Denver Bar Association
April 2007
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Colorado Inns of Court Visit London Inns

by Janice Tonz

The Colorado Inns of Court Tour of the English Inns of Court in London was a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the English legal system, and experience the grandeur and rich history of two of England’s four Inns of Court. The written records of Lincoln’s Inn and Middle Temple Inn begin in the 15th century and reflect already mature and flourishing societies.

Debra Eiland, of the Ben S. Wendelken Inn in Colorado Springs, made the advance arrangements for the visits on Oct. 24–31, 2006. The other Inn members in the Colorado contingency were: Ed Gleason, Rich Radabaugh, Catherine Seal, Michael Kirtland, Janice Tonz, Kerry Hada, Neil Silver, Kelly Cherry and Tom Watrous.

The Colorado attorneys were warmly greeted by the staff at each Inn. Tours of the grounds, halls and chapels of the Inns, included talks on the education and training of English lawyers, as well as the history of the English legal system, past and present. At the conclusion of each tour, the group enjoyed lunch in the vast Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn and in the Elizabethan era Middle Temple Hall, surrounded by priceless works of arts, coats of arms, and of course, English barristers and benchers. The group was honored to be seated at "High Table" in Middle Temple Hall. This table was constructed from three 29-foot planks of a single oak tree, floated down the Thames from Windsor Forest as a gift from Elizabeth I, and was installed in the Hall before its completion in 1570.

The group visited Parliament to observe sessions of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. During a visit to the Jewel Tower, the group viewed an exhibition highlighting the history of Parliament.

Above, Lincoln’s Inn — Great Hall and Library. From left to right, Janice Tonz, Neil Silver, Kerry Hada.

Below left, High Table in Middle Temple Hall. Front Row, from left to right, Kerry Hada, Janice Tonz, Debra Eiland, Kelly Cherry; Back Row, from left to right, Rich Radabaugh, Tom Watrous, Ed Gleason, Neil Silver, Kristine McGlothlin (Middle Temple), Catherine Seal, Michael Kirtland.

Below right, Lincoln’s Inn Library. From left to right, Tom Watrous, Rich Radabaugh, Michael Kirtland, Catherine Seal, Janice Tonz, Debra Eiland, Kerry Hada.

Photos by Neil Silver. Big Ben background photo by Janice Tonz.

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