A well-respected Colorado governor sees his divorce played out in the courts, with many ugly and embarrassing revelations. The public’s hunger for the lurid details appears insatiable, and the press is happy to oblige.
Despite several warnings, a distracted driver is injured in an accident with city-owned street equipment in Denver and sues the city. She wins at trial, and the appellate court upholds the jury’s verdict.
Ripped from the headlines? Well, yes — but not today’s headlines. The church steeple exploded in Breckenridge in 1891. Governor Gilpin’s divorce woes were all the rage in 1897. And the distracted horse-and-buggy driver was engaged in conversation with her passenger when the city’s steamroller frightened her horses and overturned the buggy in 1892.
The parallels with today’s news are obvious in these and the many other accounts of Colorado appellate cases that you will find in Steam, Steel & Statutes: True Tales from Colorado Legal History, published by Colorado Bar Association CLE. This delightful book is a collection of “Historical Perspectives” columns that appeared in The Colorado Lawyer from 2002 through 2010.
Steam, Steel & Statutes is currently a finalist for the 2011 Colorado Book Awards (History/Biography category). The winners will be announced in late June, but you can hear author Frank Gibbard read from the book on Friday, June 10, during the “Finalist Readings” sponsored by the Book Awards, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Baur’s Ristorante, 1512 Curtis Street in downtown Denver. Everyone is welcome, and Frank will be happy to autograph books at the event.
Steam, Steel & Statutes is available for purchase in the CBA-CLE bookstore.