November 21, 2014

2014 Colorado Assembly of Lawyers and New Attorneys Sworn in at Fall Admissions Ceremony

groupoathMany of the 632 new attorneys who passed the Colorado bar exam in July of this year were admitted to practice law in Colorado on Monday, November 3, 2014, at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. Preceding the admittance ceremony was the 2014 Colorado Assembly of Lawyers. The annual assembly culminates October’s Legal Professionalism Month, during which members of the Colorado legal profession rededicate themselves to the highest standard of professionalism and integrity. This year’s assembly featured a panel discussion about professionalism in the 21st century. Following the assembly, the new attorneys took the Oath of Admission, and were welcomed to practice by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marcia Krieger, and CBA President Charley Garcia. The keynote address was given by former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender.

The University of Colorado, University of Denver, and the Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division all held receptions immediately following the fall admission ceremony. CU’s reception for their alumni was held at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House and DU’s reception for their alumni was held at Rock Bottom Brewery. For the first time, CBA YLD held a reception for those just sworn into practice from out of state schools. The CBA YLD reception was held at Pizza Republica where more than 50 new attorneys and their family enjoyed drinks and appetizers.  

Legal Community Credit Union Offering Holiday Loan Specials

LCCUThe Legal Community Credit Union is an alternative financial service available exclusively to members of Colorado’s legal community. All members of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association, and the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado are eligible for membership in the credit union, as well as anyone who works in the 1900 Grant building or the Creekside at Columbine office park. Credit union membership extends to all family members, and does not terminate if you move, change jobs, or retire. Plus, the credit union offers great customer service and great interest rates.

The Legal Community Credit Union is offering loan specials through the end of the year for credit union members. Holiday stimulus loans, auto loans, and auto refinancing loans are all available at reduced interest rates. More information about the holiday loan specials is available here.

To apply for credit union membership and enjoy great rates on loans, click here.

Patrick Flaherty Named New Executive Director of Colorado and Denver Bar Associations

Patrick Flaherty 1-14Patrick Flaherty has been named the new Executive Director of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. He will officially begin on Jan. 1, when current Executive Director Chuck Turner steps down after 34 years.

“I’m honored to be inheriting Chuck Turner’s legacy, and I’m excited to help the Associations take on new challenges and continue to move forward,” Flaherty says.

Patrick Flaherty was most recently Director of Policy Advocacy Programs at the Gill Foundation, where he served for nine years. Prior to that, Flaherty was Executive Director of the nonprofit Project Angel Heart, which he grew from a fledgling organization to a highly impactful service organization. Under his leadership, it received the El Pomar Foundation’s Award for “Most Outstanding Nonprofit Organization in Colorado.”

Flaherty also has nine years of legal experience. He began his law career at Lewis Roca Rothgerber, rising from summer associate all the way to partner. He is a graduate of the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law, where he received his JD in 1987.  Flaherty has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University as well.

Bringing a blend of legal knowledge, nonprofit management, and advocacy experience to the bar associations, Flaherty is well suited to lead bar members, and more importantly, guide the legal community into the future.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers: The Government Lawyer and Pro Bono: How Can I Help?

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Metro Volunteer Lawyers blog on October 3, 2014.

MVLBy Nate Lucero, MVL Board Member

I’ve been practicing law for over 12 years now and I’ve spent my entire career in the public sector.  Why do I work for the government?  Because I, like many of my colleagues, have a genuine interest in public service.  What I’ve noticed throughout my career is that often times, public law offices are the biggest firms within their respective jurisdiction.

I’m sure that’s not news to anyone, especially those of us who work in the public sector.  So, why do I mention it?  Because, this means that our government law offices have some of the biggest pools of lawyers that can provide pro bono services within our respective jurisdictions and elsewhere.  I have heard many government lawyers give reasons for not participating in providing pro bono services.  Among those reasons, ironically, is the very reason we work for the government in the first place – i.e. “I meet my obligation every day since my daily practice involves public interest issues.”

The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct (the “rules”) provide that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services for those unable to pay.  That said, government lawyers may face a number of limitations including conflict of interest restrictions, limitations on the use of office resources and statutory restrictions.  Never fear, the rules provide some guidance by encouraging us to fulfill our pro bono public responsibility by delivering legal services at no fee or a substantially reduced fee to, among others, individuals, charitable, religious, civic, or educational organizations in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of legal fees would deplete the organizations resources or be otherwise inappropriate; delivering legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or participating in activities for improving the law, legal system or the legal profession.

There are many ways in which we, as government lawyers, may fulfill our professional responsibility. Operating under the assumption that you, as a government lawyer, fulfill your obligation every day by simply going to work is a false assumption.  In fact, the comments to the rules indicate that this does not constitute compliance with the rule.  You would be surprised at the number of areas in which you may be able to lend your expertise to MVL, such as family law, landlord-tenant disputes, or probate to name a few.

I’m not trying to guilt anyone into providing pro bono services. I merely want to encourage you to consider it, and remember the reason you are a public sector attorney in the first place.  Of course, you will need to check with your employer to see what your office’s specific limitations are.  Once you’ve done this (and assuming you get a thumbs-up), consider helping with MVL’s Family Law Court Program, or having your office sponsor a Post-Decree Clinic coordinated and managed by MVL.  Working through MVL may address malpractice insurance concerns you have.  If you feel that you don’t have the expertise to handle a particular matter, no worries, MVL has a mentoring program for that.

I guess what I’m saying is be like Mikey and try it, you might like it.

Please see the article at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/tcl_articles.cfm?articleid=823 for the CBA’s policy for voluntary pro bono public service by government attorneys for guidance in establishing a policy for your public law office.

Nathan “Nate” Lucero is a Metro Volunteer Lawyers Board Member. With a dedication to public service, Nathan has made his career in the public sector, spending over ten years as an Assistant County Attorney in Adams County, Colorado prior to joining the Denver City Attorney’s office in 2014.  With Adams County, Nathan worked in human services for several years and spent the better part of his tenure with Adams County focusing on Land Use/Zoning, Prosecution of Code Violations, and Assessment Appeals.  Since working for the City and County of Denver, Nathan continues to focus on Land Use/Zoning and is expanding his repertoire to include Parks and Recreation and Environmental Law.

IAALS: Judge Arguello on a Diverse and Inclusive Legal Profession: Si Se Puede

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on IAALS Online, the blog for IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, on October 14, 2014.

By Zachary Willis and Riley CombelicJudgeArguello

“Big dreams, hard work, and serendipity” are the words Judge Christine M. Arguello of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado would use to describe how she achieved her professional successes as a lawyer and judge. But, she also acknowledges the help of various mentors and the support of academic institutions along her way to becoming a federal judge. She believes (and is bolstered by the results of a recent Gallup poll) that without this help, diverse and economically challenged students do not stand as good a chance of achieving such academic and professional success.

In order to help the next generation, Judge Arguello founded Law School – Si Se Puede, a pipeline program that advances inclusiveness in the legal profession by equipping students with the skills they need for their journey to law school and beyond. The program selects highly-motivated undergraduate students who represent populations that are traditionally underrepresented in the law (i.e., low-income students, students of color, and/or first generation high school graduates) and pairs them with three mentors each—a law student, a junior attorney, and a senior attorney—who commit to helping them through their undergraduate career and ultimately “demystify the process of applying to law school.”

I believe if there is to be a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in Colorado, then everyone needs to play his or her part in helping to make it so, even if that means addressing it one student at a time.

Judge Arguello has been involved with Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers since its inception. To learn more about Law School – Si Se Puede, click here.

Zach Willis joined IAALS in September 2012 as Communications Manager. He manages the online content for the organization, as well as print publications, social media, marketing, and outreach.

Before coming to IAALS, Willis was a legal editor, program attorney, and online content manager for the Colorado Bar Association CLE, tasked with overseeing the organization’s award-winning online legal resource, which tracks legal updates and news relevant to Colorado legal professionals. While at CBA-CLE, Willis also coordinated marketing and developed promotion strategies for publications and conferences. Previously, Willis worked as a law clerk for Senior Judge Edwin L. Felter, Jr., at the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts.

Riley Combelic joined IAALS in January 2014 as an Intern and Online Contributor, working on projects for all initiatives. Combelic is currently pursuing his J.D. and is a third-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he is specializing in corporate and securities law.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

What to Do Now That You’ve Passed the Bar Exam

dba logoEditor’s note: There are several ways to become a licensed attorney in Colorado. This article is targeted to those Class C applicants who passed the Colorado bar examination.  If you are waived on a motion or have taken the Uniform Bar Exam and been cleared, click here for more information on your next steps.

Congratulations! You’ve passed the bar! Here are some next steps you should take while you wait to be admitted to practice law.

Complete your admission requirements and become familiar with helpful resources available to you

Even though you’ve passed the bar, you’re not quite a lawyer yet.  You still have a few more steps before you can become a full-fledged ESQ.

Visit the Employment Ads

You’re (almost) a lawyer! Time to find a job and start your legal career. New jobs from around the state are posted daily to the Colorado Bar Association’s employment webpage and via CBA’s twitter account. You can search for jobs and set up alerts so that new positions go straight to your inbox.

If you’re hoping to hang your own shingle, be sure to check out the CBA’s Law Practice Management Department’s resources and sign up for the Solo Small Firm Section.

Start Networking

Denver’s legal community is large, but there are many ways to network.  Check out the Denver Young Lawyers Division to join a smaller community of attorneys new to the practice of law, or attend DBA events to meet attorneys from different practice areas. DBA also offers 16 committees and myriad volunteer opportunities, which makes connecting with people in your practice area easy. Don’t forget to connect with DBA members and other new attorneys on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

Write for The Docket and the DBA Young Lawyers blog

Be an active voice in the legal community! We know you have something to say, and we invite you to say it in The Docket and the Young Lawyers blog. Send an email to hclark@cobar.org with your ideas. Writing for The Docket or the blog is a great way to get your name out there and to show knowledge on your résumé and  LinkedIn.

Celebrate!

Now is the time to begin celebrating. Spend some time with your dog! Call your mom! Toast with some friends! Cheers to you—passing the bar exam is a huge accomplishment, and you did it!

Candidates who took the July 2014 bar exam will learn whether they passed the exam in early October via the Colorado Supreme Court’s website.

 

By Heather Clark, the communications and marketing director for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, and managing editor of The Docket. She can be reached at hclark@cobar.org.

Congratulations to All Who Passed the Bar

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the results of the July 2014 bar exam were posted. Congratulations to all who passed the bar! Welcome to Colorado’s legal community.

A total of 848 people took the bar this July, and 632 people passed, for a total pass rate of 75%. The University of Colorado had 134 test-takers and an 83% pass rate, while the University of Denver had 221 and a pass rate of 79%. Forty-two of the test-takers were from other national schools, and had an 88% pass rate. The rest of the bar examinees, 309 in number, had a pass rate of 69%.

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. (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.)

Attorney General Candidates Debate at CBA-CLE Offices

AG DebateOn Monday, October 6, 2014, the Colorado Bar Association, along with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Colorado GLBT Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and Sam Cary Bar Association sponsored a debate of three candidates for Colorado Attorney General. The debate was moderated by Denver Post political columnist Fred Brown. The candidates included Republican Cynthia Coffman, Democrat Don Quick, and Libertarian David Williams. Each candidate was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and then respond to questions posed by each of the sponsoring bars, the audience, and each other. After two hours of lively discussion and debating, the debate ended, but the candidates and attendees stuck around for more talk with appetizers and sodas hosted by the CBA. More than 120 attendees enjoyed the free event held at the CBA-CLE offices.  A live webcast was also offered for those unable to attend in person.

Learned Lawyer: Elisabeth Arenales Receives Colorado Medical Society Award

ArenalesThe Colorado Medical Society bestowed its “Tip of the Spear” award on Elisabeth Arenales at its annual meeting in Vail last week. Arenales is the Health Program Director for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, where she focuses on public health insurance programs, including Medicaid, and works to preserve, protect, and expand access to healthcare for lower-income Coloradoans. She received the “Tip of the Spear” award for her creation of the Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care. She had an idea to create a commission to study health care costs without becoming mired in politics. She approached Sen. Irene Aguilar and Sen. Ellen Roberts with her idea, and they helped gather the former members of the Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthcare Reform to address the issue. Arenales drafted SB 14-187, which passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by the governor on May 29, 2014.

Arenales has received many awards in her distinguished career, including the Colorado Bar Association’s Donald Hoagland Award in 2000, which recognizes outstanding leaders in the development and implementation of pro bono representation; the CBA Jacob V. Schaetzel Award  in 2005, which honors attorneys or non-attorneys whose commitment, energy, and innovative approaches to the delivery of legal services serve as models for others in the community, for her work on the Taylor Ranch case; and the Colorado Lawyers Committee Award in 2004 for her work representing individuals in cases involving the state’s computer benefits system. Arenales also received the Colorado Health Foundation’s distinguished John K. Iglehart Award for Leadership in Health Policy this summer for her continuing efforts to ensure access to healthcare for lower-income Coloradoans. Other awards include the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, Trial Lawyer of the Year from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, and the Community Health Leader designation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Prior to her work at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Arenales was a staff attorney for the Colorado Lawyers Committee, and she worked for a year in the San Luis Valley organizing plaintiffs for the Taylor Ranch litigation. She is the Board Chair of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, and is also one of the founders of CCHI. She serves on the advisory committee for Colorado Covering Kids and Families, the advisory board of Medicaid Ombudsmen for Managed Care, and the advisory board of Family Voices Colorado. Arenales received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Congratulations to Arenales for receiving the Tip of the Spear Award, and for her dedication to helping lower income Coloradoans access health care.

Colorado Attorney General Debate to be Held at CBA-CLE Offices

political-flyer-edit

The Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, Colorado Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and Sam Cary Bar Association will host a debate between the three Colorado Attorney General candidates on October 6, 2014, from 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm at the CBA-CLE offices. Vying for the open seat are Republican Cynthia Coffman, Democrat Don Quick, and Libertarian David Williams.

One CLE credit has been applied for, and there will be a webcast of the debate. To RSVP for this event, email execdir@cwba.org. Be sure to specify if you will attend the live debate or the webcast.

Don’t Delay, Submit VA Form 21a Today to Practice Before the Veterans’ Administration

flagThe Veterans’ Administration requires all attorneys who assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits to be accredited by the VA per 38 C.F.R. § 14.627(a). VA Form 21a is used to achieve accreditation, and it must be submitted prior to completing the second accreditation requirement, a three-hour CLE course regarding representation before the veterans’ administration, basic eligibility, claims and appeal procedures, and more.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans and CBA-CLE will host a 3-hour accreditation course on January 9, 2015, presented by Michael Shea, Esq. This 3-hour course satisfies the VA requirement for CLE. It also satisfies VA continuing education requirements for attorneys who are already accredited.

Attorneys wishing to obtain Veterans’ Administration accreditation must submit VA Form 21a at least 90 days prior to taking the CLE course, as it can take up to 90 days for the VA to review the form and accredit the attorney. VA Form 21a can be downloaded here, and may be submitted via facsimile or as a PDF attachment to an email sent to ogcaccreditationmailbox@va.gov.

For more information on accreditation requirements, click here, and for more information on CLE’s “Practicing Before the Veterans’ Administration” class in 2015, click here.

 

All Are Welcome at Denver Lawyers’ Arts & Literature Reception on September 10

Main-Photo

The winners of the The Docket’s Third Annual Arts & Literature Contest have been announced, and a reception will be held on September 10, 2014, in their recognition and to honor all entrants. This year’s winners are Barry Bartel (photography and sculpture), Joel Sayres (fiction), Ilona Dotterrer (nonfiction), Erin Agee (poetry), and Brett Godfrey (painting). Their works are featured in the September 2014 issue of The Docket.

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception and enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers at the DBA offices on September 10, 2014 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by September 5 to lunches@cobar.org, or register online here.