May 5, 2016

World IP Day Celebration – Cultural Expression through Digital Creativity

World IP Day Celebration – Cultural Expression through Digital Creativity

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:
Monday, April 25, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (MDT)
The Commons on Champa
1245 Champa Street
Denver, CO 80204

Attend Event

Hosted by The Commons on Champa, come celebrate World Intellectual Property Day with the Rocky Mountain United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Colorado Bar Association IP Section and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
The program will focus on exploring the role of digital creativity in the evolution of cultural expression.  Guest speakers will include, among others, Melody McCoy from the Native American Rights Fund and Troy Eid from Greenberg Traurig.

  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM: Pre-event Networking Reception
  • 3:30 – 4:30 PM: World IP Day Program & Fireside Chat (moderated by USPTO Regional Director Molly Kocialski)
  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM: Post-event Networking Reception & World IP Day Celebration

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter and please feel free to pass this invitation along to other friends and colleagues who you think would be interested in joining for this special World Intellectual Property Day celebration.
We hope you can make it!

Cheers,
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Colorado Bar Association Intellectual Property Section

Join Metro Volunteer Lawyers’s “50 Hours for 50 Years” Challenge

MVL-50-Year-Logo (png) SmallerThis year marks the 50th year anniversary for Metro Volunteer Lawyers! In honor of its anniversary, MVL is encouraging lawyers to achieve 50 hours of pro bono service this year. MVL is a program of the Denver Bar Association and co-sponsored by the Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Douglas/Elbert, and First Judicial District Bar Associations. MVL offers pro bono opportunities in such areas as Wills, Probate, POAs, Family Law, Guardianship/Conservatorship, and Consumer law. You can even sign-up to take a case conditioned on MVL finding you a mentor, or be a mentor yourself.

Reasons to Volunteer with MVL: 

  • Helping MVL clients is a rewarding way to serve the needs of the less fortunate in your community, helping work towards our constitutional mandate of providing equal justice under the law.
  • Advance the reputation of the legal profession.
  • Obtain practical legal experience.
  • Fulfill your professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least fifty hours of pro bono public legal services per year. Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 6.1.
  • You can receive CLE credits for pro bono work. Under C.R.C.P. 260.8, Colorado attorneys providing uncompensated pro bono legal representation may apply for 1 general CLE credit for every 5 billable-equivalent hours of representation, up to a maximum of 9 credits in each 3 year compliance period.
  • MVL provides attorneys with malpractice insurance for the cases they take through its organization.

Want to Help MVL in Other Ways? Donate!

MVL_donatebuttonYour tax-deductible donation to MVL can help the organization provide legal services to more low-income individuals in Colorado. Click the “Donate” button or visit ColoradoGives.org to find MVL’s donation page.

Read More About Metro Volunteer Lawyers and How to Get Involved at www.metrovolunteerlawyers.org.

Bruce Smith Named Dean of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law

smithOn Monday, April 4, 2016, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law announced the appointment of Bruce Smith, J.D., Ph.D., as its new dean, effective July 1, 2016. Smith will replace Dean Martin Katz, who is returning to the faculty.

Smith is currently a Guy Raymond Jones Faculty Scholar at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he specializes in Anglo-American criminal procedure in the 18th and 19th centuries. Smith was Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law from 2009 to 2014 and has served on the faculty since 2001. Prior to that, he was in private practice in the Washington, DC area for five years, where he focused his practice on intellectual property litigation and sports law. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Williams College; bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge, England, which he attended as a Hersch Smith Fellow; his J.D. from Yale Law School; and his Ph.D. in history from the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame to Host Women in the Law Event

cwhf_669logo_2012On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame will host a Law Day Event, “Celebrating Colorado Women: Women in the Law.” The event will take place at the Denver Public Library from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with an optional guided tour of the Ralph J. Carr Justice Center’s Learning Center and Library from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The agenda features a panel discussion on journeys to the bench with Chief Justice Nancy Rice of the Colorado Supreme Court, Chief Judge Marcia Krieger of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Judge Christine Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, and retired Justice Jean Dubofsky of the Colorado Supreme Court, moderated by retired Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey. Following the panel discussion will be recognitions of Judge Marcia Krieger and Justice Nancy Rice.

Registration is now open for this event. There is no cost for attending, but registration is limited. Click here to register.

Colorado Judicial Institute Seeks Nominations for 2016 Judicial Excellence Awards

CJIOn Tuesday, March 8, 2016, the Colorado Judicial Institute announced that it is seeking nominations for its 2016 Judicial Excellence Awards. The awards acknowledge the efforts of Colorado’s outstanding jurists in three categories: district court judge, county court judge, and magistrate. Nominations may be submitted by justices, judges, magistrates, attorneys, clerks, court staff, and others closely involved with Colorado’s judicial system. The nomination form is available online at the Colorado Judicial Institute website.

The Colorado Judicial Institute set forth criteria for evaluating nominees in each category. The district court judge nominees should have five years’ experience on the district court bench; be creative and innovative in dealing with courtroom processes; exemplify high standards of judicial excellence through a distinguished career; display extraordinary courage, tenacity, and energy in dealing with high-profile, controversial, or difficult cases; objectively, expeditiously, and efficiently manage cases and dockets; and be recognized by members of the bar, courtroom staff, and others as respectful and even-handed but in firm control of the courtroom. County court judge nominees should have five years of experience as a judicial officer in the state court system and currently work full- or part-time; efficiently, expeditiously, and objectively manage cases and dockets; be recognized by members of the bar, courtroom staff, and others as respectful and even-handed but in firm control of the courtroom; and be respected by and have the confidence of other judges, attorneys, court staff, and others. Nominees for the magistrate award should have three years of full- or part-time experience on the bench; explain the law in terms understood by everyone who appears in the courtroom; possess a demeanor and attitude of court accessibility to all; display a high level of open communication; efficiently, objectively, and expeditiously manage cases and dockets; and be respected by and have the confidence of judges, lawyers, court staff, and others.

For more information about the Judicial Excellence Awards and to fill out the nomination form, click here.

J. Ryann Peyton Named Next Director of Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program

RyannPeytonOn Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of J. Ryann Peyton as director of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP), effective July 1, 2016. Peyton will replace John Baker, who in February 2013 was named the first director of CAMP. Peyton will begin at CAMP on April 1, 2016 and will work with Baker through his June 30, 2016, departure.

Peyton is currently the Training and Legal Director at the GLBT Center of Colorado. She has been at The Center since March 2015. Prior to her work at The Center, Peyton was in private practice, focusing on domestic relations law for LGBT and non-traditional families. She has also served as an adjunct professor in the University of Denver’s externship program, serves on the board of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and is the former president of that association, served on the board of the Twin Cities Quorum (LGBT Chamber of Commerce) in Minnesota, and has been a board member for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness. She received her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver.

The CAMP program was established in February 2013 to develop and administer mentoring programs in all of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts. CAMP programming occurs through bar associations, inns of court, law firms, agencies, and other legal organizations throughout the state. In locations where no organization-related programs are available, CAMP matches mentors with mentees in an individualized program.

For more information about Peyton’s directorship, click here.

 

Run, Walk, Roll, and Fundraise for Disability Law Colorado

colfaxmarathonJoin the Disability Law Colorado team for the Colfax Marathon weekend for fun in the sun! We race to ensure that people with disabilities and older people receive the same civil rights people without disabilities do — living in the community, working at a meaningful job, going to school, and enjoying Colorado’s vast recreational opportunities.

This year’s Colfax Marathon will be May 14-15, 2016. The Colfax Marathon offers several opportunities for runners of different abilities — there is a full marathon, a half marathon, an Urban 10-Miler, a marathon relay race where five people run distances ranging from 3.9 to 6.4 miles, and a Colfax 5K. Any of these races can be run to support Disability Law Colorado — just choose “Run for a Nonprofit” before you register and select Disability Law Colorado.

Not up for a full marathon? Or even a half? That’s okay, you can do a leg of the marathon relay! If you don’t have a full team, contact Julie Busby at 303-722-0300, x507 or jbusby@disabilitylawco.org, and she will help connect you to other runners.

We race to make a difference! Register and join our team at www.runcolfax.org, or get more information by calling Julie Busby at 303-722-0300, x507. Learn more about Disability Law Colorado and how we help by visiting www.disabilitylawco.org.

Disability-Law-CO-Colfax-Marathon_Page_1

Sobering Statistics — Prevalence of Alcohol Use and Mental Health Issues Among Lawyers

COLAPEditor’s Note: If you are or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues, please contact COLAP for confidential assistance at (303) 986-3345 or (855) 208-1168. 

The legal profession is noble indeed. Lawyers are tasked with holding high standards of integrity while zealously advocating for their clients, often during the worst experience of their clients’ lives. Lawyers must maintain competence, diligence, truthfulness, and candor. Biglaw attorneys must be rainmakers as they work grueling hours in a high-stakes environment. Solo and small firm attorneys must also worry about bringing in and keeping clients, but they also have office management duties. In-house counsel must be knowledgeable about many different areas of the law so they can provide competent representation on any issue their business may face. Prosecutors balance heavy caseloads while trying to bring justice to grieving victims. Defense attorneys sometimes face literal life-or-death situations with their clients. The law is not a profession for the faint of heart. And it shows—stories of lawyer suicides are so common it sparked a CNN report, “Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?” The South Carolina Bar Association’s South Carolina Lawyer published “The Lawyer’s Epidemic: Depression, Suicide, and Substance Abuse.” Patrick Krill wrote a compelling article for “The Hennepin Lawyer” called “Legally Intoxicated: The Impacts and Implications of Substance Abuse in the Practice of Law,” describing one fictional partner’s descent into substance abuse but also describing situations that are all-too familiar for many lawyers.

A new study from the Hazelton Betty Ford Foundation revealed alarming rates of substance abuse and mental health disorders among attorneys. Nearly 13,000 legal professionals responded to an anonymous survey posted by bar associations across the country. Of the respondents, 53.4 percent were men and 46.5 percent were women. Age was measured in 10-year increments beginning with under 30 and ending with 70 and older, and respondents were fairly evenly divided through the age groups, with the fewest responses from the 70+ attorneys and the second fewest from the under-30s. Marital status and race/ethnicity were also considered; the vast majority of participants were white/Caucasian (91.3 percent) and married (70.2 percent). Professional characteristics, including work environment, position in firm, hours per week, and whether litigation was involved, were also examined. Participants self-reported on alcohol and substance use, and 84.1 percent reported using alcohol in the past 12 months.

The study included a 10-item self-report test called the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), which is used to screen for hazardous use, harmful use, and potential alcohol dependence. An alarming 20.6 percent of reporting attorneys had positive AUDIT screens, as compared to 11.8 percent for a broad, highly educated workforce and 15 percent for physicians. The youngest attorneys were the most likely to report problem drinking—31.9 percent of the under-30 attorneys and 25.1 percent of attorneys aged 31-40 had positive AUDIT screens, with the percentages tapering off for each age segment. Similarly, attorneys in practice 10 years or less reported the highest rates of problem drinking—28.1 percent of new attorneys had positive AUDIT scores, with percentages diminishing in each age segment. The results were fairly static across all types of firms; private firms and bar administration had the highest rate of positive AUDIT screens but solos, in-house (government), in-house (corporate), and law schools were not far behind. Junior associates were most likely to screen positive for problem drinking, and senior partners were least likely.

The study also found alarmingly high percentages of depression and anxiety among responding attorneys. Of the attorneys surveyed, 28 percent experienced mild or higher levels of depression, 19 percent experienced mild or higher levels of anxiety, and 23 percent experienced mild or higher levels of stress as measured on the DASS-21 scale. Over 60 percent of the attorneys surveyed reported having experienced anxiety at some point in their career, and 45.7 reported having experienced depression. Suicidal thoughts and actions were also described, with 11.5 percent of responding attorneys admitting they had had suicidal thoughts at some point in their careers and 2.9 percent admitting self-injurious behaviors. The study noted significantly higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression among those screening positive for problematic alcohol use, and those with stress, anxiety, and depression scores within the normal range endorsed significantly fewer problematic alcohol behaviors. The study also remarked that alcohol can cause mental health issues, and mental health issues can often lead people to self-medicate with alcohol, so the two issues frequently co-exist.

Among all respondents, the same barriers to treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders were raised: not wanting others to find out they needed help and concerns about privacy and confidentiality. However, those who sought treatment in programs designed for legal professionals reported significantly lower AUDIT scores than those who attended programs not tailored to legal professionals.

Colorado has a lawyer assistance program tailored for legal professionals, appropriately named the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program or COLAP. COLAP is completely confidential, and in fact Colorado Supreme Court Rule 254 establishing COLAP provides that none of the information gathered by COLAP can be released without a signed release. COLAP’s mission is to protect the interests of clients, litigants, and the general public by educating the bench, bar, and law schools regarding the causes of and remedies for impairments affecting members of the legal profession, and to provide confidential assistance to lawyers, judges, and law students who suffer from physical or mental health issues, or other impairments that affect their ability to be productive members of the profession. As COLAP’s website informs, “Getting help won’t sabotage your career, but not getting help can!”

If you are among the one out of every five attorneys who struggles with problematic alcohol use, or the one-in-four attorneys who is experiencing depression, please do not struggle in silence. Contact COLAP or your personal physician today.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to Hold Ceremony Dedicating Oklahoma City Courthouse to Judge Holloway

holloway1On February 2, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it will hold a ceremony on February 12, 2016, to dedicate the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City to Judge William J. Holloway, Jr. The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. in the ceremonial courtroom.

Judge Holloway was the longest sitting judge on the Tenth Circuit. He passed away in April 2014 at the age of 90. He was born in Oklahoma and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma and his law degree from Harvard Law School. He worked both as an attorney in private practice and for the U.S. Department of Justice before his appointment to the Tenth Circuit in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He served on the Tenth Circuit for more than 45 years and was Chief Judge from 1984 to 1991.

In January 2015, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, introduced legislation proposing to change the name of the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City to honor Judge Holloway.  Senate Bill 261 was signed into law by President Obama on October 5, 2015.

For more information about the dedication ceremony, click here.

Qusair Mohamedbhai Recognized with 2015 Davis Award

Qusair Mohamedbhia Bio PicOn January 21, 2016, Davis Graham & Stubbs held its annual Richard Marden Davis Award Dinner. The guest of honor and recipient of the 2015 Davis Award was Qusair Mohamedbhai, founder of Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, a civil rights and plaintiff’s employment firm in Denver. Mohamedbhai is a member of the Board of Directors for CLE in Colorado, is a frequent speaker at our programs, and writes for The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law. In his practice, he advocates for the rights of employees in the workplace and for the civil rights of all people against governmental and institutional abuses of power. In addition to his law practice, Mohamedbhai is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he teaches constitutional litigation.

Mohamedbhai has received many other prestigious awards in his career. In addition to the 2015 Davis Award, Mohamedbhai received the 2015 Leonard Wein­glass in Defense of Civil Lib­er­ties Award from the American Association of Justice; received the 2013 and 2014 Case of the Year awards from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association; and is a Legal Advisor to the Government of Mexico. He also received 5280 Magazine‘s “Top Lawyer” award for 2016 in the area of civil rights, Law Week Colorado‘s “Barrister’s Best” award in 2015 for Best Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer, a “Super Lawyer” designation for 2014 and 2015 in the area of plaintiff’s employment law, and was named in Best Lawyers in the 2016 edition for employment law.

The Richard Marden Davis Award is given annually to a lawyer under 40 years old who combines excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership. The award was created in honor of Richard Marden Davis, a founding partner of Davis Graham & Stubbs, who was a skilled attorney who also made time for community service. The Davis family, Davis Graham & Stubbs, and the Denver Bar Foundation established the award in memory of Richard Marden Davis in 1993 to honor his belief that great lawyers should also be professional and community leaders. Past recipients of the Davis Award include Justice Monica Marquez of the Colorado Supreme Court, Justice Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Gilbert Roman of the Colorado Court of Appeals, and former governor Bill Ritter.

For more information about the award, click here. Congratulations, Qusair!

Metro Volunteer Lawyers Announces Philip Lietaer as New Director

LietaerThe Denver Bar Association is pleased to announce Philip Lietaer as the new director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers. He assumed his new responsibilities upon outgoing Executive Director Dianne Van Voorhees’s departure from the organization on January 7, 2016, after an eight-year record of laudable leadership.

Lietaer, a native of Canada, holds a J.D. from Western New England University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. In 2013, he moved to Colorado with his wife, Jessica, who is a federal attorney, and their two dogs. They are now the proud parents of a baby girl, Adelaide Quinn Lietaer.

Prior to joining MVL in 2013, Lietaer worked at a number of other public interest organizations, including Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, South Brooklyn Legal Services, the Massachusetts Justice Project and the Vail Center for Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. He also worked for the immigration law firm of Goldstein & Lee, P.C. in New York City. “Working at these organizations has, in part, given me an understanding of different strategies implemented at various legal services organizations and what it takes to successfully run and manage a program like MVL,” said Lieater.

Lietaer embarked on his career at Metro Volunteer Lawyers as a Rovira Scholar Fellow. In early 2014, he went on to become the Family Law Court Program Coordinator. For Lietaer, MVL is more than a job: It is a passion infused with responsibility. As he commented, “Seeing our clients treated in a professional manner by a compassionate and capable legal professional, often providing a moment of dignity, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this type of work.”

Lietaer looks forward to building upon MVL’s ability to provide quality help to a large number of people in need. “Philip knows that he has big shoes to fill (at least figuratively), and he is definitely up to the task,” said MVL Board Chair Candace Whitaker.

Molly Kocialski Named Director of Rocky Mountain Region U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

KocialskiOn Thursday, January 14, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office named Molly Kocialski director of its Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver, effective immediately. Kocialski has contributed extensively to the intellectual property community in Colorado, and has been a speaker at CLE’s Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Institute each year since 2007. Kocialski is a past chair of the CBA’s Intellectual Property Section. Prior to becoming Director of the USPTO, Kocialski was Senior Patent Counsel for Oracle, Inc., where she was responsible for managing an active patent prosecution docket and for patent investigations for Oracle and its subsidiaries, as well as providing IP support for mergers and acquisitions. She received her law degree from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico.