Hometown: Casper, WyomingLaw School: University of Colorado Law SchoolLive in: Denver, Colorado Works at: Cheney Galluzzi & Howard, LLC Practice Areas(s): Personal Injury, Insurance Bad Faith, and Criminal DefenseCBA Member Since: 2011
Kevin Cheney is on the CBA YLD Executive Council and recently was appointed to the CBA Board of Governors.
Describe yourself in five words.
Fiancé, Lawyer, Laugher, Leader, and Tall.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s actually a quote from Bill Gates that someone showed me: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in 10 years.” In the short-term life can have ups and downs, but you have to keep your eyes on the long-term prize.
What’s your favorite memory from law school?
While working in the criminal defense clinic, I had the opportunity to challenge the City of Boulder’s “Use of Fighting Words” ordinance. I handled the oral argument at the trial court and at the appellate court. We won both arguments and the law was ruled unconstitutional. Boulder changed the law soon thereafter.
What do you like the most about your practice area?
I get to represent real people with real problems against powerful interests, whether that is the State in criminal defense cases or massive insurance companies in personal injury cases.
What organizations are you involved in?
Outside the CBA, I’m very active in the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, where I serve on its executive, new lawyer, and legislative committees. I’m also involved with an organization called Learn Your Rights in Colorado (LYRIC), which offers workshops in high schools and middle schools to teach young people how to exercise their rights when interacting with law enforcement. These are all great organizations, and anyone should feel free to reach out to me if they are looking to get involved!
Favorite Denver restaurant:
La Loma. Love its green chili!
Favorite spot in Colorado:
This one is easy: Red Rocks. I try to see between seven to 10 concerts there each year.
Who is your hero and why?
Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. People may know him from the new film Just Mercy. I’m inspired by the work he’s doing and his quest for a more just America. I use two of his quotes—“we are all more than the worst thing we have ever done” and “the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth; it’s justice”—all the time.
What advice would you give a new lawyer?
Always be networking. Whether you’re starting your own firm and need clients or hoping to make partner one day, who you know is just as important as what you know. To take that one step further, I’d add that quality is always more important than quantity in networking.
Why are you a dues-paying member of the CBA?
I think it’s important for lawyers to come together to advance the profession, and there’s no better place to do that than the CBA. Plus the CBA provides great benefits, such as Casemaker and access to wonderful CLE programs.