December 12, 2017

Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center on October 20

On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center will host a celebratory gala in honor of its 35th anniversary. The Legacy Gala will feature a presentation by former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers. There will also be an awards ceremony, a live auction, and a silent auction, in addition to dinner and cocktails. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Legacy Gala, and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center is accepting donations for the silent auction as well. To register for the event or to learn more about sponsorship, click here.

Congratulations to 2016 Colorado LGBT Bar Association Foundation Award Winners

ColoradoLGBTbar-LogoOn Wednesday, August 10, 2016, the Colorado LGBT Bar Association announced the 2016 winners of its Ally of the Year Award and LGBT Attorney of the Year Award.

The recipient of the 2016 Ally of the Year Award is Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC and its attorneys.

As one of Colorado’s most preeminent civil rights and plaintiffs employment law firms, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC advocates for the rights of employees in the workplace, and for the civil rights of all individuals against government and institutional abuses of power. Rathod Mohamedbhai is a friend and ally to Colorado’s LGBT community, ensuring accountability and positive social reform as it pertains to the protection of civil rights for all of Colorado’s communities. Following the recent tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, named partner Qusair Mohamedbhai was instrumental in gathering Colorado’s Muslim leaders to condemn the violence and speak out in support of the LGBT community.

The Colorado LGBT Bar Association and the Colorado LGBT Bar Foundation proudly recognizes Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC and its 10 attorneys and staff as their 2016 Ally of the Year.

The recipient of the 2016 LGBT Attorney of the Year Award is Patricia Jarzobski, current CBA President.

As the 2016-2017 Colorado Bar Association President, Jarzobski is the fifth woman to be president of the CBA in 119 years and the first in a decade. Former president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA) in 2012, some of Jarzobski’s other leadership roles include being appointed to the 17th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission (2013–19) and serving as vice chair of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Board of Trustees (2013–present). She has been a CAMP mentor, and her law practice has been named a Legal Aid Foundation Leadership Law Firm.

In her role as CBA president, Jarzobski seeks to build engagement through real relationships that are focused on mentoring and sponsorship. With a  focus on diversity and inclusiveness in the law, Jarzobski seeks to bring a fresh perspective and create a community rooted in inclusive growth.Jarzobski promises to bring to the role of CBA president the grit and poise of someone who has worked her way up the ranks. Having waited tables and cleaned houses, she imparts the perspective of someone who genuinely understands people from disparate walks of life. She will also contribute the perspective of a gay woman of Lebanese and Polish descent. Jarzobski knows what it is like to be treated differently and unfairly but believes that society can change to be more accepting by making inclusiveness the new normal.

The Colorado LGBT Bar Association and the Colorado LGBT Bar Foundation proudly recognized Patricia Jarzobski as their 2016 LGBT Attorney of the Year.

The Colorado LGBT Bar Association will recognize the award winners at the Colorado LGBT Bar Foundation Dinner on October 20, 2016 at the Brown Palace. Tickets are available for individuals or groups; click here for more information or to order tickets. If you plan to purchase a sponsorship or a table, please register as a “group” and you will be able to quickly and easily invite your table attendees to register with your group or sponsor organization. If you are purchasing an individual ticket, consider becoming a “Summit Sponsor” to help directly fund the Summit Scholarship. The recipient of the Summit Scholarship will also be recognized at the dinner.

For questions about the event or for more information, contact the Foundation.

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.

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!

DBA Awards Reception on June 26 – All Are Invited!

GabrielThe Denver Bar Association is hosting a reception on Thursday, June 26, 2014 to honor its 2014 award recipients. Judge Richard L. Gabriel received the Award of Merit, the highest honor bestowed by the DBA. Judge Dennis A. Graham received the Judicial Excellence Award for his exemplary judicial service. Ilene Lin Bloom received the DBA Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award, given to an attorney who proudly provides outstanding services to the community. Margrit Lent Parker received the Young Lawyer of the Year Award, recognizing her achievements as a young lawyer.

Everyone is welcome to attend the award reception on Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center. RSVP online, by emailing lunches@cobar.org, or by calling (303) 860-1115, ext. 727.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans Honored as DBA Outstanding Program

This is Part 2 of a series of posts about the DBA Award winners (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here; for Part 3, click here; for Part 4, click here; and for Part 5, click here). The article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The Docket.

When John Vaught returned home from Vietnam, something was missing: support from his fellow Americans.

Fast forward decades and a law school education later to Vaught’s involvement with Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans (CLCV). Determined to provide the support he didn’t get for those who have served our country, Vaught approached Mark Fogg (then CBA President) about creating a veterans affairs program. As it turns out, Chief Justice Bender was working on a similar idea. So, several factors and ideas converged, and Vaught and Ben Currier, the CBA YLD Chair at the time, were tasked with getting CLCV started.

Their immediate mission was to form clinics around the state where CBA volunteer lawyers could meet with veterans who needed legal assistance but couldn’t afford it. Now, there are nine clinics around Colorado, and the initial program concept has expanded to form the CBA Military & Veterans Affairs Section. The members of that section are responsible not only for maintaining and improving the clinics, but also for developing other ways to help veterans in the community.

Since its inception in 2011, the CLCV clinics have served more than 400 veterans and assigned 175 pro bono cases to volunteer lawyers. Common legal topics addressed include VA benefits, landlord–tenant issues and domestic issues. Lawyers across the state have been instrumental in volunteering their time to participate in these clinics and help veterans. Sometimes, all that’s needed is 15 minutes of advice or legal direction, while other times a pro bono case or reduced-free relationship is arranged. Any way you look at it, CLCV is a highly valuable program that’s helping to unite our community.

“There’s a huge satisfaction in helping,” Vaught says, “in reaching out to these people and saying ‘I get it, I understand what you’ve been through. I welcome you home and want to try to help you in a real way.”

Craig Dehning of Skinner Middle School and Theresa Storto of Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy Awarded DBA Education in the Legal System Award

This is Part 2 of a series of posts about the DBA Award winners (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here; for Part 3, click here; for Part 4, click here). The article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The Docket.

EDUCATION IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM AWARD WINNER:
CRAIG DEHNING, SKINNER MIDDLE SCHOOL

“It’s critically important that we teach civics in 8th grade because they’re not necessarily getting it later. It’s the foundation of law.”

Craig Dehning, an 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Skinner Middle School, is serious when it comes to shaping the future generation. He explains that for many, the last year of middle school is the only time kids will learn about the Constitution in Denver Public Schools. There is an elective civics class in high school, but it isn’t mandatory. And, the high school where many of his kids continue on has a shockingly high drop-out rate. So, he takes every chance he can get to impact their education.

“It’s so important for the kids to have some idea about the beginning of our country, the creation of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—among others,” Dehning says.

Although he was almost a lawyer, Dehning has clearly found his knack in teaching. His voice fills with enthusiasm when describing the value of showing kids how success feels. His favorite part of teaching is seeing the learning curve—how those kids take that knowledge and become confident. Dehning encourages his students to always ask questions, explaining: “Learning comes from questioning.”

Praising the “We the People” program, Dehning says that it’s a really great way for kids to dive into the Constitution and learn more about legal topics, such as the structure of our government and the Fifth Amendment. He hopes that more schools will become involved in it in the future.

“We need to make sure the foundation of our government and society is taught to kids,” Dehning says.

EDUCATION IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM AWARD WINNER:
THERESA STORTO, KUNSMILLER CREATIVE ARTS ACADEMY

Typically, growing up means learning from your mistakes.

That same idea is often applied—in a more general sense—to education. The more students learn about the past, the better they can shape the future. Eighth-grade social studies teacher Theresa Storto believes this is a critical aspect of her history curriculum. She teaches the students at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy that to improve the future, you have to understand the past.

An important part of Storto’s social studies teaching plan is the “We the People” program. She encourages her students to participate in Mock Congressional Hearings each year, where they become experts in parts of the Constitution.

“They’re the future and they need to know the Constitution to understand that they do have power,” Storto explains, “so that they can make the changes they feel are necessary for a better world.”

Along with the legal knowledge, students also gain confidence in their expertise and abilities throughout the program. Storto says that showing kids how they can make a difference is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher. She strives to always provide them with inspiration and hope for the future—and the courage to believe in who they are and what they can do.

Congratulations to the 2014 DBA Award Winners

The DBA Awards Committee has chosen winners for the following awards: DBA Award of Merit, DBA Young Lawyer of the Year, DBA Volunteer of the Year, Judicial Excellence, Education in the Legal System and Outstanding Programs or Projects. Involvement with the DBA, community contributions outside the bar associations, career history, and accomplishments were all considered in the selection process. The winners listed below are outstanding individuals whom we would like to recognize publicly for their commitment to the legal field and our community. Thank you for inspiring us all!

  • Award of Merit: Richard L. Gabriel,Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Judicial Excellence: Dennis A. Graham,Colorado Court of Appeals
  • Young Lawyer of the Year: Margrit Parker,Kennedy Childs
  • Volunteer of the Year: Ilene Lin Bloom, Ilene Bloom PC
  • Education in the Legal System: Craig Dehning from Skinner Middle School and Theresa Storto from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
  • Projects and Programs: Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans Clinic volunteers

University of Colorado Law School Alumni Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The University of Colorado Law School will celebrate the achievements of its alumni when it hold its 33rd Annual Law Alumni Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 12 at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Four outstanding alumni have been chosen to receive awards.

The Honorable Roy R. Romer, class of 1952 and former Governor of Colorado, will receive the William Lee Knous Award, the highest honor that the law school can bestow upon an alumnus.

The Honorable Claudia J. Jordan, class of 1980 and Denver County Judge, Second Judicial District, will receive the Distinguished Achievement in the Judiciary Award.

Thomas M. Ray, class of 1986 and President and CEO, CoreSite, will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Industry Award.

Thomas W. Fredericks, class of 1972 and Partner, Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP, will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Private Practice Award.

Dean Phil Weiser will also recognize the exceptional contributions three individuals have made to Colorado Law this year with the presentation of two Dean’s Choice Awards.

Douglas J. Friednash, Shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, and Scott Martinez, Denver City Attorney, will receive the Dean Edward C. King “Pay it Forward” Award.

Ann Getches will receive the Richard Schaden “Adopted Alumna” Award.

For sponsorship information or to purchase tickets online, click here (http://www.colorado.edu/law/alumni/colorado-law-alumni-awards-banquet) or contact Cheryl Franchi at cheryl.franchi@colorado.edu.

Denver Bar Association Seeks Nominations for 2014 Awards

The Denver Bar Association seeks nominations for the 2014 DBA Awards. Nominations are due January 31, 2014, and encompass several categories:

  • DBA Award of Merit – This award is given to a member of the DBA who provides outstanding service and contributions to the DBA and the legal community. A list of prior recipients may be found here.
  • DBA Judicial Excellence Award – This award honors a DBA member of the judiciary who contributes to the improvement of the legal system or provides exceptional contributions to the judiciary. Click here for prior recipients.
  • DBA Young Lawyer of the Year – This award is given to a DBA member who is younger than 37 or has been in practice less than three years and who provides outstanding service and contributions to the DBA and the legal community. Prior recipients may be found here.
  • DBA Volunteer Lawyer of the Year – This award recognizes pro bono efforts by DBA members. Click here to see a list of prior recipients.
  • DBA Education in the Legal Community Award – This new award was developed to recognize outstanding contributions to legal education and civics by lawyers or schools.
  • DBA Outstanding Programs/Projects – Also new for this year, this award acknowledges the immense efforts of programs that provide legal education, outreach, pro bono services or fundraising.

Nominations may be submitted online using the form found here. Nominations may also be submitted to Heather Clark at the CBA/DBA offices. Contact Heather Clark for more information.

Bennett S. Aisenberg to Receive Colorado Bar Association’s Highest Honor

Aisenberg_BennettBennett S. Aisenberg will receive the Colorado Bar Association Award of Merit on Friday, January 11, 2013. 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.

Mr. Aisenberg is a sole practitioner in Denver who has been a litigation attorney for 54 years. He currently specializes in arbitration, mediation, and matters involving legal ethics. He graduated from Brown University and attended Harvard Law School. He has been a fixture on the CBA Ethics Committee for many years, and in 2006 he received the Don W. Sears Ethics Award of Merit.

He served as a president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association in 1984-1985, president of the Denver Bar Association in 1991-1992, and president of the Colorado Bar Association in 1998-1999. In 2003, he received the DBA’s highest honor when he was given the DBA Award of Merit. He also has been honored by the Sam Cary and Asian Pacific American Bar Associations.

Mr. Aisenberg also served on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Second Judicial District for six years, and has taught at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He writes for the Colorado Courtroom Handbook for Civil Trials, published by CBA-CLE, and has presented at many seminars.

He has long been a supporter of the Colorado Bar Foundation, which promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and the fair and equal administration of justice through grants that help educate the public and by providing assistance to Colorado’s legal institutions. The Foundation created the Aisenberg Society in his honor.

“Ben is the kind of attorney we all aspire to be,” said CBA President Mark A. Fogg. “He has a passion for his work that has never swayed in more than 50 years of practice and he has worked tirelessly, through his participation in the bar association and other groups, to share this passion through education, mentoring of younger attorneys and sound ethical advice.”

Loren M. Brown Named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year

The Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division announced Tuesday that Loren M. Brown is this year’s recipient of the Gary L. MacPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award. Mr. Brown is a shareholder with Donelson, Ciancio & Grant, P.C., in Broomfield.

Mr. Brown, age 35, has already shown great leadership skills in both the legal community and the community at large. He serves on the Board of Directors for Metro Volunteer Lawyers, an organization that provides access to justice for those who could not otherwise afford it; CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties, which trains and organizes court-appointed special advocates for child victims of abuse or neglect; and the 17th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee, which provides the public with legal resources.

The Gary L. McPherson Outstanding Lawyer of the Year award is given annually to a young lawyer with an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others. Mr. McPherson was honored with the award in 1993; he went on to serve three terms in the state legislature. The award was renamed in his honor following his death in 2000.

Mr. Brown will be honored at the Young Lawyers Division holiday party on December 12 and at the Colorado Bar Foundation Annual Bar Fellows Dinner in January.