October 9, 2015

Help Restore Flood-Damaged Areas Along Poudre River

The American Bar Association, Colorado Bar Association, and Boulder County Bar Association are joining Wildlands Restoration Volunteers on Sunday, October 25, 2015, to repair the Skin Gulch area along the Poudre River near Fort Collins. Skin Gulch was devastated by the High Park fire in 2012, and was again damaged by the massive floods of September 2013.

Attorneys and their friends and families aged 12 and older are welcome to join the restoration efforts for all or a part of the day on Sunday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. and lunch will be provided. If you are interested in participating, please send an email with your name and cell phone number to Ann Rhodes at amr@amr-law.com. Directions will be provided upon RSVP.

Run the Red Rock Scramble 5.8K to Benefit the Colorado Indian Bar Association

RedRockScrambleThe Colorado Indian Bar Association is hosting its annual fundraiser, the Red Rock Scramble, on Sunday, October 11, 2015, at 10 a.m. This 5.8K run on a hard-packed dirt road with beautiful views of the flatirons and surrounding mountains benefits the CIBA and raises money for scholarships to benefit one student each year in attendance at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the University of Colorado School of Law who will be practicing in the field of Federal Indian Law or who commits to working with American Indian communities. Registration for the run is only $30, and small prizes will be awarded to the top male and female runners in each of several age categories. CIBA will also provide a $50 gift certificate to a running store to the overall top male and female runners. Click here to register and for more information about the race.

The Colorado Indian Bar Association is a local bar association consisting of American Indian lawyers, practitioners of American Indian law, and American Indian law students in Colorado. CIBA promotes the development of Indian Law for the maximum benefit of Indian people, strives toward justice and effective legal representation for all Indian people, provides a forum for Native Americans to become more involved in the local and national issues affecting Indian people, provides networking and support to encourage Native Americans to pursue careers in the law, and promotes the nomination of Native Americans for judicial appointments.

Register today for the Red Rock Scramble!

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!


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.

This year’s theme was Fire and Ice.


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


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.


The face painting was a fun diversion.


Guests enjoy camaraderie during the cocktail hour.


Dinner is served.


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


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.