ACC Focus on the Colorado Chapter - April 10, 2006 (Print All Articles)
Everything in life, it seems, has an important "timing" factor associated with it. And as we all know, sometimes "timing is everything." At this very moment, for example, time is running out on your opportunity to respond to the 2006 Member Survey—which closes Tuesday, April 11, end of business. Don't miss this opportunity to voice your opinions and share your ideas. If you have not yet completed this survey, please go to the accompanying article on the 2006 Member Survey and click through the link to the survey.
The first Newsletter of the year is the appropriate time to express appreciation for the leadership of the prior year's president. By any measure, Sam Cheris served our Colorado Chapter with distinction— many outstanding achievements were compiled under his leadership. In 2005, this chapter planted the seeds for a number of initiatives that will bear fruit later this year and for years to come. These seeds include Diversity in the In-house Practice of Law; Pro Bono opportunities for In-house Counsel, and a networking organization for Colorado general counsel and CLOs. Last but certainly not least, the Chapter ended its fiscal year in 2005 with noticeably more growth in its financial resources compared to recent years. Sam would be the first to share credit for these achievements with the volunteers who gave generously of their time and energies to make these things happen: the committee chairs and committee members, the 2005 officers, and the members of the board. To commemorate the individual successes behind the chapter’s successes, the Board honored these Directors with Outstanding Achievement Awards: Sam Cheris, Jean Robertson, Carolyn Hariton, and Susan Hammerman.
Time for the Ultimate Goal
Having established all necessary activity foundations, the time is now right to take those steps that will lift this chapter to its rightful parallel with more well established regional chapters and focus seriously on earning national recognition as ACC's Chapter of the Year. That should be our goal as an organization—not because of the honors we will all share and the respect we will enjoy from other chapters, but because performance to that level of recognition will mean that this chapter is serving you, its constituents and beneficiaries, to the maximum of its potential. It will mean this chapter is doing all that it can to fufull your professional development needs, enhance your career growth, enable you to better serve your client-employers and to help you and others to recognize and appreciate the importance of the essential role you play in the success of the legal entity you represent.
There is no time to waste. Reaching the goal of becoming the top ACC Chapter in this nation will take time and will require extraordinary planning and commitment, not just on the part of those of us already involved, but from many of you who have yet to come forward and be a part of the committee efforts underway and yet to be envisioned. You can help and we encourage you to contact any Director of the Board for more information.
Becoming the top ACC Chapter will also require that we build stronger foundations by expanding membership and, for greater financial capacity and stability, that we pursue mutually beneficial strategic alliances with vendors and law firms. On this latter topic, we are aggressively exploring this idea, taking particular note of tried and proven program that are functioning well in other geographic areas.
Take the time now to read in this Newsletter the accompanying articles that reveal the progress this chapter is making in key areas and some of the ways your local chapter allocation from your annual dues is being used. Remember that a small commitment of your time toward the important work of this chapter can be rewarding, giving a sense of achievement, vital business contacts and lifelong friendships. Is it time you raised your hand to volunteer a little of your time?
I look forward to serving you through the balance of this year and beyond.
John R. Linton
Win a $100 Gift Certificate for dinner at the Wellshire Inn! Colorado's membership survey closes at the end of the day on Tuesday, April 11. If you have not already completed the survey, please click the link below and you'll be entered to win the $100 dinner gift certificate to the Wellshire Inn.
Win a $100 Gift Certificate for dinner at the Wellshire Inn!
Colorado's membership survey closes at the end of the day on Tuesday, April 11. If you have not already completed the survey, please click the link below and you'll be entered to win the $100 dinner gift certificate to the Wellshire Inn.
Pro Bono News
The Colorado Pro Bono Committee has been active since the beginning of the New Year providing many highlights:
Pro Bono Achievement Awards
On March 15, 2006, the Colorado Chapter awarded its first Annual Pro Bono Achievement Awards to: 1) the Qwest Communications Law Department Pro Bono Program in recognition for its effort in providing a wide range of pro bono services to several community based organizations, including the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Gathering Place, and Colorado Legal Services; 2) Suzy Thevenet, Corporate Counsel, Maxtor Corporation, for her work with Engineers without Borders; and 3). Ross Agre, General Counsel, Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc., for his work with Snowboard Outreach Society.
Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct
Len Segreti and John Linton met with James Peters and Constance Talmage, members of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, to discuss the recent amendment to Rule 6.1 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct concerning Voluntary Pro Bono Public Service. In November, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted a Model Pro Bono Policy for Colorado Licensed Attorneys and Law Firms and is encouraging law firms to set an annual goal of performing 50 hours of pro bono legal services by each attorney in the firm. While the focus this year has been on law firms, the revisions to Rule 6.1 apply to all attorneys, including in-house counsel. We will be scheduling a program to invite Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, Jim Peters and Connie Talmage to talk about the changes to Rule 6.1, the Access to Justice Commission’s efforts and how it applies to in-house counsel. For more information about the Access to Justice Commission visit www.cobar.org.
Non-Profit Need for Pro Bono Legal Services
Floy H. Jaffares, Senior Corporate Attorney, Cobank, and Len Segreti, and other members of the Colorado ACC Chapter continue to work with a group of attorneys from various law firms and agencies providing legal services to non profit organizations, including the Colorado Lawyers Committee, Colorado Nonprofit Association, Corporate Pro Bono, and Metro Volunteer Lawyers, to explore and develop a process to match non-profit organizations in need of pro bono legal services with volunteer attorneys. This is an area of likely interest to in-house lawyers because the probable nature of the needs of these organizations will match well with the expertise and experience of in-house lawyers.
Metro Volunteers (not to be confused with Metro Volunteer Lawyers) is a non profit organization that helps individuals and corporate and community groups find volunteer opportunities at diverse service organizations throughout the metro
National Community Service Day Planning
The Colorado Chapter will be participating in the National Community Service Day sponsored by ACC National, an event which will be scheduled for some time in September. If you are interested in helping coordinate the Chapters activities, or have a community service project that you would like to see ACC support, please contact Len Segreti at 303-383-6788 or Leonard.Segreti@Qwest.com.
For those of you who may be interested in providing pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations, you may want to attend the upcoming CLE program title Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado, co-sponsored by the Business and Taxation Law Sections of the CBA. The program is scheduled for May 12, 2006 at the CBA’s offices in downtown Denver. Register online at www.cobar.org/cle.
A Word from Our Sponsors
The Colorado Chapter has made giant strides in the past few years to serve your interests and needs through many exciting and interesting events:
These advances in member services are due in no small part to the involvement and assistance of outside law firms and legal support services.
Partnering with outside law firms and legal support services to sponsor and host events and programs on the Chapter's behalf has proven to be a win-win combination. These companies assume the costs of producing the program and often will pay for sponsorship privileges. As a result, the Chapter is able to increase the number of programs and events offered, while keeping program prices low for members.
In the coming year, the Chapter has positioned itself to become even more active and resourceful in identifying and building quality strategic partnerships by offering annual sponsorship subscriptions to companies. Rather than approach these organizations with sponsorship opportunities on several separate occasions throughout the year, the Chapter will provide them with a menu of sponsorship opportunities from which to choose for the upcoming year. This approach allows Chapter leadership to do more advance planning and budgeting for programs, events, and activities, which, undoubtedly, benefits our members. Most importantly, the annual sponsorship approach to building strategic alliances with companies is a great way to provide you with the tools to do what you do best—give top quality legal advice.
Take Advantage of ACC’s Ethics Program
Regulators and experts tell us that in-house counsel are expected to help their companies do the right thing. That can mean more than simply complying with minimum legal, ethical, and procedural standards.
This idea is explored in a dynamic ACC ethics program, developed by the ACC Greater New York Chapter. “In-house Ethics: What Would You Do” presents a series of vignettes on DVD that depict a variety of ethical issues faced by in-house counsel face. Attendees then discuss—with the help of a facilitator and discussion guide—where the ethical questions arise in the vignette and how they might approach the situation differently. This interactive session will get your team thinking. Participants will leave the program with practical advice on how they can improve their approach to compliance.
If you’re interested in producing this program in your local chapter, contact Jim Merklinger at 202.293.4103 x326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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