys, mediators, and paralegals who volunteered 6,632 hours in 2012 to provide legal services to low-income residents of Boulder County. The pro bono awards were presented by Colorado Supreme Court Justices Gregory J. Hobbs and Monica M. Márquez; Court of Appeals Judge Gale Miller; David Stark, chair of the committee for pro bono on the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession; and judges and magistrates of the 20th J.D. CLS Executive Director Jonathan Asher made opening remarks, and Chief Judge Roxanne Bailin was the keynote speaker.

During the event, Boulder attorney Helen Stone was presented the John Marshall Award for her dedication to providing legal services to the poor. Boulder County Bar Association (BCBA) President Keith Collins presented the award, which is given annually in honor of John Robert Marshall, a local attorney who tirelessly advocated for the poor. Stone, who also celebrated her fortieth year as an attorney, has been a friend of BCLS and a model of the ethic of pro bono service since 1973. She was the first woman president of the BCBA and has served on the CLS Board of Directors for more than thirty years.

In addition, the law students of the University of Colorado (CU) Legal Aid and Defender Program and the CU Juvenile Law Clinic were recognized for their outstanding pro bono service. The students—under the direction of Professors Norman Aaronson, Deborah Cantrell, and Colene Flynn Robinson—contributed a combined total of 1,562 pro bono hours serving clients of BCLS with family law cases during 2012.

Tom Rodriguez of Vincent, Romeo & Rodriguez receives a Supreme Court recognition award. Left to right: Judge Gale Miller, Justice Monica Márquez, avid Stark, Tom Rodriguez, and Justice Gregory Hobbs.   Helen Stone, recipient of the 2013 John Marshall Award for outstanding pro bono service, is congratulated by BCBA President Keith Collins.
Magistrate Kristina Hansson (left) presents the pro bono award for 400 hours and above to Brandy Rothman.   Among the 150 in attendance were fifteen judges and magistrates of the 20th J.D.
Evan Branigan receives the 100% Firm Participation Award.   Justice Gregory Hobbs addresses attendees of the 2013 BCLS Pro Bono Awards Luncheon.
Left to right: Judge D.D. Mallard presents the award for pro bono participation by the CU Legal Aid and Defender Program to CU Professor Deborah Cantrell, Mark Aldrich, Diane Byrne, Allison Wegrzyn, Christiana McCormick, and Sara Clark.

Michael Jones Becomes ACTL Fellow


Michael W. Jones recently was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). The induction ceremony took place before an audience of approximately 615 people during the organization’s 2013 Spring Meeting in Naples, Florida.

Fellowship to the ACTL is extended by invitation only and after careful investigation of those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy, and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years’ trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Jones is a member in the firm of Hall & Evans, L.L.C. and has been practicing in Denver for thirty-seven years. He is an alumnus of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Senator Michael Bennet a "PAL" of Morey Middle School

On April 3, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet was quizzed by a panel of nine Morey Middle Schoolers on the fine points of government, the U.S. Constitution, and issues facing the United States and Colorado. The presentation was arranged with the help of the Partner Alliance of Lawyers and Schools (PALS)—a program sponsored by the Denver Bar Association (DBA) Lawyers and Schools Committee (formerly known as the Democracy and Education Committee). PALS works to provide meaningful, in-class volunteer opportunities for attorneys, judges, and legal professionals who want to give back to their communities through active participation in Denver’s schools.

The Senator and former Denver Public Schools (DPS) Superintendent was introduced by Erich Bethke, co-chair of the Lawyers and Schools Committee. With the help of their teachers and DBA volunteer attorneys, the students formulated their own questions, which covered a broad range of topics, including same-sex marriage, immigration, marijuana legalization, privacy rights, gun control, and national security. Many of the questions were asked in the context of specific amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Bennet seemed notably impressed when asked his thoughts on the Fourth Amendment and student privacy at school, in light of recent shootings.

Bennet emphasized that today’s issues are complex, and are rarely ever black and white. Potential laws often need to be examined in the context of multiple amendments, which can expose "values that are in tension with each other." As a representative of the people, it is his job to resolve those tensions. He stressed that the decisions made in government today are most important to the younger generations, and it is their duty to become informed, develop their own opinions, and join the discussion.

For the past two years, PALS has worked to establish a continuing partnership between DPS and DBA volunteer attorneys. This program provides a consistent volunteer base for teachers throughout the school year to help with anything from leading a discussion on civics to lending a hand during a reading or study hour. For more information on PALS and other similar programs, visit If you are interested in joining the DBA Lawyers and Schools Committee, contact Meghan Bush at or (303) 824-5303.

Senator Michael Bennet fields questions from a panel of DPS middle school students.

Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Highlights

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA) Membership Committee hosted a complimentary CLE program for members at the Westin Downtown Denver on April 11. The three-hour program featured presentations by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who discussed the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and 2nd J.D. District Court Judges Ann Frick and Michael Martinez, who addressed the "good, the bad, and the ugly" of the Civil Access Pilot Project. The program was followed by a cocktail hour that provided attendees the opportunity to network and talk about the CDLA’s revamped listserv.

Kristin A. Caruso is CDLA’s 2014 Conference Chair and an officer of the association. She recently received a letter from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia accepting her invitation to speak at the CDLA’s 2014 Annual Conference, scheduled for July 2014 in Telluride. In addition to Justice Scalia, the 2014 conference will include presentations from other renowned and dynamic speakers.

The CDLA’s 2013 Annual Conference will take place from August 1–4 in Beaver Creek. For more information about upcoming CDLA events and programs, visit the CDLA website at

Greg Densen Joins Colleague as ACTEC Fellow

Greg Densen.  
  Doug Cain.

Sherman & Howard attorney Gregory T. Densen has been elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He joins Sherman & Howard attorney Douglas M. Cain as two of only fifty-eight Colorado attorneys who have received this distinction.

Densen counsels families on all aspects of estate and family wealth planning, including sophisticated wealth transfer strategies and integration of those strategies with personal, business, and tax goals. He is a member of the Denver Estate Planning Council and Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Council. He also serves as an Executive Council Member of the CBA Trust and Estate Section. He obtained his JD and MBA from the University of Iowa and earned his BA from Washington University.

Doug Cain is an established ACTEC Fellow; he was elected in 1990. He is a member of Sherman & Howard’s Tax and Probate Department, focusing on legal and tax problems that arise in estate and succession planning. He is a member of the American College of Tax Counsel; a member of the American Bar Association, where he serves on the Estate and Gift Tax Committee, Section of Taxation; and a former Chair of the Committee on Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section. He received his BA from Harvard College and his law degree from the University of Michigan.

ACTEC is a prestigious association of highly credentialed trust and estate lawyers peer-elected to membership. Candidates for election as an ACTEC Fellow must meet rigorous eligibility criteria including, but not limited to, demonstrated skill and significant contributions to the field of trust and estate law and no fewer than ten years’ experience in the active practice of probate and trust law or estate planning.

Wee Give Children’s Charity Drive

The Young Lawyers Divisions of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations partnered for the 2013 Wee Give Charity Drive benefiting Wee Cycle. The drive, which took place from February through March, began with a kickoff party at Katie Mullens Irish Pub. It amassed approximately $400 in cash and five truckloads of baby items, including children’s clothes, strollers, cribs, and car seats. Way to go YLDers!

WeeCycle’s mission is to help low-income families with infants and toddlers in the Denver area by giving them new and gently used baby gear free of charge. To learn more about the Denver-based nonprofit organization, visit www.weecycle.

YLD members Austin Smith (left) and Chris Achatz were among Wee Give volunteers.

Dinner Raises Funds for Abused and Neglected Childen

The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal advocacy for abused and neglected children, raised almost $200,000 at its "Be a Superhero" annual dinner on April 19 at the Westin Denver Downtown. The event was sold out, with 400 people attending. Channel 4 weathercaster Ed Greene was the emcee and former state representative Debbi Stafford was the auctioneer. "Superhero" sponsors included Charles Cannon, Colleen Abdoulah Family Fund of the Denver Foundation, Gates Corporation, Noble Energy, and Santella Productions.

Justice Hobbs Presents on Colorado Water Law

On April 12, the Fremont Custer Bar Association held a meeting in Cañon City featuring Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs. Approximately thirty attorneys, city council members, and city employees attended the event to hear Hobbs present on the history of water in Colorado. The meeting was part of the association’s effort to provide educational activities for its member attorneys.

Hobbs is vice president of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, a non-advocacy and non-political organization created by the General Assembly to provide Colorado citizens information about water. Before being appointed to the Court in 1996, he practiced water and environmental law for twenty-three years. He was joined in Cañon City by his wife, Bobbie, and his granddaughter, Ella.

Justice Greg Hobbs talks about his passion—water law and the history of Colorado.   Attendees enjoy lunch at DiRitos Italian Restaurant in Cañon City.

Updates From Mesa County

Mesa County District Court Judge Craig Henderson spoke to members of the Mesa County Bar Association (MCBA) at the association’s April 22 meeting. Judge Henderson addressed the new EBDM (evidence-based decision making) initiative, which deals with pretrial issues such as the bond-setting and bond conditions.

The MCBA formally admitted three new members in March. Brandon Luna of Luna Law in Hotchkiss, and Jessica Hoyt and Alexa Williams of the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office are the newest members of the organization.

MCBA President Lloyd Quesenberry (left) and Judge Craig Henderson at the April meeting.

¡Hablamos Español!

Approximately sixty people attended the CBA Spanish-Speaking Lawyers Committee’s recent Hora Social at Buenos Aires Pizzeria on April 18. Everyone had fun practicing their Spanish-language skills in a public setting, including ordering food (la comida) and wine or beer (vino o cerveza) in Spanish. The Committee’s next happy hour event will be held in June. Contact Roberto Ramirez at to learn more about this event, or for more information about the CBA Spanish-Speaking Lawyers Committee and the many ways you can be involved with the Spanish-speaking community in Colorado.

Theatrical CLE Program Examines Race and Recidivism

On April 11, the CBA Young Lawyers Division and the Sisters in Law of the Sam Cary Bar Association co-hosted a program combining culture and CLE at the Curious Theatre Company in Denver. The event began with an hour-long discussion on issues of race and recidivism, led by a distinguished panel that included 17th J.D. District Court Judge Patrick Murphy and John Riley of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. The program was moderated by University of Colorado Law Professor Ann England. A cocktail hour followed, and then participants watched a performance of The Brothers Size, a play penned by African American writer Tarrell Alvin McCraney.

Left to right: Ann England, Skeet Johnson, Judge Patrick Murphy, John Riley, and Jaci Casey take the stage to explore race and recidivism.

Attorneys Plant Trees in Areas Ravaged by Wildfires

On April 27, attorneys from the Southwest Colorado Bar Association spent the day planting seedlings on private property in Weber Canyon, where a month-long fire swept across 10,133 acres last summer. The Weber Canyon tree planting was one of five sponsored by the CBA during April and May. The other projects took place in Boulder (Four Mile Canyon Fire), Fort Collins (High Park Fire), Colorado Springs (Waldo Canyon Fire), and Jefferson County (Hayman Fire).

The 2013 projects were modeled on successful tree-planting projects conducted in the Four Mile fire area in Boulder County in 2011 and 2012. They are part of the American Bar Association’s One Million Trees Project, which was created in 2099 to plant one million trees throughout the nation by 2014. For more information, visit

Attorneys Honored With Prestigious Writing Award


Shareholder Philip Gordon of Denver and Associate Lauren Woon of San Diego, attorneys from Littler Mendelson, P.C., have earned the Burton Foundation’s coveted Distinguished Legal Writing Award. The Burton Award, bestowed by the Burton Foundation in association with the Library of Congress, honors the finest law firm writers. This year, thirty winners were selected from the nominations submitted by the nation’s 1,000 most prestigious and largest law firms. In addition, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was awarded the Burton Foundation’s "Contemporary Book of the Year in Law Award."

Gordon and Woon were honored for their 2012 article "Re-thinking and Rejecting Social Media ‘Password Protection’ Legislation" (posted by Privacy and Data Protection Practice Group at
password-protection-legislation). This year’s winners will be recognized at the 14th Annual Burton Awards event at the Library of Congress on June 3, 2013.

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