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Doyle Inn CLE Program Continues to Be Open—and Free—to All in Honor of Award-Winning Member Randy Bramer

November 2023

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The American Inns of Court was formed in the late 1970s, inspired by the United Kingdom’s Inn of Courts’ emphasis on lifelong learning, mentoring, and professionalism. Its vision statement succinctly summarizes these objectives: “A legal profession and judiciary dedicated to professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence.”

The Doyle Inn has the honor of being Colorado’s first Inn chartered by the American Inns of Court. It has over 100 active members and is one of eight Inns of Court in Colorado. The Inn’s namesake, Judge William E. Doyle, wore just about every hat a lawyer can wear in the Denver legal community. He served in the US Army, as a district attorney, as a district court judge, as a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, as a judge on the US District Court for the District of Colorado, and as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was a lawyer in private practice, taught at both the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, and started and lectured at the first bar exam prep course in the nation. He was a mentor, friend, and ardent supporter of civil rights.

The first meeting of the Doyle Inn was held on August 28, 1986, just over two months after Judge Doyle’s passing. The Inn’s founders sought to offer legal training, to encourage pro bono practice, and to focus on inclusiveness in the creation of the Doyle Inn and in future Inns in Colorado. The current Inn continues this proud tradition.

At the conclusion of the 2022–23 Inn year, the Doyle Inn honored longtime member Randy Bramer with the Spirit of Judge Doyle Award. This award recognizes leadership, integrity, humility, capacity for friendship, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, among other attributes. It was premised, in no small part, on all the efforts Randy made toward mentorship and providing educational outreach to younger lawyers and students.

Like Judge Doyle, Randy wore many hats over the course of his storied career. He started his career as a civil litigator at Collier Shannon Rill & Scott in Washington, DC, practicing litigation and counseling in the areas of product liability, intellectual property, antitrust, and contract law. But he was drawn to public service, where he found his calling, so he left the firm to join the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice. There, Randy was responsible for the prosecution and defense of individual and class action claims involving employment discrimination, constitutional law, torts, and administrative law throughout the United States. He also counseled a number of federal agencies.

Randy worked for two US Attorneys’ Offices in Idaho and Arizona, focusing on water rights and federal agency representation. He spent the remainder of his career in public service at the Office of the General Counsel in the Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Agriculture. He was a pillar of the Doyle Inn’s community and a long-term Executive Committee member. He welcomed new attorneys and potential new Inn members as guests, and he worked to integrate them—and urged them to apply to join—the Doyle Inn. Upon retiring, Randy left Colorado for North Carolina in 2022, where he is enjoying the mountains and the music scene almost as much as he enjoyed it here.

Throughout his Inn membership, Randy consistently sought ways to share his knowledge and extensive litigation experience with fellow Inn members. This dedication to mentoring and betterment of our profession led Randy to start a wholly free CLE program, which he taught throughout the Inn year. The program focused on practical skills in civil litigation both for Inn of Court members and for the greater legal community.

Randy implemented and ran the Doyle Inn CLE program for over two decades. These programs provided two free CLE credits every month for nine months—even during months the Inn did not hold its monthly meeting. The programs were designed for young lawyers, clerks, and students, but they provided an avenue for more experienced attorneys to brush up on their skills too. The program also provided a platform for experienced attorneys to lead CLE presentations in their areas of expertise. Given Randy’s extensive involvement and long shadow, almost everyone in the Doyle Inn has an anecdote to share about the way Randy’s CLE program impacted their practice.

Consistent with Randy’s commitment to educate all members in the legal community, the CLE programs were not restricted to Doyle Inn members. Rather, Randy ensured the invites were distributed to judges across the metro area, and he advocated for young lawyers, clerks, and students from all area Inns to join. Although the exact number of lawyers Randy’s programs impacted cannot be known, estimates have put it upward of high hundreds, if not low thousands. The Doyle Inn continues this mission, and it is committed to continuing this programming to the greater bar—both lawyers present in the metro area and those interested in Greater Colorado throughout our state.

For these reasons, while Randy no longer spearheads the Doyle Inn CLE program on his own, the Doyle Inn Executive Committee is continuing the programming he established. In Randy’s honor, and in the spirit of the American Inns of Court mission, the Doyle Inn will continue to offer its free CLE programming to the Colorado legal community. The Executive Committee will be organizing a program each month focused on a particular topic and skillset. In true form, Randy will continue to participate as a guest instructor. Programming will be free and offered via Zoom from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. CLEs for this year are scheduled as follows:

November 15, 2023 Ethical Issues for Young Lawyers
December 13, 2023 How to Prepare a Witness—Depositions, Motions Hearings, and Beyond
January 30, 2024 Direct Examination—How Do You Do It?
February 21, 2024 Cross-Examination—What You Need to Know
March (date TBD) Legal Writing and Appellate Practice—Writing for the Reader
April 17, 2024 Negotiation, Settlement, and Alternative Forums for Resolution: What You Never Learned in Law School
May 15, 2024 A View from the Bench: Practical Advice for Practicing Lawyers

The Doyle Inn invites all to join these free CLEs and encourages dissemination of the invite to clerks, associates, or law students. The Doyle Inn is also always welcoming new guests to its monthly dinners. Please contact Doyle Inn President Alison Connaughty at for additional information and for CLE access.