December 17, 2017

Fare Thee Well: Gary Abrams Retires from CBA-CLE

On February 1, 1997, a fresh-faced young whippersnapper from the Badger State became the Executive Director of Colorado Bar Association CLE. Almost exactly 20 years later, Gary Abrams retired after a distinguished tenure.

Gary’s vision was to make CBA-CLE Colorado’s biggest and best provider of continuing legal education. Under Gary’s leadership, CBA-CLE grew from a small business with a four-person staff to Colorado’s biggest CLE provider with over 20 full time employees. Lisa Travis Fischer, CBA-CLE’s Publications Director, remarked that “Gary’s passion, dedication, and leadership changed CBA-CLE forever. He has left behind a legacy that will be cherished.”

Mark Masters and Gary Abrams at Hanging Your Shingle 2012

Working together with the faculty was arguably Gary’s favorite part of leading CBA-CLE. He started a tradition of wine tasting networking events, which quickly became everyone’s favorite social events at annual institutes such as the Family Law Institute, Trust & Estate Retreat, Real Estate Symposium, IP Institute, and others.

Laurie Hunter receiving the Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence in 2012

The wine tasting also became a staple of CLE’s annual Faculty & Author Reception, a holiday event in which our volunteer authors and speakers are honored and winners of the Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence are announced.

Gary and the author at a staff Secret Santa gift and cookie exchange

Gary loves to be the life of the party. At the annual CBA-CLE staff Secret Santa gift exchange and cookie extravaganza, Gary always enjoys playing “Hanaukkah Harry” and passing out the gifts.

Gary always has a ready smile

One of Gary’s favorite places to be is at the lectern, introducing speakers for CLE programs. When he’s not at the office, though, he can frequently be found on the ski slopes, playing golf, fishing, and sailing. He enjoys Colorado’s great outdoors, and is looking forward to spending more time sailing during his retirement.

Gary and Mark Fogg

Vince O’Brien, CBA-CLE’s new Executive Director, has known Gary for many years, including “his ready smile and CLE wisdom.” Vince remarked that for the past few weeks, “Gary has been like one of Dickens’ ghosts as he brings me up to speed on CBA-CLE. I’d like to think his spirit will be here for quite a while after he retires. Gary has been a friend and guide to Colorado lawyers for a long and important time. Many thanks and bon voyage!”

At the IP Institute in 2012

 

Gary at the 2016 Elder Law Retreat with Nena and Oscar

 

Daniel Deasy and Gary Abrams at the 2013 Family Law Institute

 

Gary and Marc Painter at the 2016 Faculty & Author Reception

 

What a long, strange trip it’s been. Thank you, Gary, for your excellent leadership. Enjoy your retirement – you deserve it.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from CBA-CLE

Today, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights activist who bravely spoke out against racism and oppression so many years ago. Dr. King’s important work continues to be relevant. His full speech is available here.


“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”


“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Oh, the Places You’ll Go — CLE Says Farewell to Assistant Executive Director Dawn McKnight

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It is a sad day at CBA-CLE as we say goodbye to our leader, coworker, and friend — Dawn McKnight. Dawn has devoted over fourteen years to CBA-CLE. She began her tenure in the publications department. However, she left CBA-CLE after a short time to utilize her varied skills on the partnership track in private practice. Her drive and enthusiasm so impressed CBA-CLE Executive Director Gary Abrams that when the position of Publications Director opened up, he wooed her for three months to take over the department. To our relief, she finally relented and accepted the position. We are so glad she did.

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As with everything she does, Dawn has tirelessly led the publications department with dedication and integrity. Under her guidance, the publications department went from a two-person department with a handful of books to a full-scale legal publisher with a staff of seven offering about 60 original titles.

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In addition to growing the publications department, Dawn became CBA-CLE’s Assistant Executive Director in 2006. She capably assumed the added responsibilities of assisting with the management of a large nonprofit corporation during the economic downturn while handling the challenges of a publications department in an increasingly digital age.

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Alas, though, all good things must come to an end. Dawn has accepted a position with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. She has promised to return to us, though, to present at CLE programs. We are going to hold her to it!

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Congratulations, Dawn, on your new endeavor. Oh, the places you’ll go — you will continue to do amazing things, although you will be sorely missed at CBA-CLE.

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Happy Labor Day from CBA-CLE!

flagHappy Labor Day! The CBA and CLE offices will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2016, in observance of Labor Day.

Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. It was established to honor the American labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers.

There is some debate as to who first proposed Labor Day. Many credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist who later became the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J. Others contend Labor Day was proposed by Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Regardless of whose idea it was, though, the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.

The Colorado legislature enacted Labor Day in 1887, and on June 28, 1894, Congress enacted a bill making the first Monday in September a national holiday, signed by President Grover Cleveland after the end of a bloody strike, the Pullman Strike.

Today, Labor Day is generally celebrated with barbecues and picnics, but the original plan for Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal as a street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Later, the day included speeches by prominent figures in the labor movement, although that has largely been abandoned today.

Denver celebrates Labor Day weekend with the Taste of Colorado festival, held in Civic Center Park. Additionally, the Colorado State Fair will take place in Pueblo this weekend, Colorado Springs will host its annual Labor Day Liftoff Hot Air Balloon festival, and the Buffs and Rams will have their annual showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium tonight.

No matter what your plans for the weekend include, we hope you have a happy and safe weekend, and a great Labor Day.

Dr. Ulrich Herrmann, Chief Judge of the III Civil Panel in Germany, to Speak at Brown Palace

Herrmann_pic_02The Colorado Bar Association International Law Section and the Colorado Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce are hosting a luncheon with Dr. Ulrich Herrmann, Chief Judge of the III Civil Panel of the Supreme Court of Germany. Dr. Herrmann will discuss the refugee crisis, Brexit, and political freedom of speech.

Dr. Herrmann was appointed presiding justice of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) and chairman of the 3rd Civil Panel on August 4, 2015. The Bundesgerichtshof is the German Federal Supreme Court for civil, family, and criminal cases. As chairman of the 3rd Civil Panel, his jurisdiction includes state liability, liability of notaries, service contracts, mandate law, law of private foundations and several other subjects. Dr. Herrmann was first appointed to the Justice of the Federal Court of Justice and to the 3rd Civil Panel in December 2003. He has additionally served as judicial tasks representative for the court on IT matters since March 2007.

Dr. Herrmann began his law career as an assistant at the Institute of Civil Procedure and Insolvency Law of the University of Bonn, writing his doctoral thesis on “The Principle Structure of a Pending Civil Law Suit” (Die Grundstruktur der Rechtshängigkeit). He was appointed as a judge at the Regional and the Local Court of Bonn in February1990. Over the following seven years, Dr. Herrmann served first as presidential and later as presiding judge of the Regional Court of Frankfurt (Oder) in the state of Brandenburg. Here he was also responsible for the personal matters of the judges of the district court.

In August 1998, Dr. Herrmann became judge of the Higher Regional Court of Brandenburg, where he continued to take responsibility for the personal matters of regional judges. In December 1999, he became chief of staff of the Brandenburg Ministry of Justice and in December 2002, he was appointed vice president of the agency for legal exams of the state of Brandenburg.

He originally hails from the city of Bonn in North Rhine Westphalia. He is married and has two children, aged 24 and 30 years old.

The program will take place on Friday, August 5, 2016, from noon to 1:30 at the Brown Palace. To register, call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727, or email lunches@cobar.org.

Denver Senior Law Day is This Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 cover sample_Layout 1The Denver Senior Law Day will be held this Friday, July 29, 2016, at the PPA Event Center in Denver. The event will run from 8 am to noon. Join some of Denver’s top elder law attorneys to learn about legal issues affecting older adults. Topics to be presented include fraud prevention, Medicare issues, estate planning basics, probate procedures, and more. The Ask-A-Lawyer table will return for this year’s event, and each attendee will receive a copy of the 2016 Senior Law Handbook.

Registration is now open online — click here to register. Questions? Call (303) 757-4342 or email SLD@denverprobatelaw.com.

For more information, visit www.denverseniorlawday.com.

Sam Cary Bar Association to Host SEE ME Rally This Saturday

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Happy Fourth of July!

The CBA and CLE offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, in honor of the holiday. Colorado Bar Association CLE would like to wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July.

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“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” – Albert Einstein

“This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X

“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” – Harry S. Truman

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” – Ben Franklin

Sean May Memorial 9 Mile and 5K Run/Walk This Weekend

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Sean May

The 8th Annual Sean May Memorial Run/Walk will be held at Barr Lake State Park on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Each year, the 17th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee hosts the Sean May Memorial Run/Walk to commemorate Sean May, a deputy district attorney from the 17th Judicial District who championed personal responsibility, including treating victims, the community, defendants, and the courts with dignity and respect. During his seven years of service in Adams County, May volunteered for the Child Victim Unit, where he pursued justice for children who had been physically and/or sexually abused. May died on August 27, 2008, when he was shot in his backyard when returning from work. At the time of his death, he was responsible for training and supervising new prosecutors.

This year’s event will feature a 9 mile run, a 5K, and a family fun run/walk at beautiful Barr Lake State Park. The course passes by several wildlife viewing stations and the park’s wildlife refuge. More than 350 species of birds have been spotted in the park. Numerous bald eagles winter at Barr Lake and one pair stays to nest and raise its young every year. Registration opens at 7:30 am, and the 9 mile run starts at 9 am, followed by the 5K at 9:15 and the fun run after that. Register online or at the race.

For more information about the run, click here.

J. Ryann Peyton Named Next Director of Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program

RyannPeytonOn Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of J. Ryann Peyton as director of the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP), effective July 1, 2016. Peyton will replace John Baker, who in February 2013 was named the first director of CAMP. Peyton will begin at CAMP on April 1, 2016 and will work with Baker through his June 30, 2016, departure.

Peyton is currently the Training and Legal Director at the GLBT Center of Colorado. She has been at The Center since March 2015. Prior to her work at The Center, Peyton was in private practice, focusing on domestic relations law for LGBT and non-traditional families. She has also served as an adjunct professor in the University of Denver’s externship program, serves on the board of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and is the former president of that association, served on the board of the Twin Cities Quorum (LGBT Chamber of Commerce) in Minnesota, and has been a board member for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness. She received her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver.

The CAMP program was established in February 2013 to develop and administer mentoring programs in all of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts. CAMP programming occurs through bar associations, inns of court, law firms, agencies, and other legal organizations throughout the state. In locations where no organization-related programs are available, CAMP matches mentors with mentees in an individualized program.

For more information about Peyton’s directorship, click here.

 

Run, Walk, Roll, and Fundraise for Disability Law Colorado

colfaxmarathonJoin the Disability Law Colorado team for the Colfax Marathon weekend for fun in the sun! We race to ensure that people with disabilities and older people receive the same civil rights people without disabilities do — living in the community, working at a meaningful job, going to school, and enjoying Colorado’s vast recreational opportunities.

This year’s Colfax Marathon will be May 14-15, 2016. The Colfax Marathon offers several opportunities for runners of different abilities — there is a full marathon, a half marathon, an Urban 10-Miler, a marathon relay race where five people run distances ranging from 3.9 to 6.4 miles, and a Colfax 5K. Any of these races can be run to support Disability Law Colorado — just choose “Run for a Nonprofit” before you register and select Disability Law Colorado.

Not up for a full marathon? Or even a half? That’s okay, you can do a leg of the marathon relay! If you don’t have a full team, contact Julie Busby at 303-722-0300, x507 or jbusby@disabilitylawco.org, and she will help connect you to other runners.

We race to make a difference! Register and join our team at www.runcolfax.org, or get more information by calling Julie Busby at 303-722-0300, x507. Learn more about Disability Law Colorado and how we help by visiting www.disabilitylawco.org.

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Qusair Mohamedbhai Recognized with 2015 Davis Award

Qusair Mohamedbhia Bio PicOn January 21, 2016, Davis Graham & Stubbs held its annual Richard Marden Davis Award Dinner. The guest of honor and recipient of the 2015 Davis Award was Qusair Mohamedbhai, founder of Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, a civil rights and plaintiff’s employment firm in Denver. Mohamedbhai is a member of the Board of Directors for CLE in Colorado, is a frequent speaker at our programs, and writes for The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law. In his practice, he advocates for the rights of employees in the workplace and for the civil rights of all people against governmental and institutional abuses of power. In addition to his law practice, Mohamedbhai is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he teaches constitutional litigation.

Mohamedbhai has received many other prestigious awards in his career. In addition to the 2015 Davis Award, Mohamedbhai received the 2015 Leonard Wein­glass in Defense of Civil Lib­er­ties Award from the American Association of Justice; received the 2013 and 2014 Case of the Year awards from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association; and is a Legal Advisor to the Government of Mexico. He also received 5280 Magazine‘s “Top Lawyer” award for 2016 in the area of civil rights, Law Week Colorado‘s “Barrister’s Best” award in 2015 for Best Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer, a “Super Lawyer” designation for 2014 and 2015 in the area of plaintiff’s employment law, and was named in Best Lawyers in the 2016 edition for employment law.

The Richard Marden Davis Award is given annually to a lawyer under 40 years old who combines excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership. The award was created in honor of Richard Marden Davis, a founding partner of Davis Graham & Stubbs, who was a skilled attorney who also made time for community service. The Davis family, Davis Graham & Stubbs, and the Denver Bar Foundation established the award in memory of Richard Marden Davis in 1993 to honor his belief that great lawyers should also be professional and community leaders. Past recipients of the Davis Award include Justice Monica Marquez of the Colorado Supreme Court, Justice Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Gilbert Roman of the Colorado Court of Appeals, and former governor Bill Ritter.

For more information about the award, click here. Congratulations, Qusair!