Davis Graham & Stubbs announced on Jan. 19 that longtime attorney, Dale Harris, died on Jan. 16 at age 84. Harris had been with the firm for nearly 60 years and was the last living mentee of Donald Stubbs, one of the founders of the large local firm.
“They don’t make them like Dale Harris anymore,” said David Hammond, retired senior of counsel for DGS. “He was a great lawyer with a national antitrust reputation and practice. At the same time, he was an exemplary citizen of the firm he loved and of the greater community.”
A former managing partner of DGS and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harris’ practice included complex commercial litigation, antitrust matters, trials and appeals. He was a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators and was involved in more than 50 commercial arbitrations. Harris also held leadership positions in many community organizations including Mile High United Way, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and QuaLife Wellness Community. He was also a member of the Denver Rotary Club and Colorado Forum.
“Dale Harris was the lawyer who we all strived to be. Beyond his legal skills and abilities, he was the consummate professional in every sense of that word,” said Alan Loeb, retired chief judge of the Colorado Court of Appeals. “I treasured my long relationship with Dale – he was instrumental in recruiting me to DGS. He was the first lawyer I worked for at the firm as a brand new associate. I worked for and with him on many matters over my 32 years at DGS and he graciously wrote a recommendation letter for me in support of my application for a seat on the Court of Appeals.”
Harris was a past president of both the Colorado and Denver bar associations as well as a fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was Colorado state chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, Colorado state membership chair of the Supreme Court Historical Society, president of the Denver Law Club and president of the Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel. Harris was also a member of the Colorado Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession and the Colorado Supreme Court’s Judicial Advisory Council.
“They don’t make them like Dale Harris anymore.” — David Hammond, retired senior of counsel for DGS
Harris received the Award of Merit from both the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, their highest award for service to the legal profession. He was also a recipient of the Denver Law Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award and he was honored with the Williams Award and the Ruth Vincent Cunningham Award, both presented by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation for outstanding community service.
Hammond said “people naturally looked to Dale as a role model and leader both because of his remarkable abilities and his readily apparent compassion, kindness and decency.”
Listed in the coveted Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in American Law, as well as in The Best Lawyers in America©, Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation and Colorado Super Lawyers, Harris was no stranger to industry recognition. And in 2010 and 2013, Best Lawyers named him “Denver Antitrust Lawyer of the Year.”
Harris’ long list of achievements is joined by his notoriety as a tremendous mentor, colleague and friend.
“[Harris] was my go-to mentor and close personal friend for over 50 years,” said Loeb. “Even after I went on the Court of Appeals, Dale always made sure that we kept in touch and had lunch to keep up with each other, most often with my former colleagues, Gale Miller and Neil Peck.”
Harris is survived by his wife Toni and their family. A celebration of life is being organized for sometime in May. Donations may be made in his memory to the following organizations: University of Colorado Anschutz Cancer Center General Research Fund, the Arthritis Foundation and Mile High United Way.
“I will miss him dearly. His passing is not just a personal loss to me, but a loss to the entire Colorado legal community,” Loeb said.