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TCL > February 2013 Issue > News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

February 2013       Vol. 42, No. 2       Page  9
In and Around the Bar
Bar News

News From CBA Sections, Committees, Local and Specialty Bars, and More

Bar News is a monthly compilation of news from the Colorado Bar Association, including sections and committees, administration, and local and specialty bar associations. It also includes notices of activities—past, present, and future—from local and national law-related organizations and groups. Please send information and photos to CBA legal editor Susie Klein at

Seniors Get in the Holiday Spirit
at Annual Luncheon

The Seniors Committee of the Denver Bar Association (DBA) hosted its annual holiday luncheon on December 6 at the CBA offices. The occasion is always a spirit-filled opportunity for members aged “65 and better” to catch up with one another while celebrating the holiday season.

DBA Seniors Committee Chair Don McMichael quizzes guests about odd laws and history, as well as trivia about those in attendance.   Approximately forty DBA members attended the holiday luncheon. Among them was retired Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey (lower left).
Howard Erickson (left) updates guests on what he’s been up to during the past year. Also pictured is Robert Carney.   Left to right: Allen Mitchem, Tom Brown, Arnold Wegher, and Bob Fullerton.

Colorado Courts Celebrate National Adoption Day

In celebration of National Adoption Day, judges and magistrates throughout Colorado finalized the adoption of more than 150 foster children from November 14 to November 19. Below is a sampling of the Adoption Day events that took place throughout the state.

  • In the First J.D., District Court Chief Judge Stephen Munsinger and District Court Judges Tamara Russell and Ann Meinster finalized eight adoptions for seven families.
  • In the Second J.D., Denver Juvenile Court Judges Donna Schmalberger and D. Brett Woods joined Juvenile Court Magistrates Howard Bartlett and Melanie Gilbert, along with Denver District Court Judge Ann Frick, to unite fifty-two children with thirty families.
  • The Third J.D. hosted a reception for families who have adopted in the past year.
  • Fifth J.D. District Court Judge Russell Granger presided over the adoption of ten children at the Clear Creek County Courthouse.
  • Eighth J.D. District Court Judges John David Williams and Stephen E. Howard presided over the adoption of twenty-four children at the Larimer County Justice Center.
  • In the Seventeenth J.D., eleven children were united with permanent families at the Adams County Justice Center. District Court Judges Michael Goodbee and Francis Wasserman joined Magistrate Gregory Beacom in presiding over the docket.
  • In theEighteenth J.D., District Court Chief Judge William B. Sylvester presided over the adoption of eighteen children.
  • Nineteenth J.D. District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow presided over the adoption of twenty children at the Weld County Courthouse.
  • In the Twentieth J.D., Magistrate Elizabeth Brodsky presided over the adoptions of three children. In addition, a celebration was held to recognize all the adoptions that took place during 2012.
  • Twenty-First J.D. District Court Judge Valerie Robison presided over a morning adoption docket uniting eight children with three families at the Mesa County Justice Center.

National Adoption Day is celebrated every year in November to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care across the country waiting to find permanent, loving families. Since 2000, more than 40,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day as a result of the cooperative work of courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, advocates, and adoptive parents.

The Chavez family with Denver Juvenile Court Judge D. Brett Woods.   Judge Karen Ashby of the Second J.D. Denver Juvenile Court speaks to attendees during an Adoption Day celebration on November 16.
Photo credit: Sandi Schneider

CBA Solo and Small Firm Section Hosts
Annual Holiday Networking Event

On December 3, nearly 100 solo and small firm attorneys attended the CBA Solo and Small Firm Section’s annual holiday networking luncheon at the Warwick Hotel in Denver. In addition to catching up with colleagues and making new acquaintances, guests entered their names for the chance to win a number of door prizes, ranging from discounts on books to Amazon gift cards.

Left to right: Stephen Wilson, Barb Cashman, Maria Theresa Lopez, Angela Boykins, Natalie Lucas, Shelly Kuennen, and Rob Phillips.   CBA Solo and Small Firm Section Chair Dave Sprecace emceed the event.
CBA Law Practice Management Administrative Assistant Lauren Eisenbach draws the name of a lucky door prize winner.   Reba Nance, Director of the CBA Law Practice Management Department, awards Joel Moritz the grand prize—an iPad mini.

CTLA Donates More than
$107,000 to DU Law in 2012

In December, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) presented a check for $52,133 to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (DU Law) to establish a scholarship in memory of Daniel W. Patterson, left, who passed away in September 2012. The donation, along with another for $55,000 in January 2012, brought CTLA’s annual contribution to DU Law to approximately $107,000.

Patterson earned his law degree from DU Law in 1982. He worked at a number of firms in Denver, primarily specializing in insurance and bad faith. He also specialized as a mediator for Conflict Resolution Services. Over the years, Patterson served on the CTLA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Lobby Council. He was President of the CTLA from 2008 to 2009, during which time he helped pass legislation that imposed penalties on insurance companies for unreasonable conduct. He lectured at both DU Law and the University of Colorado School of Law, and was a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He received the Ethics and Professionalism Award from the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association in 2001, and received the CTLA’s Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2012.

Left to right: John Sadwith, Executive Director of CTLA; Jenny ­Savage, Assistant Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship at DU Law; Susan Patterson, Dan’s wife; and Julia Patterson, Dan’s daughter.  

Highlights From the
El Paso County Bar Association

On December 7, the El Paso County Bar Association (EPCBA) held its annual Family Law Conference at the Antlers Hotel in Downtown Colorado Springs. The all-day event was sponsored by the EPCBA Family Law Section and featured a series of workshops throughout the day (photo below), as well as an awards presentation recognizing members for outstanding contribution.


The EPCBA New Lawyers Section hosted its annual holiday party on December 12 at Southside Johnny’s in downtown Colorado Springs (photos below). The event was well attended by both new and established lawyers.

EPCBA President HayDen Kane (left) and Lisa Blattner, Chair of the EPCBA New Lawyers Section.   Among attendees at the holiday party were (left to right) Kris Miller, Glen Schlabs, Jerome Aquino, and Adan Cerda.

Denver Office of McKenna Long & Aldridge
Partners With Local Nonprofits to Support
Education and the Community

The law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP sponsored the Denver Urban Debate League’s (DUDL) Free Speech Tournament, which took place from November 30 to December 1 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College in Denver. The Denver office of the international law firm donated $5,000 to support the tournament. In addition, firm attorney Amy Siadak volunteered as a judge in the competition, and David Fine, a partner in the Denver office, spoke to participants. This is the first year the firm has supported the DUDL’s annual tournament.

A month earlier, the law firm had partnered with Rebuilding Together Metro Denver to renovate the home of a local senior. The project coincided with National Make a Difference Day, Saturday, October 27. The team of builders comprised attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members, and was led by attorney Tim Odil, who serves as Vice Chair of the Rebuilding Together Metro Denver Board. This was the twelfth consecutive year a team from the Denver office partnered with the local nonprofit. The firm also contributed financial support for the project.

McKenna Long & Aldridge partner David Fine talks to participants of the DUDL’s Free Speech Tournament.   The firm’s Rebuilding Together team with the homeowner, from left to right, Mike Seekatz, homeowner Fran West, Todd King, Lisa King, Terry Richard, Grover Brittain, Julie Kehrer, Dave Glassmeyer, John Carpenter, and Amy Siadak.

Southwest Colorado Bar Association
and Durango Herald Partner
for “On the Law” Column

In 2012, the Southwest Colorado Bar Association once again partnered with local newspaper The Durango Herald to present a monthly op-ed column called “On the Law.” The column focuses on legal issues of import to community members and is written by attorney members of the local bar association. The articles published in 2012 are listed below.

  • “Know your (pets’) rights under the law,” by Kate Burke
  • “Ballot measures would upend Colorado’s water law,” by Nancy Agro
  • “Ballot measures would trample on property rights,” by Geoff Craig
  • “There’s a new procedure for changing water rights,” by Amy Huff
  • “Internet sales tax and the ‘dormant commerce clause,’” by Matt Kenna
  • “Determining DUI threshold for pot hinges on impair­ment,” by Doug Reynolds
  • “Chief Justice Roberts ruling upheld Obamacare but not ‘big brother,’” by Matt Kenna
  • “Court acknowledges animals’ individual protections under law,” by Kate Burke
  • “Misclassifying workers has consequences for employers,” by Lynne Sholler
  • “Animals transported on airplanes can lead to tragedy,” by Kate Burke
  • “Without a will, others will decide about your property, kids,” by Geoff Craig.

Articles can be found at by searching under the author’s name or article title.

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