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

October 2013       Vol. 42, No. 10       Page  7
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

CBA President Receives Distinguished Service Award

CBA President Terry Ruckriegle and NCSC President Mary McQueen.  

CBA President Terry Ruckriegle is the 2013 recipient the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization. Judge Ruckriegle was presented the award during the National Conference of State Trial Judges dinner in San Francisco on August 8. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of the NCSC.

Judge Ruckriegle was Chief Judge in Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District (J.D) from 1994 until his retirement in 2010. He currently serves as a senior judge in Colorado, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Judicial College. He is a past chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges within the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association (ABA). He also served in the ABA House of Delegates from 2002 to 2011.


DBA Announces Winners of
Creative Arts Contest

  Leslie Kaye of Hutchins & Associates displays her winning drawing, a free-hand "doodle" she created with a flow ink pen.

The Denver Bar Association’s (DBA) Docket Committee recently announced the winners of its second annual Denver Lawyers’ Arts and Literature Contest. They are:

  • Fiction: Andy Engeman for "Ricoche"
  • Nonfiction: Catherine Ricca for "An Elevator Operator’s Fine Art"
  • Poetry: Erin Agees for "Twelve"
  • Drawing: Leslie Kaye for "Ink Doodle"
  • Painting (Watercolor): James Breese for "Gonna Be a Good Day"
  • Painting (Oil/Acrylic/Mixed Media): Leslie Matthews for "Esalen"
  • Photography: Dan Shifrin for "Faceoff"
  • Sculpture: Barry Bartel for "Roots and Branches."

The winners and their works were featured in the September issue of The Docket, which can be accessed online at

To thank all of the entrants for participating in the contest, a reception was held at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell on September 19. All DBA members were invited to attend and enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers.


Specialty Bars Organize Panel Discussion
on Fisher v. University of Texas

There was a full house at the CLE presentation on affirmative action in higher ed.  

In July, seven Colorado specialty bars co-hosted a CLE program focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case involving the role of affirmative action in higher education. The panel discussion was moderated by Neeti Pawar, President of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado. Panelists were University of Colorado Law School (Colorado Law) Dean Philip Weiser, Colorado Law professor Dayna Matthew, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (Denver Law) professor Roberto Corrada, and Gordon & Rees partner Franz Hardy. Panelists focused on what will happen next (the Court remanded the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which must decide whether a direct challenge to the holding that diversity in education is a compelling state interest would render a different outcome), and they also urged practitioners to consider the critical role of diversity in business. The discussion was followed by a reception where guests could continue the conversation.

Among the approximately fifty people who attended the program and reception were general counsel; bar leaders, including CBA President Terry Ruckriegle and CBA Executive Director Chuck Turner; government attorneys; and law students. The event was organized by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado, Colorado Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Colorado Indian Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, Sam Cary Bar Association, and South Asian Bar Association of Colorado.

Left to right: Specialty bar presidents Chuong Le, Liz Crupa, and Cynthia Mares.    Left to right: Panel moderator Neeti Pawar and panelists Dean Philip Weiser, Franz Hardy, Dayna Matthew, and Roberto Corrada.

Attorneys Receive Distinguished Legal Writing Award
for Article on Hague Convention

David Steefel.   Christopher Brady.  

Husch Blackwell partner David Steefel and associate Christopher Brady received a Distinguished Legal Writing Award from the 2013 Burton Awards for Legal Achievement for their article, "The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction," published in the April 2012 issue of The Colorado Lawyer. They were presented the award during a ceremony held at the Library of Congress on June 3.

Burton Awards acknowledge achievements in law, with a special emphasis on writing and reform. Steefel’s and Brady’s article, which CBA members can access at, discusses the elements for establishing and defending a claim under the Hague Convention and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, as well as various procedural aspects of such a claim. It also offers practical guidance and useful resources for attorneys undertaking their first Hague Convention case.

Seniors Hit Links for Annual Tournament

  Twenty participants competed in the DBA’s annual Seniors Golf Tournament on August 13. The event, which was held at the Homestead Golf Course in Lakewood, included lunch and a round of golf. The winners were:
  • Dave Brougham—low gross
  • Chip Delap—low net
  • Dave Furgason—longest drive
  • Chip Delap—closest to the pin.
Left to right: Bob Hawthorne, Mikee Kapelke, Bob Kapelke, and Rich Neilson.  
Left to right: Bob Vinton, Beth Vinton, Krista Carpenter, and Chuck Carpenter.   Left to right: Dick Harvey, Don McMichael, Chip Delap, and Bruce Smith.
Left to right: Jack Barker, Dave Furgason, Dave Brougham, and Pete Willis.   Left to right: Mike Homyak, Keith Slater, Alan Peryam, and David Naiman.

Weld County Bar Association
Celebrates 100th Annual Dinner

The Weld County Bar Association (WCBA) hosted its 100th annual dinner on May 3 at the Greeley Country Club. To mark the special occasion, formerly hidden treasures from the attic of the Weld County Courthouse and other historical items were put on display during the event. Attendees had the chance to see old photographs of WCBA members, photos of the current courthouse as it was being constructed in the early 1900s, and original court filings from the 1800s.

The annual dinner was hosted by WCBA President Brett Payton. Among attendees were Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nancy Rice and Judge Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Court of Appeals, who presented pro bono recognition certificates to the law firms of Otis, Coan & Peters, LLC; Rose Law P.C; Suhre Law Firm; and Witwer, Oldenburg, Barry & Johnson, LLP. Also in attendance was 19th J.D. Chief Judge James Hartmann, who presented Weld County Legal Services Recognition Awards to attorneys Amy Antommaria, Scott Goldstone, Kim Houtchens, Ryan Kamada, Sean Lacefield, Jacob Lofgren, Jerry Manzer, David McCall, Stanley C. Pee, Zane Pic, Matt Pring, Mark Rapp, Milena Rodionov, Susie Velasquez, Debora Wagner, Robert Wiest, and Alex Witteveld.

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the annual awards. This year’s recipients included the late Walker David Miller, who was honored posthumously with the WCBA’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. The Andrew Borg Award, given to an attorney in recognition of outstanding contributions to the availability of legal services to indigent persons, was presented to attorney Zane Pic. The Sandy Carr Award, which recognizes an attorney or non-attorney who works to assist those who cannot afford legal services and strives to make the legal process accessible to those without counsel, was presented to Our Lady of Peace, which hosts the Legal Night program. The WCBA’s Frank Henderson Professionalism Award was presented to Kevin Strobel.

Stow Witwer presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Susanne Miller. Susanne accepted the award on behalf of her husband, Walker, who passed away in March 2013.   Brett Payton (left) presents the Andrew Borg Award to Zane Pic.
Kevin Strobel, recipient of the 2013 Professionalism Award.   Incoming WCBA President Brandi Lynn Nieto presents outgoing President Brett Payton a plaque recognizing his service to the association.
The historical display was made possible by Judge Dinsmore Tuttle, who selected many of the items, set up the display, and was on hand to answer questions during the event.   The anniversary cake was modeled after the Division 1 courtroom at the Weld County Courthouse (often referred to as the "marble palace") and depicted Chief Judge James Hartmann sitting at the bench.

School Supply Drive a Big Success

Denver Public School students Khaled Ali, Abdi Salah, and Yasir Salah pose with their new backpacks.
  The DBA Community Action Network (CAN) Committee hosted its annual school supply drive in July and August, collecting everything from calculators and crayons to folders and paper. Thanks to the generosity of the more than forty local law firms that donated items, the CAN Committee was able to fill approximately 300 backpacks with school supply essentials. The students received their backpacks on August 10 during a carnival-themed event held at Whittier K–8 School. The event featured face painting, balloon animals, music, carnival games, bouncy castles, and food.
Children wait in line for snow cones during the carnival-themed day of family fun.   Volunteer Trisha Leakey helps Esttel Romero and Joshua Badillo catch a fish. 

Executive Council Meets to Discuss YLD Agenda

The CBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Executive Council held its annual retreat in Breckenridge on July 28–29 to discuss plans for the coming year. Council members discussed their two primary initiatives: (1) Tomorrow’s Bar Association, where they will study how to keep the CBA relevant to Colorado’s next generation of lawyers; and (2) the Article 4.10 initiative to reach out to young lawyers outside the Denver metro area and improve the group’s relationship with local bar associations around the state.

The CBA YLD 2013–14 Executive Council during the group’s annual retreat. Back row, left to right: Jessica Bernfeld; Chris Achatz; Jaci Casey; Christopher Newman, Denver Law liaison; Nicoal Wolfe; Jake Eisenstein; Kristi Disney; Carlos Migoya; Josh Berry; and Tim Garvey. Front row, left to right: Adam Lewis; Nicole Black; Beth Padilla; Megan Rose, Colorado Law liaison; Emma Garrison; Cassie Ta; Lance Timbreza; and Arax Corn.

Regina Rodriguez Named Latina Lawyer of the Year


Regina Rodriguez, a partner and trial lawyer in Faegre Baker Daniels’ Denver office, recently was named 2013 Latina Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). She was presented the award in September during the HNBA’s annual convention in Denver.

Rodriguez focuses on defense of complex product liability cases, with an emphasis in medical drug and device cases. Before joining Faegre Baker Daniels, she was assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the civil division in the District of Colorado. Additionally, she served in former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno’s office as deputy senior counsel for alternative dispute resolution.

Rodriguez is active in numerous pro bono and charitable causes, with an emphasis on expanding educational opportunities. She is a founding member of Colorado Youth at Risk, has served as a board member at Open Door and Family Star Montessori, and provides volunteer legal counsel for the Denver Ballet Guild. Former Governor Bill Ritter appointed her to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in 2009, and she continues to serve the state as a commissioner. She also is a member of numerous professional associations, including the CBA, the DBA, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA), the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Faculty of Federal Advocates, and the Faegre Baker Daniels Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group.

In 2013, Rodriguez was named a Chris Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer by the CHBA, received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement in Private Practice from Colorado Law, and was named a Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado. She was named one of Law Week Colorado’s Top Women Lawyers in 2011.

New Officers Elected at CTLA Annual Convention

Michael Burg talks about consumer advocacy at the CTLA’s annual convention.
  Michael Ogborn of Ogborn Mihm LLP in Denver was elected president of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) during the organization’s annual convention in August. Other newly elected CTLA officers are Michael Mihm of Ogborn Mihm LLP, president-elect; Ross Pulkrabek of Jones & Keller PC in Denver, vice president; Michael Rosenberg of Roberts Levin Rosenberg PC in Denver, secretary; and Michael Keating of Keating Wagner Polidori Free PC in Denver, treasurer.

More than 200 people attended the 2013 convention, which was held in Snowmass Village. Presented by Settlement Partners LLC, the convention brought together the country’s leading experts and litigators to share the latest ideas and strategies. In addition, the convention featured a variety of networking opportunities, such as the Friday Night Party, a golf tournament, the Auto Litigators’ Lunch, and the Women Trial Lawyers Network Lunch.

Lisa Blue Baron, an attorney with the Texas firm of Baron and Blue, presents during the Women Trial Lawyers Network Lunch.   CTLA’s 2013–14 officers (left to right): Michael Keating, Ross Pulkrabek, Michael Ogborn, Jim Croshal, Michael Mihm, and Michael Rosenberg.
Remington Fang (left) and Ross Ziev catch up at the convention’s Friday Night Party.   CTLA Immediate Past President Jim Croshal (left) gives Michael Ogborn his president tag.

First Judicial District Bar Association
Golf Tournament

  Left to right: Scott Havn, Jean Arnold, and Dennis Callan.

The First Judicial District Bar Association (First J.D.) hosted its annual golf tournament on August 2 at Lakewood’s Fox Hollow Golf Course. Twenty-seven people participated in the tournament, which was played in a best-ball-scramble format. The winning foursome, after a Peoria-system handicap was applied, comprised Ajay Bagal, Jeff Busch, Rob Busch, and Phil Delany. Prizes also were awarded to David Feeser (longest drive); Joe Pickard (closest to the pin); and Annette Richmond (longest putt). Special thanks go to David Stefanski, a first-time member of the First J.D. Golf Tournament Committee, for helping with the goody-bag prizes. Next year’s tournament has been tentatively scheduled for August 1, 2014.

Left to right: Rob Busch, Ajay Bagal, Phil Delany, and Jeff Busch.   Left to right: Ken Hope, Bill Groh, Joe Gilmore, and John Eckelberry.
Left to right: Mike Sexton, Yosy Janson, John Vargo, and Brad Taylor.   Left to right: Justin Ross, John Pickard, Jay Pickard, and Joe Pickard.
Left to right: Murray Wilkening, Jay Shoemaker, Terry Stephen, and Kevin Peters.   Left to right: Britten Hale, Keith Levinson, David Feeser, and Annette Richmond.

DBA YLD Sponsors Post-Exam Pizza Party

Left to right: DBA YLD board members Joel Jacobson, Beth Mankamyer, Chris Levkulich, Jessica Black Livingston, Kevin McReynolds, and Mo Weiland.
    On July 31, the DBA YLD, in partnership with Denver Law’s class of 2012, hosted a celebration at Pizza Republica for Denver Law graduates who had finished taking the Colorado bar exam earlier that day. Approximately sixty people attended the event, including Denver Law Dean Marty Katz, who made a brief presentation to the new grads. Other speakers were Lauren Lockard (JD ’12) and DBA YLD board members Beth Mankamyer and Maureen (Mo) Weiland (JD ’12). Attendees were given the opportunity to sign up for their free CBA and DBA memberships during the party.
Dean Marty Katz talks to the recent grads.   Mo Weiland (left) and Beth Mankamyer share information about upcoming DBA YLD programs.   Tim Winger and Jessica Brauer of Denver Law’s class of 2013
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