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

April 2013       Vol. 42, No. 4       Page  5
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

The Colorado Lawyer Board
Holds Biannual Meeting

On February 22, the Board of The Colorado Lawyer (TCL) convened at the CBA offices for the first of its biannual meetings. Among other things, the advisory board for the CBA’s official publication discussed financials as they relate to TCL; the benefits of writing TCL articles (such as career enhancement and résumé-building, sharing knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the entire bar, and acquiring CLE credit); and the upcoming October theme issue on professionalism.

CBA President Mark Fogg attended the meeting to meet Board members and pass along what he’s learned from practitioners throughout Colorado over the past year. Fogg also presented a certificate of appreciation to TCL Board Chair Shad Brown, who will complete his service on the Board on June 30. He has served six years or two terms, which is the maximum allowed pursuant to CBA Bylaws.

CBA members who are interested in advising re TCL policy by serving on the Board are encouraged to send a résumé and letter of interest to Leona Martínez, Managing Editor, at Résumés will be kept on file and reviewed as Board vacancies occur.

Board members review meeting materials.   Mark Fogg thanks Shad Brown for his years of service
on the Board.

CBA and DBA Young Lawyers Divisions
Host Joint Kick-Off Party for Wee Give Charity Drive

The DBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) hosts Barristers After Hours on the third Thursday of each month at Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub in Denver. The event is an opportunity for members to meet fellow attorneys in a fun and casual atmosphere over drinks and appetizers. On February 21, the event doubled as a kick-off party for the third annual Wee Give donation drive to benefit WeeCycle, a local organization that collects gently used baby gear and donates it to needy recipients throughout the city. Approximately sixty DBA and CBA YLD members attended the event to show their support for the worthy cause.

COBALT Participants Get
First-Hand Look at Legislative Process

During its session on February 15, members of the CBA’s 2013 COBALT class met with Colorado State Representative Bob Gardner (Colorado Springs) to discuss the legislative process. The class sat in on some of the floor debate on one of several gun bills that were addressed by the Colorado Legislature that day.

COBALT is the CBA’s leadership training program. Participants attend workshops and events throughout the course of the six-month program to broaden their leadership skills and promote leadership in the legal profession. For more information about the program, contact Dana Collier Smith at

The 2013 COBALT class at the Colorado State Capitol.

James C. Coyle is New Head of
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel


The Colorado Supreme Court recently named James C. Coyle head the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC). Coyle replaces John S. Gleason, who was with the OARC for twenty-five years. The appointment of Coyle was effective March 1, 2013.

Coyle joined the OARC in 1990 and served as assistant regulation counsel until 2002. From 2002 to 2010, he served as deputy regulation counsel. He was named chief deputy regulation counsel in 2010. Before joining the OARC, Coyle was in private practice. He is licensed to practice law by the Colorado Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Coyle is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and received his JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Coyle was selected as a finalist for the position from a field of more than 100 applicants. The applicants were vetted by members of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which is chaired by David Stark of Faegre Baker Daniels.

High School Students Compete Before
Distinguished Judges at CU Law School

On February 9, Marlene Talamantes, a senior from North Valley School for Young Adults in Thornton, was named Top Oralist for her performance in the Colorado Marshall–Brennan Moot Court Competition. The competition took place at the University of Colorado Law School and was sponsored by the law school’s Byron R. White Center.

Talamantes was one of forty students from underserved Colorado high schools who competed in the tournament. Nearly 200 high school students, teachers, administrators, and parents attended the event to support the competitors as they delivered oral arguments to panels of volunteer judges and lawyers. The arguments involved the First Amendment and how it applies to student speech on a school-sponsored website.

After each competitor presented three arguments in the morning, the top six competitors were invited to present a final argument in front of a prestigious lineup of appellate judges, including Chief Justice Michael Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Terry Fox of the Colorado Court of Appeals, and Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Talamantes was the first finalist to present her argument. After all six finalists had presented, she was named Top Oralist of the competition.

Before participating in the White Center’s Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, Talamantes wasn’t sure she would go to college. Now, she plans to pursue a career in teaching or law. According to Talamantes, the highlight of the competition came when she had an opportunity to talk with Chief Justice Bender. "He gave me a few words of advice and told me that I was their top choice because of how well I knew the information," Talamantes explained. "He was so comfortable around me that I realized I should be comfortable around him, too. I didn’t expect a judge to be like that."

As one of the six finalists, Talamantes will have the opportunity to compete in the National Marshall–Brennan Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC in April. Joining her will be Haley Candelario, Crystal Perez, and Bryan Ruiz of York International School, and Lessly Chavez and Kassandra Yanez of Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. The White Center is raising funds to cover the students’ travel expenses.

The February 9 competition was just one component of the Colorado Marshall–Brennan Project. The project sends law students into high school classrooms in the metro area weekly during the school year to partner with social studies teachers to educate students about the U.S. Constitution. More than 500 students in ten high schools have taken part in the program since it began in 2012.

Left to right: Judge Neil Gorsuch, Top Oralist Marlene Talamantes, Chief Justice Michael Bender, and Judge Terry Fox.   The judges with competition finalists and alternates. Left to right, back row: Judge Neil Gorsuch, Chief Justice Michael Bender, and Ja’Won Montgomery; middle row: Lessly Chavez, Kassandra Yanez, Bryan Ruiz, Oktobre Axtell, Alex Gamboa, and Marlene Talamantes; front row: Zandra Martinez, Crystal Perez, Judge Terry Fox, and Haley Candelario.
Marlene Talamantes addresses the judges’ panel from the podium.

16th J.D. Celebrates Career of Longtime Judge

In February, the Sixteenth Judicial District (16th J.D.) Bar Association hosted a retirement party for Judge M. Jon Kolomitz, who stepped down from the Bench after nearly three decades of hearing court cases in Colorado’s 16th J.D. The event was held at Otero Junior College and was led by local attorneys Ed Garlington and Phillip Malouff.

Judge Kolomitz officially retired from the Bench at midnight on February 1, just two days before his 72nd birthday. State law requires judges to retire when they are 72. He was appointed to the district that encompasses Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties on February 1, 1985, and became Chief Judge of the 16th J.D. in 1988.

Judge Jon Kolomitz (right) chats with Judge Mark MacDonell, who took over as 16th J.D. Chief Judge when Kolomitz retired.   Left to right: Phillip Malouff, Judge Jon Kolomitz, and Ed Garlington.

Mesa County Programs—
From Mock Trials to Marijuana

The Western Slope Regional of the CBA High School Mock Trial Tournament took place on February 22 and 23 in Grand Junction. The Mesa County Bar Association (MCBA) helped fund the event and also coordinated with seven schools on the Western Slope to prepare teams. Glenwood Springs teams A and C advanced to the state tournament. The Glenwood Springs B team was awarded the Professionalism Award, and the Grand Junction R-5 team won the John Sideek Trophy. The hard work and dedication of coordinators Bill Kane and Lance Timbreza, and the many attorney volunteers—in particular Debbie Halpain, Barbara Butler and Judge Brian Flynn, who were present for the entire tournament—contributed to making this event a huge success. A local television station, KJCT TV, interviewed Timbreza about the tournament and aired the segment on its February 23 newscast.


The MCBA was proud to have Chief Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein (21st Judicial District) speak at its February 25 meeting. Rubinstein gave an informative and entertaining multimedia presentation regarding the implementation of Amendment 64, entitled "What’s Going On in the Mile ‘High’ City."

Dan Rubinstein discusses Amendment 64 at the February 25 meeting.   MCBA President Lloyd Quesenberry (left) and Dan Rubinstein.

Children’s Law Center Successfully Argues That
Foster Parents Should be Able to Fully Participate in
Dependency and Neglect Hearings

On February 25, the Colorado Supreme Court announced its decision in A.M. v. A.C. (2013 CO 16), a case that considered the extent to which foster parents may participate in dependency and neglect cases. The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center argued the issue before the Court on June 7, 2012. In a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Brian Boatright, the Court held that foster parents are allowed to participate fully in the case, just as any other party.

The case began four years ago when the Children’s Law Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal advocacy for abused and neglected children, received a crisis call from foster parents who were concerned about a 7-month-old boy in their care. While with his parents, the boy had suffered a number of injuries, including a lacerated tongue and multiple fractures to his elbow, ribs, tibia, and cheekbone. As the case progressed, the boy continued to exhibit signs of abuse and neglect after returning from visits with his parents. Tim Eirich, deputy director of the Children’s Law Center at the time, took the case. Eventually, a trial took place in which the foster parents were allowed to participate. The foster parents presented information about the cause of the child’s extensive injuries, his need for a safe and stable home, and the importance of permanency. The Court terminated both parents’ rights.

The parents and the state appealed the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which found, in a divided opinion, that the foster parents should not have been allowed to participate. The Children’s Law Center then petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case to decide whether the foster parents should be able to present evidence on behalf of the child. The Court ruled that foster parents are allowed to participate fully and their participation does not violate a parents’ constitutional rights.

The Court recognized that foster parents often have valuable information regarding the child. "[A]s the immediate caregivers for the child, foster parents are often uniquely positioned to provide a juvenile court with the most up-to-date status of the child and the child’s well-being." The Court determined that excluding such information from foster parents potentially heightens the risk of an erroneous decision in these matters.

Franz Hardy is 2013 Davis Award Recipient

On February 6, Franz Hardy was presented the Richard Marden Davis Award during a dinner in his honor at the Brown Palace Hotel. Hardy is the twentieth recipient of this prestigious award, which is given annually "to a Denver lawyer under the age of 40 who so combines excellence as a lawyer with creative civic, cultural, educational, and charitable leadership as to best exemplify the character and promise of Richard Marden Davis at that stage in his career."

The dinner was well attended by past recipients of the Davis Award, including Justice Monica Márquez of the Colorado Supreme Court, Judge Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Court of Appeals, and Kenzo Kawanabe of Davis, Graham & Stubbs. Also in attendance were several of Hardy’s friends and family members, including his wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law, aunt, and cousin. After graciously accepting the award from DBA President Jim Benjamin, Hardy stated, "It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award. To be among such a highly regarded class of past winners is a humbling experience."

Hardy is a partner at Gordon & Rees, LLP, where he focuses on business and insurance litigation. During his distinguished career, he has argued several cases to verdict and successfully argued numerous appeals at both the state and federal level. In addition to a successful legal practice, Hardy has served the legal community as the President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, and a member of the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board. Hardy also focuses on giving back by organizing an annual "Keys to Success" program featuring advice and guidance from a panel of prominent Colorado lawyers in both public and private practice.

Franz Hardy (right) accepts the Davis Award from DBA President Jim Benjamin.   The man of honor with friends and family members, from left to right: David Belina, Michiko Hrebenar, Mari Hardy, Ronald Hrebenar, Franz Hardy, BeEtta Styles, Norris Hardy, Jr., and Barbara Belina.

"Food Wine Jazz Art" Event
Benefits Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

The Boulder County Bar Association’s (BCBA) twelfth annual Food Wine Jazz Art fundraiser for the Legal Aid Foundation was held on February 7 at Rembrandt Yard. The event was a great success, with approximately 175 in attendance and more than $7,500 raised to provide free civil legal assistance to low-income families, senior citizens, disabled persons, and victims of domestic violence. The BCBA thanks everyone who attended, as well as event staff, volunteers, sponsors, and artists.

Left to right: Jim Christoph, BCBA President Keith Collins, and BCBA Board member Dave Cheval.   Left to right: Scott McComas, Anna McComas, and Dave Harrison.
Brad Peterson and Carla Sledge.   Left to right: Blair Dickhoner, Rodney Taylor, and Judith Taylor.

BCBA Seeks Volunteers and Donations
for Tree-Planting Event in Fourmile Canyon

On April 20, in honor of Earth Day, the BCBA is holding a tree-planting event in the hundreds of acres burned by the Fourmile Canyon Fire. Anyone aged 16 years or older is invited to help plant trees during the morning shift (8:00 a.m. to noon), or the afternoon shift (1:00 to 4:30 p.m.). Volunteers will meet at the Boulder County Justice Center and will be provided transportation to the tree-planting sites.

If you are interested in volunteering for the event, please e-mail Gabriella Stockmayer at Please include your name, telephone number, e-mail address, and organization (if any), along with the the names and number of people in your party and your preferred shift.

The BCBA also is in need of monetary donations—$5, $20, or $100—to help with the purchase of trees. The goal is to plant 1,000 trees. A $100 donation will purchase approximately sixty-seven trees at a discounted price. Please make checks payable to the Boulder County Bar Association and, in the memo line, Boulder Tree Planting. To make donations via credit card, go to and click on April 20, 2013. Donations are tax deductible.

The Wheels of Justice Keep on Spinning

Registration is now open for the 2013 Courage Classic, a three-day bike ride through the Rockies that raises money for Children’s Hospital Colorado. The ride will take place from July 20 through July 22.

The DBA-sponsored Wheels of Justice (WoJ) team, which raised more than $310,000 in 2012, has set a goal of $400,000 for 2013. Here’s how to help: (1) join the team, (2) sponsor the team, or (3) volunteer during the event. To join the team, visit and select the green "Ride" button. Information about sponsoring the team or volunteering for the event is available on the WoJ website,

WoJ members gather during a recent Leadership Council meeting.
The community fundraising subcommittees meet to coordinate efforts.   Bernie Gehris (left) and Steve Hunger discuss fundraising.

Spanish Lawyers Committee Hosts Happy Hour
for Members and Their Guests

Approximately forty members, law students, and guests attended a happy hour hosted by the CBA Spanish-Speaking Lawyers Committee on February 28. The event, which was held at the Mercury Café in Denver, gave attendees the opportunity to sample delicious local fare, converse with other attorneys in Spanish, and meet new members. Several attendees provided the evening’s entertainment by participating in a Spanish joke competition. In addition, four individuals were recognized for their extraordinary dedication to serving Colorado’s Spanish-speaking community: attorneys Cynthia Mares and Veronique Van Gheem, University of Denver law student Lauren Blevins, and Colorado Legal Services paralegal Angela Reyes.

Corporation’s Collapse Garners
Discussion of Legal Ethics

Jack Tanner leads a discussion on ethics and the law.  

The DBA YLD hosted Movie Night on February 28 at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Attendees of the popular CLE program watched Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, a 2005 documentary covering Enron’s collapse and the criminal trials of its executives. Following the screening, Jack Tanner of Fairfield and Woods PC discussed legal ethics issues raised by the movie. One ethics CLE credit, pizza, and beverages were available to the twenty students and attorney members in attendance.

The DBA YLD hosts Movie Night events several times throughout the year. Next up is a screening of The Verdict on April 11 at the CBA-CLE offices in Denver. Judge Robert L. McGahey, Jr. of the Denver District Court will lead the post-movie discussion. For more information, visit

Open House Brings 1st J.D.
Lawyers and Judges Together

The law firm of Bradley, Devitt, Haas & Watkins, PC, in Golden, hosted the First Judicial District (1st J.D.) Bar Association’s inaugural open house of 2013 on January 31. The event provided an opportunity for members of the judiciary and attorneys practicing in the 1st J.D. to become acquainted in an informal setting. Several additional open houses will be held throughout the year at various law firms. Visit periodically for updates.  
  Guests network over drinks and appetizers during the 1st J.D.’s first open house of 2013.
The event hosts, from left to right: Steven Watkins, Jerald Devitt, and Andrew Haas.   Left to right: Alexandra Harpp, Jerald Devitt, and 1st J.D. Bar Association President Caroline Sada.
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