Courtney Holm, COBALT Committee Chair, a Colorado native, earned her law degree at the University of Denver College of Law. She cares about her community and has been serving the needs of clients in the mountain communities in the areas of family law, criminal law, and civil litigation since 2002. Her versatile practice has included cases in municipal courts, state courts, the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, and the United States District Court of Colorado. Courtney is a finessed mediator with a high rate of settlement due to her ability to build rapport, her dynamic and forthright mediation style, and well-rounded practice background. For the past decade, she has been successfully mediating cases in all areas, including domestic, civil, business disputes, construction disputes, and significant monetary matters. An active member of her community, she has served as the former 7th Region VP of the CBA Executive Council from 2016-2019, served as President and Vice-President of the Continental Divide Bar Association, chaired the CBA Board of Governors Ad Hoc committee 2016-2018, co-chaired the Local Bar Leadership Summit and the creation of the Local Bar Resource Handbook designed to improve leadership in local bars statewide. Courtney currently serves on the CBA/DBA Diversity and Inclusivity Steering Committee, as Board of Governors Representative for the Continental Divide Bar Association, as a member of the Colorado Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, on the 5th Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission, on the 5th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee, and is the founder and current President of the Mountain Chapter of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.
Susan Blanco, COBALT Committee Whisperer is the Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial District and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in January 2017. She has presided over criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations, and terminations and adoptions. Prior to the bench, she served as a Deputy District Attorney followed by over a decade in private practice focusing on criminal defense, juvenile delinquency, dependency and neglect, and municipal prosecution.
Chief Judge Blanco graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University in 2000 and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law in 2003. Her engagement of the community to collaborate on projects with the Judicial Branch include the development of the first Competency Court in Colorado and a Latinx task force focused on improving access to justice for minority populations. Currently she serves on the Chief Judge's Council, the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, the CBA Criminal Law Executive Council, the CWBA Board of Directors, the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training planning committee, the Colorado Diverse Attorney Community Circle planning committee, and the CWBA DEI pipeline aimed at teaching children about legal professions.
Aaron Thompson is the General Counsel for Denver Public Schools with a practice centered on employment, labor, contract, and school law matters. Previously, Mr. Thompson was a member of Hall & Evans’ employment and public entities group representing counties, municipalities, school districts, and state agencies in matters concerning sovereign immunity, federal civil rights defense, and employment issues. Mr. Thompson also represented private employers in matters that involve Equal Opportunity and Discrimination laws including ADA, ADEA, Title VII, and FMLA and a host of other civil litigation matters.
While attending the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Mr. Thompson was a Charles F. Brannan Scholar, received a Clinical Practice Award, and was a Founding Member, Articles Editor, and Diversity Editor of the DU Criminal Law Review. He also served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Nancy Lichtenstein with the Colorado Court of Appeals and as a Judicial Fellow for the Honorable Brian D. Boatright with the Colorado Supreme Court. Mr. Thompson is also a member of the Colorado High School Mock Trial Board and was a member of the 2020 COBALT class.
Brooke Churchman Brooke Churchman is special counsel for Hall & Evans, LLC. Her practice centers on civil litigation with matters involving transportation, premises liability, employment, oil and gas, products liability, and insurance. Ms. Churchman relocated to Colorado after practicing civil litigation in Austin, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During this time, she dedicated the majority of her time to combatting opioid drug addiction and overuse and was part of the trial team that secured the only nuisance verdict in the nation against Johnson & Johnson with additional settlements with Purdue Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Before entering private practice, she served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Judge Raymond Moore in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Outside of work, she enjoys community service including serving as a CASA, volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club, and assisting with victim protective orders. She also enjoys spending time with her Siberian Husky, Crixus and her tuxedo cat, MK.
La Kischa Cook (she/her/hers) has spent a majority of her 11 years in practice in various roles in the federal sector. She currently serves as a Trial Attorney for the EEOC. Kischa was raised in Colorado and considers herself a proud Double Buff having earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She previously served as a CBA Delegate to the ABA’s House of Delegates and a member of the CBA High School Mock Trial Committee. Kischa was a member of the 2022 COBALT class. She is passionate about inclusion and diversity in the legal profession and hopes to focus her practice litigating employment law matters upon completion of her clerkship.
Marcus Johnson Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Marcus Johnson has made Denver his home for the last 3 years. Marcus graduated from Texas A&M law school and became licensed in 2014. He started his career prosecuting crimes for the Collin County District Attorney’s Office. He later moved on to become a successful defense attorney. Marcus is currently working for the City and County of Denver’s Municipal Public Defenders Office.