President's Quarterly Report- Quarter 1, 2019

Amigos y Colegas – 

The first quarter has been busy!  January 19, 2019, kicked off the year, with our 42nd Annual Banquet at the Ritz Carlton.  We raised over $1500 in our raffle with all proceeds going directly to Foundation and Circle of Giving scholarships.  Claudia Sanchez of CU and Claudia Shadler of DU, were our first scholarship recipients from the Circle of Giving and each received $1500 to be used toward their law school expenses.  We celebrated the achievements of our award winners:  Barb Brohl, Arnulfo Hernandez, Jonathan Booker, Annie Martinez Colorado Pledge to Diversity, and Husch Blackwell.   

Enero - Asociaciones

Even while putting the finishing touches on banquet planning, I was able to forge a few partnerships based on seeds I had planted in late 2018.  I participated in a strategy/planning meeting with representatives from Gibson Dunn’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, ILS, CU and DU, in which we began planning an event for the Fall of 2019.  The idea is to put together a panel of representative from different types of legal jobs, to provide diverse law students a “guide” for what employers are looking for.  I also participated in a strategy/planning meeting with Colorado Pledge to Diversity for a networking event for the Fall of 2019. 

CHBA joined forces with the ACLU, Colorado Lawyers Committee (CLC), and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) in late 2018 to brainstorm the best way to leverage the work CHBA had accomplished in convincing the State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) to amend their Probation Memo.  The group met in early January, drafted and sent a letter requesting that the SCAO make further changes to the Probation Memorandum limiting unsolicited communications between probation departments and ICE, while complying with federal law and ensuring successful compliance of probationers.  

On January 11th, Annie Martinez and myself attended the CU Law Legal Fair and connected with law students.  On January 15th, I participated in the CBA/DBA’s Diversity Council Meeting.  On January 24th, Board Members, Ruth Mackey and Carlos Romo, represented CHBA and volunteered their time conducting mock interviews for CWBA’s Job Market Reality:  Mock Interviewing.

Febrero - Estudiantes:

The highlight of the month was CHBA celebrating our 42nd year on February 23rd.  Our Historians, Mike Belo and Ellen Alires-Trujillo, helped us celebrate by compiling a list of all of our past presidents. 

I was asked to present at the DU undergrad during their Undocumented Week.  On February 5th, I spoke to DACA students and answered questions about what happens when/if the DACA program is ever terminated and how to be prepared.  On February 7th, Sonia Anderson and Amber Gonzales volunteered their time to participate on a Career Panel at the Arrupe Jesuit High school.  On February 13th, fellow Board Members, Jessica Meza and Alexandra Archilla, joined me in supporting our HNBA Region XIII President, Arnulfo Hernandez, by attending the HNBA’s Valentine’s Day Soiree.  Board Member, Meranda Vierya, provided expertise on “Building Your Brand”. 

On February 6th, Board Members, Ruth Mackey and Lucia Padilla, as well as myself, attended the third meeting of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Wellness Task Force, which is led by Justice Monica Marquez.  Ruth sits on the Pledge Committee helping develop a program similar to the Pro Bono recognition program on the Colorado Supreme Court’s website, for law firms to pledge to wellness.  Lucia and myself sit on the Law School Committee, where we are developing curriculum and panel presentations for students and faculty regarding the stress related to being a diverse student in law school, as well as the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health concerns.  

I continued efforts to forge partnerships in the legal community.  I have had ongoing email conversations with Judge Gary Jackson and Chief Disciplinary Judge William Lucero, regarding diversity on the bench and how to continue to accomplish that.  Before taking a position with the Attorney General’s Office, Board Member, Maritza Braswell was gracious enough to set up a meeting, so that I could recruit a few new Board Members, Edgar Barraza and Dan Rosales, as well as discuss ways for Fox Rothschild to support CHBA in 2019.    I also met with John Walsh to recruit a new Board Member, Rachel Million-Perez, and discuss ways for WilmerHale to support CHBA in 2019.  I met with Keylen Villagrana from the Better Business Bureau and discussed ways we can collaborate in 2019.     

Marzo – Comunidad:

March was another busy month.  On March 2nd Board Members, Annie Martinez, Hon. Jonathan Lucero, Jonathan Booker, Hon. Andrea Koppenhofer, Arnulfo Hernandez and myself, braved the elements and supported CLI’s Ball for All Gala.  On March 6th, I attended CBA/DBA’s Diversity Council Meeting at their new offices.  CHBA sponsored the 13th Annual Latino Advocacy Day, which was held on March 11th, at the Capital – thank you to Carlos Romo, our Chair of Public Policy.  We look forward to participating again next year.  

The Pro Bono Committee had a successful Legal Night at Mi Casa on March 12th.  Please spread the word - we are always in need of attorneys who specialize in Immigration, Criminal Defense attorneys, Housing, and Family Law -  no Spanish required.  Our Nominations & Endorsements Committee successfully endorsed Neeti Pawar to the Court of Appeals and Eric Johnson to the Denver District Court.  Congratulations to you both!   

On March 14th, CHBA, ACLU, CLC, and CCDB, met with the SCAO, regarding out letter from January 31st.  The meeting was again successful, and we look forward to hearing from the SCAO in April.  The Bomb Cyclone, caused our first membership meeting of the year to be postponed, but we were not discouraged.  On March 22, 2019, Fox Rothschild graciously accommodated us and hosted our first meeting.  Past-president, Damian Arguello presented on the importance of insurance contracts and demonstrated that he truly is an expert in this area of the law.    

The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar reached out to CHBA and requested our endorsement of proposed legislation against the Death Penalty, which our Public Policy Committee supported.  The CWBA also reached out to CHBA and requested our endorsement of the Equal Pay Act, which we have supported in past years and are continuing to support.  On March 28th I testified before the State Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, in support of Representative Adrienne Benavidez’ House Bill 1124 – Protect CO Residents from Federal Government Overreach.  The Bill passed and next goes to the Appropriations Committee.  This bill dovetails with our efforts with the SCAO and the Probation Memo and will ensure the integrity of Colorado’s Criminal Justice System.  

The Diversity Bar Associations were approached to present a CLE at the annual Judicial Conference this year.  I was chosen to spearhead this effort and submitted the proposal on behalf of the Diversity Bar Leaders.  The proposed panel addresses how immigrants and people of color experience bias in our Courtrooms and how to proactively prevent and quickly address incidents of bias.  On March 27th, Ruth Mackey, Lucia Padilla, and myself attended the fourth Wellness Task Force meeting.  On March 27th, Board Members, Arnulfo Hernandez and Javier Garcia, supported our HNBA Law Student Division President and Board Member, Zach Al-Tabba, by participating on a panel at DU Law regarding the importance of networking.

I continued forging partnerships in the community.  In late 2018 I had met with Su Teatro regarding sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 season, so we continued the conversation in March.  CHBA is pleased to sponsor Su Teatro’s XicanIndie Film Fest XXII which will be held April 4-7.  Stay tuned for tickets to Su Teatro’s Music Festival over the summer.

Que sigue?

As we begin the second quarter, I am pleased to announce a collaboration with members from our bench called “Consejos from the Bench”.  I look forward to seeing you at our April Membership Meeting/CLE on how to successfully take on a Pro Bono immigration case.  Stay tuned for happy hour/networking events.  As always, please feel free to reach out me if you have any ideas or suggestions – I welcome your input!  


Christine M. Hernández, Presidente

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