March 18, 2018

W. Terry Ruckriegle to Take Helm as Colorado Bar’s Next President

CBAprez_headshots_Terry. Photo by Jamie CottenSenior judge and mediator W. Terry Ruckriegle will start his one-year term as president of the Colorado Bar Association on July 1, representing the association’s 18,515 members.

The former 5th Judicial District chief judge will focus his term on issues relating to young lawyers: the financial burden they assume, examining options to pay down or forgive their loan debt and ensuring those new to the profession have the skills necessary to enter the workplace prepared.

In addition, Ruckriegle will continue to support CBA programs that concentrate on mentoring, service to veterans and professionalism in the legal community, particularly among attorneys and judges.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to receive the leadership baton from Mark Fogg and continuing with a number of the valuable programs in the Colorado Bar Association,” Ruckriegle said.

Ruckriegle spent 26 years on the bench after he was appointed in 1984 by Gov. Dick Lamm. He handled a variety of high-profile cases, most notably the sexual assault case against L.A. Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant in 2003-04. Ruckriegle served as the 5th Judicial District’s chief judge from 1994 until his retirement in 2010. Prior to his appointment to the bench he worked as a prosecutor in the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and in private practice.

Currently, Ruckriegle serves as a senior judge, hearing cases all around the state, and as a mediator, arbitrator and special master. He and his wife Debbie live in Breckenridge. They have three daughters: Stephanie, 29; Heidi, 26; and Sarah, 24.

Daniel R. McCune to Serve as Next President of Denver Bar Association

Dan McCune headshots, CBA. Photo by Jamie CottenDaniel R. McCune will start his one-year term as president of the Denver Bar Association on July 1, representing the association’s 9,354 members.

McCune will focus on providing relevant services to members to help them in their day-to-day law practice and will emphasize health and wellness of attorneys, offering yoga and other health-related benefits to members. He will tweet under the handle @dbapresident.

“It’s important for our members to know that the bar association offers a number of resources that should make the bar association an integral part of their practice,” McCune said. “It’s important that we think outside the box and continue to provide services that will best equip lawyers for the future of legal practice.”

McCune is a shareholder with Kennedy Childs, focusing his practice on complex civil litigation, professional malpractice claims and contentious employment disputes. McCune has been involved with the Federation of Defense and Corporate Council, DRI and the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, serving as its president from 2000 to 2001. He chaired the Colorado Bar Association’s Economic Task Force, which worked to alleviate the impact of the Great Recession on attorneys, and most recently chaired the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations’ Joint Judicial Task Force, which aims to protect and promote Colorado’s fair and impartial courts.

After graduating from the University of Kansas School of Law, McCune joined the Judge Advocate General Corps, where he worked as a prosecutor. He lives in Golden with his partner Lorraine DAversa and has two daughters—Katie, 25, and Mollie, 18.

Bar Associations Offer Legal Assistance to Wildfire Victims

The Denver and El Paso County Bar Associations will offer three events where people affected by wildfires can ask attorneys legal questions at no cost. “We are saddened to see our community again face a devastating wildfire, but we hope to offer clarity and guidance for those who have been impacted by the Black Forest Fire,” said EPCBA Executive Director Claire Anderson.

Events include:

Ask-A-Lawyer—The El Paso County Bar Association will host Ask-A-Lawyer for victims of the Black Forest Fire from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, at the Disaster Assistance Center at the Citizens Service Center, located at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road. No appointment is required.

Lawline 9—The Denver Bar Association will dedicate its Lawline 9, a call-in program at 9News, to answering legal questions related to the wildfires. The Lawline 9 will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. Callers can reach attorneys at 303-698-0999.

Call-A-Lawyer—The EPCBA will also host a call-in program from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. Callers can reach attorneys at 719-471-0380, and they will answer general legal questions and those related to the wildfire.

“I’m proud to see Colorado Bar Association members from across the state stepping up to lend a hand to their fellow Coloradans and hope we can offer some assistance during this tragic event,” said Colorado Bar Association President Mark A. Fogg.


Legal Community Donates More Than $54,000 in Food and Cash for Annual Drive

ROTB2-2Members of the legal community donated food and dollars totaling $54,145 to hunger relief organization Metro CareRing through the Denver Bar Association’s 14th Annual Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive, collecting 3,000 pounds more food than in the previous year.

Forty-eight law firms participated in the drive, collecting 10,093 pounds of food and $31,940 in cash donations. This year’s top donating firms are Berenbaum Weinshienk PC, the Castle Law Group, Faegre Baker Daniels, Katz, Look & Onorato PC, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Orten Cavanagh & Holmes LLC. The food drive was sponsored by the Denver Bar Association’s Community Action Network and ran April 15 to 26.

ROTB1-1“We’re thrilled that the legal community has stepped up this year to provide even more food to Metro CareRing,” said CAN Committee Chair Kris Reed, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. “Summer months can hard on families because school is out and kids are home for most meals. We’re pleased the Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive can help close the hunger gap in the metro area.”

Metro CareRing operates one of the largest food pantries in Denver. The food and money donated will translate to approximately 15,600 people provided with a five-day supply of food, according to Metro CareRing.

The Community Action Network Committee offers DBA members year-round opportunities to connect with the community and provide valuable legal, social and civic assistance to those in need.

Sotomayor Marks Dedication of Carr Judicial Center

By Sara Crocker

Sotomayor1As a child, Sonia Sotomayor never dreamed of becoming a lawyer, let alone a U.S. Supreme Court justice — until she was introduced to Perry Mason, the fictional L.A. defense attorney of TV.

“Watching Perry Mason taught me about something called lawyering,” she said, adding the show “exposed me to this different career and I started to examine and think about it as a possibility for myself.”

Sotomayor joined Chief Justice Michael Bender and Gov. John Hickenlooper to dedicate the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center on Thursday. Before the official dedication, she met with 100 students from around the state, as well as their family members and state legislators, to talk with them and hear their questions.

Students asked Sotomayor everything from whether she sometimes feels that she has too much power to how she coped with losing her father at the age of 9. Throughout the discussion, she encouraged students to take chances and to follow their passion, whatever that may be.

“The hardest thing to do is take chances when you can fail,” she said, but the way to alleviate that fear is to learn.

“The world opened for me when I read,” Sotomayor said. “When I found books, I found my rocket ship to the universe.”

Bender called Sotomayor a “rockstar” and praised her for her dedication to youth and ensuring that they were a part of the dedication of the judicial center. The chief justice also took time to recognize the building’s namesake, the late Gov. Ralph L. Carr, who spoke out against the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“Governor Carr was the only person of any political stature who stood up for those who were unjustly interned. He did so against overwhelming public opinion and he did so in a way that actually destroyed his political career,” Bender said. “He is somebody that we all should be inspired by.”

Guests at the dedication included people who were at Japanese internment camps in Colorado, former governors, legislators, and judges and justices from around the state.

Sotomayor2During the dedication ceremony, Sotomayor compared the judicial center with her own courthouse in Washington. Sotomayor, a lover of architecture, said courthouses embody the important work done within them.

The new center, called a 100-year building because the judicial branch plans to grow with the building, sits across from the Capitol at 2 E. 14th Ave. The $258-million building features airy spaces with natural light flowing from the atrium, and the accompanying high-rise houses approximately 1,200 judicial branch employees.

“This center will live it’s intended 100 years with dignity, but its message, like that of my court, will live through the centuries, carried by the memory of all who have walked its halls and felt its impact,” Sotomayor said.

Sara Crocker is the communications specialist for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations and the editor of The Docket.

Fifth Annual Sean May Memorial Run/Walk Set for May 11

Sean May

Sean May

The Fifth Annual Sean May Memorial Run/Walk will be held on Saturday, May 11, at Barr Lake State Park in Brighton. The run was created to honor May, a chief deputy district attorney with the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office who was shot to death in his backyard when he was returning home from work on Aug. 27, 2008.

During his seven years of service in Adams County, May volunteered for the Child Victim Unit, where he pursued justice for children who had been physically and/or sexually abused. At the time of his death, he was responsible for training and supervising new prosecutors.

May always stressed the importance of acting responsibly, including treating victims, the community, defendants and the courts with dignity and respect. Proceeds from the race will benefit Access to Justice programs and activities and May’s family.

The Self-Help Resource Center at the Adams County Justice Center was made possible in part by the proceeds from this event. The center provides computers, information and staff to help people with legal procedural questions. Since opening on Jan. 5, 2011, it has served thousands. The judiciary and legislature have recognized the center as a statewide model, funding staff positions there and self-help centers in other judicial districts.

The race is organized by the 17th J.D. Access to Justice Committee, the Adams/Broomfield Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association. The race will be professionally timed by Hallucination Sports. To register or fundraise for the race, visit; a list of sponsors and sponsorship information is also available there. In 2012, approximately 200 people participated in the race, and the event raised nearly $4,000.

Ginny Lee Named Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year

Pro Bono Paralegal_Lee, GinnyGinny Lee has been named the Colorado Bar Association and the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association’s 2013 Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year.

Lee has worked as a nurse paralegal, focusing on medical malpractice, with Kennedy Childs for 16 years.

Since 2004, she has volunteered more than 1,500 hours as a CASA volunteer, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, in Jefferson and Gilpin counties.  As a CASA volunteer, Lee appears in court and speaks on behalf of child victims in abuse and neglect cases. Lee is known for her willingness to travel and always make herself available to the children she advocates for.

“I’m honored to be recognized as the Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year,” Lee said. “Entering a courtroom as a child can be scary or confusing. As a CASA volunteer, I’m glad that I can use what I know professionally to explain to them what’s going on, and I can be there for them as a support system — in or out of court.”

Additionally, Lee assists CASA with recruiting new volunteers.

“Ginny is a model volunteer for our organization, and the children we serve are the true beneficiaries of her hard work and dedication,” said CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties Executive Director Leah Varnell. “Her motivation is to improve the lives of others, inspire hope for the future and speak for child victims who cannot speak for themselves.”

In 2010, Lee was named a 7Everyday Hero by 7News for her dedicated advocacy for abused and neglected children. She is an active member of the Colorado Association of Legal Support Staff and the Mile High Association of Legal Support Staff.

Lee will be honored on two occasions: on Monday, April 8, at the Colorado Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, and on Thursday, May 2, at the Paralegal Day Reception at the Warwick Hotel.

The Paralegal of the Year Award honors the paralegal whose efforts best exhibit a commitment to pro bono activities, serving the indigent with legal assistance in times of need. In recognition of her award a $1,000 donation will be made to a pro bono organization of Lee’s choice in her name. The award was started by the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association in 2002.

Calling All Creative Lawyers – Enter Your Work in Creative Arts Contest

Are you an attorney with an artistic inclination or a way with words? The submission period is open to enter your creative works in the 2013 Denver Lawyers Arts & Literature Contest, sponsored by The Docket. Contest submission categories include: Writing—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Humor; and Visual Arts—Painting (watercolors and oil/acrylic/mixed media), Drawing, Sculpture, and Photography. In all categories, the subject matter is open to the artists’ choice—no legal subject matter is required. Deadline to enter is 11 p.m. on  Monday, April 15. Winners will be recognized in the September issue of The Docket.

When entering, consider these guidelines: Writing entries should not exceed 1,500 words. For visual entries, please only send a digital file showing the work, not the original piece. Please do describe the scale of the work; if helpful to understanding the work, please provide multiple photo views of the work (particularly if submitting for Sculpture). In Photography submissions, please explain how the shot was obtained, as well as any post-production (i.e., Photoshop).

All Denver Bar Association members are eligible to enter the contest, except staff of the DBA, members of The Docket Committee (the judges), and any of these groups’ immediate family. For full entry details and rules, click here; download an entry form here. Questions? Email Sara Crocker at

Bennett S. Aisenberg Honored with Award of Merit at Colorado Bar Foundation Annual Dinner


By Sara Crocker

Colorado Bar Association Award of Merit honoree Bennett Aisenberg is more than a great attorney, according to a colleague; in fact, he’s a skilled horticulturist and his garden always bears quite a bounty – it’s one that people can see in law offices across the state.

“[Aisenberg] has germinated seeds in the hearts and minds of many folks who were in the early days of their learning how to practice law,” Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Dick Reeve wrote in his letter of support for Aisenberg to receive the Award of Merit, which CBA President Mark Fogg relayed at the Colorado Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on Jan. 11.

“Those seeds have sprouted into individual professionals who today bring balance, ethics, objectivity, professionalism, and their humaneness to their legal work,” Reeves wrote. “Simply put: Ben has found a way over the years, through his various positions of service to the legal community, of connecting with and mentoring, to varying degrees, what I believe to be hundreds of Colorado lawyers.”

Aisenberg, was strongly impacted by the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird,” knew from a young age that he wanted to be a trial attorney. He said that receiving the association’s highest honor had nearly left him without words, but only nearly.

“I love and admire this profession so much that to be honored by its members is one of the greatest gifts an attorney can get,” he said.

The long-time sole practitioner served as a president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association from 1984 to 1985, president of the Denver Bar Association from 1991 to 1992 and president of the Colorado Bar Association from 1998 to 1999. In 2003, he received the DBA’s Award of Merit — that association’s highest honor. He also has been honored by the Sam Cary and Asian Pacific American Bar Associations.

Aisenberg has been a long-time supporter of the Colorado Bar Foundation, and in 2004 he donated $10,000 to the foundation, which promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and the fair and equal administration of justice through grants that help educate the public and by providing assistance to Colorado’s legal institutions. In recognition of this generous donation, the foundation board created the Aisenberg Society for fellows who donate $10,000 to the foundation over 10 years or less.

Aisenberg has been a luminary on the CBA’s Ethics Committee, comprised of approximately 90 attorneys who offer ethics advice to colleagues and write formal ethics opinions on general ethical conundrums.

“I have found it one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in the legal profession,” he said.

BrownFoggGary L. McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Loren M. Brown also was honored at the dinner.

Brown said after it was announced that he would receive the award he got a flood of emails.

“I think the best one I got said, ‘Congratulations on still being young,’” he said.

The award is given annually to a young lawyer (those under 37 years old or who have been admitted to the bar for less than three years) with an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others.

Though he is still young, the shareholder with Donelson Ciancio & Grant, P.C. has already accomplished much. He is a former president of the Adams-Broomfield Bar Association, a fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation, a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and a graduate and executive committee member of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program, known as COBALT. This year, he was recognized with members of the 17th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee by the Adams-Broomfield Bar Association with its Liberty Bell Award as citizens of the year. In 2011, ABBA awarded him with its Volunteer Attorney of the Year award.

Brown is a part of a local bar association that is on the cutting edge of access to justice in Colorado, Fogg said.

“When I traveled across the state to my local bar associations we talked a lot about access to justice. All of the access to justice committees said we want to be like Adams County. Adams County sets the bar in this state on access to justice programs in this state,” he said.

Brown said he was humbled to receive the award and thanked his mother, who raised him and his sister alone, and his mentor Gene Ciancio.

“I take this as a charge to do more,” Brown said.

Seniors Holiday Luncheon — Thursday, December 6, 2012

Join the Denver Bar Association Seniors Committee at noon on Thursday, December 6, to share holiday cheer at its annual Holiday Luncheon.

The luncheon is a great opportunity to connect with familiar faces, enjoy tasty fare, and ring in the holiday season. Though the committee is for those “65 or better,” the committee welcomes all attorneys to the event. The luncheon will be held at the DBA offices, 1900 Grant St., Suite 900. Cost to attend is $12.

Please RSVP online or to Sara Crocker at

What to Do When You’ve Made a Mistake – A Five-Minute Mentor Video

Every week this month, in celebration of Legal Professionalism Month, the Colorado Bar Association will share a tip on professionalism.

This week, attorney and CBA Young Lawyers Division Chair-elect Emma Garrison discusses the inevitability of making a mistake at some point in your career, and, more importantly, once you do err how to correct it.

Tap Your Creative Side: Participate in the Denver Lawyers’ Art and Literature Contest

The Docket and Colorado Lawyers for the Arts are launching an arts contest for members of the Denver Bar Association. Categories include Writing—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Humor, and Visual Arts—Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Photography.

The submission period will run Monday, May 7, through Monday, July 23. Winners will be featured in the September issue of The Docket. All Denver Bar Association members are eligible, except staff of the DBA, members of The Docket Committee, members of Colorado Lawyers for the Arts who assist with judging (the judges), and any of these groups’ immediate family.

Artists may enter more than one work in each category, and may enter in multiple categories. The same work cannot be entered in multiple categories. The subject matter for the work is open and does not need to be legal-themed.

Download this entry form for further rules and guidelines. Entries must be received by 5:00 pm on Monday, July 23. Contact Kate Schuster for more information.