Denver Bar Association
December 1999
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How Denver Attorneys are Dropping the Ball


by: The Docket Staff

We’re not going to argue with you about whether or not this is really the millennium. Who knows? Who cares?

Lots of attorneys and their families are going to stay home this New Millennium’s Eve. But quite a few are using it as an excuse to do something unusual, or even make giant resolutions.

We asked many Denver attorneys how they would celebrate Y2K, and this is what they told us.

Spencer Crona, attorney with Sagrillo, Hammond & Dineen, and his wife ("we’re DINKs," he said "double income no kids; we don’t have time") will either take a millennium cruise or be hiding in the basement. "I’m more worried about the people who are really worried about the millennium than I am about what’s going to happen in the millennium."

Dave Butler of Holland & Hart has his own tradition. "Five years ago, we were invited to a New Year’s Eve party where we were asked to put five-year predictions in an envelope. Maybe we’ll get to go back and open them this year."

John Sadwith, executive director of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and former anonymous Docket restaurant critic, will stay home in bed with wife, Karen Grote, and their son Michael, 7, eating Joe’s stone crab claws, which will be shipped from Miami, while watching Dick Clark. They will also try to fit various pets into bed, including Stripey the hermit crab. (Be offended by the crab legs, Stripey.)
The reason he’s staying home? "The food at restaurants is never as good on New Year’s" says the Aggressive Diner, "and they cram a bunch of tables into a small place."

Sherry Patten of State Judicial will see Neil Diamond at the Pepsi Center. She plans to walk there and back from her downtown pad. "If I get tear-gassed on the way home, I’m going to be very upset," she says.

Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Leonard Plank wants to know if we’d believe he would be in office until 9 or 10 o’clock reading legal briefs. Actually, he says, Jan. 1 is his wife Patricia’s birthday. They plan a nice dinner at home with family and friends.

Fred Yu, in private practice, will have a "You-don’t-have-to-stay-until-midnight party," for those who can’t or don’t want to stay up until midnight anymore.

Jet-setter Liz Paul will be in Tokyo to celebrate New Year’s, then fly to Chicago in time to celebrate it again with her son.

Colorado Court of Appeals Judge (and former Docket writer) Bob Kapelke will either be attending a family reunion in Los Angeles or TP’ing his neighborhood.

Neighbor and Docket writer Marshall Snider will be running after Kapelke, picking up the TP.

U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland and family will be cross-country skiing with family in Breckenridge, while staying at their cabin.

Perhaps they will see David Miller. If you look him up in the Martindale Hubbell, you’ll see he’s a licensed pyrotechnician. With a group of friends, David will set off a fireworks display over Breckenridge. They’ve done it for the past 10 years.

Andy Engeman, Taylor & McQuiston, will retreat to New Mexico’s mountains with family and friends. His resolution? To learn how to use Justice Link’s electronic filing software.

One of Melissa Sugar’s resolutions will be to try to make goals instead of just dealing with things as they come at her. She says, "It may not be the millennium by the time I get this done."

DiManna & Jackson’s Gary Jackson will be going with Gary Blum, Long & Jaudon, and Larry Schoenwald, Schoenwald Sanger & Kudla, to Glenwood with friends for several days. This particular group has been spending New Year’s together for 20 years. Gary’s resolution: "To get into the suit I wore in 1990, and to find the platform shoes I wore in the 1970s so I’ll be in style."

Larry Schoenwald says he’ll enjoy watching "it" all come crashing down around him, while sitting in the big stinky pool.

Scott Robinson’s daughter, now a freshman at the University of Colorado, knew three years ago she wanted to do something special for this New Year’s Eve. "I’ve been on the waiting list with Disney Cruises since 1997." And yes, he says, waiting does pay. His family has a hard-to-come-by room on the top deck. "We’ll be in the Bahamas when it strikes midnight," he says.

No vacations for family law attorney Steve Harhai. He will be logging on to various computer systems at midnight and seeing what crashes.

Andrew Cohen of Gorsuch Kirgis and legal analyst for CBS and Channel 2 News, will order in lobsters and clam chowder from Boston. He and his friends will continue their decade-old tradition and have a New Year’s Eve crustacean dinner.

Denver County Court Judge Larry Bohning will "fire" off the New Year in London, where he and friends have rented a service flat across from the Tower of London on the Thames River. The river will be lit on fire for about five miles. Judge Bohning says, "Big Ben will be pulsating on the last day of the millennium."

David Erickson, Docket member, will be staying at home and having the neighbors over for a little party of his own on the 31st. He has a beautiful view of the entire Front Range from his Evergreen backyard, and says, "If the world is destroyed, like some people are saying, we’ll have the best view to see it happen."

Troy Eid is chair of the Governor’s task force on Y2K. He’ll be spending his evening at the Governor’s side on New Year’s Eve to make sure everything goes well. While it doesn’t sound like a party, "champagne will be served, but only after everything is safe."

Lester Ward, attorney at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, naturally will be spending his evening there with his wife. The Center is hosting a huge black tie gala that evening complete with a cocktail hour, showing of "The Phantom of the Opera" and a late dinner/dancing party to see in the New Year. Tickets for this event went on sale last January for $375 and sold out in two weeks.

Attending another black tie event are Winston Howard and his wife, Peg. They will be attending the "Millennium Celebration" put on by the Colorado Symphony and Chorus. Following the performance of Beethoven’s IX, they plan to dine and dance their way into the New Year. According to Peg, "If we’re still standing, we’ll be toasting each other at midnight."

Instead of staying in Denver, Paul Puckett, from the Denver City Attorney’s Office, will be in Crested Butte for some time away from the city. His theory is "a lotta water, a lotta jerky and a good gas stove, and everything will be fine." As for resolutions, Paul is following his standard two: losing weight and winning the LOTTO.

The Berkowitz Firm’s Les Berkowitz will probably be having dinner with friends like "we’ve done for the past 30 years." Les "makes it a practice to not have resolutions."

Bob Hawley, Hawley & Hawley, will be with his wife at the Denver Country Club for a little dinner and dancing. Tickets were reserved months ago for the evening. His resolution: "To try and stay healthy."

Mike Canges, Canges Iwashko & Bethke, is going to "stay at home with some dear friends and eat and drink excessively." Resolutions: "More of the same…"

Dennis Walker doesn’t have plans for New Year’s eve and doesn’t even have a resolution. His wife has been collecting food and plastic jugs for water for the worst-case scenario. He says "I don’t think anything will happen . . . I’m not stocking up on typewriters and erasers or anything."

The twin sisters of law, Susan and Jo Anna Goddard of Goddard & Goddard, are carrying on with their tradition of the last 12 years and having a resolution lunch to talk about their personal resolutions. Susan resolves to live more graciously, and Jo Anna plans to have more fun now that kids are out of the house.

Docket member Julie Murray will be on the phone with her sister, who lives in Wisconsin. If the line goes dead at midnight, she’ll know to head for the hills.

Lastly, CBA/DBA Executive Director Chuck Turner and his friends plan to raid ATMs at midnight, to grab their cash and do their part to mess-up the global banking network.

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