Denver Bar Association
May 2008
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2008 DBA Award Winners

You’re invited to the DBA Annual Party on June 10, 5:30 p.m., at the Colorado History Museum. Enjoy free food and drinks, socializing with your peers and honoring our exceptional members.


In his own words: I have no idea why I would be chosen for this honor. Is it "Merit" because I have survived over 50 years in the wonderful and challenging practice of law? During that time, I have had the privilege of serving on both Colorado and Denver Bar Associations boards and committees, as well as on numerous charitable and community boards, including Denver County Court Judicial Nominating Commission, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, Anti-Defamation League, Rose Medical Center and the DU Law School. Most recent, although I am not "retired" (in spite of what my partners believe), I am involved with the Colorado Bar Association in establishing the Emeritus-Pro Bono Attorney Committee pursuant to the new C.R.C.P. 223 working with Judge Vogt, as well as doing pro bono work for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, the Autism Society of Colorado and the Jewish Family Service of Colorado. I recently published a pamphlet entitled "Using Your Will Power" to help families understand the necessity of involving family in estate planning.

RUSSELL CARPARELLI — Judicial Excellence

Russell Carparelli was sworn in as a Judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals in February 2003. He has more than 30 years experience as a litigator, trial attorney, trial udge and appellate judge. He served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1990 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Carparelli is a co-founder of Our Courts, which provides nonpartisan information programs to advance public knowledge and understanding of the state and federal courts in Colorado. He also has taught and lectured on negotiation, trial advocacy, environmental law and insurance coverage. He is on the faculty of the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia. Since becoming a judge, he has made frequent presentations on the U.S. Constitution to elementary, middle, and high school groups, and he has been a judge for "We the People" competitions.

AARON BRADFORD — Young Lawyer of the Year

Young Lawyer of the Year Aaron Bradford has been a leader and a committed community servant throughout his legal career. While maintaining a busy trial practice, Bradford served on the Leadership Council for the "Lawyers Have Heart 5K Run" for the American Heart Association. He has been the co-chair of the Denver Bar Association’s Wheels of Justice Cycling Team for the past three years, and has taken a lead role in raising nearly $500,000 for The Children’s Hospital. The past two years, Bradford has chaired the Community Action Network. He became involved immediately upon joining the DBA. Bradford has organized and recruited 70 law firms’ donations to city-wide food drives and school supply drives, yielding 100,000 meals and 700 backpacks for local charities, not to mention close to $50,000 in cash donations. Bradford chairs the Colorado Pledge to Diversity. He is also on the board of directors for the Colorado Campaign for Inclusive Excellence and supports programs that benefit the homeless, people with disabilities and underprivileged children.

KAREN WHEELER — Volunteer Lawyer of the Year

Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Karen Hannah Wheeler is the current President of the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and has been on the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association board of directors since 2001. She formerly was Colorado’s state representative for the Defense Research Institute. Wheeler is involved in various charitable organizations. She is the immediate past co-president of Girls Inc. Alliance and previously served as Parliamentarian for the Alliance. Wheeler serves on the Girls Inc. Metro Denver board. In 2005, Wheeler co-chaired Girls and Guys Night Out to benefit Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. She has chaired and co-chaired many fundraising events for other charities, including CASA, the American Heart Association and others. She has been involved in fundraising and volunteering for the many other community organizations, including The Gathering Place, Families First, The Kempe Center and the Auxiliary for Assistance League of Denver. Wheeler also volunteers at the schools of her three children.

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