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A Message from the President
We have had a fun, educational and change-making spring and summer at the Colorado LGBT Bar Association!
Looking ahead, please mark your calendar for the Annual Dinner and Awards Celebration on Friday, September 27. Our keynote speaker is none other than the inspiring Kate Kendell, former executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and current Campaign Manager at Take Back the Court. Kate’s insight and passion on issues of intersectionality will enlighten and inspire us. Our Attorney of the Year Award will be presented to Catherine Smith, Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness at DU’s Sturm College of Law. Finally, the Ally of the Year Award will be presented to immigration attorney, Christina Brown.
The Colorado LGBT Bar Association Foundation will be awarding two $10,000 scholarships to LGBT students at Colorado law schools at this year’s dinner. It is your past generosity that makes these scholarships possible. Please consider sponsoring the annual dinner again this year. All proceeds benefit the Foundation and are tax-deductible.
Have you seen our new website yet? If not, please take a look. Among many of the new cool features is an easy-to-use, opt-in member directory! We get requests for referrals to LGBTQ attorneys on a regular basis. If you set up your profile, it will be a great way for members of the public to find you! You can also easily sign up to participate in one of our many committees. A big shout out to our Technology Chair, Emma Shinn, for the countless volunteer hours she put in to make our new website a reality.
Stay tuned for information about other upcoming events this fall including a social with One Colorado and a CLE on the employment cases at the Supreme Court.
Kudos to those members who made the last few months so rich and successful! Thank you to board member Shannara Quissell for organizing our Pride march, summer social, Rockies game and the judicial reception. All four events were well attended and very fun. Thank you to Emma Shinn for putting on a very informative CLE on the military trans ban, and to Ann Gushurst, Judge Carlos Lucero of the 10th Circuit, and myself for the CLE program on same-sex common law marriage. Thank you to Adam Mueller for running the judicial endorsement process for the many, many seats that recently came open. Thank you to Mari Newman, Karen Langsley, Amber Paoloemilio, Owen Ziegler, Rachel Clark, Emma Shinn and others who testified on our behalf at the Colorado Assembly this past session. We enjoyed tremendous success with Jude’s Law, the conversion therapy ban, and equal pay! And finally, thank you to Ann Stanton and Liz Titus at Hogan Lovells for representing us pro bono in an amicus brief we filed in support of cert in Hogsett v. Neale.
The Colorado LGBT Bar Association congratulates longtime member, Hon. Emily Anderson, on being appointed the chief judge of the 17th Judicial District (Adams county) this month! Hon. Emily E. Anderson was appointed to the 17th Judicial District Court bench (Adams and Broomfield Counties) by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2013. She had previously been a District Court Magistrate in the 17th Judicial District since 2005. As a Magistrate, she worked in every civil, domestic relations, criminal, and juvenile division. She was the recipient of the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Judicial Excellence Award in 2013. Prior to moving to the bench, Judge Anderson ran her own law firm for 11 years. Her private trial practice focused on family law, civil litigation, and mediation. Judge Anderson is active in the legal community, having served in numerous leadership positions in the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and the LGBT Bar Association. She currently serves on the Executive Council and the Access to Justice Committee for the 17th Judicial District, the Executive Council for the Judicial Peer-to-Peer Coaching Program and on the Board of Directors for the National Women Judge’s Association.
What compelled you to become a lawyer?
I graduated from the Colorado College with a fine arts degree. During my senior year, we had visiting speakers from all over the world. Curators, gallery owners, agents, and of course a wide variety of artists. They all had one thing in common it seemed-legal problems. So, I decided to go to law school to become an entertainment lawyer in order to represent artists and musicians. When I attended DU law school, I was a leader in the entertainment law society and we had an art show every year. Originally, I thought I would land on the West Coast; however, two things happened. First, I met my wife, attorney Patricia Jarzobski, in law school. Second, I completed an internship with an inspirational family law attorney. We decided to settle in Colorado and I made family law the focus of my practice. Patty and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary both as a couple and as attorneys this year!
What has been your most meaningful work experience thus far?
I opened my own law practice in 1994 at the age of 29 after working for a civil litigation firm for nearly 4 years. This allowed me to represent the clients I wanted to, including members of my community, the LGBTQ community. In 1999, many of my LGBTQ clients could not establish rights to their children since they did not have biological connections to those children and adoption was not allowed under those circumstances then. Boulder attorney Barbara Lavender and I filed the first case under the Uniform Parentage Act seeking the right to have both mother's names listed on their twins' birth certificates. We were successful in this endeavor! This legal action paved the way for the law allowing step-parent adoptions in same-sex relationships. I have served as a judicial officer exclusively since 2005, first as a magistrate and now as the chief judge of one of the largest metropolitan districts. The meaningful and challenging work I did in the LGBTQ community prepared me for and made me a better public servant as a judge. Diversity on the bench increases public trust, confidence and the appearance of fairness in the justice system, and it therefore increases access to justice.
What is your favorite non-legal thing to do?
My wife and I like to travel — we are curious about other cultures, foods, traditions and spiritual practices in other places. We have travelled to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tahiti and Europe to name a few. We have an RV named "Slick" (Gigi's replacement) and we travel all around Colorado camping and fly fishing. We also surf, but I seem to be getting worse rather than better at surfing as I get older. Importantly, I care for my mother who is battling Alzheimer's disease and we are blessed to have her in our lives.
What do you love most about the Colorado LGBTQ+ community?
What I love most about the Colorado LBGTQ community is being a part of it for 30 plus years-from the passage of Amendment 2 during the days Colorado was called the "hate state" to now having an openly gay governor- and everything in between.
• Friday, August 23—Colorado’s Diversity Networking Happy Hour at Skyline Beer Garden, 5-7pm. Please click here to register.
• Thursday, September 5—Meet and Greet Social with One Colorado Save the Date! Registration information and link coming soon.
• Friday, September 27—CO LGBT Bar Annual Dinner and Awards. Registration is now open! If you are a LGBTQ+ 2L or 3L attending law school in Colorado and would like to apply for the Summit Scholarship, please click here for the application information and link.
• Thursday, April 19—The Trans Ban: A Tragedy at the Troops’ Expense CLE
• Monday, May 6—Marriage Equality: Past and Present Issues CLE
• Friday, May 31—Spring Social at Blush & Blu
• Friday, June 14—2019 Rockies Pride Night
• Sunday, June 16—Pride Parade
• Tuesday, June 27—2019 Judicial Reception
*cue the drumroll*
We have a new website/membership platform, including the long-awaited & much-requested Membership Directory! Be sure to check out your listing on our website, add information about your practice, your bio, photos, select your directory visibility, and more. There is even a short video to learn how to update your profile.
The listserv functionality is improved, but no action is necessary on your part to stay on the listserv. All current members are subscribed by default. In addition to emailing the listserv, you can read, post and search messages online. You can even update your listserv preferences.
Interested in volunteering for one of our committees? You can do that via our website, too! Go to our Committees page and sign up for the one(s) you want to work on – easy as pie.
Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to update your Member Directory Profile. In particular, we encourage you to select the "Membership Directory" choice to add a biography and make yourself visible in our Association’s public-facing directory. You can specify your Practice Area(s) and other preferences. If you have questions, watch this 17-minute video to learn how to update your Membership Profile.
Judicial Endorsement Committee
Congratulations to our 2019 endorsees!
Nominees for judicial positions were recently announced in a number of districts around the state.
Since April 1, the LGBT Bar Association endorsed the following individuals:
- In the 17th Judicial District, we endorsed David Blackett, Leroy Kirby, and Bradley Varmo.
- In the 13th Judicial District, we endorsed Michael Grinnan.
- In the 1st Judicial District, we endorsed Russell Klein.
- In the 2nd Judicial District, we endorsed Michal Lord-Blegen and Anita Schutte.
- In the 10th Judicial District, we endorsed Nelson Dunford.
- In the 21st Judicial District, we endorsed Monica McElyea.
- In the 19th Judicial District, we endorsed Meghan Saleeby.
- And in the 4th Judicial District, we endorsed Jessica Curtis.
Of the individuals we endorsed in 2019, the following were appointed to the bench by Governor Polis: Neeti Pawar and Jaclyn Brown (Court of Appeals); Marcus Henson (4th Judicial District); Eric Johnson (2nd Judicial District); Jessica Curtis (4th Judicial District).
If you are interested in joining the Judicial Endorsements Committee, send an email to email@example.com
Would you like to have the insight of an experienced lawyer about such things as professionalism, employment options, networking, resumes and interviewing skills? Can you offer this insight help to newer lawyers? Let’s talk! A mentor is a great way to explore these and other topics. We are in the process of formalizing our attorney mentorship program. If you would like to be a mentor or a mentee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Policy Committee
LGBT Bar members testified in support of HB19-1039 – Jude’s Law – which removes surgery requirement for an updated gender on a Colorado birth certificate, and also removes the requirement for a court order. This allows trans people the ability to self-identify on their ID documents. Gov. Jared Polis signed Jude’s Law on May 31, 2019.
We made suggestions to improve the language of, and testified in support of, HB19-1129 – the legislation that bans conversion therapy for minors in Colorado. Gov. Polis signed the conversion therapy ban on May 31, 2019.
The LGBT Bar Association supported, and member Mari Newman testified on behalf of HB19-085/SB 85, the “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” that was signed on May 22, 2019 and will take effect by 2021.
We supported and Mari Newman testified on behalf of HB19-1032, requiring sex education to be medically accurate and include lessons on consent between partners.
We worked to defeat HB19-1140, the misnamed “Live and Let Live Act,” which would have undone all nondiscrimination protections for Colorado LGBTQ people. It would also have allowed foster and adoption agencies to discrimination against LGBTQ families.
We participated in two amicus briefs – one in a case involving the issue of how to determine whether a same-sex couple was married at common law, using non-heteronormative indicia of marriage. The other brief involved the scope of Colorado’s nondiscrimination laws: whether they pertain to a “subdivision” of a state agency in addition to the state agency itself.
We welcome your involvement in the Public Policy Committee. Contact email@example.com