Citizen Lawyers Among Us: The people of CAMP
by John Baker
My goal for this column each month is to celebrate the selfless work for the common good in the Denver community by outstanding Denver Bar Association members.
These "citizen lawyers" may work on committees of the DBA; for civic organizations; for charities or public interest organizations; for churches, synagogues, and other places of worship; or for underprivileged clients from the Metropolitan Volunteer Lawyers or other pro bono legal service organizations.
For the most part, they volunteer their time and skill without any "hoopla," compensation or publicity. They do it because they feel it is part of their responsibility as lawyers, just like Thomas Jefferson envisioned they would when he started William and Mary Law School to graduate these "citizen lawyers." This month we celebrate the efforts by three lawyers and by one non-lawyer to first create and then to run the DBA Court Annex Mediation Project ("CAMP").
DBA’s CAMP — What is it?
From its inception, a principal goal of CAMP has been to educate the public, the legal profession, and the judiciary about the value of mediation, and how it effectively, efficiently and fairly resolves conflict by providing free or low-cost mediation services to litigants and their attorneys in the civil divisions of Denver’s County and Small Claims Courts. CAMP provides continuing education and training to mediators in the skills of conflict resolution. The mediators are lawyers and nonlawyers.
The Founders of CAMP — Kenney and Kall
After approximately 20 years as a trial lawyer, first as a deputy district attorney and then as managing partner at Fairfield & Woods and Of Counsel with Beem & Mann, PC, Patrick Kenney turned to mediation and other methods of conflict resolution. Currently, he and Chuck Kall are partners at Kenny & Kall Mediation Services, providing mediation services to lawyers and their clients in Colorado. Besides nurturing CAMP as its first executive director from 2001 to 2006, Patrick is a past chair of the Colorado Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, past chair of the DBA ADR Committee and past member of the Legal Fee Arbitration Panel. Patrick has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Maturing and Growth — Sperlak and Whitehouse
Following law school graduation, Deb Sperlak practiced law in Chicago until 1983.
Patricia Whitehouse is a nonlawyer, trained as a mediator. She started as mediator for CAMP in 2001. She served as the co-director from 2006 to 2008, helping Deb with the CAMP curriculum and program. Patricia earned her B.A. in Organizational Communication at the University of Colorado at Denver, and her M.A. in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver. She is an associate member of the Colorado Bar Association and serves as an advisory council member of the University of Denver’s Conflict Resolution Institute. Patricia is vice president, Group Human Resources, for Gannett Broadcasting, the parent company of KUSA – Channel 9.
What is Next? — Kilroy and Busacca
Jeanne Busacca comes to CAMP after a long history of public service and private practice. Jeanne cut her teeth as a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society of Denver (now Colorado Legal Services.) Since her legal services days, Jeanne has been in private practice as a partner at Busacca & Floyd. Her practice includes serving as a mediator to resolve disputes for lawyers and clients. Jeanne has served in leadership positions in community public interest organizations, including as president of the board for both the Colorado Rural Legal Services and the Gove Community School. Jeanne has been an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law.
Patrick, Chuck, Deb, Jeanne and Ashley, as citizen lawyers, use their legal skills to promote the common good in the DBA and the Denver community. Patricia, though not a lawyer, works vigorously to promote the common good with her citizen lawyer colleagues. Celebrate their wonderful work and volunteer for CAMP.