Bar News

News From the CBA, Local Bars, and More: August 2016

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 high-resolution photos (with captions identifying the subjects) to CBA Communications Specialist Jessica A. Volz at jvolz@cobar.org.


Colorado Supreme Court Bar Admission Ceremony

On the afternoon of May 31, the 227 individuals who successfully passed the February 2016 Bar Exam were recognized and sworn in during a ceremony at Boettcher Concert Hall. The event featured welcoming remarks from Chief Justice Nancy Rice, Judge Philip Brimmer, and Loren Brown. Jean Dubofsky gave the keynote address, and Chief Justice Rice administered the Oath of Admission.


New lawyers in the making.

Chief Justice Nancy Rice administers the Oath of Admission.


Colorado Judicial Excellence Award Winners Announced

The Colorado Judicial Department recently honored five individuals and one team with Judicial Excellence Awards. The annual awards recognize employees for exemplary work that contributes to the high quality of service provided throughout the state’s 22 judicial districts.

The Judicial Officer of the Year Award went to the Hon. Carlos A. Samour Jr., chief judge of the 18th J.D., in part for his capable handling of one of the most highly publicized and notorious criminal cases in Colorado history. The Court Employee of the Year Award went to Problem Solving Court Coordinator Amanda Myers of the 18th J.D. Jeff Smith of the 18th J.D. Probation Department was honored as the Probation Employee of the Year. The State Court Administrator’s Office Employee of the Year Award was presented to Linda Reilly of the Division of Court Services. Ryan Mills, a supervisor in the 4th J.D. Probation Department, was named Manager for the Year. Lastly, the 18th J.D.’s Probation Department’s Motivational Interviewing Training Team received the Outstanding Team of the Year Award.


Chief Justice Nancy Rice, Problem Solving Court Coordinator for the18th J.D. Amanda Myers, Chief of Staff Mindy Masias, and Director of Human Resources Eric Brown.

18th J.D. Motivational Interviewing Training Team: Kym Kushel, Kelly McGaffick, Ann Welty, Farrah Pope, and Erin Cooley. Not pictured: Arturo Villa.

Chief Justice Nancy Rice, Chief of Staff Mindy Masias, 4th J.D. Probation Supervisor Ryan Mills, and Director of Human Resources Eric Brown.

Chief Justice Nancy Rice, Chief of Staff Mindy Masias, 4th J.D. Chief Judge Gil Martinez, and 18th J.D. Chief Judge Carlos A. Samour, Jr.

Retirement Party for John Baker

More than 70 people gathered on June 23 in the atrium of the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center to honor John Baker, who is retiring as director of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP). 


Baker, a stalwart of the Colorado legal community, served as CAMP’s first director when it was formed three years ago. He “dedicated himself fully” to the profession, said outgoing CBA President Loren Brown. “He is the model for what a lawyer should be, a citizen lawyer serving our community,” Brown told the crowd. 


Attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres while mingling with former and current leaders of the CBA and the courts, including many justices of the Colorado Supreme Court. Chief Justice Nancy Rice offered a common joke about Baker—that he is retiring “again.” Baker worked for 33 years as a trial attorney focused on product liability litigation. He retired from trial practice in 2010 to work as president and executive director of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. In February 2013, Baker was appointed by the Supreme Court Advisory Committee as CAMP’s first director. “John was exactly what the court wanted, and exactly what the branch needed,” said Chief Justice Rice. 


During his tenure, Baker grew the number of mentoring programs in the state from four to nearly 30. Ryann Peyton is Baker’s successor. She said working with him during the transition showed her that he is “the epitome of a mentor.” And Dave Stark, chair of the Advisory Committee, told those gathered that “John has the integrity. John has the leadership. John has the vision.” 


Baker, who was joined by his family, told the crowd of well-wishers that he has learned
not to take himself too seriously. He took his own advice to heart as he delivered his remarks in the form of a freestyle rap.

John Baker reflects on his career.

Assembled guests honor their friend, mentor, and colleague.


DBA Seniors Spring Banquet Honors 50-Year Members


The DBA’s annual Seniors Spring Banquet was held on June 8 at the University Club in Denver. Thirtytwo DBA members who were admitted to practice in 1966 made up the list of honorees. DBA President-Elect Nancy Cohen and DBA Past President Mary Jo Gross were among the presenters. This year, a number of young lawyers also interviewed and introduced the honorees.

CBA/DBA Executive Director Patrick Flaherty presents Hal Haddon with a commemorative
50-year medal.


DBA Seniors Committee Chair Hon. Leonard Plank gives the audience a refresher course

on the year 1966.







Honorees and young lawyers with DBA President Nancy Cohen and DBA Past President Mary Jo Gross.






Front row: Brian Dolan, David Erickson, Jon Nicholls, Robert Pitler, Peter Pryor, Richard Holme,
and Bill Robinson. Back row: Frederic Rodgers, Joseph Thibodeau, Hal Haddon, and J. Lawrence Hamil.






Legal Aid Foundation 2016 Associates Campaign Recognition Event


On May 18, a special event was held to honor the success of the Legal Aid Foundation’s 2016 Associates Campaign. A record number of 57 firms participated and were recognized during the celebration. Colorado Supreme Court Justice Hood presented awards in the following categories: Associate Per Capita Gift Winners, Non-Associate Total Winners, and 100% Associate Participation Firms. The associate-led effort raised more than $135,000 for legal aid and enlisted approximately 1,000 members of the legal community to support fairness for all in our justice system.

Legal Aid Foundation 2016 Associates Campaign Recognition Ceremony group photo.


Workers’ Compensation Section Annual Dinner and Lance Butler Award


Approximately 80 people attended the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section’s annual dinner at Maggiano’s on June 9. During the event, Michael Kaplan of Kaplan Morrell was presented the section’s Lance Butler Award, which honorsexcellence in the field of workers’ compensation law. Britton Morrell and Ronda McGovern spoke of Kaplan’s many laudable accomplishments.

Michael Kaplan accepts the Lance Butler Award.


Criminal Law Practice Area Preview

The CBA Criminal Law Section and the DBA Young Lawyers  Division joined forces for a unique networking event at Mockery Brewery on May 26. The Criminal Law Section Council and other members discussed the ins and outs of the practice area and explained how new attorneys can become more actively involved in the section.


Beth Ford, Veronica Reyes, and Hillary Keyes.


Tim Galuzzi, Josh Landry, and Bean Meade.


DBA YLD Rapids Outing

The DBA Young Lawyers Division organized a group outing to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 11 to watch the Colorado Rapids beat the Sporting KC. Approximately 40 attendees enjoyed the soccer match from their own VIP area in the stadium.

Good times at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.


CMSSM Court Mediation Services Holds Spring Fling Event

Each year, CMSSM Court Mediation Services hosts an annual party and awards ceremony in appreciation of the many program mediators, supporters, and stakeholders that have made its progress possible. This year, the organization opted for a “Spring Fling” event on June 2 in place of its traditional holiday party. The warm weather was conducive to summer fiesta vibes, and the turnout did not disappoint.

CMS Director of Operations and Communications Roger Allbrandt,
CMS Executive Director Lisa Hughes, and David Fletcher beat the
heat by getting into the beat.

Lisa Hughes moderates the presentation of appreciation awards to
outgoing CMS Program Chair Jeanne Busacca and former CMS
Director of Operations and Communications Maria Fenton.


CBA YLD Hosts Family Picnic for Lawyers

On June 21, the CBA Young Lawyers Division held its first “Lawyers with Littles” picnic at Washington Park. The event  attracted nearly 30 attendees, many of whom commented that they finally have an avenue for becoming engaged in the bar—something they can involve their families in. The warm weather lent itself to hours of playground entertainment, as well as a delectable barbecue.

A great turnout at the CBA YLD’s first family picnic.


CBA Announces New Civil Rights Section

For years, the CBA’s Civil Rights Committee has been an active participant in advising the CBA on legislation pertaining to suchconstitutional rights. In May, the CBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the Civil Rights Committee’s request to become the CBA’s newest section. 

Chaired by civil rights attorney Matt Cron, the section will carry on the committee’s past work of advising the CBA on pending legislation while also focusing on providing education to CBA members on this most important area of law. The Civil Rights Section has particular overlap with criminal law, labor and employment law, juvenile law, litigation, disability law, government counsel, and immigration law. 

During the legislative session, the Civil Rights Section meets weekly via telephone to discuss and potentially take positions on proposed legislation. The section also meets monthly to discuss broader aims. As with all CBA sections, the Civil Rights Section is not a political organization and welcomes all bar members who are interested in the field of civil rights. Membership dues are $20.

A special thanks goes to staff liaison Melissa Nicoletti, who was instrumental in helping the committee transition to a section. For further information, contact Melissa Nicoletti at melissan@cobar.org or Matt Cron at mc@rmlawyers.com. 


Big LawBowlski Fundraiser a Success

The Pro Bono Project of Mesa County hosted its fifth annual “Big LawBowlski” fundraiser on May 10 at Freeway Bowl in Grand Junction.There were more than 75 participants, and the competition was fierce. The winning teams were:

• First place: Alpine Bank—Trevor Johnson, Clay Tufly, Scott Burnham, and Scott Else
• Second place: KAFM Radio—Boyd Franklin, Lori Franklin, David Roof, and Teresa Roof
• Third place: Tammy Tallant Law—Tammy Tallant, Sean Tallant, Dave Barton, and Kimberly Barton
• Best team name: I Can’t Believe It’s Not a Gutter.

The organizers thank all who attended and made this their most successful year yet. They are also grateful for the support of Alpine Bank, Dufford Waldeck Milburn & Krohn LLP, Airtech Refrigeration,Young & Hockensmith, PC, and Kain & Burke, PC.

Trevor Johnson and Zachary Reams accept the championship trophy
on behalf of Alpine Bank, which was the Title Sponsor for the event.


© 2017 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 here.