Welcome to the Continental Divide Bar Association

The Continental Divide Bar Association (“CDBA”) is a an organization of licensed attorneys with ties to the four counties that comprise the Colorado Fifth Judicial District. The CDBA was originally founded in 1968 and later incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 2006. Our roughly 260 members include county and district court judges, magistrates, attorneys in the office of the District Attorney, attorneys in the office of the Public Defender, and those otherwise serving in the public sector. However, the majority of our members are private attorneys, who either practice on a solo basis or as lawyers associated together in small law firms. Situated in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, most CDBA members live and work in mountain towns that include (from east to west): Idaho SpringsGeorgetownSilverthorneDillonFriscoBreckenridgeLeadvilleVailEdwardsAvon, and Eagle.

The CDBA has an established tradition of service to its members as well as to the public. It provides local attorneys with continuing legal education as well as networking and volunteering opportunities. In addition to providing resources to local attorneys, the CDBA strives to improve the mountain communities in which it operates by providing the public with opportunities to learn more about the law.

This web site provides assistance in finding an attorney, information regarding continuing legal education, and news pertaining to professional and charitable activities of the organization. It is intended to help both attorneys and non-attorneys with matters related to legal representation and service to the community. It also permits members to login, participate in the local legal community, and obtain access to organizational resources.



Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg, LLC 
1448B Vail Valley Drive East 
Vail, CO 81657 


Vice President 
Attorney Mediator 
P.O. Box 1431 
Eagle, CO 81631 
  Michelle Sylvain


The Angel Law Firm of Colorado 
P.O. Box 224 
Avon, CO 81620 
  Braden Angel


P O Box 136 
Silverthorne, CO 80498
Sandra J Nettleton


P.O. Box 868 
611 Main Street 
Frisco, CO 80443
 Wm. Alex Marsh


The CDBA was founded to achieve the following purposes:

  • Promote excellence in the practice of the legal profession;
  • Improve educational opportunities for its membership through programs designed to cover emerging ethical issues and new developments in all fields of law;
  • Cultivate social relationships amongst our membership that will encourage an atmosphere of collegiality and cooperation in the local legal community;
  • Foster congeniality and mutual respect amongst legal professionals in our community;
  • Provide services that will assist our members in meeting various needs in their daily law practices;
  • Enhance public understanding of and respect for the law;
  • Assist and educate the public regarding their legal rights and responsibilities;
  • Assure that quality legal services are available to all persons in our community at an affordable cost; and
  • Mentor students and young lawyers

History of the CDBA

The Continental Divide Bar Association (CDBA) is the local bar association for attorneys practicing within the Fifth Judicial District.  That District includes Clear CreekLakeSummit and Eagle Counties.  The CDBA takes advantage of its mountainous location and plans annual Ski Day and Golf Day event. To further encourage potential members from across the state, the CDBA strives to keep its dues at a low rate.

The CDBA was the last local bar association to be recognized by the Colorado Bar Association (CBA).  It was accepted into membership by the Board of Governors of the CBA on July 1, 1941.  At first, the association included Eagle, Summit, Lake, Park and Chaffee counties although the initial officers resided in Leadville, Breckenridge and Eagle.  At some later date, perhaps in the 1950’s, Park and Chaffee counties were moved to the Heart of the Rockies Bar Association.

Until the early 1960’s, the geographical area of the CDBA had a mining and ranching economy, and Leadville was dominant.  In the early 1960’s the Breckenridge and Vail ski areas opened, and Summit and Eagle counties began to grow as resort areas.   Until 1972, one judge served the only three counties then present in the CDBA – Eagle, Summit, and Lake.  In the early 1980’s, the Climax Mine closed and negatively impacted the Leadville economy.

On July 1, 1975, Clear Creek County was moved from the First Judicial District to the Fifth Judicial District, causing that county to become part of the CDBA.  At the same time, a second district judge was added as well as the county court judge for Summit.  The Fifth Judicial District is now served by six district judges and four county court judges.  Summit and Eagle counties are dominant in terms of population. For a time, the Summit County bar operated informally as a separate association, without formal recognition from the CDBA.

In the new millennium, the Continental Divide Bar Association focuses on its members in all four counties and alternates meeting locations to accommodate the distance between the counties in the 5th Judicial  District.  The camaraderie of our attorneys is an important aspect of the bar association as well as coordinating volunteers in the areas of public and community outreach, volunteer mediation, and legal aid through advice clinics, pro bono commitment, and partial funding for legal aid and legal issues. The CBDA is also a conduit for information for attorneys practicing in the  5th Judicial District. The CDBA is also an opportunity to spend time on special event days for golf and skiing, among other activities.