August 24, 2019

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!

Denise D. Hoffman Recognized with 2014 Davis Award

Denise-HoffmanDenise D. Hoffman was honored on Thursday, January 22, 2015 with the 2014 Richard Marden Davis Award at a dinner in her honor. The award recognizes her outstanding service to the legal community, along with her civic and charitable leadership.

“It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Ms. Hoffman. “To be among such a highly regarded class of past winners is a humbling experience.”

The Davis Award is presented annually “to a Denver lawyer who is 40 years old or younger and combines excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership.” The award was created in memory of Richard Marden Davis, one of the founders of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, who devoted himself tirelessly to the profession and the community. Each honoree “best exemplifies the character and promise of Richard Davis at that stage in his career.” Ms. Hoffman follows a long line of past winners who have continued to serve the Denver legal community, including last year’s honoree, Shannon Stevenson.

Ms. Hoffman is the Managing Partner at Hoffman Crews Nies Waggener & Foster LLP. She holds an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law and represents both individual and organizational clients in all aspects of tax planning, and controversy resolution. She is primarily focused on tax exempt organizations, estate and business succession planning, and business formation and dispositions. She works closely with a variety of clients, including entrepreneurs, corporate executives, professional athletes, investment bankers, real estate developers, family offices, and philanthropists to help them identify their objectives and provide creative and pragmatic solutions designed to meet their specific goals.

In January 2012, inspired by her work with her nonprofit clients and her service on the Colorado Garden Foundation and Family Tree boards of directors, Ms. Hoffman knew she was ready to make a more direct impact. Her dream: to form a nonprofit organization that could serve as a vehicle to propel deserving young people towards success via increased opportunities for higher education. By June 2012 Ms. Hoffman founded CHOICE Education Foundation, a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit. CHOICE works to empower students from low-income households who have a dream of pursuing higher education and are dedicated to using that education to make meaningful contributions to their communities. CHOICE awards a full-ride scholarship on an annual basis to a Colorado public high school senior to attend a Colorado public college, university, or vocational school. CHOICE currently supports three college students who are in attendance at Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Northern Colorado.

“Ms. Hoffman is a talented and committed lawyer and community leader who has exhibited an uncanny creativity in her approach to the practice of law,” said Chris Richardson, Managing Partner at DGS. “I continue to be impressed by the selection committee’s ability to honor excellent lawyers who are also truly outstanding civic and community leaders.”

Margrit Lent Parker Named DBA Young Lawyer of the Year


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

Margrit Lent Parker isn’t sure why she’s been crowned Young Lawyer of the Year. In fact, her first reaction was confusion. And that’s exactly why she’s the best choice—she continuously gives her time to the bar association while working tirelessly at her firm, expecting nothing in return.

Now, Parker is gaining recognition for all of those times in which she says “I just saw something that needed to be done and did it.”

Take the Colorado wildfires and floods, for example. Parker volunteered to be the District Representative for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and decided that their old disaster plans needed reworking. So, she put together a committee to draft a new one. Just a few months later, the Colorado wildfires began. Parker helped to set up a legal helpline and find volunteers. Then, the Colorado flooding occurred, and they had the basis to put more of a plan in place. Along with the helpline and call for volunteers, they created a website. Their efforts served more than 600 flood survivors.

Parker is very involved with the DBA and CBA, and also has thrown much of her time into the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP). “Working on that was so rewarding,” she says.

A recent transfer to the new Childs McCune firm, Parker is a down-to-earth attorney who loves to ride horses in her (rare) free time. In college, she started out on the veterinarian track and graduated with a double degree in Equine Science and Zoology. She loved the year she spent after college working in Kentucky on a Thoroughbred farm and at an equine hospital, but decided that law was her calling. She now mixes her passion and profession by working with the veterinary and equine industries.

One thing is certain when it comes to Parker’s future in the legal profession: She’ll continue to do what needs to be done—then more.

Shannon Stevenson Named Recipient of 2013 Richard Marden Davis Award


On January 13, 2014, Shannon Stevenson was named the 21st recipient of the Richard Marden Davis Award. This prestigious award is given to attorneys in Denver who are under 40 years of age and exhibit exemplary civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership. It is presented jointly by the Davis family, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, and the Denver Bar Association. Past recipients of the award include Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez, Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Richard Gabriel, and former governor Bill Ritter.

The 2013 Davis Award was presented to Ms. Stevenson during a dinner at the Brown Palace Hotel. Recognizing her contributions to the community and her professional success, the event in Stevenson’s honor included a cocktail hour, dinner, a video on the history of the Davis Award, and the award presentation. Chris Richardson, managing partner of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, spoke of Stevenson’s incredible legal achievements and personal integrity. Dan McCune, current DBA President, presented the award to Stevenson.

Ms. Stevenson, 38, is a partner in the trial group of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. She leads the firm’s appellate group and serves on the DGS executive committee. She is an experienced litigator and appellate attorney, with specific expertise in energy, natural resources, and construction. Stevenson is the current president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She received both her B.A. (cum laude) and J.D. (magna cum laude) from Duke University.

Nominations Sought for Richard Marden Davis Award

The Denver Bar Foundation, combined with Davis Graham & Stubbs and the Davis family, seeks nominees for the Richard Marden Davis Award. Each year, the Richard Marden Davis Award is given out to a Denver lawyer under the age of 40 who combines excellence as a lawyer with civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership.

The Davis Award was established in 1992 by the Denver Bar Foundation, Davis Graham & Stubbs, and the Davis family, in order to recognize successful and community-minded young attorneys in private and public practice, and to inspire new members of the Denver legal community. Past recipients include former governor Bill Ritter, Colorado Court of Appeals judge Richard Gabriel, and Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez. The 2012 recipient of the Davis Award was Franz Hardy of Gordon & Rees.

Nomination forms for the Davis Award are available on the Davis Graham & Stubbs website, or click here to download the form. Nominations are due September 1 and should be returned to Margee Fawley at DGS. For more information, contact Margee Fawley at (303) 892-7528 or

Bennett S. Aisenberg Honored with Award of Merit at Colorado Bar Foundation Annual Dinner


By Sara Crocker

Colorado Bar Association Award of Merit honoree Bennett Aisenberg is more than a great attorney, according to a colleague; in fact, he’s a skilled horticulturist and his garden always bears quite a bounty – it’s one that people can see in law offices across the state.

“[Aisenberg] has germinated seeds in the hearts and minds of many folks who were in the early days of their learning how to practice law,” Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Dick Reeve wrote in his letter of support for Aisenberg to receive the Award of Merit, which CBA President Mark Fogg relayed at the Colorado Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on Jan. 11.

“Those seeds have sprouted into individual professionals who today bring balance, ethics, objectivity, professionalism, and their humaneness to their legal work,” Reeves wrote. “Simply put: Ben has found a way over the years, through his various positions of service to the legal community, of connecting with and mentoring, to varying degrees, what I believe to be hundreds of Colorado lawyers.”

Aisenberg, was strongly impacted by the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird,” knew from a young age that he wanted to be a trial attorney. He said that receiving the association’s highest honor had nearly left him without words, but only nearly.

“I love and admire this profession so much that to be honored by its members is one of the greatest gifts an attorney can get,” he said.

The long-time sole practitioner served as a president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association from 1984 to 1985, president of the Denver Bar Association from 1991 to 1992 and president of the Colorado Bar Association from 1998 to 1999. In 2003, he received the DBA’s Award of Merit — that association’s highest honor. He also has been honored by the Sam Cary and Asian Pacific American Bar Associations.

Aisenberg has been a long-time supporter of the Colorado Bar Foundation, and in 2004 he donated $10,000 to the 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. In recognition of this generous donation, the foundation board created the Aisenberg Society for fellows who donate $10,000 to the foundation over 10 years or less.

Aisenberg has been a luminary on the CBA’s Ethics Committee, comprised of approximately 90 attorneys who offer ethics advice to colleagues and write formal ethics opinions on general ethical conundrums.

“I have found it one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in the legal profession,” he said.

BrownFoggGary L. McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Loren M. Brown also was honored at the dinner.

Brown said after it was announced that he would receive the award he got a flood of emails.

“I think the best one I got said, ‘Congratulations on still being young,’” he said.

The award is given annually to a young lawyer (those under 37 years old or who have been admitted to the bar for less than three years) with an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others.

Though he is still young, the shareholder with Donelson Ciancio & Grant, P.C. has already accomplished much. He is a former president of the Adams-Broomfield Bar Association, a fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation, a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and a graduate and executive committee member of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program, known as COBALT. This year, he was recognized with members of the 17th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee by the Adams-Broomfield Bar Association with its Liberty Bell Award as citizens of the year. In 2011, ABBA awarded him with its Volunteer Attorney of the Year award.

Brown is a part of a local bar association that is on the cutting edge of access to justice in Colorado, Fogg said.

“When I traveled across the state to my local bar associations we talked a lot about access to justice. All of the access to justice committees said we want to be like Adams County. Adams County sets the bar in this state on access to justice programs in this state,” he said.

Brown said he was humbled to receive the award and thanked his mother, who raised him and his sister alone, and his mentor Gene Ciancio.

“I take this as a charge to do more,” Brown said.