July 20, 2019

The Roaring 20s Barrister’s Ball is the Bee’s Knees!

By Jeremy Ramp and Steve Cook

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Who doesn’t like a large party? It’s that time of year—so dust off your best party clothes, your dancing shoes, and brush up on your Charleston as we roar back to the Roaring 20’s for the Barristers’ Benefit Ball. Please join us on April 12th at 6:00 p.m. for an evening of conversation, cocktails, dinner and dancing with 400 to 500 of your closest friends! We are pleased to announce the new venue this year is Mile High Station at 2027 West Colfax Ave. in Denver. With the Roarin’ 20’s theme, you know it’ll be the bee’s knees.

This year’s program is all about encouraging our attorneys and friends to attend, have fun, celebrate our community’s success in volunteerism,and raise money for Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL).

MVL’s 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.” MVL is the DBA’s flagship program, in partnership with the First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties), Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, and Douglas/Elbert Bar Associations. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind program with metro-wide support that serves as a model and inspiration for other programs around the country. MVL holds the Family Law Court Program, post-decree clinics, the Denver Indian Center Legal Clinic, and power of attorney clinics throughout the Metro Area. It provides free legal counsel to clients in cases in domestic/family law, landlord/tenant, adoption, guardianship/conservatorship, bankruptcy, and social security. For the past 50-plus years, MVL has served thousands of our vulnerable community members in need. In doing so, MVL provides a platform for lawyers to fulfill our professional responsibilities under Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and to put into action the oath we took when we had the privilege of becoming Colorado lawyers.

The Barristers Benefit Ball is the annual fundraiser for MVL. Your participation in this event is crucial to MVL’s mission and making all of the wonderful work possible. Please contact Amy Sreenen, ASreenen@cobar.org, to purchase a table, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities for this great event. We rely on YOU and your support to make this event a success.

All are welcome, whether your attorney registration number is 53 or 53,000, or anywhere in between. Reminders will be sent out up to the event, but we encourage all of you to sign up early and make the pledge to come and join us for a great evening. YOU can make it a roaring success!

This article began with a quote from The Great Gatsby and ends with one too, reflecting on the fact that we are incredibly fortunate to be part of this profession, this bar, and this community:

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Nominations are Now Being Accepted for CBA and DBA Awards

Do you know an outstanding lawyer who has greatly contributed to the Colorado legal community? Nominate her or him for a CBA or DBA award!

Nominations are now being accepted for the CBA Award of Merit, which is awarded annually to a current member for outstanding service or contributions to the association, the legal profession, the administration of justice or the community. Eligible persons are those who are members in good standing of the CBA. Nominees should have an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, and a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others, whether within the legal profession or elsewhere. Nominations are due January 31, 2019. Make a nomination here. A list of past recipients can be found here.

The DBA Awards Committee needs your nominations for the DBA awards. Nominate an attorney by submitting a statement of why the nominee deserves the honor. The committee will consider the following criteria: involvement with the DBA; involvement with the CBA; community contributions outside the bar associations and legal career/accomplishments. The statement need not be a complete essay; just provide a few salient points and the committee will follow up with the nominator and nominee for complete details.

The 2019 award submission deadline is January 31, 2019. Make a nomination here: https://denbar.org/About/DBA-Award-Nominations

Award of Merit

Recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the DBA and legal profession, or rendered in the interest of the improvement of the administration of justice. Criteria: lawyer, judge or law professor who is a regular member of the DBA and whose distinguished career exemplifies the purpose of the Award of Merit. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Judicial Excellence

Honors a DBA member of the judiciary for extraordinary service or exceptional contributions to the improvement of the judicial system. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Young Lawyer of the Year

Recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the DBA, legal profession and community. Criteria: a Denver lawyer who is a member of the DBA and is younger than age 37 or has been in practice less than three years. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Volunteer Lawyer of the Year

Presented to a DBA member who has performed extraordinary voluntary legal or community service. Criteria: lawyer, member of DBA, who has volunteered with distinction for various pro bono projects. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Education in the Legal System

Honors teachers, programs, and/or schools that exhibit outstanding dedication to teaching students about civics, the American legal system, and the Rule of Law. The DBA will provide a monetary gift to either the honoree teacher’s school, the program being honored, or the school being honored, in an amount and allocation to be determined by the DBA Board of Trustees. The gift will be used for educational purposes in the above described areas. Criteria: A teacher in a Denver school, a program conducted in a Denver school (whether or not sponsored by the school), and/or a Denver school educating students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Outstanding Programs/Projects

Acknowledges those programs or projects that uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service or promoting charitable causes. Recognizes exceptional collaboration between members of the bar. Criteria: A program or project affiliated with the DBA. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Toni-Anne Dasent Named Executive Director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers

toni-anne-dasentThe Denver Bar Association is pleased to announce Toni-Anne Dasent as the new director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL). She assumed her responsibilities on August 22, 2016.

Dasent holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor, Canada, where she also served as director and group advisor of the university’s Community Legal Aid Program. She went on to become a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario, and after spending some time working for Canada’s largest law firm, she relocated to Colorado in 1994.

Shortly after moving to Colorado, Dasent started as an intake volunteer for the Legal Aid Society (now Colorado Legal Services). After passing the bar exam, she continued to work as a volunteer attorney, devoting her energies to Project Safeguard in Judge Brian Campbell’s Denver courtroom. There, she assisted clients who were seeking restraining orders. Her dedication to helping underserved populations with their civil legal matters fueled her longstanding commitment to volunteering with MVL’s Family Law Court Program and taking on individual cases in a pro bono capacity.

Dasent is well-versed in MVL’s 50-year history and wants to ensure that the organization remains a dynamic force in promoting a more equitable society. “As director of MVL, I am looking forward to working with a dedicated and knowledgeable team to continue to provide access to justice for those in our community who would otherwise not be able to obtain fair and competent legal representation,” commented Dasent. She feels fortunate to have a team that works with Colorado Legal Services to assist many clients through the Family Law Court Program, Pro Bono Attorney Program, Post Decree Clinic, Power of Attorney Clinic and Legal Clinic at the Denver Indian Center. “I am grateful for the dedication and hard work of the current and past team members and past directors who have achieved so much in their time,” she said.

For Dasent, MVL is more than a job: It is a passion infused with responsibility. “My intent is to steadfastly promote those aspects of legal services in which we excel and work toward achieving greatness in those areas where there is room for improvement,” she explained. “I look forward to working with the Denver Bar Association and Colorado Legal Services in this new capacity and to continuing to provide exemplary services to our community.”

Metro Volunteer Lawyers Announces Philip Lietaer as New Director

LietaerThe Denver Bar Association is pleased to announce Philip Lietaer as the new director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers. He assumed his new responsibilities upon outgoing Executive Director Dianne Van Voorhees’s departure from the organization on January 7, 2016, after an eight-year record of laudable leadership.

Lietaer, a native of Canada, holds a J.D. from Western New England University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. In 2013, he moved to Colorado with his wife, Jessica, who is a federal attorney, and their two dogs. They are now the proud parents of a baby girl, Adelaide Quinn Lietaer.

Prior to joining MVL in 2013, Lietaer worked at a number of other public interest organizations, including Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, South Brooklyn Legal Services, the Massachusetts Justice Project and the Vail Center for Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. He also worked for the immigration law firm of Goldstein & Lee, P.C. in New York City. “Working at these organizations has, in part, given me an understanding of different strategies implemented at various legal services organizations and what it takes to successfully run and manage a program like MVL,” said Lieater.

Lietaer embarked on his career at Metro Volunteer Lawyers as a Rovira Scholar Fellow. In early 2014, he went on to become the Family Law Court Program Coordinator. For Lietaer, MVL is more than a job: It is a passion infused with responsibility. As he commented, “Seeing our clients treated in a professional manner by a compassionate and capable legal professional, often providing a moment of dignity, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this type of work.”

Lietaer looks forward to building upon MVL’s ability to provide quality help to a large number of people in need. “Philip knows that he has big shoes to fill (at least figuratively), and he is definitely up to the task,” said MVL Board Chair Candace Whitaker.

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.

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This year’s theme was Fire and Ice.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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The face painting was a fun diversion.

 

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Guests enjoy camaraderie during the cocktail hour.

 

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Dinner is served.

 

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

 

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The night was a success! If you missed the Barrister’s Benefit Ball, you can still donate to Metro Volunteer Lawyers 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!

Chuck Turner to Receive Colorado Bar Association’s Award of Merit

chuck turner 300Charles C. Turner will be presented with the Colorado Bar Association’s highest honor, the Award of Merit, at the Colorado Bar Foundation’s Annual Bar Fellows Dinner on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.

Turner will step down from his position as Executive Director of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations effective Jan. 1, after 34 years of service.  Turner was the youngest executive director in the country when selected to the post in 1980.

“I’ve been honored to serve in this capacity with an outstanding staff and dedicated leadership and members,” Turner says. “Every day has been an adventure with both internal and external considerations to deal with, but I never, ever regretted my choice of career and feel blessed to have had the chance to have a small hand in the success of our Associations and our loyal members. To be named alongside the previous award recipients is simply overwhelming.”

The five most recent recipients of the Award of Merit – Bennett Aisenberg, Michael Berger, Gary Jackson, Constance Talmage and Anthony van Westrum – came together to write a nomination letter in support of Turner. They cited his impressive service and contributions to the legal profession, to the administration of justice, and to the community. It was noted that Turner went far above and beyond for three and a half decades, turning it into much more than “just a job.” His extra elements of service, delivered “with a devotion and positive effectiveness,” make him especially deserving of this honor.

“Chuck has done it all and has done it for thirty four years,” CBA President Charles Garcia says. “We all are indebted to him and this is a token of our gratitude for all he has done for the association and each of us individually as members.”

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. Turner and CBA Young Lawyers Division’s Gary L. McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award recipient Ryann Peyton will be honored at the Colorado Bar Foundation’s Annual Bar Fellows Dinner on Friday, Jan. 9, at the Hyatt Regency Denver.

Start the New Year Right with the DBA Health Fair

Many of us make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and get healthy. The DBA Health Fair can help you reach your goals.  On January 8, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the DBA Fit to Practice Task Force will host the Second Annual DBA Health Fair at the CBA/DBA offices. For only $10 ($20 for non-members), you’ll earn one ethics credit and learn how to better manage stress within your practice, receive a biometric screening with cholesterol, glucose and body composition tests, have an opportunity to review your results with a physician, receive a breathing test, consult with other health professionals, and take advantage of healthy food and drinks and a free chair massage. The CLE will run from 11 a.m. to noon.

To register for the health fair and ethics CLE, click here or email lunches@cobar.org. Don’t miss this opportunity to start the new year on a healthy note!

Strikes for Tykes with the DBA Community Action Network this Saturday

Strikes4TykesThis Saturday, December 6, the Denver Bar Association’s Community Action Network will host Strikes for Tykes at Elitch Lanes from 11 am to 2 pm. Strikes for Tykes is a bowling event to benefit the Children’s Outreach Project, a nonprofit high quality early childhood education program for typical, accelerated, and developmentally delayed children in the Denver metro area. Adults can participate in Strikes for Tykes for $35 ($15 for children 12 and under) or can rent an entire lane for $150. To register, click here, and for more information, email Alexa Drago at adrago@cobar.org.

Legal Community Credit Union Offering Holiday Loan Specials

LCCUThe Legal Community Credit Union is an alternative financial service available exclusively to members of Colorado’s legal community. All members of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association, and the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado are eligible for membership in the credit union, as well as anyone who works in the 1900 Grant building or the Creekside at Columbine office park. Credit union membership extends to all family members, and does not terminate if you move, change jobs, or retire. Plus, the credit union offers great customer service and great interest rates.

The Legal Community Credit Union is offering loan specials through the end of the year for credit union members. Holiday stimulus loans, auto loans, and auto refinancing loans are all available at reduced interest rates. More information about the holiday loan specials is available here.

To apply for credit union membership and enjoy great rates on loans, click here.

Patrick Flaherty Named New Executive Director of Colorado and Denver Bar Associations

Patrick Flaherty 1-14Patrick Flaherty has been named the new Executive Director of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. He will officially begin on Jan. 1, when current Executive Director Chuck Turner steps down after 34 years.

“I’m honored to be inheriting Chuck Turner’s legacy, and I’m excited to help the Associations take on new challenges and continue to move forward,” Flaherty says.

Patrick Flaherty was most recently Director of Policy Advocacy Programs at the Gill Foundation, where he served for nine years. Prior to that, Flaherty was Executive Director of the nonprofit Project Angel Heart, which he grew from a fledgling organization to a highly impactful service organization. Under his leadership, it received the El Pomar Foundation’s Award for “Most Outstanding Nonprofit Organization in Colorado.”

Flaherty also has nine years of legal experience. He began his law career at Lewis Roca Rothgerber, rising from summer associate all the way to partner. He is a graduate of the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law, where he received his JD in 1987.  Flaherty has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University as well.

Bringing a blend of legal knowledge, nonprofit management, and advocacy experience to the bar associations, Flaherty is well suited to lead bar members, and more importantly, guide the legal community into the future.

What to Do Now That You’ve Passed the Bar Exam

dba logoEditor’s note: There are several ways to become a licensed attorney in Colorado. This article is targeted to those Class C applicants who passed the Colorado bar examination.  If you are waived on a motion or have taken the Uniform Bar Exam and been cleared, click here for more information on your next steps.

Congratulations! You’ve passed the bar! Here are some next steps you should take while you wait to be admitted to practice law.

Complete your admission requirements and become familiar with helpful resources available to you

Even though you’ve passed the bar, you’re not quite a lawyer yet.  You still have a few more steps before you can become a full-fledged ESQ.

Visit the Employment Ads

You’re (almost) a lawyer! Time to find a job and start your legal career. New jobs from around the state are posted daily to the Colorado Bar Association’s employment webpage and via CBA’s twitter account. You can search for jobs and set up alerts so that new positions go straight to your inbox.

If you’re hoping to hang your own shingle, be sure to check out the CBA’s Law Practice Management Department’s resources and sign up for the Solo Small Firm Section.

Start Networking

Denver’s legal community is large, but there are many ways to network.  Check out the Denver Young Lawyers Division to join a smaller community of attorneys new to the practice of law, or attend DBA events to meet attorneys from different practice areas. DBA also offers 16 committees and myriad volunteer opportunities, which makes connecting with people in your practice area easy. Don’t forget to connect with DBA members and other new attorneys on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

Write for The Docket and the DBA Young Lawyers blog

Be an active voice in the legal community! We know you have something to say, and we invite you to say it in The Docket and the Young Lawyers blog. Send an email to hclark@cobar.org with your ideas. Writing for The Docket or the blog is a great way to get your name out there and to show knowledge on your résumé and  LinkedIn.

Celebrate!

Now is the time to begin celebrating. Spend some time with your dog! Call your mom! Toast with some friends! Cheers to you—passing the bar exam is a huge accomplishment, and you did it!

Candidates who took the July 2014 bar exam will learn whether they passed the exam in early October via the Colorado Supreme Court’s website.

 

By Heather Clark, the communications and marketing director for the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, and managing editor of The Docket. She can be reached at hclark@cobar.org.