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TCL > August 2014 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

August 2014       Vol. 43, No. 8       Page  7
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 CBA, 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

CBA Bids Adieu to Michael Valdez

On June 25, the CBA hosted a farewell reception to celebrate the service of staff member Michael Valdez, who has served as Director of Legislative Relations for the CBA for more than twenty-two years. He is assuming a new role as Deputy Director of the Special Districts Association of Colorado (, a statewide membership organization that serves the interests of the special district form of local government in Colorado.

During the reception, several colleagues praised Valdez for his fine work representing the CBA at the legislature. CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner; CBA Immediate Past President Terry Ruckriegle; and Anthony van Westrum, a longtime member of the CBA Legislative Policy Committee, commented that Valdez has been a model ambassador for the CBA at the State Capitol. They thanked him for his attention to bills before the legislature that had prospective impact on the legal profession, and for his tremendous skill in working with the members.

Left to right: Anthony van Westrum, Michael Valdez, Chuck Turner,
and Terry Ruckriegle.

Contemplating the Future of the Bar Association

Are we relevant? That’s the question incoming CBA President Charley Garcia asked at a long-range planning session of the CBA on June 23. Elizabeth Derrico from the American Bar Association was on hand to help facilitate the discussion among participants on the future of the practice of law and the bar association.

Attendees were challenged to think about issues faced by all segments of the bar, and were asked to discuss possible solutions to existing problems. In the upcoming months, as he travels to local bars around the state, Garcia will speak to members about matters covered in the planning session and will present what the CBA has in mind for moving forward as it adapts to the changing legal world and bar association membership. Read Garcia’s inaugural President’s Message starting on page 5 to learn about other thoughts he has as he begins his one-year term in office.

Elizabeth Derrico leads a discussion on the future of the bar association
during a strategic planning session at the CBA offices.

DBA Members Compete in Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament

On June 2, sixty-four members of the Denver Bar Association (DBA) gathered at Inverness Golf Club in Englewood to compete in the annual Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament. The golfers were treated to lunch before the afternoon shotgun, followed by an awards ceremony after play.

The following teams earned top scores in their respective divisions: Challenge Low Gross with a score of 63—Joe Dischinger, Dan Mong, Ryan Mutschelknaus, and Milo Twiford; Challenge Low Net with a score of 63—Kato Crews, Rick Foster, and Emily Gregory; and Champions Low Gross with a score of 158—Frank Hamilton, Todd Jansen, John Lumley, and Marty Martineau.

On the individual side, the Champions Men Low Gross winner with a score of 74 was Tim Kratz—his fifth victory. CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner picked up a closest to the pin win, along with Tim Kratz, Dan Mong, and Jon Waldman.

Left to right: Challenge Low Gross winners Ryan Mutschelknaus, Milo Twiford, Dan Mong, and Joe Dischinger.   Left to right: Edgar Neel, Farrell Sher, Mike Curry, and the Individual Champion, Tim Kratz.
Left to right: Champions Low Gross winners John Lumley, Todd Jansen, Frank Hamilton, and Marty Martineau.   Left to right: Challenge Low Net winners Rick Foster, Kato Crews, and Emily Gregory.
Putting on the greens at the Inverness Golf Club.

DBA Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception

The DBA Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception was held the evening of June 26 at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center. More than 200 DBA members, family, and friends joined in celebrating the following 2014 recipients of the DBA awards:

  • Award of Merit—Richard L. Gabriel, Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Judicial Excellence—Dennis A. Graham, Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Young Lawyer of the Year—Margrit Parker, Childs McCune
  • Volunteer of the Year—Ilene Lin Bloom, Ilene Lin Bloom PC
  • Education in the Legal System—Craig Dehning from Skinner Middle School and Theresa Storto from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
  • Outstanding Program—Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, Denver Clinics.
DBA Award recipients, left to right: Margrit Parker, Judge Richard Gabriel, Craig Dehning, Judge Dennis Graham, and Ilene Bloom (Theresa Storto is not pictured).   Left to right: Cherry Hills Mayor Doug Tisdale, Judge Larry Bohning, Chief Justice Nancy Rice, and Elsa Martínez Tenreiro.
Left to right: Beth Faragher, Barb Ezyk, and Chuck Turner.   Mo Weiland and Kevin McReynolds.
Left to right: Janet Drake, Gina Weitzenkorn, Theresa Spahn, and Nancy Crow.   Floyd and April Jones.

Lawyers Plant Trees to Help
Restore Forests and Watersheds in Colorado

This spring, lawyers around the Front Range and their families participated in three tree-planting events to help restore areas devastated by recent wildfires and floods. The first tree-planting event occurred on April 5, when more than thirty lawyers from Boulder, Larimer, and Denver County and their families planted approximately 200 trees at the Bellevue-Watson Fish Hatchery, which stocks Colorado public water bodies with fish. Located northwest of Fort Collins in Bellevue, the hatchery was affected by the 2012 High Park fire and the subsequent September 2013 flooding. The hatchery is managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and is an important resource for anglers and naturalists, raising more than 300,000 fish each year. The saplings and older trees planted by the volunteers will reduce erosion and will act as an important wind break for the hatchery.

On May 3, twenty-five CBA members and their families planted trees in the beautiful Pike National Forest. Just south of Deckers is Trail Creek, one of the tributaries of the South Platte River and a source of Denver’s drinking water. The area was devastated by the Hayman fire, which burned 138,000 acres in June 2002. Since then, floodwaters have carried tons of sediment from the burned areas into streams, which lead to damaged roads, decimated fish populations, and clogged reservoirs. Volunteers worked with members of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte to re-vegetate the slopes and the riverbanks, which will prevent additional erosion and will reforest the watershed. Volunteers planted 250 ponderosa pine saplings and 350 willow stakes.

Finally, on May 17, more than seventy volunteers from the El Paso County Bar Association—including lawyers, judicial officers, and other community members and their families—planted 1,000 seedlings on Pyramid Mountain in the Waldo Canyon burn area above Cascade. Working in conjunction with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, volunteers planted Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees to help restore a mountainside that had been scorched in 2012.

These projects are part of a larger effort by the CBA’s Environmental Law Section, the Boulder County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, and the El Paso County Bar Association to help restore forests and watersheds. If you are interested in learning more about future tree-planting events, contact Gabriella Stockmayer at or Ann Rhodes at

Volunteers for the Bellevue-Watson Fish Hatchery project.
Volunteers who worked on areas devastated by the Hayman fire.

Sinton Dairy contributed plastic jugs, which volunteers filled with a polymer
that retains water. The polymer is added around the roots of the seedlings
to improve their survival rate.


Hiking up a scorched mountainside.
Planting trees on Pyramid Mountain.
Applying mulch at the hatchery.

Immigrant Liberty Awards Honor
Achievements of Individuals and Firms

The Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) honored three exceptional community leaders and one outstanding law firm at the ninth annual Immigrant Liberty Awards on May 30. More than 300 lawyers, community members, and supporters attended the event, which was held at Denver’s Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Colorado State Representative Crisanta Duran served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening celebration. The honorees included:

  • Gerardo Noriega, who was born in Mexico and currently serves as a community organizer with Rights for All People in Aurora.
  • Alejandra Cardona Lamas, who was born in Mexico and is a survivor of the Aurora theater shooting, as well as a stand-out student at Colorado State University.
  • Jorge Loweree, senior counsel with the Office of Congressman Jared Polis, who has been instrumental in advancing immigrant rights on a local and state level.
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, recipient of the sixth annual Pro Bono Service Award for its work in providing more than twenty attorneys, paralegals, and staff members to help undocumented children and young adults achieve deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The event is a fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN), a nonprofit organization that provides legal and social services to low-income adults in immigration proceedings and to abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant children throughout Colorado. RMIAN has been serving Colorado’s immigrant community since 2000 and works to promote knowledge of legal rights, provide effective representation to ensure due process, improve immigration detention conditions, and promote a more humane immigration system.

RMIAN founder and UCLA Law Professor Hiroshi Motomura addresses the crowd.   AILA Colorado Chapter Chair David Kolko welcomes attendees to the event.   Honoree Gerardo Noriega accepts his Immigrant Liberty Award.
Honoree Jorge Loweree accepts his award as Rep. Crisanta Duran looks on.   Pro Bono Partner Lauren Schmidt accepts the Pro Bono Service Award on behalf of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck volunteer attorneys and staff members
with the firm’s
Pro Bono Service Award

Workers’ Comp Section Recognizes
John Sbarbaro for Outstanding Achievement

The CBA Workers’ Compensation Section held its Annual Dinner on June 12 at Maggiano’s in Denver. The dinner included the presentation of the Lance Butler Award to section member John Sbarbaro. The award is given to an attorney for outstanding service, dedication, and commitment to the field of Colorado workers’ compensation law and for contributions to the workers’ comp system. The recipient is nominated by the CBA Workers’ Compensation Executive Council. Among the speakers at the dinner were Tom Kanan, Michael Kaplan, and Neil O’Toole.

Wheels of Justice Kicks Off Ninth Year in Courage Classic

The Wheels of Justice Cycling Team hosted its kick-off event on June 5 at The Denver Post building. The team, which is sponsored by the CBA and DBA, gathered to celebrate the start of training and fundraising for the Courage Classic, a three-day, 157-mile cycling tour through the Rockies benefiting Children’s Hospital Colorado. In the past eight years, the Wheels of Justice has raised just under $2 million for Children’s Hospital Colorado, directing its funds to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD).

More than seventy people attended the kick-off party. Speakers included team captain Heather Leja, as well as Dr. Tom Smith and his former CCBD patient Michaela Hennig, who shared her story. Michaela was 3 years old when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma on her leg and underwent more than a year of aggressive chemo, radiation, and surgery. Today, Michaela is an active 26-year-old who is getting ready to climb her first "fourteener." She said she’s grateful not only for the terrific medical care but also for the way the CCBD allowed her to "just be a kid" through all of the challenges.

Former CCBD patient Michaela Hennig and Dr. Tom Smith at the
Wheels of Justice kickoff party for the Courage Classic.

Law Club Marks 100 Years With Gala

Bill Keating is Eddie "The Chihuahua" Barker, Nut Valley, California’s best-known PI personality.  
The Law Club of Denver celebrated the 100th anniversary of its formation with a gala reunion the weekend of April 26 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. More than 120 members and friends of the Law Club enjoyed a retrospective of classic Law Club songs and skits, spanning from the first original musical performed in 1949 through the most recent Ethics Revue performed just last year. Anyone interested in becoming part of the Club’s next century of legal shenanigans is invited to attend one of the Law Club’s monthly luncheons, held the last Friday of most months. The next Law Club Ethics Revue will be held this November; CLE credit is available. For more information, visit
Jim Bunch recalls, in song, "Ole Judge Winner." Left to right: Juanita Rice, Anne Moorhead, and Shellie Ruston Munn contemplate "Guided Meditation."

The Law Club’s ever-loyal and appreciative audience.   Law Club President Trevor Updegraff sings his farewell address.

Happy Hour Benefits Women’s Wilderness Institute

The Boulder County Bar Association (BCBA) Young Lawyers Section recently teamed up with Bolder Young Professionals for a social (and socially responsible) happy hour at Boulder’s new brewery, Sanitas Brewery. More than 100 attorneys and other young professionals attended the event, which benefited the Women’s Wilderness Institute. The nonprofit organization offers various outdoor adventures for girls and women, ages 8 and up, including backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and fly fishing. The experiences are designed to strengthen girls and women physically, as well as to develop their confidence, courage, and leadership skills. The Institute also offers scholarships for girls in financial need, and the donations from the BCBA event went directly to the scholarship fund. For more information on Women’s Wilderness Institute, including volunteer and adventure opportunities, visit

Boulder County Bar Association Annual Meeting and Reception

On May 29, the BCBA hosted its annual meeting and reception at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. The event featured the presentation of the Ron Porter Award of Merit to BCBA Past President Sonny Flowers. The award is the highest honor given to a member of the BCBA, and is presented in recognition of substantial dedication to the legal process. Also recognized for their contributions were Josh Anderson, who received the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award, and BCBA Immediate Past President Keith Collins. The attending BCBA members also approved the new board members, Jennifer Lorenz, Brad Hall and Mimi Goodman, as well as Abigail Smith as secretary/treasurer. Smith will be BCBA president for the 2016–17 term.  
  Sonny Flowers (right), recipient of the 2014 Ron Porter Award of Merit, with Chuck Sisk.
Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Josh Anderson and Brandy Rothman.   Left to right: Jim Christoph, Gary Palumbo, and Greg Martin.
Left to right: Alan Friedberg, Pam Flowers, Christine Fiflis, and Professor Ted Fiflis.   Immediate Past BCBA President Keith Collins (left) and current President Judson Hite.
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