Denver Bar Association
August 2002
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DU Law Stars Shine on Sept. 26

The University of Denver College of Law will present its 2002 DU Law Stars Dinner honoring members of Colorado’s legal community on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The honorees are Joseph M. Montano, Joan H. McWilliams, Howard I. Rosenberg and Laura Butler Embleton.

Joseph M. Montano will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award. Joseph has tried more than 300 cases during his five-decade legal career. A Colorado native, Montano received his J.D. in 1953, where he served as the student case comment editor of the Law Review. He earned a reputation as one of Denver’s prominent trial attorneys and an expert in public acquisition of private land and property before retiring from his partnership at Faegre & Benson in 1998. Montano has written articles and lectured throughout the United States for the ABA, the Practicing Law Institute, as well as governmental and private organizations. Before his tenure at Faegre & Benson, Montano also worked for Gorsuch, Kirgis, Campbell, Walker & Grover; the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and The Texas Company (Texaco).

Joan H. McWilliams will receive the Alumni Professionalism Award. Joan, who received both her Masters of Science in Judicial Administration in 1979 and J.D. in 1983 from DU’s College of Law, is an expert in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Born in Denver, McWilliams took a mediation class in 1986 that changed the direction of her practice from litigation for corporate, securities, banking and family law matters to ADR. She currently provides mediation, arbitration, special master and other ADR services through the McWilliams Mediation Group Ltd. She is an adjunct professor of ADR at the College of Law. Previously, McWilliams was a clerk for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and a partner at Gorsuch Kirgis. She has published extensively and has served on dispute-resolution panels.

Howard I. Rosenberg will receive the Outstanding Faculty Award. After moving to Denver from Chicago, Professor Howard Rosenberg began his career as an adjunct professor at DU’s College of Law in 1967. In 1973, he became director and professor of the Clinical Program, replacing Richard Lamm. Since then, Rosenberg has taught creditor-debtor, bankruptcy, poverty law, legal profession, decision process, post-trial and procedure, and civil process in the College of Law’s Judicial Administration master’s program. Rosenberg was a founding member of the community service organization, Labor’s Community Agency, Inc., and the "Thursday Night Bar," renamed the Metro Volunteer Lawyers, which provides pro bono legal services to low-income recipients. He was appointed by Mayor Federico Peña to the Denver Career Service Board from 1984-1996.

Laura Butler Embleton will receive the Bruce B. Johnson Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Laura began her understanding of leadership in junior high school when she campaigned for class treasurer by handing out mini-mimeographed teacups that said, "Let me be your Butler, let me serve you." She lost the election, but it did not deter her from becoming active in student government at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colo., and then the University of Colorado at Boulder. At DU’s College of Law, she served as president of the Student Bar Association and became the founder and editor of the school’s newspaper, The Writ. After graduating in 1991, Embleton serves as Managing Editor of Publications at Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, is a partner in Embleton Lilley, and is a Metro Volunteer Lawyer.

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