November 24, 2014

Bar Associations Offer Legal Assistance to Wildfire Victims

The Denver and El Paso County Bar Associations will offer three events where people affected by wildfires can ask attorneys legal questions at no cost. “We are saddened to see our community again face a devastating wildfire, but we hope to offer clarity and guidance for those who have been impacted by the Black Forest Fire,” said EPCBA Executive Director Claire Anderson.

Events include:

Ask-A-Lawyer—The El Paso County Bar Association will host Ask-A-Lawyer for victims of the Black Forest Fire from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, at the Disaster Assistance Center at the Citizens Service Center, located at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road. No appointment is required.

Lawline 9—The Denver Bar Association will dedicate its Lawline 9, a call-in program at 9News, to answering legal questions related to the wildfires. The Lawline 9 will run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. Callers can reach attorneys at 303-698-0999.

Call-A-Lawyer—The EPCBA will also host a call-in program from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. Callers can reach attorneys at 719-471-0380, and they will answer general legal questions and those related to the wildfire.

“I’m proud to see Colorado Bar Association members from across the state stepping up to lend a hand to their fellow Coloradans and hope we can offer some assistance during this tragic event,” said Colorado Bar Association President Mark A. Fogg.

 

Legal Community Donates More Than $54,000 in Food and Cash for Annual Drive

ROTB2-2Members of the legal community donated food and dollars totaling $54,145 to hunger relief organization Metro CareRing through the Denver Bar Association’s 14th Annual Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive, collecting 3,000 pounds more food than in the previous year.

Forty-eight law firms participated in the drive, collecting 10,093 pounds of food and $31,940 in cash donations. This year’s top donating firms are Berenbaum Weinshienk PC, the Castle Law Group, Faegre Baker Daniels, Katz, Look & Onorato PC, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Orten Cavanagh & Holmes LLC. The food drive was sponsored by the Denver Bar Association’s Community Action Network and ran April 15 to 26.

ROTB1-1“We’re thrilled that the legal community has stepped up this year to provide even more food to Metro CareRing,” said CAN Committee Chair Kris Reed, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. “Summer months can hard on families because school is out and kids are home for most meals. We’re pleased the Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive can help close the hunger gap in the metro area.”

Metro CareRing operates one of the largest food pantries in Denver. The food and money donated will translate to approximately 15,600 people provided with a five-day supply of food, according to Metro CareRing.

The Community Action Network Committee offers DBA members year-round opportunities to connect with the community and provide valuable legal, social and civic assistance to those in need.

Get Down & Derby at the Barristers Benefit Ball This Saturday

web-BBBBy Jaci Casey and Michelle Ferguson

The Denver Bar Foundation invites you to join us at the 25th Annual Barristers Benefit Ball on Saturday, May 4, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver.

Attending the Barristers Benefit Ball is a tradition within the legal community. This year’s theme, “Down & Derby,” is sure to top the charts as one of the most fun-filled evenings among those we’ve held over the past several years. Please join us this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ball—derby style!

The Barristers Benefit Ball is the Denver Bar Association’s primary fundraiser to support its flagship program, Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL). Celebrating its 47th year of service, MVL has been operating continuously since 1966 and is the oldest pro bono legal services program of its kind in the United States. MVL is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bridge the gap in access to justice by coordinating the provision of pro bono legal services by volunteer lawyers within the Denver metro area to people who could not otherwise afford legal services for their civil legal issues.

The staff at MVL includes one full-time Executive Director (attorney), a full-time Legal Services Coordinator, a full-time Family Law Court Program Coordinator (attorney), one full-time Program Coordinator, the part-time Rovira Scholar Fellow (attorney), and several invaluable volunteers and interns. Donating time as an MVL volunteer serves the needs of those less fortunate, advances the reputation of the legal community, and allows attorneys to fulfill the recommendations of Rule 6.1 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, which seeks to have every attorney complete at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work annually. MVL has 450 volunteer attorneys who take approximately three cases each year.

Your attendance at the Barristers Benefit Ball helps MVL maintain its staff and pay its operating expenses, both of which are vital to sustaining and expanding its capacity to serve our community. By providing much needed pro bono legal services, MVL’s donors and volunteers provide access to justice and help stabilize families, save taxpayers money, reduce the number of cases clogging the courts, and help people move toward self-sufficiency and full participation in society.

Realizing the Dream: Equality for All — Law Day Celebrations Across the State

I Have A DreamOn Wednesday, May 1, 2013, pro se litigants in the First Judicial District will have an opportunity to meet with an attorney for 15 minutes to discuss their civil, criminal, domestic, juvenile, or small claims case. There is no cost for the meeting. The event is part of 2013 Law Day celebrations, and it will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the atrium of the Jefferson County Courts building (100 Jefferson County Parkway in Golden).

Law Day is celebrated nationally each year on May 1. President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958 to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. In 1961, Congress issued a joint resolution (codified at 36 U.S.C. § 113) designating May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day. The theme of this year’s Law Day is “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.” 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation, and the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement can be seen in the strides that have been made against discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation.

The Colorado and Denver bar associations are also sponsoring events to celebrate Law Day. On May 1, there will be a special showing of the movie “Lincoln” at the Mayan Theater in Denver, with a CLE program presented by Hon. John Madden prior to the movie. Tickets are available through the CBA. On May 2, the DBA Young Lawyers Division will host a Law Day Reception at The Lobby, where the winners of the Law Day Art Contest will be recognized. RSVP to both events or either event by emailing lunches@cobar.org or calling the CBA at (303) 860-1115.

Students who participated in the DBA’s Law Day Art Contest will have their work featured at the Denver Art Museum through May. The winners of the art contest are featured on the cover of the May edition of The Docket, and all of the artwork from participating students is shown in the May edition. It is amazing and inspiring to view the adorable and creative works of these talented kids.

The El Paso County Bar Association is also hosting many Law Day events beginning on April 27 with Ask-A-Lawyer for Senior Citizens at the Colorado Springs Senior Center. On Saturday, May 4, they are hosting a Waldo Canyon Fire Tree Planting Service Project; download the registration form here. On Thursday, May 16, KKTV Channel 11 will host a Call-A-Lawyer event. To volunteer, email Pikes Peak pro bono. There will be a Law Day Race on May 17 at Monument Valley Park; registration will be on www.active.com. Finally, on Tuesday, May 21, there will be a Law Day Luncheon and awards ceremony in the Grand Ballroom of the Mining Exchange Hotel. Click here to RSVP.

For more information on Colorado’s Law Day events, click here. To see the CBA press release regarding Law Day, click here. For the ABA page about Law Day 2013, click here.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers to Benefit from This Year’s Barrister’s Benefit Ball

Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) is a program of the Denver Bar Association committed to bridging the gap of access to justice by providing pro bono legal services to people who could not otherwise afford representation. Last year, MVL handled 1,448 cases, 416 of which were addressed through the family law and post-decree clinics and 953 cases were non-clinic matters. MVL estimates that the donated services received totaled more than $12.7 million in value.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers is somewhat supported by the Denver Bar Association, but they also receive funding from other groups and various activities throughout the year. The Barrister’s Benefit Ball; the Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament; Colorado Legal Services; COLTAF; the Fred & Jean Allegretti Foudnation; Lois Ann Rovira; the bar associations of the First Judicial District, Douglas/Elbert counties, Adams/Broomfield counties, and Arapahoe county; and private donations also help support MVL.

On Saturday, May 4, 2013, the Denver Bar Association will celebrate its 25th annual Barrister’s Benefit Ball. This year, in order to commemorate the ball’s anniversary, the Denver Bar Foundation Barrister’s Ball Committee is working to raise an additional $25,000 to benefit Metro Volunteer Lawyers. To contribute to the $25K for 25 Years fundraising drive, click here. For more information about the charitable activities of Metro Volunteer Lawyers, click here. To volunteer for MVL, click here.

“Law Suit Days” Clothing Drive on October 10 and 11, 2012

The Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is holding its “Law Suit Days” clothing drive for new and gently used professional and business clothing, shoes, and accessories on October 10 and 11, 2012. The business clothing will be given to Bayaud Enterprises, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides vocational and job placement services for individuals with disabilities and to homeless or low-income individuals and families.

The clothing drive will take place on Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 11, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Denver City & County Building  at 1437 Bannock. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside the City & County Building to the second floor of the rotunda.

Clothing should be clean and on hangers. Volunteers from the Young Lawyers Division will be available to collect the donations at the City & County Building. They will not be able to pick up clothing or accept donations on alternate dates.

Verification Deadline for Colorado Legal Directory is October 1, 2012

The 2013 Edition of the Colorado Legal Directory is nearing publication, and all attorneys in Colorado should verify their listing to ensure that the most up-to-date contact information is available. The verification deadline was extended to 5 p.m. on Monday, October 1, 2012.

A PDF of the verification form for an individual attorney is available here.

Law firms should also verify their listing. The verification form for a law firm can be found here.

All verification forms must be postmarked by October 1 to be included in the 2013 Edition.

New Colorado Principles of Professionalism Approved to Guide Attorney Conduct

The hallmark of a civilized society is its ability to maintain a legal system that is fair, effective and efficient. As lawyers, we have a predominant role in assuring that the legal system fulfills these goals. Toward that end, starting in 2009, the CBA-DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council undertook a project to meld existing principles of professionalism into a single unified document to create a guide for statewide use. This product of that consolidation of principles is not intended to supersede local Bar association rules of professionalism.

The wisdom and practicality of these combined Principles of Professionalism lie in two key features. First, highly experienced attorneys from many different practice areas and numerous judicial officers who are members of the Professionalism Coordinating Council reviewed, discussed, and developed the combined practice principles as “real-world” attainable goals for professional behavior to which the profession should aspire to apply every day in practice. Second, the principles have no coercive enforcement mechanism except those that have existed in our profession since the days of the quill pen and powdered wig: the fundamental commitment of attorneys to conduct themselves and their practices professionally and with integrity. Adherence to these principles brings its own rewards through the admiration of one’s colleagues, and falling short of these high standards brings the opprobrium and condemnation of those same colleagues. The mark of a professional calling is that it aspires first and foremost to police itself.

For the achievement of integrity throughout the legal profession, each lawyer should aspire to adopt the following Principles of Professionalism and to perform in accordance with the Practical Considerations outlined in the document below, approved in May 2012 by the Board of Governors.

New CBA Principles of Professionalism

Tap Your Creative Side: Participate in the Denver Lawyers’ Art and Literature Contest

The Docket and Colorado Lawyers for the Arts are launching an arts contest for members of the Denver Bar Association. Categories include Writing—Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Humor, and Visual Arts—Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Photography.

The submission period will run Monday, May 7, through Monday, July 23. Winners will be featured in the September issue of The Docket. All Denver Bar Association members are eligible, except staff of the DBA, members of The Docket Committee, members of Colorado Lawyers for the Arts who assist with judging (the judges), and any of these groups’ immediate family.

Artists may enter more than one work in each category, and may enter in multiple categories. The same work cannot be entered in multiple categories. The subject matter for the work is open and does not need to be legal-themed.

Download this entry form for further rules and guidelines. Entries must be received by 5:00 pm on Monday, July 23. Contact Kate Schuster for more information.

Support The Legal Center at the 7th Annual Attorneys’ Night Out!

For the seventh year, The Young Lawyers Division of the Denver Bar Association is hosting Attorneys’ Night Out to raise funds for The Legal Center for People with Disabilities & Older People. Join us on June 20, 2012, from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at The Blake Street Tavern and a enjoy great night out complete with appetizers and cocktails, a silent auction, scotch tasting, and much more.

Some of the items being auctioned at the event include: memberships to local cultural venues, custom artwork, restaurant and vacation excursions, one-night stay at the Magnolia Hotel, two-night stay at the M Resort in Las Vegas, Maruca designer handbags, Rockies tickets, and much, much more. For a full listing click here.

This event is open to everyone, even non-attorneys. If you are a member of the community who enjoys good networking and an opportunity to support the mission of The Legal Center, this event is for you! We strongly encourage your attendance at this year’s event to raise essential funding.

Purchase your $25 tickets today by clicking here or contact Joshua at (303) 722-0300 for more information about this fun-filled evening! A student discount of $5.00 off your ticket price is available with the promo code 2012ANO-STU. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $30.

The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People is an independent non-profit organization specializing in civil rights and discrimination issues.  They protect the human, civil, and legal rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, people with mental and physical disabilities, people with HIV, and older people throughout Colorado (in education, employment, public accommodations, and housing related issues).

Tough Competition, Variety of Dance Marked Bar Stars Dance Off

Three past DBA presidents and their spouses showed off their moves on the dance floor after months of dance lessons and fundraising for Metro Volunteer Lawyers at the Barristers Benefit Ball on Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Each performance took a different tone:

Mark and Pat Fogg were rock and roll, dancing to “Born to Be Wild.”

Elsa Martinez Tenreiro and her husband Steve Theis performed a sultry rumba.

Bill Walters and his wife Christy Cutler’s performance was a sort of evolution of dance, highlighting various genres but capping it off with a few steps from Beyoncé’s infamous video “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”

It was an addition the couple says was an idea from their daughter. It was a crowd pleaser, eliciting a roar of approval from the audience – Walters and Cutler walked away with the People’s Choice Award. The Foggs were the top fundraising couple, and together the three pairs raised more than $27,000 to benefit Metro Volunteer Lawyers.

This year’s competition marked the second time a group of attorneys took the dance floor for a “Dancing with the Stars”-esque competition. At the 2011 ball, four attorneys were paired with professional dancers. The winner, Cyndy Ciancio, stepped back on the dance floor on Saturday for an encore performance with her partner, Tim Edgar, and other dancers from Colorado Dancesport. This year, the twist in the competition came when the past DBA presidents asked to dance with their spouses rather than instructors. The couples trained with a pro for months before the competition.

The Denver Bar Association and Metro Volunteer Lawyers would like to thank all of the dancers, as well as all of our patron firms and guests, for supporting Barristers Benefit Ball, the proceeds of which are crucial in ensuring free and low-cost legal services in the Denver metro area.

(Photos by Jamie Cotten)

Introducing the New Commission and Proclaiming October 2012 Legal Professionalism Month

When I became Chief Justice in December 2010, I wanted to bring together the three major groups of the legal profession—the bar, the judiciary, and the legal academy—to better address the needs of the community in which we all serve. In the hopes of achieving this vision, in February 2011, I formed the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession (Commission) to focus on four primary goals:

  1. improving the training of law students to help them better appreciate the vital role that attorneys play in our society;
  2. increasing the training of and providing more support for new lawyers;
  3. facilitating communication and cooperation between and among judges and attorneys; and
  4. encouraging the entire bar to recognize the broad legal needs of our community and improving public attitudes toward the profession through a renewed dedication to pro bono service.

Ultimately, I hope the Commission will serve as a forum for judges, attorneys, and legal educators to develop ideas that might eventually lead to legislation, rules, or substantive changes in law school curricula to better address the needs of the legal profession and our community as a whole.

The Commission, which meets quarterly, is comprised of practicing lawyers from various specialties, the deans of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (DU) and University of Colorado Law School (CU), and appellate and trial judges from across the state. From this group, we formed four working groups to focus on each of the goals set forth above.

Working Group A: Legal Education

For the past year, Working Group A has sought to address the development of professional identity, social responsibility, and practice skills in law students and to increase the involvement of judges and bar leadership within our two law schools. To this end, it has worked closely with CU and DU to develop an annual event that will introduce law students to the concepts of professionalism and social responsibility.

We are excited to announce that the inaugural event—entitled “For This We Stand”—will take place on September 22, 2012. This two-part event will bring firstyear law students together in Denver from both Colorado law schools. The students will congregate in the Denver Athletic Club’s Grand Ballroom for remarks about the profession of law and the importance of practicing with professionalism. Sharing with me the honor of addressing the students will be U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger, Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Russell Carparelli, and CBA 2012–13 President Mark Fogg.

Following the presentations, the students will break into smaller groups and go to the Denver City and County Building, where they will meet in a courtroom with a judge, a lawyer, and a former client. There, they will hear stories about the positive impact the profession can have on the lives of clients and society.

The conclusion of the event will be interactive. The students will participate in discussions about the vital role that reputation and relationships play in achieving a successful and fulfilling career.

Working Group B: Newly Admitted Attorneys

When the Commission first met, it identified the mentoring of new lawyers as the most pressing need in the legal community. Working Group B, in partnership with the CBA and Denver Bar Association (DBA), have been addressing the development of professional identity and social responsibility for newly admitted attorneys through mentoring programs.

Statewide Mentoring Program

A pilot study was initiated and a model for a prospective statewide program was developed by the CBA to assist several local bar associations, the law schools, the Yasui Inn of Court, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and the Adams County District Attorney’s Office. Mentors and mentees earn fifteen CLE credits, including two ethics credits, for participating in the one-year program. The CBA has provided necessary staffing for the program.

The DBA’s mentoring program, which began more than two years ago and has more than seventy mentor and mentee pairings, has provided valuable background information for the pilot study. CU has a unique program that matches a mentor attorney, a mentee attorney, and a law student to jointly handle a pro bono case.

Working Group B and the mentor program standing committee will make recommendations to the Commission about funding and the hiring of an executive director. It is looking into expanding the program statewide.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans

Working Group B, again in partnership with the CBA and local bar associations, also has worked to increase community outreach and opportunities for new and seasoned attorneys to engage in community service. The creation of Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, which the CBA has been instrumental in coordinating, is an outcome of this effort.

Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans kicked off its efforts on Veterans Day 2011 with pro bono clinics in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins. At its Veterans Day event, the Denver clinic accepted fifty-five cases. It has taken nearly 100 additional cases since then. As a result of the success of the first event and the continued demand within the community, the Denver clinic has begun to hold an event on the second Tuesday of each month and plans to continue the tradition of holding a larger annual event on Veterans Day. Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans also is planning to conduct clinics in Pueblo, Alamosa, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins, and at CU’s Boulder campus.

Finally, the group hopes to expand its efforts so it can provide monthly clinics at DU, as well as in Grand Junction and Durango. I am especially excited about this program, which provides our veteran heroes vital pro bono services while also increasing the opportunities for attorneys to engage with our community. If you are interested in supporting or participating in Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, please contact John Vaught at vaught@wtotrial.com or Ben Currier at benc@m-s-lawyers.com.

Working Group C: Bench and Bar Cooperation

The goal of Working Group C is to identify and implement strategies to facilitate communication and professionalism between and among judges and lawyers. Working Group C members have met with leaders of our many bar organizations and Inns of Court to explore ways to foster professional relationships and promote a collaborative culture of civility and respect.

As a result of this input, Working Group C has determined that one way to bring increased awareness to these vital issues is to establish an annual Legal Professionalism Month. Accordingly, CBA President David Masters, the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession, and I proclaim the month of October 2012 to be Legal Professionalism Month.

As explained in the Proclamation (which appears at the end of this article), October 2012 will be a month for attorneys and judges to rededicate themselves to the importance of public service and community outreach. There will be professionalism events and pro bono activities throughout the month.

Legal Professionalism Month will culminate in “The Assembly of Lawyers” on the afternoon of October 29, 2012, at the Boettcher Concert Hall. This event, which will immediately precede the swearing-in ceremony for new attorneys, is intended to bring together lawyers from across the state to reflect on the importance of service in our profession. Although this event is still in the planning stages, we intend to grant CLE credit for attendance and expect to include an influential speaker on the subject of legal professionalism. Afterward, the assembled attorneys in Boettcher Hall will be joined by the newly admitted attorneys for a special session of the Colorado Supreme Court to administer the Attorney’s Oath. By their presence, the assembled lawyers will make visible the fact that we welcome the new attorneys into our great profession.

Working Group D: Outreach to the Community

Working Group D has focused its efforts on supporting the profession’s culture of service and increasing access to justice. To this end, Working Group D has reached out to and begun to collaborate with organizations such as the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, Colorado Legal Services, and Make History Colorado. This group has recognized that pro bono opportunities serve to benefit the community at large and provide fertile training ground for new lawyers to obtain trial experience. Collaboration in pro bono activities also could serve as a way to bond mentors and mentees through joint participation and representation.

Consistent with the recommendations of the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, Working Group D has focused on encouraging members of the private bar, government attorneys, in-house counsel, and newly licensed lawyers to increase their participation in pro bono representation. The members of this group plan to meet with the managing partners of metro area law firms to discuss how to remove existing barriers to pro bono service and to explore the viability of collecting pro bono data as an incentive to increase participation. Additionally, Working Group D will continue to publicize and advance the efforts of Make History Colorado and to collaborate with the CBA on its work with pro bono and unbundled legal services. Finally, following the successful model of the Adams County pro se Self-Help Center,1 Working Group D plans to identify additional sources of funding to establish self-help centers across the state.

Galvanizing Professionalism

After a productive and inspiring inaugural year, several prominent themes have emerged from the Commission’s work. I believe our profession has been and continues to be a positive force for society. However, at times—in the face of economic and professional pressures, for example—we have lost our way.

Accordingly, I believe that now is the time for each of us to renew our efforts to the legal profession through increased civility toward one another and by instilling these values in law students and new lawyers. Finally, we must rededicate ourselves to the service of society, including the most vulnerable among us. To galvanize and focus these efforts, CBA President David Masters, the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession, and I proclaim the month of October 2012 to be Legal Professionalism Month.

Note

1. The Self Help Resource Center at the Adams County Justice Center is available at www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Custom.cfm?District_ID=17&Page_ID=335. See also “Online Pro Se Resources” at www.courts.state.co.us./Self_Help/proSeResources.cfm.
Proclamation: Declaring October 2012 Legal Professionalism Month In the State of Colorado

The Colorado Lawyer, the official publication of the Colorado Bar Association, serves as an informational and educational resource to improve the practice of law. When you see the logo, you’re reading an article from The Colorado Lawyer. CBA members can also still read the full issue online at cobar.org/tcl.