The University of Denver Sturm College of Law Law Stars event is just around the corner, to be held Thursday, September 13, 2012. Earlier this year, the law school named its awards recipients for the year, who will be honored at the event. Since 1993, DU Law Stars has recognized distinguished alumni and faculty for their achievements at the annual gala, which includes a light-hearted, humorous, and personal commemorative video of each honoree, recounting accomplishments both professional and personal.
This year’s awards recipients are:
A co-founder of the firm Keating Wagner Polidori Free, Bill has been listed in the Best Lawyers of America for more than 17 years. His strong work ethic and a love of the law and working with people has resulted in many honors including the invitations to the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to 500 Fellows in the United States and the American College of Trial Lawyers – representing less than the top one percent of lawyers in Colorado, and the U.S. Bill has also been elected to membership in the International Society of Barristers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Academy of Catastrophic Injury Attorneys. In 2008 he was again selected by Colorado attorneys for inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers list, and this year included among the Top 10 Colorado Super Lawyers. He lectures locally and nationally on litigation matters and is past president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
Mike O’Donnell is a founder and the chairman of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell. Mike has served as national and regional counsel for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Advanced Bionics, McKesson, Boston Scientific, Pfizer, and CNA. Mike was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and served as the chairman of its Colorado chapter for two consecutive years. He was also elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mike is a former chairman of The Network of Trial Law Firms, a 7,000-member lawyer organization that offers continuing legal education programs on litigation topics. Best Lawyers® lists Mike in five litigation practice areas and named him “Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year” for 2011 and “Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2012. Mike has appeared on the Colorado Super Lawyers list since its inception, including making it onto its top-ten list multiple times. In 2011, Law Week Colorado selected Mike as one of ten “Lawyers of the Decade.” In a survey conducted by Law Week Colorado in 2010, Mike was selected by his peers as the “Best Trial Lawyer” in Colorado. In 2008, Mike became only the seventh defense lawyer to receive an award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for the highest standards of competency, ethics, and professionalism.
Mary Jo Gross is the Senior Vice President, Secretary, and Corporate Counsel of ET Investments, LLC. Mary Jo came to ET Investments from United General Title Insurance Company where she served as Vice President and Corporate Counsel. Immediately prior to joining United General, Mary Jo was General Counsel for Transwest Trucks. And prior to her in-house corporate counsel career, Mary Jo was a shareholder and director of Fairfield and Woods, P.C., a long-standing Denver law firm. Mary Jo is a past President of the Denver Bar Association and a past Chairperson of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Alumni Council.
Joyce Sterling has devoted more than a decade to the study of the legal profession and legal education. Her recent research has focused on the problems facing women in legal careers compared to their male counterparts. Her most recent article appears in University of Texas Journal of Women and the Law (titled “Sticky Floors, Broken Steps, Concrete Ceilings in Legal Careers”.) Since 1997, Professor Sterling has been one of the co-principal investigators on the “After the JD” Study. Professor Sterling has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law School (Academic Year 1985-86), Visiting Professor at University of Cincinnati Law School (Fall 1990) and most recently a Visiting Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation (Academic Year 2002-2003). Professor Sterling is called upon to give lectures about gender in the legal profession. These include the keynote address to the NALP Foundation annual meeting (2004), as well as speaking at the LSAC Annual Meeting, Law Access, Association of American Law Schools, and the Law and Society Association. Professor Sterling’s teaching areas include: History of American Law, Scientific Evidence, Legal Profession (course on legal ethics), and Law and Society Seminar.
The four will be honored at the gala event on September 13, 2012 at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver. More information about the DU Law Stars can be found here.