The CBA Celebrates Pro Bono Month
October 2023Download This Article (.pdf)
It’s October, which means it’s time to celebrate Pro Bono Month—and all the hardworking individuals who have made a commitment to pro bono service in Colorado this year. To that end, we’re highlighting a few of our pro bono standouts in 2023. Please join us in recognizing these individuals for their generous contributions to the Colorado legal community.
Our 2023 Pro Bono Stars
The Denver Bar Association and its Access to Justice Committee are pleased to introduce this year’s Pro Bono Stars—Kristin Arthur, Susan Minamizono, Meredith O’Harris, and Bonnie Saltzman. The Denver legal community shines brighter because of people like them!
Kristin Arthur is an associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, where she represents clients in complex commercial litigation and appeals. Since joining the firm two-and-a-half years ago, Kristin has completed nearly 400 hours of pro bono work, including representing an incarcerated person who brought a section 1983 claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. This case culminated in a three-day jury trial in the US District Court for the District of Colorado, where the parties settled while the jury was deliberating, with the client receiving his desired outcome. Kristin also took on a client who had appealed after her parental rights had been terminated without proper notice. By seeking a limited remand to the district court, Kristin was able to get the termination vacated quickly and also ensure that the client had pro bono family law representation moving forward. Kristin volunteers with the CBA’s Civil Appeals Full Representation Program (CAFREP), where she was recently elected to a two-year term on the CAFREP Screening Committee. She also participates in the CBA’s Civil Appeals Clinic, providing limited-scope appellate advice to pro se parties. Kristin’s passion for appellate work has committed her to demystifying the appellate process and ensuring that it remains accessible to all.
Susan Minamizono is a volunteer attorney with ALIGHT (Alliance to Lead Impact in Global Human Trafficking) who has dedicated numerous hours to providing legal counsel to survivors of human trafficking. Specifically, she offered approximately 150 hours of assistance to a trafficking survivor and successfully petitioned for her trafficking visa, ensuring she could remain in the United States and escape further harm. As a pro bono attorney with RMIAN (the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network), Susan spent six years counseling a client who fled gang violence in his home country, guiding him through the complex path toward citizenship. She also serves on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, supporting the needs of crime victims, and works with the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Hate Crimes Education Task, presenting mock trials to middle and high school students to create awareness and understanding of Colorado’s hate crime law. In addition, in her capacity as an insurance coverage attorney with Levin Sitcoff Waneka PC in Denver, Susan volunteered at a pro bono clinic sponsored by United Policyholders in a time of crisis after the Marshall Fire, providing critical assistance to families impacted by the tragedy. She continues to offer her expertise in insurance law to support the fire survivors.
Meredith O’Harris is an associate attorney at Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, P.C., where she assists clients with criminal, civil, and appellate matters. She joined the firm in August 2022 after five years with the Appellate Division of the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. Meredith believes the privilege of being an attorney carries with it an obligation to help marginalized and oppressed individuals and communities in the important legal matters they face. Throughout her legal career, she has actively worked with social movements on issues of racial, gender, and economic justice. She has offered pro bono services to clients where quality representation is otherwise cost-prohibitive and inaccessible. For example, she continued to represent certain clients she began working with while at the Public Defender’s Office. Similarly, she joined the Steering Committee for Denver Legal Night, a program run by the Colorado Lawyers Committee that provides free, bimonthly legal clinics to low-income individuals. Through her consultations at Denver Legal Night, she accepted several additional pro bono cases.
Bonnie Saltzman is a solo practitioner in the Denver metro area. Her practice focuses on various issues that impact children, youth, and families. Growing up, Bonnie’s parents stressed the importance of giving back. She started as a “candy striper” at Children’s Hospital in the early 1970s—and has not stopped giving back. She has volunteered and provided pro bono services for many organizations over the years, including Metro Volunteer Lawyers. Bonnie wants to leave her corner of the world a better place and believes that providing pro bono services is one avenue for achieving this goal.
Our Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans Volunteers
The CBA and its Military and Veterans Affairs Section would like to thank the following attorneys for continuously offering their time to veterans in our area. If you’re interested in volunteering for Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, please sign up at https://www.cobar.org/clcv.
Ryan Coward is a trial attorney who has litigated high-profile cases nationally and in Colorado. He has litigated over 80 cases to successful completion and has won numerous jury verdicts. His primary practice areas include criminal defense, military law, employment law, civil rights, and appeals. Before founding Aviso Law, he served as an active-duty judge advocate in the Army for nearly six years. He continues to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves JAG Corps.
Casey has worked as a trial attorney since 1991. He keeps community mental health clinicians out of court and helps forensic psychiatrists and psychologists work there as experts. He also guides mental health professionals and centers through license disputes before their regulatory boards.
Tim Franklin has a private practice at the Law Office of Sean Kendall. He is VA-accredited and admitted to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). After graduating from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2008, Tim immediately began working on appeals at the CAVC and successfully argued numerous cases on behalf of disabled veterans. Tim is the past president of Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans, served as a board member of the CAVC Bar Association, and regularly presents to bar associations and veterans’ groups.
Conor Kane is the founder and owner of Kane Law PLLC. He is a criminal defense trial attorney with experience in municipal, county, and district court. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, where he was an avid participant in both the trial advocacy program and the criminal defense clinic. Conor previously worked with the Colorado Public Defender and in private criminal defense before starting his own firm. He enjoys volunteering at the veteran’s law clinic to continue his family legacy of serving veterans in need.
Sabra Janko is a family law attorney, mediator, and child and family investigator with an emphasis on children and lowering conflict in family disputes. She has expertise in military family law matters with experience as a service member and a military spouse.
Megan Kondrachuk is VA-accredited and admitted to the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. She previously worked in family law, with experience in trial work as well as appellate advocacy. During law school, Megan clerked for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, and Sean Kendall’s Office. She enjoyed her time as a law clerk advocating for veterans and could not pass up the opportunity to work in this field again when it arose. Megan’s previous work in preparing and developing family law cases for trial has been an asset to her in preparing veterans’ cases for hearing and argument in front of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Mike McKenna currently serves as the lead volunteer for the Colorado Wyoming International Services Division of the Red Cross, where he is certified as an intermediate-level international humanitarian law instructor. He is a retired Army colonel, retired court judge, and retired county attorney. He is a Colorado-licensed attorney, serves on the executive committee of the CBA Military and Veterans Affairs Section, and is a member of the Juvenile Review Board for El Paso County. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star for combat service, the Meritorious Service Medal (second), and the Army Commendation Medal (fifth).
Dan Miller is an attorney with Dulaney Miller LLC, where he focuses his practice on real estate litigation, commercial litigation, employment litigation, and construction defect litigation. He is also of counsel to Leventhal Lewis Kuhn Taylor Swan PC. Before moving to Colorado in 2015, Dan practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP. He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable John D. Holschuh, a judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Dan graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School, which recognized Dan with the Graduate of the Last Decade Award in 2014.
Judge Charles Peters graduated from Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colorado, and entered the US Navy as a hospital corpsman, serving with both Navy and Marine Corps units. He retired as a chief hospital corpsman after 20 years of active service. During service, he received a BS degree from Campbell University in North Carolina. Post service, he attended the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie, Wyoming. He served as a deputy district attorney in Grand County, Colorado, and transitioned to criminal defense before starting and operating his own law firm, The Peters Law Firm, LLC for 15 years. He is currently the presiding municipal court judge in the Fort Morgan and Yuma Municipal Courts, an associate judge in the Thornton and Brighton Municipal Courts, and a relief judge in the Aurora Municipal Court system.
Elizabeth Thomas has been an attorney and litigator in family law, entertainment, corporate, probate, and small business law. She ran her own successful solo practice law firm until closing the firm in 2014, joining Aviso Law in 2018. As a Gold Star Widow and Army mom, Elizabeth works closely with service members, military families, other military widows and veterans. She was actively involved with Burn Pits 360 in the fight for the PACT Act legislation. Additionally, she has over 20 years’ experience in managing limited liability corporations and nonprofit corporations, and in marketing and public relations. Elizabeth received her BA from College of Charleston, her master’s in public administration from Troy University, and her JD from South Texas College of Law.
Cory Tuck is a founding partner of Aviso Law, where his practice focuses on family and criminal law for civilians and service members. Over his 15-year career, Cory has handled divorces, military divorces, complex child custody disputes, adoptions, murder trials, and fraud litigation cases. He currently serves on the Fourth Judicial District Domestic Relations Committee. Cory is the recipient of the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Rising Star award and earned the Bronze Star for his legal work during his deployment to Afghanistan. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Denver and attended New Mexico Military Institute and Texas A&M University for his undergraduate degrees.
Matt Werner graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and received his JD from Catholic University of America Law School. He served in the US Air Force as a judge advocate from 1982 to 1987, serving at air bases in England, Germany, and Wyoming. He engaged in the general practice of law with the firm Wachsmann & Associates in Englewood (now Greenwood Village) from 1989 to 1996. That practice involved family law, wills and estates, criminal law, debtor/creditor, and bankruptcies. In 1997, Werner became president of Queen of the Apostles Mission Association, a Catholic nonprofit corporation that provides assistance and relief for the support of Catholic churches, seminaries, and monasteries in Russia and the Ukraine.