Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Names New Executive Director

Betsy Fordyce has served as interim director since August

The Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center announced Wednesday that Betsy Fordyce is its new executive director, effective immediately.


Fordyce has been serving in the interim executive director since Aug. 1. She joined the organization in 2008 and has spent her legal career advocating on behalf of youth in the child welfare, juvenile justice and homelessness arenas. 

She has represented children as a guardian ad litem in dependency and neglect and delinquency cases as well as pushed for large-scale system change through legislative reform, training and appellate advocacy. 

Fordyce began her legal career as a law clerk for former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey. She later served as a staff attorney and managed the national training program at the National Association of Counsel for Children before returning to the Children’s Law Center in 2016 as the director of the Youth Empowerment and Legal Advocacy program.

Fordyce continues to teach as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is a trainer with both the Colorado Child Welfare Training System and the National Association of Counsel for Children. 

She received a law degree from Villanova University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

LATERAL WATCH

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck announced Friday that Jason Moore has joined the firm’s energy and natural resources department as a shareholder in its Denver office. The firm’s real estate department has also expanded with the addition of Janae Magee as a shareholder and Justin Bubenik as an associate.

Moore has cross-disciplinary transactional, regulatory, litigation and government affairs expertise and previously served as senior legal counsel at SRC Energy, Inc. He received a law degree from the South Texas College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University.

Magee joins the firm’s real estate department from Hogan Lovells. She represents borrowers, financial institutions and institutional investors in negotiating and documenting commercial real estate financing facilities, including construction and permanent financing, real estate portfolio transactions, acquisition financing and mortgage loans. She received a law degree from Vanderbilt Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. 

Bubenik joins Brownstein’s real estate department Jan. 27 from Kirkland & Ellis’ Los Angeles office. His practice focuses on acquisitions, dispositions, financings and joint ventures for institutional investors, owners and developers. 

He earned his law degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University.

ASSOCIATE WATCH

Moye White announced Tuesday the addition of Niki Vinod Schwab as an associate in the firm’s business section.

Vinod Schwab focuses on providing counsel on a range of commercial transactions, including business planning and formation, contract negotiations, and commercial leasing.

Vinod Schwab has experience in employment and civil litigation, advising companies on employment best practices and counseling them on issues including wages, anti-harassment, leave and executive
compensation. 

Prior to joining private practice, she served as a two-year term law clerk to Denver District Court Judge Elizabeth Starrs. Vinod Schwab received a law degree from Cornell Law School and an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University.

Davis Graham & Stubbs announced Wednesday that Elise Reecer joined the firm’s trial department as an associate. She is currently admitted to practice law in Tennessee, where she previously worked as a litigation associate, and her application for admission to practice law in Colorado is pending. 

Reecer’s practice will focus on commercial litigation, white-collar investigations and business litigation, risk management and regulatory compliance.

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

FIRM PROMOTIONS

Coan Payton & Payne announced Jan. 10 that Jordan Wiswell has been promoted to senior associate. 

Wiswell’s practice focuses on real estate, business and banking litigation. 

Before joining CP2, Wiswell served as a law clerk to Judge Todd Taylor in Weld County. Prior to moving to Fort Collins, he worked as a law clerk for the Connecticut Superior Court and Alaska Superior Court. 

He received a law degree  from the University of Tulsa College of Law. 

Judicial Appointments

Mayor Michael Hancock on Thursday announced the appointments of Michelle Martinez-Thomas, Tanya Wheeler and James Zobel to the Denver County Court. The appointments will fill the vacancies created by the retirements of judges Johnny Barajas and Brian Campbell, as well as the vacancy due to the creation of a new judicial seat on the Denver County Court.

Martinez-Thomas currently serves as a district court magistrate for the 17th Judicial District. As magistrate, she has overseen a docket including domestic relations, criminal and protection orders cases. 

Prior to her role with the 17th Judicial District, Martinez-Thomas served as an attorney in the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, as a case manager for Denver Area Youth Services and as a summer youth employment program coordinator for the mayor’s office of Workforce Development from 2000 to 2001. Martinez-Thomas received a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Martinez-Thomas will fill the vacancy due to the creation of a new judicial seat on the Denver County Court. Martinez-Thomas will assume her new role as Denver County Court Judge on March 1.

Wheeler currently serves as the first assistant attorney general for the Human Services Unit in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. 

Prior to her role with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Wheeler served as a litigation associate for Silver & DeBoskey and Jones Law Firm.

Wheeler is a member of the board of directors for Denver CASA and previously served as the chairwoman of the board of directors for Colorado Youth-at-Risk. Wheeler received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Wheeler will fill the vacancy created by Campbell’s retirement. Wheeler will assume her new role as Denver County Court Judge on March 11.

Zobel serves as a magistrate for the Denver County Court. As magistrate, among other assignments, he has served as the presiding judicial officer for the Denver Outreach Court at the Denver Rescue Mission, the Wellness Court and Denver County Juvenile Court. Prior to his role at the Denver County Court, Zobel represented clients in private practice for at the Zobel Law Firm, Zobel & Kolhouse and the Law Offices of James E. Zobel as well as the Law Office of Frank Moya. He served as a Deputy Public Defender for the Colorado State Public Defender’s office from 2002 to 2003, and as an adjunct professor in Criminal Law for the Community College of Aurora from 2014 to 2015.

Zobel received a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Zobel will fill the vacancy created by Barajas’ retirement. Zobel will assume his new role as Denver County Court Judge on Feb. 1.

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