Three people from Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP were honored yesterday at the Colorado Lawyers Committee (CLC) 2015 Awards Luncheon. Terry Miller was recognized as a member of the "Team of the Year" for his pro bono work on the Amendment 23 litigation (Dwyer v. State) and Peter Schwartz and Jean Steward were also nominated for the same award as Nonprofit Working Group Coordinators and two of that group's "Most Active 2014 Volunteers."
The Amendment 23 litigation, filed last summer, seeks to enforce the voter-approved measure passed in 2000 that requires the state to increase public school funding to "catch up" to 1988 funding level. The state complied for nearly a decade but, in the midst of the recent recession, lawmakers cut almost $1 billion per year for the last four years. Mr. Miller and the other CLC volunteers assert, on behalf of students and school districts, that the recent cuts violate Amendment 23.
The Nonprofit Working Group provides direct representation, seminars, clinics, and educational sessions for the nonprofit community in Colorado. Since the Group's inception in 2009, volunteer attorneys have provided pro bono legal services to over 240 small nonprofits that did not have the budget to hire attorneys for transactional type legal services. These smaller organizations were then able to provide help to a thousand or more individuals throughout Colorado. During 2014, at least 36 volunteer attorneys provided pro bono legal services to one or more of these organizations.
"Jean has played an integral role in the Group for the past six years and dedicated many hours to help support the attorneys' efforts," said Mr. Schwartz, partner at DGS. "As she approaches her retirement next month, not only will we miss her at DGS but she will be greatly missed at the CLC as well."
"We are very proud of Terry, Peter, and Jean for their continuing dedication to pro bono efforts through the CLC," said Chris Richardson, managing partner at DGS. "DGS has been a major supporter of the CLC since its founding in 1978 and we are honored to carry on the tradition."
About the Colorado Lawyers Committee
The Colorado Lawyers Committee is a nonpartisan consortium of more than 60 Colorado law firms dedicated to creating and increasing opportunities for children, the poor and other disadvantaged communities through legal advocacy, negotiation, and litigation. The lawyers who donate their time through the Colorado Lawyers Committee focus primarily on major public policy issues and systemic changes rather than representation of individuals. For more information about the awards and the work of the CLC, visit ColoradoLawyersCommittee.org.