CU Law School to Honor Alumni

Seven selected for Alumni Awards

The University of Colorado Law School will celebrate seven alumni and friends of the law school at its annual awards banquet on Thursday, March 14 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver.


The Colorado Law Alumni Awards Banquet recognizes alumni and friends for their contributions to the legal profession, service to their communities and dedication to the law school. 

Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the Dean’s Fund for Excellence, which supports Colorado Law’s areas of strategic importance, including broadening access to a legal education, connecting globally and supporting faculty excellence; and the Law Alumni Scholarship Fund, awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated academic achievement, financial need, and service to the law school community.

Honorees to be recognized at the banquet are: 

William Gray and John Purvis, William Lee Knous Award 

Judge Kristen Mix, Distinguished Achievement – Judiciary

Todd Fredrickson, Distinguished Achievement – Private Practice

Jim Coyle, Distinguished Achievement – Public Sector

Dean S. James Anaya will also present two Dean’s Choice Awards, recognizing exceptional contributions to Colorado Law, to: 

Meshach Rhoades, Dean Edward C. King Making A Difference Award

Korey Wise, Richard Schaden Adopted Alumnus Award

Associate Watch

Erise IP announced Nov. 12 Karyn Kesselring has joined the firm’s Denver office as an associate. She focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, particularly defensive matters.

Kesselring earned her law degree in June from the University of Colorado Law School. Prior to law school, Kesselring was a quality specialist at a pharmaceutical company where her duties included auditing, reporting and remediation of documentation issues within manufacturing batch records and logs. She later worked at a medical device company, working on regulatory affairs and quality assurance.

Stinson Leonard Street announced Nov. 12 that Roddy Stieger has joined the firm’s business litigation division as a partner. He will practice out of the firm’s downtown Denver office.

Stieger’s practice centers on advising individual entrepreneurs and companies on businesses and commercial litigation matters. Stieger’s clients are in industries including construction, energy, real estate, software and defense.

Holland & Hart announced Thursday the firm added four new associates recently admitted to practice in Colorado. 

In Denver, Katarina Harris joined the labor and employment team, Morgan Liphart joined the firm’s corporate team and A.J. Martinez joined the real estate development and finance team. Hannah Oakes joined the firm’s environmental and natural resources team in the firm’s Denver Tech Center office.

Harris assists clients with labor and employment matters some of which include wage and hour, employment discrimination claims, employment policies, termination and compliance with federal statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

She received a law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.

Liphart helps clients through every stage of their business, from formation to exit, focusing on entity selection and formation, venture financing, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions. She received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.

Martinez’s experience includes research and creating documents such as closing, rezoning and re-platting checklists, as well as drafting covenants and easements for housing and commercial developments. He received a law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Oakes counsels clients through a variety of public utility regulatory matters in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. She received a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

Judicial Announcements

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday appointed Don Toussaint to serve as an Arapahoe County Court judge in the 18th Judicial District. Toussaint fills a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge John Scipione to the Arapahoe County District Court. 

Toussaint is currently a district court magistrate in the 18th Judicial District, a position he has held since 2017. His docket consists of domestic relations cases, including marriage dissolutions, property divisions, spousal maintenance, parental responsibilities, and child support matters. 

Previously, Toussaint was an assistant city attorney with the City of Aurora and an associate with White and Steele. Toussaint received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver in 1998 and a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2009.

Toussaint’s appointment is effective immediately.

The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet Dec. 18 at the El Paso County Judicial Building to interview and select nominees for appointment to an El Paso County judgeship. The vacancy will be created by the voters’ decision not to retain Judge Christopher Acker. The vacancy will occur on Jan. 8.

More information and application forms are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Richard Gabriel, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, 80203; and the office of the district administrator, Scott Sosebee, 270 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 80901. Applications also are available on the court’s home page at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm

Applications must be filed by 4 p.m. Dec. 5. Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by letter to be submitted to any member of the nominating commission, with a copy to the ex officio chair, by 4 p.m. Nov. 28.

The members of the nominating commission for the 4th Judicial District are: Larry Gaddis, Beth Lieberman, Juan Moreno, Mary Linden, Jennifer George and Joshua Brooks, all of Colorado Springs; and Daniel Nicholson and Philip Mella of Woodland Park.

The 18th Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet Dec. 10 at the Arapahoe County Justice Center to interview and select nominees for an 18th District judgeship. The vacancy will be created by the voters’ decision not to retain Judge Phillip Douglass. The vacancy will occur on Jan. 8.

More information and application forms are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission Justice William Hood at 2 E. 14th Ave. in Denver and the office of the district administrator, Shaun Clark, 7325 S. Potomac Street in Centennial. Applications also are available on the court’s home page at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm.

Applications must be filed by 4 p.m. Nov. 30. Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by letter to be submitted to any member of the nominating commission, with a copy to the ex officio chair, by 4 p.m. Nov. 23.

The members of the nominating commission for the 18th Judicial District are: Candace Figa and Adelita DeHerrera of Aurora; Stanton Dodge of Castle Rock; Delford Philips of Denver; Christopher Richardson of Elizabeth; and Michael Yowell of Hugo.

The 3rd Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated two candidates for a Huerfano County Court judgeship created by Judge John McKisson’s appointment to the district court bench, effective Jan. 8. Nominees Pierce Fowler of Trinidad and Dawn Mann of Pueblo were selected in a meeting Nov. 9.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a vacancy on the Colorado Court of Appeals created by the retirement of Chief Judge Alan Loeb, effective Dec. 28. The nominees were selected during a Nov. 9, meeting in Denver. They are Michael Beaver, Kendra Beckwith and Matthew Grove.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from Nov. 13, 2018, within which to appoint nominees to judgeships.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from Nov. 13, to appoint one of the nominees as county court judge for Huerfano County.

Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at [email protected]

Board Announcements

Coan Payton & Payne announced Nov. 12 that Abe Laydon, a member of the firm, has been elected to the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners for District 1.

“We are pleased to congratulate Abe for his election to the Board of County Commissioners for Douglas County” said managing member, G. Brent Coan. Laydon presently serves on the Douglas County Planning Commission and has experience with land use applications, zoning, and subdivision regulations. He is a member of the Denver Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Laydon’s law practice emphasizes complex real estate matters including development, entitlements, leasing, condemnation, foreclosure, and conveyancing of office buildings, retail centers, industrial properties, hotels, restaurants, apartment complexes, condominiums and vacant land.

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