Richard P. Holme, Timothy G. O’Neill, and James R. Wade
March 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
In Memoriam is a complimentary service of the CBA honoring the lives and work of recently deceased members. Please email submissions to Susie Klein at email@example.com. High-resolution photos are appreciated.
Richard P. Holme
November 6, 1941–January 14, 2023
The Colorado legal community mourns the loss of Richard “Dick” Holme, who passed away on January 14, 2023. Dick was a longtime partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs (DGS) and a stalwart at the CBA. He will be deeply missed.
Born on November 6, 1941, in Denver, to parents Peter H. Holme, Jr. and Lena Phillips Holme, Dick was raised in Denver and graduated from East High School and Williams College. He attended law school at the University of Colorado, where he met Barbara Friel, whom he married in 1965. They have two children, Daniel and Robert, and a marvelous grandson, Jaxson.
After law school, Dick joined DGS as an associate until he became a deputy district attorney in 1969. After three years in that office, Dick returned to DGS, where he became a partner. He worked at DGS for 50 years until his retirement. During his career, Dick had a broad range of trial practice. He tried almost 70 jury trials, a number of trials to the court, and over 30 appeals in both state and federal courts. For many years, he commented that he had tried “one of everything and two of nothing.” Early in his career, he was instrumental in clearing the legal hurdles that were blocking the development of the town of Highlands Ranch.
Dick’s primary interest was in improving the quality of the legal profession and making the trial of cases more efficient and less expensive. He held numerous leadership positions in both the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. He was deeply involved in lawyer discipline, serving as a member of the Supreme Court Grievance Committee (1979–85), as a hearing board member for cases of alleged attorney misconduct (1985–2014), and as a mediator for numerous disciplinary proceedings (1992–2014).
Dick’s work on improving trial practices included being a member of the select drafting committee for Colorado’s new Criminal Code (1970–71), the first Colorado Jury Instruction Committee (1972–73), and the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on Civil Rules (1994–2019). He also served as the prime drafter of rules relating to simplified procedure, appointive judges, deadlines for pretrial actions, expedited pretrial procedure, judicial case management, discovery, and subpoenas for medical records.
Dick was elected to fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers (1983), where he served as the Colorado State Chair (1994–96) and was a member of the ACTL Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice. He was the lead author of Working Smarter, Not Harder: How Excellent Judges Manage Cases, a manual for state and federal trial court judges nationwide on techniques for increasing pretrial efficiency to obtain just, speedy, and inexpensive handling of cases. He also wrote dozens of articles for Colorado Lawyer and was a coordinating editor for the publication’s civil litigation and evidence columns.
Donations in Dick’s memory may be made to the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado, www.legalaidfoundation.org.
Timothy G. O’Neill
May 21, 1960–December 19, 2022
Timothy “Tim” Gerald O’Neill, a pivotal and beloved member of Snell & Wilmer, passed away unexpectedly on December 19, 2022, in Evergreen. He was 62.
Tim was born on May 21, 1960, to parents Gerald Thomas O’Neill and JoAnn M. O’Neill. He received both his BS and his JD from Arizona State University. After graduating from law school in 1985, he joined the Denver office of Snell & Wilmer, where he became a senior partner in the firm’s products liability litigation practice group. His national practice focused on complex business litigation, commercial disputes, major product liability tort litigation, and probate and trust litigation.
Tim was known as “a lawyer’s lawyer,” respected by his peers and judges for his strong professional advocacy skills. He was a member of the firm’s executive committee from 2000 to 2016 and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2009. He was also an active member of his community, serving on the advisory board of the Colorado Civil Justice League, working with young lawyers through the Colorado Attorney Mentor Program, and volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver.
Most important, Tim was devoted first to his family. He spent his free time with his wife and three children, and on the water, when possible. Harboring a deep love of the ocean, Tim earned a skipper license and captained the family’s boat, Freedom, every chance he could.
Tim is survived by his wife Monique; children Chelsea, Quinn, and Abigail; grandson Wyatt; stepmother Jane; sisters Peggy, Anne, Mary, Kathy, and Amanda; brother Christopher; and many beloved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association or the Charles Keating C4 SEAL Foundation.
James R. Wade
July 21, 1937–December 17, 2022
James “Jim” R. Wade, a Denver native, passed away peacefully at his home on December 17, 2022, after saying his final goodbyes to family and friends.
Jim was born on July 21, 1937, to Robert Cyrus Wade and Margaret (Frazier) Wade. After graduating from East High School, he matriculated to Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School) and then attended Harvard Law School. After receiving his law degree, Jim moved back to Colorado to practice law, where he met and married Peggy Ann. Peggy and Jim raised their two daughters, Sarah and Katie, in Park Hill, a community they loved.
Jim began his early legal career at Dawson Nagel Sherman & Howard in 1962. He then did a stint as general counsel in Leadville, followed by years at Grant Shafroth Toll & McHendrie, where he began his focus on probate law. In 1975, Jim took the family on a yearlong sabbatical and adventure to Cape Cod, where he wrote his widely acclaimed book on probate law, which continues to be a resource for probate lawyers to this day. That year, the Cape became a place that would become near and dear to the family for years to come, and also where Jim connected with his second wife, Kay Kramer, after the Peggy passed in 1992.
Jim was appointed judge of the Denver Probate Court from 1977 to 1982 and received the Treat Award for Excellence in Probate from the National College of Probate Judges. After stepping down from the bench in 1982, Jim and a handful of colleagues formed the boutique firm Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, PC. Jim continued to practice law with Wade Ash after marrying Kay in 1994, splitting his time between Denver and either Cape Cod or West Hartford, Connecticut.
Jim was a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, where he served on the Board of Regents and received many accolades. He was involved in and recognized by numerous professional legal societies and philanthropic organizations, both locally, nationally, and internationally. He taught at the University of Denver and University of Colorado law schools, and was very involved with the CBA and its continuing legal education arm, CBA-CLE. Many of Jim’s colleagues in the legal community considered him an expert, as well as a friend and mentor. And of course, many of Jim’s aforementioned accomplishments would not have been possible without the help of his secretary of 37 years, Barbara Cohen.
Besides being devoted to his family and career, Jim was lucky enough to make and keep many lifelong friends. He remained close with his childhood friends from Denver, adventure buddies from the Colorado Mountain Club, old friends from Park Hill, and fellow birdwatchers and other naturalists from coast to coast. He kept his intellect and cultural interests alive with his New Yorker reading group in West Hartford, his Denver opera and symphony group, and those at the Cactus Club, whom he cherished meeting with for lunch every Friday.
Jim was predeceased by his first wife, Peggy, in 1992, and then his second wife, Kay, in 2021. He is survived by his brother John; daughters Sarah and Katie; and grandchildren Glenn, Maggie, Katie, Ollie, and Nelly. He was a caring friend, mentor, and stepfather to Kay’s children, John, Nancy, and Heidi, and a loving grandfather to Kay’s grandchildren, Kylor, Bella, and Madi. Jim also leaves behind his two devoted cats, Rosie and Lily, who never left his side and were a source of great comfort.
Donations in his memory can be made to Opera Colorado or the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.