Denver Bar Association
September 2011
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Who’s Who, Representing You? Meet the New Members of Your Board of Trustees

Who’s Who, Representing You? Meet the New Members of Your Board of Trustees

James Benjamin
James G. Benjamin, DBA President-Elect. Manager of Benjamin, Bain, Howard & Cohen, LLC and head of the real estate transactional law practice
Will Hood
William W. Hood III, First Vice President. Denver District Court Judge.
Lucia Padilla
Lucia Padilla, Second Vice President. Corporate Counsel at CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) and manager of employment litigation for the company.


Docket: If you have free time on a Saturday, what are you most likely doing?

Benjamin: Playing on the challenge tennis courts at The Pinery Country Club or fly fishing on the Arkansas River during the warm months, or skiing in Vail during the winter months.

Hood: Spending time with family or golfing.

Padilla: Going for a longer run in the summer and skiing in the winter.

D: What is your greatest passion outside the law?

B: Watching my son and daughter excel in their pursuits. My son is quickly rising in the movie business in Hollywood. My daughter is completing a year of service as a case worker at a homeless shelter in Phoenix as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (the Catholic Peace Corps) after graduating summa cum laude from Santa Clara University.

H: My children. (BBQ potato chips are a close second.)

P: I don’t have one single passion but I really enjoy running, competing in any kind of athletic event, and spending time outdoors and in the mountains with my husband and Emma and Cole. (No, we don’t have kids—those are our Labrador Retrievers.)

D: What place are you dying to travel to?

B: Australia and New Zealand. I have always felt like a pioneer and those two places (outside Alaska where I have lived for awhile) are the Western frontiers. Relocating more than 30 years ago to Colorado from Los Angeles is indicative of my pioneering spirit.

H: Costa Rica; for the beach and rain forest.

P: There are a lot of places in the world that I’d like to see but one place that stands out that I’d love to see is Fiji. It looks beautiful and I hear you can stay in these really cool huts literally in the ocean.

D: What was the last good movie you saw?

B: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," not because of its substantive content, but because of the pride that came with the knowledge that my son had just received his first-ever producer credit for producing the 30-minute TV program, "Transformers 3, The World Premiere," which aired the night before on VH1, MTV, and Spike.

H: "The Social Network" (even though [screenplay writer Aaron] Sorkin made stuff up).

P: Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen a movie, I can’t even remember.

D: What has been your best moment in the courtroom?

B:Hearing the jury verdict in favor of my client in Federal District Court in the case of Galieti v. State Farm Insurance, a big win for which my co-counsel (lead counsel) and good friend Jim Bull was described by Judge [Lewis T.] Babcock as "the best trial lawyer I have ever had appear in my courtroom."

P.S., I had that portion of the trial transcribed and framed for Jim Bull.

H: Being sworn in as a judge.

P: Probably my most memorable moment in the courtroom was when Gary Lozow was a juror in one of my first trials. Besides the fact that Gary is one of the best lawyers in town, at the time I was hoping to get an offer from him and the firm for an associate position—talk about nerve-wracking! Unfortunately (or some might think fortunately), I don’t see the inside of a courtroom much now that I’m in-house counsel. D

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