Pro se parties in family law cases are unfortunately not uncommon. Securing full representation, or even legal assistance can be unattainable for many families. However, on this episode of Stairway to ATJ, we discuss how attorneys can help without providing full representation and walk us through the resources available at the Court Resource Center. We welcome guests James Garts of Garts Law and Melissa Walter, 1st JD Self Representative Litigant Coordinator, as they give us some insight into what families go through when representing themselves and what attorneys can do to help.
Also, October is host to Pro Bono Week! In this episode’s Pro Bono Corner, we highlight three of our favorite programs taking place this month to celebrate: 4th JD/Pikes Peak region, Arapahoe/Douglas (email 18SelfHelp@judicial.state.co.us), and Denver (email Virginia Virginia@denbar.org).
If you have a topic you would like to hear about or have a program or issue you want to discuss on Stairway to ATJ please email us at ATJpodcast@cobar.org.
In this episode, Bonnie Schriner and Nicoal Sperrazza sit down with current CBA President, Joi Kush, and former CBA President, Dave Johnson. Joi and Dave discuss significant moments in each of their lives and how they manifested their individual passions for service and calls to leadership. They also discuss how a chance encounter at a Bar Association function unfolded into an eventual professional partnership and the opening of their own law firm, Johnson Kush.
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Over the past few weeks, this podcast has looked at what Hispanic Heritage is, the dearth of Hispanic changemakers in the form of attorneys and politicians in this state, as well as topics that are of particular importance to the Colorado Latino community. In our final episode of ¡Bienvenidos! our discussion takes a forward-looking lens as we focus on what is happening in the community to change the status quo. Hispanic Latinos make up over 20% of the population in Colorado, but only 6% of the state’s attorneys. Therefore, it is obvious that the Colorado Latino community faces unique barriers to getting into college, getting into law school, and making a career in the law. Working to change that is Law School…Yes We Can. Today we are honored to have in the studio the founder of Law School…Yes We Can, Judge Christine Arguello and the organization’s Executive Director, Maria Arias.
Vikrama (Vika) Chandrashekar is the President of the South Asian Bar Association of Colorado (SABA) and a member of the Trial Section of Moye|White. He handles matters across a wide range of industries concerning general commercial litigation, with an increasing focus on bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and restructuring. Vika has significant experience in property, real estate, and landlord/tenant disputes, complex business disputes, construction matters, and with municipal/governmental issues. On the bankruptcy side, Vika has successfully litigated adversary proceedings and counseled clients through complex bankruptcy issues under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. He enjoys the intricacies of trial work and relishes the opportunity to appear in the courtroom.
Before joining Moye White, Vika worked at a local firm where he represented cities, municipalities, school districts, and other public entities involving civil rights and tort claims. In this role, Vika defended government entities and employees against a variety of claims in federal and state court. He worked to identify and execute strategies that benefit his clients at all phases from pre-litigation through case resolution by dispositive motion, trial, settlement, or appeal. He has also worked for the Denver City Attorney’s Office and the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
In his conversation with Kevin, he discusses his day-to-day as a member of the trail section for a large firm, the South Asian Bar Association, the Supreme Court’s new rules on EDI and other professional responsibilities training for attorneys, and his advice on law students considering commercial litigation.
In today’s episode, host Annie Martínez leads a discussion on what it means to be an agent of change in the Hispanic community in greater Colorado. From recent census data, we know that almost 22% of Coloradoans identify as Hispanic, which is up from past years. We also know that there is a large contingency of the Hispanic community living in the Aurora area.
It is our honor to bring into the conversation two Hispanic members of the Aurora City Council: Crystal Murillo, Diversity Program Coordinator, Undergraduate Admission for the University of Denver who represents Ward I and Juan Marcano, BIM Manager and architectural designer who represents Ward IV.
Jon Olafson is a partner at Lewis Brisbois in the Denver office and as part of his role on the CBA’s Executive Council, he chairs the Racial Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the newly formed Colorado Diverse Attorney Community Circle (CODACC). He sits down with Courtney Holm and Nicoal Sperrazza to discuss his small-town upbringing, why inclusivity is important to him, and how he developed his own call to action.
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In the second installment of our limited series podcast honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, we discuss Hispanic women in the law, particularly in Colorado. As of a report issued in 2020 by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, 6.42% of the attorney population in Colorado identify as Hispanic. Per the census, we know that the Hispanic population in Colorado is 21.8%. While we don't know the number of Hispanic attorneys that identify as women, we do know that nationally the statistics are not great. Per a report by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), women make up about 2% of US Hispanic lawyers. We also saw in these reports that women attorneys tend to leave the practice earlier — at around the 10-year mark.
With these sobering statistics in mind, host Annie Martínez speaks with two Hispanic women attorneys practicing in Colorado to hear their insights and their experiences, what led them to the law, and what they've had to overcome.
Both of our guests today own their own practices. Yuridia Bazan of Yuri Bazan focuses on family relations and personal injury and Cristina Uribe Reyes of Uribe Reyes Law works on family-based immigration, deportation defense, and citizenship applications.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month? Who exactly is considered Hispanic? And is it Hispanic or Latin? What about latinx or latine? Is one more correct than the others? Introducing ¡Bienvenidos! A limited podcast series celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month brought to you by the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations.
Host, Annie Martínez, calls her legal practice a “defense-minded practice.” Her solo firm, Bridge Legal Solutions, handles family, criminal and juvenile defense law, and often her cases are at the intersection of those areas. Annie is the current 2nd Vice President of the Denver Bar Association and Past President of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. Each week, Annie will explore the backgrounds and careers of some of Colorado’s leading Hispanic and Latin lawyers while discussing a wide variety of topics relevant to the month’s celebrations.
On today’s inaugural episode, Annie speaks with Carlos Romo, President-Elect of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and a nationally recognized environmental and natural resources attorney with Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson. Carlos discusses his professional journey as an attorney and his personal journey as the son of both Hispanic and Creole heritage. Annie and Carlos explore the history of Hispanic Heritage Month, the importance of community, and what being “Hispanic” means to them.
What is the Access to Justice Commission and what do they do? Take a listen as their new Executive Director, Elisa Marie Overall — also known as Emo — shares her experience and helps us understand what the Access to Justice Commission is all about. Emo describes the important work of local committees across the state and sheds light on the many barriers to access to justice that too many Coloradoans are still facing.
This episode also features Gail Rodosevich, the Pro Bono Coordinator for Colorado Legal Services in Pueblo and the Chair of the Access to Justice Committee for the 10th JD.
Is there a topic you would like to hear us explore? Have a program or issue you want to discuss on Stairway to ATJ? Please email us at ATJPodcast@cobar.org.
Judge Diana Terry recently retired from the Colorado Court of Appeals. In this podcast, she discusses growing up in New Jersey with Nebraskan parents, being the youngest of five children, and deciding that she wanted to be a lawyer as a child. She also shares her love for music and singing, becoming a self-starter, and her talent for training and leading others.
Judge Diana Terry (Ret.)
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