Greater Colorado Makes a Greater CBA
As a former judge and practitioner in Pueblo, I’m aware of a long-held perception that the CBA is “Denver-centric.” Some of this is attributable to simple demographics, and some of it is a function of the size and topographical complexity of Colorado. That said, the CBA is committed to reducing barriers to engagement, as envisioned in the “E” element of the CBA’s 20/20 strategic plan:
Engage under-represented and statewide populations by improving and ensuring their inclusion at all levels of the CBA, by building symbiotic relations with specialty bars, by using technology to better reach members statewide, and by strengthening local bar associations.
In this month’s message, I’ll discuss two measures the CBA has recently implemented to help us achieve this important goal.
The Greater Colorado Task Force
The Greater Colorado Task Force (GCTF) was officially launched at the CBA Board of Governors meeting in December 2019. The GCTF will explore the elimination of barriers to participation in program, leadership, and communication for CBA members who choose to practice outside the Denver metro area, thereby improving the CBA’s value and relevance to its membership. I’ve identified the GCTF’s mission as a top priority during my term as CBA president.
The task force comprises the chair and eight additional members. I have appointed Ian McCargar of Windsor, Colorado, to serve as chair. The other GCTF members are:
- Danita Alderton, Pueblo
- Andrew Boyko, Montrose
- Melissa Decker, Minturn
- Courtney Holm, Edwards
- Paul Hurcomb, Colorado Springs
- Dan St. John, Fort Collins
- Tamara Sullivan, Alamosa
- Charles Willman, Glenwood Springs
The GCTF is convening monthly at locations across Colorado in 2020. The inaugural meeting was held in late January in Denver, and subsequent meetings took place in Pueblo, Vail, and Fort Collins. The remaining meetings are scheduled for:
- Friday, May 29—Alamosa
- Friday, June 12—Colorado Springs
- Friday, July 24—Denver (CBA offices)
- Friday, August 14—Windsor
- Friday, September 25—Montrose
- Friday, October 9—Glenwood
- Friday, November 13—CBA offices (remote)
Each of these meetings includes room for conversations with local bar members and representatives of the judiciary in each locality. We hope these listening sessions contribute real first-hand support for the outcomes of GCTF.
The task force chair will provide periodic updates to the CBA Executive Council (EC). The schedule for completion of GCTF’s mission targets late 2020 for a draft report and recommendations to the EC in January 2021, with a final report and recommendations presented to the EC sometime in the first quarter of 2021. The EC-approved report and recommendations will then be presented to the CBA Board of Governors at its June 2021 mid-year meeting. Because the task force’s work extends into the presidential term of President-Elect Jessica Brown, she has pledged to support the task force’s work through its conclusion.
I welcome anyone interested in GCTF’s work to attend the scheduled outreach meetings and to contact the task force members listed above. I urge our members in Greater Colorado especially to speak and be heard in this effort so the task force may consider the needs and desires of all CBA members who practice outside the Denver metro area.
Even if you are unable to attend the GCTF listening sessions, your thoughts are welcome. Please call or email GCTF Chair Ian McCargar at (970) 674-2492 or email@example.com.
I support the GCTF’s work and look forward to the results of this initiative.
Resources for Local Bar Leaders
Another initiative focused on engaging and serving Greater Colorado is the launch of a CBA Community forum for local bar leaders. If you are currently in a leadership or leadership-elect position in your bar association, you have been added to the Local Bar Leaders community. As you hopefully know, CBA Community is a modernized forum for, among other things, posting bar information, local bar news, events, and job postings. It’s also a great place to ask questions of and communicate with other local bar leaders. The Local Bar Leaders forum will provide the opportunity to connect with bar leaders across the state and hopefully open the communication channels between bar leaders.
The CBA also provides information for local bar leaders on its Local Bar Association web page. This page has information about each local bar, including links to the local bar’s web page (where available), as well as an online form for joining the local bars of your choice. Additionally, this page has been updated to provide access to the Local Bar Handbook, a list of CBA regional vice presidents, a map of CBA regions, a best practices guide for CBA regional vice presidents, and a list of Court of Appeals judges and judicial district liaisons by judicial district. The CBA is also compiling a Local Bar Leaders Directory, which will be accessible from this page once it’s completed.
You can contact Lindsey O’Brien, the CBA’s local bar relations program coordinator, with any other information that you think would be helpful to have on the Local Bar Association web page. Please also inform Lindsey of any changes within your local bar so we can keep the information on this page current and relevant. Lindsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 824-5310.
We hope these measures will help the CBA better unite and engage all of its members. The CBA is stronger and better positioned to serve its members when participation comes from all corners of our state!
1. CBA REFOCUS 20/20 Plan, www.cobar.org/About-the-CBA/Governance.
2. CBA Community, https://community.cobar.org/home.
3. Visit www.cobar.org/Local-Bar-Associations, or select the “Local Bar Associations” quick link in the left-hand menu at www.cobar.org.