By Joe Contreras, Photos by Alex Johns, Latin Life Denver Media, see photo gallery below…
It was a festive time as a sold out crowd of more than 350 people turned out to honor award recipients and celebrate the growth of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) membership as well as support the CHBA Foundation – Scholarship Fund.
Power to the Pipeline was the theme of this years annual banquet and membership meeting. Keeping a consistent flow of Hispanics aspiring to a variety of professional fields surrounding the legal profession was the emphasis of many the evening speakers.
Longtime Denver attorney Manuel Martinez, Who received the CHBA Lifetime Achievement Award told the audience that Latinos need to be committed to helping other aspiring Latinos achieve success.
Martinez emphasized that Latinos need to help themselves so that they can continue to get better and achieve success at all levels of society. “We need to get behind each other and help each other succeed. We cannot expect or depend on others to do that for us.” Don’t leave anybody behind, get involved. “If you see a high school or college student who needs help or mentoring in pursuing a career in the legal, political or other profession,help them.” ”
Martinez talked about how others helped him early in his career crediting former Denver Mayor Federico Pena who he said took a big chance on him appointing him Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses and later Manager of Safety for the city of Denver. “Help as much as you can, volunteer and make a difference for others,” Martinez concluded.
“No longer are we confused for the defendant when we step into a courtroom” said Lt. Governor Joe Garcia. The Lt. Governor talked about a time when there only a handful of Latino attorneys practicing law in Colorado. “Now there are over 500 Latinos practicing law at all levels of government as well teaching law in the state’s top universities,” he said.
The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association will mark its 37th year of existence on February 23rd. Incorporated intitally as the Chicano Bar Association the organization continues to serve its mission as the legal advisor to the Hispanic community and a catalyst in expanding the number of Hispanics in the legal profession. It remains committed to expanding opportunities for Hispanic attorneys and works to ensure the appointment of Latinos to the bench, district attorney offices, governmental entities and private law firms.
Incoming CHBA President Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa
stated in the program for the event that she will work to strengthen and empower the pipeline for those interested in the Latino lawyering community. “If their interest and need is help maneuvering the legal practice in Colorado my hope is that the CHBA can lead the way in assisting them,” she stated. The Past President’s Award was presented to Adelita J. DeHerrera.
All in all everyone appeared to have a genuine good time at this year’s banquet. The food was great, the mariachi band was fabulous and the after party was off the hook! To see photos of last year’s 2013 banquet click here…
This year’s award recipients are:
OUTSTANDING CORPORATE COMMITMENT AWARD
Scott Martinez, City of Denver City Attorney’s Office
This award recognizes exceptional commitment to the Hispanic community and promotion of diversity in corporate policies and activities. The Denver City’s Attorney’s Office is one of the largest law firms in Colorado, with over 90 attorneys and approximately 90 staff members comprised of paralegals, victim advocates, and other support and supervisory staff members. It may have the most diverse practice of any law firm in Colorado.
Its clients include the Mayor; the Auditor; the Clerk and Recorder; City Council; and all city agencies, departments, boards and commissions.
OUTSTANDING NEW HISPANIC LAWYER
Salvador “Sal” Quintana, President and Founder
Quintana Law Firm, LLC
This award is presented to an outstanding Hispanic attorney, in practice less than five years, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Hispanic community and the principles of the legal profession. Sal is a native of Denver, Colorado.
In addition to his legal experience. Sal earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. Sal graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Leeds School of Business where he earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management & Entrepreneurship, and then graduated with honors from New Mexico Highlands University where he earned his Master of Business Administration. Prior to starting the Quintana Law Firm, LLC, Sal was an associate attorney at a mid-sized Denver law firm where he practiced in the areas of real estate law, foreclosures, evictions, and contracts law. Prior to law school, Sal had extensive work experience in public relations, fundraising, management, and marketing for corporations and non-profit organizations.
CHRISTOPHER A. MIRANDA OUTSTANDING HISPANIC LAWYER
Roberto Ramírez is the City of Arvada’s Litigation
Counsel and the United States Air Force’s Reserve
Chief Senior Prosecutor.
Roberto Ramírez is the City of Arvada’s Litigation Counsel and the United States Air Force’s Reserve Chief Senior Prosecutor. Roberto received his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, San Antonio and his law degree at South Texas College of Law, Houston.
Roberto has worked legal issues as an Air Force federal prosecutor, criminal defense counsel, trial consultant, or instructor in Okinawa, Japan, Mainland Japan, South Korea, Africa, Guam, Singapore, Australia, Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean), Colombia, Greenland, Hawaii, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.
For the City of Arvada, Roberto handles all civil litigation matters for city council, city divisions and departments, and individual employees, including federal and state civil rights, governmental immunity cases, government contracts, personal injury, employment, environmental, tax, land use, political issues, and public utilities.
Roberto is the former chair of the Education Committee for the CHBA, the current chair of the Pro Bono and volunteering Committee for the CHBA, the chair of the Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee for the Colorado Bar Association, current member of the Court Interpreter Oversight Committee of the Colorado Supreme Court, current member of the Pledge to Diversity Committee, current member of Nuestras Cortes, and a current member of Federal Judge Argüello’s Dream Team.
CHBA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Manuel Martinez, Partner, Bryan Cave HRO
Presented to an attorney over 55 who has made significant contributions to the Hispanic community. The recipient of this award must receive an affir- mative vote from two-thirds of the entire CHBA board. Manuel L. Martinez is a partner in Bryan Cave HRO’s Denver office, practicing in the areas of business, land use, and administrative law.
Distinguished within the Denver community, Mr. Martinez has negotiated numerous agreements with governmental entities on behalf of clients, as well as represented firm clients on land use issues, liquor and gaming licensing, and food and beverage issues. He has been highly successful at advo cating for clients in city government in all agencies, from the airport to the police to public works.
Mr. Martinez has experience successfully pursuing appeals of administrative decisions to the state and federal district courts. In addition, he devotes a substantial part of his practice to assisting small Hispanic businesses. Further, he has advocated on behalf of a number of Latino non-profit community organizations on a pro bono basis. Prior to Bryan Cave HRO, Mr. Martinez served as Manager of Safety for the City and County of Denver, a cabinet position to which he was appointed by Mayor Federico Peña, who previously served as a member of President Clinton’s cabinet as Secretary of Transportation and Energy. Before taking that position,
Mr. Martinez served as Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses for the City and County of Denver, again as a Mayor Peña appointee.
Photos by Alex Johns, Latin Life Denver
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