2008-2009 DBA Annual Report
Zip, and it’s gone. My Pop once told me that the years start to speed up to light-year momentum about now. I rolled my eyes, per my usual response whenever he tried to impart some sage-like wisdom. Sorry, Dad, you were right, as always. Seems like only yesterday I was President-Elect of the DBA, now I’m the ghost of President’s past. So what did we accomplish in that twinkling of an eye?
From my standpoint, the biggest benefit I received the past year was the experience of working with all the new people who I grew to know. Whatever residual cynicism I had about lawyers being greedy and self-obsessed went out the window. I do not know of any other group of human beings that donate more of their time and talent to a wide array of noble and charitable causes. This lesson was taught to me early by the then-outgoing president, Elsa Martinez Tenreiro. Elsa is the embodiment of the spirit of volunteerism. She is one of the most giving people I have ever met. She set the bar high for me. I had to devote the time necessary to do the absolute best job as I could, otherwise I would be letting down people who have preceded me, like Elsa.
I was also blessed by having a great and interesting Board of Trustees composed of judges and criminal, civil and transactional lawyers. Each had particular interests and passions which made the projects fun and the meetings entertaining. We had some very active committee chairs especially in the public education sectors. I thank all of you for your service to the bar. And, of course, the bar association staff is unparalleled in their energy and responsiveness. I got to know many of them well. None of these programs had a whisker of a chance without their devotion.
So, with that being said, let me tell you about our proudest accomplishments this year. We had a large meeting of about 60 bar leaders in August 2008, preceded by a detailed survey of goals and priorities for the DBA. We spent the better part of a day ranking these priorities with the goal of accomplishing two or three. The top two priorities were to develop a mentor program for young lawyers with less than five years of experience and to continue to develop and expand our programs with the Denver Public Schools. Expanded involvement in DPS is a way to teach children the importance of the law to promote the common good, and also is a way to promote interest in legal careers as part of the "pipeline" philosophy. This also involves the goal of increasing diversity in our profession. Other priorities included recruiting members (especially young lawyers), finding funding to coordinate pro bono activities, increasing resources for teaching professionalism, assisting lawyers with work-life balance issues, encouraging additional diversity programs and providing social, collegial and community service activities.
We started the DBA Guest Teacher Program with the Denver Public Schools, whereby volunteer attorneys taught in classrooms to help DPS with their daily critical shortage of substitute teachers. This program created a bridge for this shortfall. More than 150 lawyers and judges volunteered. The program began in March and more than 84 lawyers and judges taught in the schools during the remainder of the 2008-2009 school year. We subsequently met to work out logistics and we are already revving up for the 2009-2010 school year.
We received many letters and e-mails from attorneys describing their teaching experience. One such lengthy e-mail written by attorney, Gerald Harrison, ended by saying, "Thank you for the opportunity to be a guest teacher. I learned a lot. I hope the students did as well. It was a privilege to participate in this program. I suspect both DPS and the DBA hoped the attorneys would be impressed. I certainly was."
This program could not have been possible without the hard work of the Democracy in Education committee working within the Public Legal Education Department of the bar association. Elsa Martinez Tenreiro, DPS General Counsel John Kechriotis and DPS employee Tiffany Lambalot were instrumental in handling the logistics. Our very own bar association trooper, Carolyn Gravit, continues to work tirelessly to make sure the program is a success.
Another significant achievement is our mentor program, which kicked off in early June 2009. First, we sent a comprehensive survey to a large number of attorneys in order to gauge the desire for a mentor program and what shape it should take. The survey response was overwhelmingly in favor of a program. A detailed application was drafted for applicants to request mentors in certain areas of practice, experience, etc. We were hoping for 25 serious applicants in the initial group; we received more than 50 requests for mentors. We carefully matched mentors based upon the requested profile in the application. These mentors are some of the finest attorneys in the Denver metro area.
Again, this program could not have been possible but for the passion of a few people. The committee that put it together, led by Board of Trustee Nancy Cohen, spent countless hours coordinating the program. We are also fortunate to have the volunteer services of Caren Stacy, the coordinating director of associate programs at Arnold & Porter. Caren helped us create ways to sustain the program. Melissa Nicoletti of the DBA staff worked hard to put the program together.
Our professionalism teaching program continued to thrive. Our lawyer speakers’ bureau travels throughout the state, making presentations using our professionalism vignette DVD, which was created through funding from the DBA, CBA and other entities. Speakers go to local bar associations, law firms, Inns of Court, law schools, CLE of Colorado and other groups. The University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law have officially made the programs part of their first-year orientation programs.
We invited representatives from both law schools to participate in our monthly Board of Trustee meetings. This significantly increased communication between the DBA and Colorado’s law schools. The law schools helped us with many of our programs, and we in turn, helped them with their programs. Much thanks to Karen Trojanowski of CU and Dan Vigil of DU for participating in our meetings. We also worked hard to get nearly 100 percent bar association membership in the law schools (it is free!).
The existing programs in our Public Education Department continued to flourish. The Denver Regional Mock Trial Tournament was again a great success and a lot of fun. On Constitution Day, more than 60 volunteer lawyers visited 27 DPS schools. Our pro se clinics continued to help the public on several legal topics. Legal Night at Mi Casa and Legal Night at El Centro de Juan Diego continues to serve more than 70 people each month on various legal topics such as immigration and family law. Our popular call-in program, Lawline 9, receives more than 7,500 calls per year. Two hundred attorneys staff this event each Wednesday evening. Twenty volunteer lawyers and paralegals staffed the Veteran’s Stand Down, where more than 150 veterans received legal information and referrals. The Board of Trustees celebrated the continued success of the Constitutional Scholars program, bringing in the three-time champion team from East High School to congratulate them on their achievements. Almost 30 volunteer lawyers and paraglegals staffed the DBA booth at the Capitol Hill People’s Fair. All of these admirable programs continue to teach the public about the law and improve the image of lawyers.
We held our first annual DBA Member Appreciation Week from June 7-13, which included orchestra ticket discounts, several "Tuesday at the Bar" programs, the Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament, the Annual Awards Party, theater ticket discounts and discount Rockies tickets. Many thanks to DBA staff member Heather Clark for coordinating all of this.
The Community Action Network’s 10th Annual Food Drive was especially notable this year as our donations tripled from last year. The drive reached $10,000 in 2007, $15,000 in 2008 and 2009’s donations already top $45,000. Two law firms, Faegre & Benson and Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, deserve special mention for collecting almost $30,000 of this amount. Sixty-eight other law firms and businesses contributed. Again, thanks to Heather Clark for working so hard on this.
The 21st Annual Barristers Benefit Ball "An Evening on the Nile" was on April 24, with more than 610 guests. We tried a new venue downtown and hosted the ball on Friday night rather than Saturday. A survey was sent to members to see how they liked the changes. The BBB committee, chaired by John Baker and Julie Haines, raised nearly $50,000 for Metro Volunteer Lawyers. The honorees this year were Fran Fontana, Bryon Large, paralegal Gerry Hernandez, Patricia Trujillo, for her 20 years service to MVL and posthumously to Barbara Quade who was an MVL champion.
Our DBA Communications Department continues to forge into the 21st century with its ever changing media scene. Bar association staff Christine McManus and Tara Miller worked hard to keep The Docket a unique and interesting monthly publication. We had several articles to assist lawyers during the difficult economic downturn. We also profiled each of our Board of Trustee members and thanked them for their service. The staff continued to successfully foster relationships with the Denver media. Through the use of more targeted press releases we were able to get great coverage of many DBA programs including the Guest Teacher Initiative, the Regional Mock Trial Tournament and Constitution Day.
Many thanks to all the committee chairs who continued to ensure that our committees remain vibrant and active. The DBA could not function without you. Many of the committees also put on several programs such as bench bar lunch presentations, educational lunches and young lawyer events.
As I sit here preparing this annual report to be published in the September issue of The Docket, the Annual Party is next Tuesday, June 9. We will honor many of the DBA’s finest: Charlene Krogh as Volunteer of the Year, Amanda Smith as Young Lawyer of the Year, Barbara Gale-Martinez as Teacher of the Year and the Hon. Orrelle Rodgers Weeks with the Judicial
I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this report than to mention these names. Each represent our finest qualities and what makes the DBA strong. I have greatly enjoyed my tenure this past year. It was an honor to serve.
Mark A. Fogg
Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee continues to run the "Court Annexed Mediation Project," which provides mediation services to litigants and their attorneys in Denver’s County and Small Claims Civil Courts.
Former DBA President Joe Dischinger chaired the committee this year, with awards going to the following outstanding recipients: William "Bill" DeMoulin, Award of Merit (posthumously); Amanda Smith, Young Lawyer of the Year; Judge Orrelle Weeks, Judicial Excellence; Charlene Krogh, Volunteer Lawyer of the Year; and Barbara Gale-Martinez, Teacher of the Year. The recipients were profiled in the May 2009 issue of The Docket, to promote the Annual Party and awards celebration. Awards were presented by 2008-2009 DBA President Mark Fogg at the Annual Party at the Colorado History Museum on June 9.
Barristers Benefit Ball
The 21st annual Barristers Benefit Ball, "An Evening on the Nile," was April 24, with more than 610 attending. This was the first time ever that the Ball was held on a Friday evening, and only the second time it was held in downtown Denver. The committee, co-chaired by John Baker and Julie Haines, worked feverishly to plan the event, which raised nearly $50,000 for Metro Volunteer Lawyers. The honorees this year were Fran Fontana of Fontana & Associates; Bryon Large of the Large Law Firm, and Gerry Hernandez, a paralegal with the Law Office of Laura Shapiro. Also honored was Barbara Quade, who was an MVL champion prior to her death in 2008, and Patricia Trujillo for 20 years of service on the MVL staff. Thanks to everyone who helped make this great event a reality.
Our committee had a very successful 2008-2009 year, holding various events to promote our primary goal of fostering communications and relations between members of the Bench and Bar. Our top event of the year was the Bench-Bar Retreat, which we held last September. Approximately 100 people, including more than 25 judges from nearly every state court in metro-Denver, attended this half-day event.
During this gathering, many meaningful discussions were held, in addition to a film presentation and singing performance, to promote this year’s theme of "Plea From the Courts: Lighten Up!" which focused on stress-related issues. We also held various other events during the past year, including a January Brown-Bag discussion event, focusing on tips for dealing with a "Rambo" attorney and a "pro se litigant." The format of this event was a roundtable discussion group and film session during which the approximately 40 attendees watched various professionalism vignettes and exchanged valuable tips and advice for handling potentially difficult situations in the litigation process .
DBA–CLE is the nonprofit educational arm of the Denver and Colorado Bar. In meeting the needs of our members, DBA–CLE presents over 100 live programs throughout the year on a variety of topics. These programs attract several thousand attendees each year and many are co-sponsored by the Bar sections and standing committees. Programs range from half-day seminars to popular multi-day annual conferences, such as: the National CLE Conference; Business Law Institute; Employment Law Institute; SEC Conference; Intellectual Property Conference; Hanging Your Shingle; Real Estate Symposium; Estate Planning Retreat; Ag/Water/Environmental (Steamboat CLE Conference) Law; and Family Law Institute. Most are videotaped for replay in Denver and also audio-recorded for home study. CLE is web-casting most CLE programs so lawyers can participate in CLE programs over the internet from their desktop that are taking place live from the classroom. Distance education delivery formats such as the web-cast and tele-seminars continue to serve the busy lawyers of Colorado.
DBA–CLE also publishes more than 40 handbooks and practice manuals covering various law practice specialties. The publications are authoritative and are written by practicing attorneys and sitting judges, as well as edited and cite-checked by experienced legal editors. The books are designed to be practitioner-oriented, and most include forms, helpful checklists, organizational tabs, a subject index, and practice pointers to help you save time and make services more economical.
The Denver Bar Association Communications Department focuses on media relations, public relations, member communications and The Docket. Our role with the public and media is to help them understand and navigate the legal system. Our role with our members is to help them understand how to work with the media, and to communicate all the important activities and resources available at the bar.
We are adapting to a changing media scene – maintaining press relations with reporters and editors through networking with Society of Professional Journalists, Denver Press Club, etc. while using other citizen media such as YourHub, specialty bar publications, new online venues, etc. to promote all the wonderful things that members are doing. We feed into the bar’s use of social media tools, with Marketing Dept. and CLE’s new Social Networking liason – to promote bar events in additional cross-networking platforms.
Through improved and regularly updated press release lists, and targeted, more-focused, press releases, we’ve helped spur great coverage (Channel 7, front page Denver Post) of DBA programs such as Guest Teacher Initiative, Mock Trial Denver teams, Constitution Day, CAN Food Drive, Barristers Benefit Ball, etc.
To make sure The Docket remains a unique, publication that is tailored for Denver lawyers in a changing world, we printed fun profiles of the DBA Board of Trustees and promoted programs like the DPS Guest Teacher Initiative, mentoring and other important initiatives. We navigated business trends in the changing printing industry and began making future plans for improved online presence of The Docket.
In the economic downturn, our focus has been to promote to DBA members all the advantages of membership (in D-Brief, Docket, Web site etc.) and to feature economic/helpful articles in The Docket.
Community Action Network Committee (CAN)
In 2008–2009, the DBA Community Action Network teamed with law firms in the Denver area to provide support to many Denver nonprofit organizations doing great things for the needy in our community.
The support from the legal community was incredible this year, with tireless efforts from law firms and organizations to bring in hundreds of cans of food, toothbrushes, school supplies and cash donations for all the drives throughout the year. The CAN Committee, through the tireless efforts of its amazing volunteers and participants, was responsible for the following events:
Back to School Supply Drive. From July 28 – August 6, 2008 more than 58 Denver-area law firms and businesses collected school supplies and cash donations that benefited hundreds of students in the Denver Public School system. Denver Public School students and their families enjoyed a free day at the Denver Zoo on Aug. 10, 2008 and received a backpack filled with school supplies. CAN volunteers handed out more than 300 backpacks at the zoo to children of needy or homeless families. The remaining supplies went to Children’s Outreach Project. Thank you to IKON for collecting the donations from around the metro area. Each year, the drive helps hundreds of DPS students have a successful start to the school year. In addition to the school supplies collected, $2,236 was donated by the legal community for the DPS Educational Outreach Program.
Toothbrushes for Tots Drive. The toothbrush drive, which ran from February 9 – 13, 2009, was a huge success! This drive coincides with National Dental Heath Month and benefits Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND), the country’s oldest dental charity, founded in 1912. KIND helps meet the needs of underserved children up to the age of 18. This drive was co-chaired by CAN members Michelle Ferguson and Nike Fleming. CAN, along with 41 local law firms and businesses, collected more than 9 large boxes of toothbrushes, 8 boxes of toothpaste, and 2 boxes of floss, in addition to over $1,180 in cash donations.
10th Annual Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive. This drive, which was April 27 to May 8, 2009, benefitted the Food Bank of the Rockies. The food drive collected 110 barrels of food donations worth $13,820 from 68 law firms and businesses in the Denver-metro area. The drive also collected approximately $36,438 in cash donations for the Food Bank as well, bringing the total value of all donations to just over $50,000. Food donations are critical in these troubled economic times when many families choose between eating or paying rent or buying gas to travel to work. The drive helped to create approximately 200,000 meals for the needy – simply amazing results! A special thanks goes to the CBA Litigation Section for cosponsoring this event and making the drive statewide this year!
Denver Warm Welcome Child Care Center. The Denver Warm Welcome Center is a drop-in child care facility that provides a safe, secure setting while the child’s parent or guardian conducts business with the Denver courts. CAN continued its support of the child care facility by collecting donations of hundreds of stuffed animals, books and children’s clothing at Tuesday’s at The Bar CLE Programs and delivering them to the Denver Warm Welcome Center.
Please contact CAN Co-Chairs Nike Fleming and Karen Spaulding, or DBA Liaisons Heather Clark and Alexa Drago if you or your firm are interested in participating in a CAN activity.
Democracy Education Committee
Chaired by: Elsa Martinez Tenreiro and John Kechriotis
Denver Regional Mock Trial Tournament. Participants of the Denver Regional Tournament were: George Washington High School, Kennedy High School, La Academia, Denver School of Science and Technology, CEC Middle College of Denver, Colorado Academy, Thunder Ridge and Gateway High School. The tournament was held February 20 and 21 at the Denver City and County Building.
Constitution Day. During the week of September 17 the Committee supported National Constitution Day by getting involved with youth education to teach students about the Constitution and our system of democracy. Sixty volunteer attorneys visited twenty-seven DPS schools during this celebration.
DBA DPS Substitute Training Initiative. A new initiative inspired by Sen. Michael Bennet (the former DPS superintendent) was formed to have attorney’s volunteer act as guest teachers for DPS schools. Most DPS teacher’s absences are pre-planned, which allows volunteers from the DBA to pick their substitute dates in advance. More than 150 judges, lawyers and paralegals volunteered their time in DPS.
Court Tours/ Speaker Bureaus/ Career Fairs. These programs give DBA members the opportunity to step into the school system and teach the younger generation their roles as members of the legal community. Twelve court tours were conducted at the Denver City and County building. The DBA speakers’ bureau program dispatched over 20 volunteer attorneys to speak in schools. Additionally, more than 15 career fairs through out the front range. Publications from the CBA PLE Committee are dispersed at these events.
We the People. This education curriculum is used in elementary, middle and high school classrooms across the state. It is taught by social studies and government teachers. DPS teachers had contacted the DBA for attorney volunteers to come into their classes to judge hearings. Twenty five volunteer attorneys participated in 15 hearings during.
DBA Denver Access to Justice
Committee/Legal Services Committee
Chaired by: Ilene Bloom
Pro se legal clinic. These clinics are continuously held each month and staffed by attorney volunteers to help walk the public through processes involving many different topics. On average 15-25 people attend these free pro se clinics that are seeking legal information. Topics include: Small Claims & Collections, Family Law, Bankruptcy, and Divorce. Sponsored by Colorado Lawyers Committee and the DBA, Legal Night at Mi Casa helped more than 900 individuals in the Denver community and 250 attorneys, paralegals and interpreters have volunteered time to help. Legal Night at El Centro de San Juan Diego, which is the first Wednesday of each month, also offers anyone seeking legal services an opportunity to meet with an attorney, regardless of income level.
Lawline 9. This weekly program at KUSA-TV Channel 9 continues to be a popular community call-in program with over 7,500 calls received a year. Two hundred attorney volunteers staff this event each Wednesday evening, and on special occasions, additional early morning Lawline 9 programs are offered to highlight a current legal topic in the news.
CHUN Capital Hill People’s Fair. Twenty seven volunteer paralegals and attorneys staffed the DBA booth at the CHUN Capitol Hill People’s fair where over 100 questions were answered.
Veteran’s Stand Down. Twenty volunteer attorneys and paralegals staffed the Veteran’s Stand Down event held at the National Guard Amory at 52nd and Franklin where over 150 veterans were provided legal information and resource referrals.
For more Law Related Volunteer Opportunities visit www.denbar.org
Diversity In the Legal Profession (DILP)
The Diversity In The Legal Profession Committee ("DILP"), a joint committee of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, has continued its goal to cultivate diversity within the legal community and work with law schools, law students, practicing lawyers and legal employers throughout Colorado to promote diversity at all levels. The committee’s major continuing project is the Mentor/Mentee Program. Through this program, first-year diverse law students are paired with experienced attorneys for guidance and learning. Research has demonstrated that diverse law students and young attorneys benefit greatly when they have a mentor. This program is a joint effort by DILP, the University of Colorado School of Law, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and several specialty bar associations. DILP also sponsors the State High School Diversity Conference and this year sent a team of diverse attorneys to make a presentation at the conference, with the goal of encouraging diverse high school students to pursue legal careers. DILP continues to work closely with the Deans’ Diversity Council, a group founded in the fall of 2006 by the Deans of the University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The Deans’ Diversity Council is comprised of managing partners of prominent law firms, general counsel from some of Colorado’s largest corporate employers, members of the federal and state judiciary, leading government sector attorneys, bar leaders, and others committed to diversity in the legal profession. This group has met on a continuing basis to address the pressing issues of improving diversity in the legal profession. Finally, DILP actively promotes and supports The Colorado Pledge to Diversity Summer Clerkship Program, which seeks to diversify Colorado’s law firms and legal corporate departments, while giving students the opportunity to gain exposure to the work, requirements and culture of major law firms
Our committee’s goal is to make sure The Docket remains a unique, publication that is tailored for Denver lawyers in a changing world. For the economic downturn, we’ve printed several localized articles to give members better tools and inspire lawyers’ outlooks. We printed fun profiles of the DBA Board of Trustees at the request of President Mark Fogg, to help members feel more in touch with leadership. With several young lawyers on the committee, we have been running more articles of interest to young lawyers. We promoted programs like the DPS Guest Teacher Initiative, mentoring and other important initiatives. We navigated business trends in the changing printing industry and began making future plans for improved online presence of The Docket. And of course, the April Fool’s Day issue caught quite a few people off guard, with articles about alleged required bar codes replacing the state’s assigned bar numbers (untrue).
Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament
Seventy-five golfers participated in the 2009 Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament on June 8, at The Inverness Golf Club in Englewood. The challenging par 70 course is the former home of the Colorado Open and offers numerous challenges, including Hole no. 3, voted the best par 3 in this year’s Avid Golfer Magazine’s "Best of Colorado." The weather was great and golfers enjoyed lunch before hitting the links. Todd Jansen was the Men’s Individual Gross winner and Susie Roh was the Women’s Individual Gross winner.
Legal Fee Arbitration
Resolution rather than litigation! The DBA Legal Fee Arbitration Committee continues to mediate and arbitrate fee disputes between clients and their attorneys in another busy year! The committee received hundreds of inquiries on legal fee arbitration most of which were resolved prior to an arbitration hearing being set. The committee remains one of the most active of all bar committees with daily stacks of mail and on going phone calls from both the public and attorneys, not to mention satisfied customers! The free service allows the attorney to resolve fee disputes while maintaining respect for the fiduciary duty owed to the client.
In using the LFA, each party must first agree to arbitration to start the expedited process. The committee then assigns each case an experienced mediator and an arbitration panel. Either party can decline the mediation step—though both sides often want to participate to self-direct resolution and agreed closure. The Majority of cases are settled through a session with the mediator. If the case cannot be settled, the panel, with committee review, will resolve the dispute with a quick and casual hearing.
The committee is comprised of both attorneys and lay members, with a mix of long-term and new members. The process is considered a gentle, flexible, quick, informal and effective vehicle for the resolution of disputes between two people who have been in a trusting fiduciary relationship. LFA provides resolution rather than litigation.
Membership and Marketing
Approximately 8,750 legal professionals belong to the Denver Bar Association, as the DBA continues to provide support to the Denver-area legal community. The DBA membership department provides opportunities for members to network (social and business) and assists other DBA departments, in addition to providing other membership benefits.
One of the most tangible benefits of belonging to the DBA is receiving a free copy of the Colorado Legal Directory. Every member of the DBA is mailed a directory each year at no additional cost. If you need an extra copy, Denver Bar Association members get a special rate.
The Membership Department works with the publisher, McGraw Hill, to produce the directory. The publication is a valuable source of revenue for the DBA.
This was our first year to have a Member Appreciation Week, June 7-13. The week was filled with free CLE programs, the Henry Hall Golf Tournament, the Annual Awards Party, and discounted tickets to the Rockies, Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Rent at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. We hope to continue the Member Appreciation week next year.
DBA Membership Department participates in the spring and fall Admissions Ceremonies for new attorneys. New attorneys are welcomed at the ceremonies by leaders in the legal community and are sworn in by Chief Justice Mullarkey of the Colorado Supreme Court.
The Membership Department is also reviewing the current benefits and considering offering more. We currently offer discounts at;
The DBA started a mentoring program this year. The goal is to foster professionalism and assist you with the practical everyday problems not taught in law school. The DBA Mentoring Program provides a unique opportunity to regularly meet and talk with a mentor who can assist in the decision-making process about managing a practice, important factors to consider when accepting a client, client communications, handling difficult clients or opposing counsel and work-life balance issues. The program has an impressive 50 mentors and Mentees in its first round. There was a very well attended breakfast to kick off the program on June 2, 2009.
Metropolitan Conciliation Panel
The Metropolitan Conciliation Panel consists of a diverse group of experienced and professional attorneys practicing in Adams County, Broomfield County, Denver County, the 1st Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties) and the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert Counties). The MCP assists attorneys in resolving conflicts between attorneys over issues of professionalism and civility, as defined in the "Denver Bar Association Principles of Professionalism" and the "Colorado Bar Association Standards of Professionalism."
All work of the MCP is confidential and voluntary except when court ordered. The assistance offered by the MCP most often consists of a panel member acting as a "sounding board" for an attorney involved in a professionalism dispute with another attorney. Assistance can also include conciliation and joint meetings with the disputing attorneys. MCP does not handle any matters where the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct apply or control, or requests for intervention by consumers. The MCP accepts requests for assistance and referrals from attorneys, judges, magistrates and the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Regulation Counsel. For more information, contact MCP co-chairs David Furgason at (303) 861-8013 or Teresa Wilkins at (303) 791-9545.
Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL)
MVL coordinates the pairing of volunteer attorneys with indigent or nearly indigent people to help them with their civil legal needs. MVL conducts clinics through its Family Law Court Program (FLCP) to serve the high volume of clients who need assistance with their family law matters. MVL also partners with 4 local law firms in conducting post-decree clinics for people who have issues related to their existing orders in their family law matters. MVL has been operating continuously since 1966. A department of the Denver Bar Association, the organization is also supported by Colorado Legal Services and the bar associations of the 1st Judicial District, Douglas-Elbert, Adams-Broomfield, Arapahoe, and Denver counties.
Professionalism Coordinating Council
The joint CBA/DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council continued to present a series of professionally produced video vignettes to the two law schools, law firms, professionalism classes and local bar associations throughout the state. The vignettes are used as the basis for teaching professionalism by showing the "situational" clips followed by directed discussion with members of the council. The American Bar Association recognized the quality and uniqueness of the vignettes by giving the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations’ Council their prestigious Gambrell Professionalism Award for 2009.
This group of attorneys, chaired by Jim Bayer, is for those "65 or better." The committee has four big events throughout the year. The biggest party of the year is the Senior Spring Banquet, which honors Denver lawyers who have been licensed for 50 years. This past May, the committee honored 22 attorneys most of whom attended. The event was held back at the University Club. It was packed with nearly 120 guests who came to honor these accomplished individuals. DBA President Mark Fogg and Past-President Mary Jo Gross (honorary "emcee") kept the room laughing, as they shared stories of the careers and lives of the honorees. Also at this event, Jim Bayer passed the Chair torch to Don McMichael who will be chair for the 2009–2010 fiscal year. The committee’s fall event, the "Seniors Roast," honored Robert Fullerton in October. December’s Holiday Party was its usual fun that included connecting with familiar faces, spreading holiday cheer, and enjoying tasty fare. July’s golf tournament was at The Homestead Golf Course, and despite some threatening storms, the teams finished the tournament and enjoyed a lunch.
Tuesday’s at the Bar
Tuesday’s at the Bar had a very successful year of CLE programs. The program is held every Tuesday at the DBA offices in the 3rd floor classroom at noon (except in December, July and August). The DBA was able to offer several of the Programs this year to members for free as a member benefit. We will continue to provide timely presentations to the members. More than 600 members attended these CLE programs this year.
Young Lawyers Division
The Young Lawyers Division had a very successful year with some of our flagship community events, including Winter Festival and Lawsuit Days. In coordination with the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People, YLD raised thousands of dollars for the Legal Center through the Attorneys’ Night Out event. This event is in its third year and the group is thrilled with its prospects for the years to come. Finally, YLD continued its long-standing involvement with the Legal Center, providing advice and pro bono services to needy members of the community, at two locations. With respect to opportunities for grade school students, YLD continued its Law Explorers event which strives to expose high school students to the practice of law. As part of YLD’s Law Week efforts, the group sponsored its annual essay contest for high school students, which included a cash prize for the best essay. The topic of this year’s program was "A Legacy of Liberty"-Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial Featuring Judge Ebel, Circuit Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. YLD continued its highly-successful monthly Barristers After Hours program at Earl’s. The DBA Yld added a new program this year in conjunction with the CBA YLD, "Legal Film Night". The program included a speaker and a CLE credit and had over 75 people in attendance. Finally, nearly our entire board attended an ABA Conference and participated in delegate and affiliate-related events that are instrumental in providing ideas to improve opportunities for our membership.
The DBA completed its 2008-2009 fiscal year on June 30. 2009. Revenue from membership dues increased slightly and non dues revenue decreased making total revenue down for the year. Expenses for the year were up slightly. We saw a modest increase in operational overhead but a slight decrease in our department and program expenses. The DBA will complete the fiscal year with a small loss as expenses exceeded revenue. Our reserve funds are still in good shape and will allow us to continue our program during difficult economic times.
Committees ... Are You on the List?
Access to Justice Chair: Ilene L. Bloom Alternative Dispute Resolution Co-Chairs: Jeanne Busacca & Ashley Kilroy Awards Committee Chair: Mary Jo Gross
Access to Justice
Chair: Ilene L. Bloom
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Co-Chairs: Jeanne Busacca & Ashley Kilroy
Chair: Mary Jo Gross