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TCL > April 2014 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

April 2014       Vol. 43, No. 4       Page  9
In and Around the Bar
Bar News

News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

Bar News is a monthly compilation of news from the CBA, including sections and committees, administration, and local and specialty bar associations. It also includes notices of activities—past, present, and future—from local and national law-related organizations and groups. Please send information and photos to CBA legal editor Susie Klein at

February CBA-CLE Program Explores
Energy and Environmental Hot-Button Issues

CNEE Director Bill Ritter (left) and CBA-CLE Executive Director Gary Abrams.  

Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter was the keynote speaker for a CBA-CLE program on February 28. Ritter is Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University. The program, "Oil & Gas Development in Colorado—Balancing Energy and the Environment," was co-sponsored by the CBA Environmental Law Section. It focused on how industry leaders are trying to strike a balance between energy production and environmental regulation. Colorado’s leading energy and environmental experts discussed hot-button issues and how state and local governments are working to develop compromises with the energy industry, environmental, and technical professionals, and other industry practitioners.


CLE Movie Night: Prenups and Intolerable Cruelty

The DBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) hosted another CLE movie night on February 13 at the CBA-CLE offices in Denver. The evening kicked off with a one-hour CLE presentation led by James Garts of Gutterman Griffiths PC, who discussed the purposes and enforceability of marital agreements (prenuptial agreements) and changes in the law that are scheduled to take effect July 2014. Following Garts’s presentation, guests watched Intolerable Cruelty, a 2003 film starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones that deals with divorce and prenuptial agreements.

DBA movie nights are a great opportunity to earn CLE credit and relax with colleagues while enjoying wine or beer, pizza, and a movie. Visit the DBA YLD website,, to find out about future movie nights.

James Garts presents during the DBA YLD’s movie night CLE.

Announcing the 2014 DBA Award Winners

The DBA Awards Committee has announced the recipients of its annual awards. Involvement with the DBA, community contributions outside the bar associations, and career history and accomplishments were all considered in the selection process. The award recipients are:

  • Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Richard L. Gabriel—Award of Merit
  • Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Dennis A. Graham—Judicial Excellence
  • Margrit Parker of Kennedy Childs—Young Lawyer of the Year
  • Ilene Bloom of Ilene Bloom PC—Volunteer of the Year
  • Craig Dehning from Skinner Middle School and Theresa Storto from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy—Education in the Legal System
  • Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans Clinic volunteers—Outstanding Projects and Programs.

The award recipients will be honored during the DBA’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception on June 26.

NWCBA Names 2013 Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year

The Northwest County Bar Association (NWCBA) held its annual meeting on December 13, 2013, in Steamboat Springs. The meeting’s program included presentation of the Rebekah A. McBride Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award to the 2013 co-recipients, Heather Cannon and Meghan L. Lutterman.

Cannon, a solo practitioner with Cannon Law Office in Steamboat Springs, was recognized for her compassion and dedication, and for always giving her clients her full service and attention. Recently, she took on a very difficult and possibly dangerous case—and won. Her client contacted the Legal Services Project on several occasions to praise Cannon’s professionalism throughout the representation.

Lutterman is a partner at Klauzer and Tremaine in Steamboat Springs, as well as the current NWCBA president. She volunteers her services through Skype legal advice clinics and recently took on an emergency pro bono case. She is patient and professional with her clients, and is dedicated to the philosophy of access to justice.

The Rebekah A. McBride Award is named in honor of the longtime Craig volunteer, who passed away in July 2004. McBride volunteered for more than eighteen years, serving clients in her home county and in surrounding counties who were victims of domestic violence with children at risk. She never hesitated to take on a difficult case or client, and worked tirelessly on her clients’ behalf.

Durango Young Professionals Networking Event

The CBA YLD and the Durango Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals of Durango co-sponsored the Durango Young Professionals Networking Event on Monday, January 27. The event was held at Four Leaves Winery and included a wine tasting and cocktail party.

Left to right: Mandy McKinley, Katie Dittelberger, and Monica Colvig.   Left to right: Matt Hoaglin; Allison Ragsdale, Durango Young Professional of the Year; Marla Underell; and Michael Goldman.

CTLA Recognizes Outstanding Work
of Porya Mansorian

CTLA President Mike Ogborn presents Porya Mansorian (left) an award for his efforts to end distracted driving.  

The Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) recently honored Porya Mansorian of Thomas J. Tomazin, PC for his extraordinary efforts in promoting community safety by raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Inspired by and the Casey Feldman Foundation, Mansorian created this year’s fact-pattern based on the dangers of distracted driving for the CBA 2014 High School Mock Trial Program. The mock trial process started last November. Since then, he has made "End Distracted Driving" presentations to nearly 400 local students.



Practice Area Preview

The DBA YLD held its Practice Area Preview on February 25 at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Denver. Approximately thirty attendees from the YLD and the CBA Tax Law Section gathered for an informal discussion and some networking. Trevor A. Crow from Dufford & Brown P.C.; Tyler C. Murray, President of The Law Offices of Murray & Wright, P.C.; Lani A. Payne from KPMG; and Olena Ruth from the Merriam Law Firm provided insight on what it is like to work as a young lawyer in the field of tax law. Two free drinks and appetizers were available to attendees.

Left to right: Councilmember Meredith VanHorn with presenters Olena Ruth, Tyler Murray, Trevor Crow, and Lani Payne.

CSU Honors Attorney Terry Miller
for Public Service Efforts


Terry Miller was presented the 2014 Bill Ritter Public Service Award at Colorado State University’s (CSU) Rams JD Networking Dinner on February 26. The award recognizes Miller’s commitment to outreach and professional integrity inherent in CSU’s land grant mission, and is based on a record of exceptional community service and pro bono work.

Miller is a member of the Trial Group of Davis Graham and Stubbs, LLP, with a practice emphasis in commercial litigation, natural resources litigation, intellectual property protection, and construction litigation. His pro bono work includes the successful representation of school children and school districts seeking sufficient resources in Colorado’s public schools in Lobato v. State, a historic five-week trial enforcing students’ constitutional rights to education. Defending the trial court victory, he recently argued the appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiff school children and school districts. Miller also contributes time to indigent criminal defense, and has briefed and argued appeals on behalf of indigent prisoners to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit as a member of the Circuit’s Criminal Justice Act Panel.

Outside the courtroom, Miller serves on the Mile High United Way Emerging Leaders Council Steering Committee and the Education Task Force of the Colorado Lawyers Committee. He also is a member of the Thompson G. Marsh Inn of Court, where he serves as the assistant program chair.

Young Lawyers and Litigation Section
Team for Barristers After Hours

The DBA and CBA Young Lawyers Divisions and the CBA Litigation Section held a joint Barristers After Hours happy hour event at Denver’s Wynkoop Brewery on February 20. Approximately fifty attendees enjoyed drinks, appetizers, and some competitive games of pool and shuffleboard. In addition to having a good time mixing and mingling in a non-work environment, the newer members of the bar learned about the Litigation Section from some of the experienced attorney members.

The DBA YLD holds Barristers After Hours the third Thursday of the month at various locations downtown. For more information, visit Barristers After Hours includes appetizers and two free drinks, and is open to everyone.

Left to right: Emma Garrison, Ellen Trachman, and Christopher Mills.   Left to right: Joel Jacobson, Jason Eddington, and Randy Robinson.
Left to right: Keith Lapuyade, Marianne LaBorde, James Gaspich, and Steven Schumacher.   Natalie Gray (left) and Kristina Garcia.

Catholic Lawyers Guild
Hosts Annual Awards Dinner

The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Colorado formally presented its 2013 awards at the Guild’s annual dinner in January. Pictured here are, from left to right, Brian Bates, 2013 President; Ralph G. Torres, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award; and R. Livingston Keithley, recipient of the St. Thomas More Award.


The Colorado Lawyer Board
Holds First of Two 2014 Meetings

CBA President Terry Ruckriegle (left), with TCL board chair Troy Rackham, presents board member Erin Asborno a plaque in recognition of her five years of service.    

The advisory board of The Colorado Lawyer (TCL) holds meetings twice a year—in February and September—to discuss matters related to the CBA’s official publication. The board comprises twelve bar members who are appointed by the CBA President to serve a three-year term (with an option to request reappointment to a second term). CBA members who would like more information about TCL’s board are encouraged to send a note of inquiry to Managing Editor Leona Martínez at If you would like to be considered for a seat on the Board when a vacancy occurs, send a letter of interest and current résumé.

At the February 28 meeting, the board reviewed financials and discussed proposals for a theme issue and a new column. CBA President Terry Ruckriegle attended the meeting and shared with members insights from his travels to local bars throughout Colorado during the past year. Judge Ruckriegle also recognized Erin Asborno, Susan Bernhardt, Tracy Leming, and Paul Sachs, who will complete their service on the board on June 30.

Terry Ruckriegle speaks to TCL board members at the February meeting.

Denver County Court Judges and Magistrates Welcome
Chief Justice Rice at February En Banc Luncheon

Left to right: Denver County Court Presiding Judge John Marcucci, Chief Justice Nancy Rice, State Court Administrator Jerry Marroney, and Denver County Court Judge Gary Jackson.    

Once a month, Denver County Court judges and magistrates hold an en banc business luncheon meeting at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse to discuss a variety of court-related matters. Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice and State Court Administrator Jerry Marroney joined County Court Presiding Judge John Marcucci and Denver County Court Judge Gary Jackson at the February 7 meeting. Turnout was high and included court administrators and staff, in addition to Denver County Court judges and magistrates.

Introductory comments by Chief Justice Rice, which included a brief story about her roots, revealed that she and County Court Judge Andre Rudolph share a Wyoming connection: Justice Rice spent part of her childhood in Cheyenne, and Judge Rudolph attended the University of Wyoming at Laramie. Among topics discussed during a Q&A session were judicial compensation, the significance of unpublished opinions by the Colorado Court of Appeals, and longevity of jurists on the bench.

The February en banc luncheon meeting of Denver County Court judges and magistrates had the highest meeting attendance to date, and included several court administrators and staff.

Photos Courtesy of Tom Torgove.

2014 COBALT Class Pays
a Visit to Colorado Legislature

COBALT is the CBA’s leadership training program. It involves six months of workshops, classes, and sundry events that are intended to broaden the leadership skills of the participants. There also are activities within the community, which promote professional leadership and present a favorable image of attorneys to the general citizenship. For more information about the COBALT program, contact Dana Collier Smith at

In February, the 2014 COBALT class paid a visit to the Colorado State Capitol Building. While there, they met several state legislators, including Representative Bob Gardner, Senator Mark Scheffel, and Representative Beth McCann

Top row: Megan Downing, Sal Quintana, Sumi Lee, Lia Fazzone, Charles Spence. Third row: Adam Espinosa, Toni Wehman, Katy Dunn, Jean Martin, Jessica Bernfeld, Patrick Thiessen. Second row: Mandy Hopkins, Ryann Peyton, Shelly Dill Combs, Josh Berry, Nicole Black, Sarah Ehrlich. Front row: Ashley Chase, Becky Wiggins. Not pictured: Ed Hopkins.
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