Weld County

Bar Association​

August 2018

Year 2018

To the Weld County Bar Association Members!

                Over 10 years ago Judge Strobel created an amazing Small Claims Mediation program for Weld County.  Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, Weld County Courts holds the Small Claims docket where parties mediate before going to trial.  We have skilled mediators and lawyers participate in trying to help parties reach fair and appropriate agreements.  Our success rate over the years has been well over 80% of the parties resolving their cases without having a trial.  When the program was created, there was a great deal of help from the members of our Weld County Bar, and an anticipation it would continue.

                As with many voluntary groups, sometimes a few people carry a heavy load for the programs.  This certainly can make things easier for the short term but is not sustainable for the long term.  It is with this letter that I am asking members of the Weld County Bar Association to possibly look at your calendars and see if you could spare a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon a few times a year to help with the mediation program.

                Typically for new mediators, we will have you trail one of our experienced mediators to get a feeling of the process, and let you take a case when you feel ready to do it alone.  This is not only a great opportunity to get your name out in the community but also helps show the public that being an attorney can be helpful and respectable.  I cannot tell you the number of people who were scoffing at the prospect of mediating with an attorney who were then able to reach fair agreements and walk out with a much larger respect for our profession.

                I believe there are many attorneys who want to make a difference but are unable to spend a great deal of time away from their practice.  The Small Claims Mediation program lets you set your times- and only dedicate an afternoon at a time.   For people who are looking to become mediators- this is a perfect opportunity to get hours towards your membership in a professional mediation group.  Other attorneys want to try something new and different.  For whatever the motivation, this program makes a difference for the people of Weld County, and for our profession. 

                If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my clerk, Melinda Meier.  I appreciate your time in reviewing my request.

Mark C. Gonzales
District Court Magistrate
19th Judicial Weld County
Division C
(970) 475-2470

Submit your nominations for someone for one of the Weld County Bar Association’s annual awards!

Nominations are open and awards will be presented at the Weld County Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on May 18th, 2018 at the Court’s West Jury Room.

A description of each award is below:

Frank Henderson Award: Presented to a Weld County Bar member in recognition of a life and practice that displays sterling character and unquestioned integrity, and ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession.

Andrew Borg Award: Presented to a Weld County Bar member in recognition of outstanding contributions to the representation and availability of legal services to indigent persons.

Sandy Carr Award: Presented to a non-lawyer working to assist those who cannot afford legal services and striving to make the legal process accessible to those without counsel.

Walker David Miller Award: Presented to a Weld County Bar member for a lifelong dedication to excellence in the practice and administration of law, and for serving as a shining example and inspiration to others in the legal profession.Please send your nominations along with a written explanation of why the person you are nominating deserves the award to Amy Penfold.  Nomination must be received by May 1, 2018 to be counted

February 2018

The Colorado Judicial Institute's 16th Annual Judicial Excellence Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 18, at the Hilton Denver City Center, 1701 California Street, beginning at 6:00 PM.   The dinner recognizes the 2018 Judicial Excellence Awards Honorees for their outstanding service on the bench:

            *District Court Judge Morris B. Hoffman, 2nd Judicial District, Denver County
            *County Court Judge Thomas E. Vance, 1st Judicial District, Jefferson County
            *Magistrate Lisa M. Gomez, 2nd Judicial District, Denver Juvenile Court

In addition, CJI will be honoring Colorado Supreme Court Retiring Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice and Colorado Court of Appeals Retiring Chief Judge Alan M. Loeb with Judicial Leadership Awards.

Prior Weld County Honorees have included Chief Judge Hartmann,  and Judges Tuttle and Karowsky.

Proceeds from the dinner support the CJI Judicial Education Fund and the programs of CJI.  Since 2003, dinner sponsorships have contributed more than $500,000 to judicial education in Colorado.  The Judicial Education Fund is one of the few resources available to the judiciary to improve their skills.  Several Weld County judicial officers and court staff have received scholarships from the CJI Education Fund to attend the National Judicial College and conferences around the country.

Sponsors receive a table or half table at the event, listing in pre-event and post-event publicity, an ad in the event program, recognition on CJI's website and in CJI publications.  Sponsorship is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your organization.  Last year, the dinner drew 650 guests from the legal, civic and business communities.  The event has grown every year and we anticipate increased attendance in 2018.

Individual tickets and sponsorship information are available at the website of Colorado Judicial Institute and clicking on the tab for Judicial Excellence Dinner, or by contacting Lynn Karowsky at lynnkarowsky@comcast.net.

January 2018