August 31, 2015

Attorney Volunteers Needed for “Ask an Attorney” Sessions at Legal Resource Day

The Colorado Judicial Branch is hosting Legal Resource Day on Friday, October 2, 2015 for people representing themselves in court. This event will allow pro se litigants to visit the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center (2 E. 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203) to learn more about court processes, legal information, and resources through a series of informational clinics, “Ask an Attorney” sessions, tours, and vendors. There is no cost to attend the event.

We are looking for attorneys who would be interested in volunteering at the “Ask an Attorney” sessions. The sessions are in two-hour blocks: 10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. The pro se litigant would have a chance to sit with an attorney for up to 15 minutes in the areas of family law and general civil law, to include evictions, small claims, money cases, etc. Chief Justice Nancy Rice will kick off Legal Resource Day at 10 a.m. with opening remarks welcoming participants and providing an overview of the informational sessions being offered.

If you would be interested in volunteering for either of the “Ask an Attorney” slots, please contact Brigitte Smith, Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator, at brigitte.smith@judicial.state.co.us or call 720-772-2503.

Application Period Open for Vacancies on U.S. District Court Committee on Conduct

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced on Monday, July 13, 2015, that it is seeking applications for three vacancies on its Committee on Conduct. The Committee on Conduct investigates and acts upon complaints against members of the U.S. District Court bar, considers applications for reinstatement or readmission, and addresses matters concerning attorney disability.

Eligible applicants for the committee vacancies must have practiced law for ten years or more and have no disciplinary record; be licensed to practice by the Colorado Supreme Court; have been a member in good standing of the U.S. District Court bar for at least five years with no disciplinary record; and possess experience that makes the applicant especially qualified to investigate matters governed by the U.S. District Court’s disciplinary rules.

Applicants must submit the application packet in PDF format to COC_submissions@cod.uscourts.gov.

Happy Fourth of July!

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In honor of Independence Day, the CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE offices will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2015. The CLE offices will close at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 2. You can still register for classes, order books and homestudies, and sign up for the CLE Pass online at cle.cobar.org.

Happy Fourth of July!

February 2015 Bar Exam Results Released

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court released the results of the February 2015 Bar Exam. Congratulations to the people who passed the bar! Welcome to Colorado’s legal community.

A total of 359 people took the exam, and 222 (62%) passed. The University of Colorado Law School had 30 test takers, and 20 (67%) passed. The University of Denver Sturm College of Law had 73 test takers, and 57 (78%) passed. National law schools, including Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Michigan, Chicago, UC Berkeley, Virginia, and Texas, submitted 14 test takers, of whom 11 (79%) passed.

We at CBA-CLE wish all of you the best of luck on the beginnings of your careers. We hope to meet you in our classroom soon. You can also get the CLE Pass to gain access to our library of Video On-Demand and MP3 homestudies, as well as special pricing on live seminars.

Don’t forget: if you haven’t stopped by already, you are required to take our Practicing with Professionalism course. This is a mandatory program and is a condition of admission to the Colorado Bar. Click here to find a class.

Barrister’s Benefit Ball 2015 — A Journey Through Fire and Ice

The 27th Annual Barrister’s Benefit Ball, benefiting Metro Volunteer Lawyers, was held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Marriott City Center. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, face painting, and dancing in support of MVL.

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This year’s theme was Fire and Ice.

 

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MVL Executive Director Dianne Van Voorhees poses with Nathan Lucero during the cocktail hour.

 

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John Albertson, Patrick Flaherty (CBA/DBA Executive Director), and Janet Drake (incoming DBA president and BBB planning committee member) take a picture break during the cocktail hour.

 

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The face painting was a fun diversion.

 

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Guests enjoy camaraderie during the cocktail hour.

 

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Dinner is served.

 

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Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice busted a move on the dance floor.

 

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The night was a success! If you missed the Barrister’s Benefit Ball, you can still donate to Metro Volunteer Lawyers here.

Law School for Journalists: Issues that Arise in Death Penalty Cases

LawSchoolForJournalistsOn Thursday, April 16, Our Courts Colorado and the Colorado Bar Association hosted “Law School for Journalists: Issues that Arise in Death Penalty Cases,” at the CBA-CLE offices. Speakers Forrest W. Lewis, Bob Grant, and Judge Marcia S. Krieger discussed what unfolds, procedurally and factually, in death penalty cases. They also answered specific questions regarding the Aurora movie theater shooting case. The presentation was streamed online for those who could not attend in person.

The Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Judicial Branch jointly offer “Law School for Journalists,” an ongoing series of classes designed to provide reporters with background information about issues in the legal system and judiciary.

Colorado Law Schools Rise in 2016 U.S. News Law School Ratings

The 2016 U.S. News and World Report law school rankings are in, and both Colorado law schools saw slight increases. University of Colorado Law School ranked 40 this year, up from 43 last year. The University of Denver Sturm College of Law ranked 67 this year, up from last year’s 68. DU’s part time program was ranked 10 this year, up two spots from last year.

U.S. News changed their rating procedure this year, and schools were discounted for having large percentages of students in university-funded jobs. U.S. News did not completely eliminate employment information for graduates employed by their schools, since any legal job is preferable to unemployment.

In addition to the main law school ratings, each school had specialty programs with high rankings. CU’s Environmental Law program was ranked 5th nationally, the legal writing program at DU was ranked 7th, and DU’s clinical program was ranked 14 this year.

For the complete U.S. News and World Report law school ratings, click here.

DBA Award Winners Announced; Chuck Turner Receives DBA Award of Merit

The Denver Bar Association announced the winners of its 2015 DBA Awards on February 24, 2015. Award recipients will be recognized at the annual DBA Awards Ceremony on July 9, 2015 at the Ralph Carr Justice Center.

chuck turner 300Charles C. “Chuck” Turner will receive the Award of Merit, the DBA’s highest honor, for his outstanding leadership of the DBA and CBA. The Award of Merit recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the DBA and the legal profession, rendered to improve the administration of justice.

The Honorable Ruben Hernandez, magistrate judge at the Denver Probate Court, will receive the Judicial Excellence Award. This award is given to members of the judiciary who exemplify outstanding service or make exceptional contributions to the improvement of the justice system.

Gillian McKean BidgoodGillian M. Bidgood has been selected to receive the DBA Young Lawyer of the Year Award. This award is given to a DBA member and attorney who is 37 or under or has been in practice less than three years. Ms. Bidgood is a shareholder in the Denver office of Polsinelli PC who practices employment defense. Ms. Bidgood is a contributing author to CBA-CLE’s Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law.

MCHUGH_FORMAL_use_logoJohn M. McHugh will receive the Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award. The Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award is given annually to a DBA member who has performed extraordinary voluntary legal or community service. Mr. McHugh is an associate at Reilly Pozner LLP, where he practices complex civil and commercial litigation. Mr. McHugh is active with the Colorado GLBT Bar Association, and serves on that organization’s board of directors and membership committee.

Doug Wilhelm, 8th Grade history teacher at Hamilton Middle School in Denver Public Schools, will receive the Education in the Legal System Award. This award honors educators or schools that exhibit outstanding participation in legal and civics education. Mr. Wilhelm received the 9News 9Teachers Who Care award in November 2010 for his outstanding classroom work.

The Denver Bar Association Court Mediation Services Program will receive the Projects and Programs Award. This award acknowledges the immense efforts of programs that provide legal education, outreach, pro bono services or fundraising.

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

In Memoriam: Billie Castle

Billie_CastleBillie Castle, Grand Junction trust and estate attorney and former author and speaker for CBA-CLE, died on February 22, 2015, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Billie was respected and admired by colleagues and clients alike. She was a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Billie M. Castle, where she offered estate planning, disability planning, Medicaid, will probates, and preparation of wills and trusts.

Billie wrote a chapter, “Medicaid: Use of Trusts in Medicaid Planning,” in the Colorado Elder Law Handbook from 2004 to 2007, and she co-authored the “Trusts in Long-Term Care and Disability Planning” chapter in the Colorado Estate Planning Handbook (Orange Book Handbook) from 2006 to 2009. She was also faculty at the Colorado Estate Planning Retreat from 2004 to 2007. She was a CBA member and a former chair of the CBA Elder Law Section. She was certified by the National Elder Law Foundation as a Certified Elder Law Attorney, and wrote numerous articles on estate planning, Medicaid, and trusts.

Billie was a native of Colorado’s western slope and a strong supporter of Colorado Mesa University, where she received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from Willamette University in Oregon, where she was ranked second in her class. She served on the Willamette Law Review and clerked for the Marion County District Attorney’s Office while in law school.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, February 26 in Grand Junction. Tributes to and memories of Billie can be left on this webpage. To donate in Billie’s memory to her charity of choice, Colorado Mesa University Foundation, click here.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Award

The Denver Business Journal is seeking nominations for its 2015 Outstanding Women in Business special section. Nominations can be in multiple categories, such as law, government and nonprofits, small and large business owner, lifetime achievement award, and Mile High leaders. Nominees will be evaluated on innovation, entrepreneurship, professional accomplishment, and community leadership.

The special section will run August 21, 2015, and women selected as Outstanding Women in Business will also be honored at an awards event. Nominations must be submitted via the Denver Business Journal’s online form and must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2015.

For more information about eligibility requirements and the nomination process, click here.

Denise D. Hoffman Recognized with 2014 Davis Award

Denise-HoffmanDenise D. Hoffman was honored on Thursday, January 22, 2015 with the 2014 Richard Marden Davis Award at a dinner in her honor. The award recognizes her outstanding service to the legal community, along with her civic and charitable leadership.

“It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Ms. Hoffman. “To be among such a highly regarded class of past winners is a humbling experience.”

The Davis Award is presented annually “to a Denver lawyer who is 40 years old or younger and combines excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership.” The award was created in memory of Richard Marden Davis, one of the founders of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, who devoted himself tirelessly to the profession and the community. Each honoree “best exemplifies the character and promise of Richard Davis at that stage in his career.” Ms. Hoffman follows a long line of past winners who have continued to serve the Denver legal community, including last year’s honoree, Shannon Stevenson.

Ms. Hoffman is the Managing Partner at Hoffman Crews Nies Waggener & Foster LLP. She holds an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law and represents both individual and organizational clients in all aspects of tax planning, and controversy resolution. She is primarily focused on tax exempt organizations, estate and business succession planning, and business formation and dispositions. She works closely with a variety of clients, including entrepreneurs, corporate executives, professional athletes, investment bankers, real estate developers, family offices, and philanthropists to help them identify their objectives and provide creative and pragmatic solutions designed to meet their specific goals.

In January 2012, inspired by her work with her nonprofit clients and her service on the Colorado Garden Foundation and Family Tree boards of directors, Ms. Hoffman knew she was ready to make a more direct impact. Her dream: to form a nonprofit organization that could serve as a vehicle to propel deserving young people towards success via increased opportunities for higher education. By June 2012 Ms. Hoffman founded CHOICE Education Foundation, a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit. CHOICE works to empower students from low-income households who have a dream of pursuing higher education and are dedicated to using that education to make meaningful contributions to their communities. CHOICE awards a full-ride scholarship on an annual basis to a Colorado public high school senior to attend a Colorado public college, university, or vocational school. CHOICE currently supports three college students who are in attendance at Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Northern Colorado.

“Ms. Hoffman is a talented and committed lawyer and community leader who has exhibited an uncanny creativity in her approach to the practice of law,” said Chris Richardson, Managing Partner at DGS. “I continue to be impressed by the selection committee’s ability to honor excellent lawyers who are also truly outstanding civic and community leaders.”

Chuck Turner to Receive Colorado Bar Association’s Award of Merit

chuck turner 300Charles C. Turner will be presented with the Colorado Bar Association’s highest honor, the Award of Merit, at the Colorado Bar Foundation’s Annual Bar Fellows Dinner on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.

Turner will step down from his position as Executive Director of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations effective Jan. 1, after 34 years of service.  Turner was the youngest executive director in the country when selected to the post in 1980.

“I’ve been honored to serve in this capacity with an outstanding staff and dedicated leadership and members,” Turner says. “Every day has been an adventure with both internal and external considerations to deal with, but I never, ever regretted my choice of career and feel blessed to have had the chance to have a small hand in the success of our Associations and our loyal members. To be named alongside the previous award recipients is simply overwhelming.”

The five most recent recipients of the Award of Merit – Bennett Aisenberg, Michael Berger, Gary Jackson, Constance Talmage and Anthony van Westrum – came together to write a nomination letter in support of Turner. They cited his impressive service and contributions to the legal profession, to the administration of justice, and to the community. It was noted that Turner went far above and beyond for three and a half decades, turning it into much more than “just a job.” His extra elements of service, delivered “with a devotion and positive effectiveness,” make him especially deserving of this honor.

“Chuck has done it all and has done it for thirty four years,” CBA President Charles Garcia says. “We all are indebted to him and this is a token of our gratitude for all he has done for the association and each of us individually as members.”

The Award of Merit, the association’s highest honor, is given annually to a member for outstanding service to the association, the legal profession, the administration of justice and the community. Turner and CBA Young Lawyers Division’s Gary L. McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award recipient Ryann Peyton will be honored at the Colorado Bar Foundation’s Annual Bar Fellows Dinner on Friday, Jan. 9, at the Hyatt Regency Denver.