As a child, my dad worked for General Motors which often required my family to relocate to states throughout the mid-west. Prior to Colorado, I lived in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. By about age 10, I was immune to the frigid winters and hot humid summers. Every summer for two weeks we stayed at a cottage located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The beauty of this cottage was there weren’t any T.V.s or even an operating phone. Also keep in mind cell phones, laptops, and the internet did not exist. We passed the time fishing, water skiing, diving for clams, trips to Mackinac Island, and many other adventures. A 17’ Boston Whaler was our only source of transportation. While a 17’ vessel on Lake Huron may seem foolish, but that Whaler and its 70 HP Johnson motor took us everywhere and never let us down.
While on these Upper Peninsula vacations, my uncle that practiced law often attended. He would tell riveting stories about his cases. Later in life, I learned that the stories were not as accurate as they could have been. Apparently, my uncle was prone to hyperbole. My charismatic uncle and his stories without a doubt piqued my interest to pursue a career in law.
When my family relocated to Colorado, I immediately fell in love with the mountains, the mild weather, the 300 days a year of sunshine, and the countless outdoor activities. I knew I did not want to leave this state which led me to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. During my tenure at CU, I worked at restaurants year-round and landscaped in the summer. Somehow I wound up employed at the West End Tavern in Boulder. The Tavern at that time was owned by two hippies, Minny and Beaver. These two resembled characters straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson novel. The Tavern food wasn’t the best but the people were. Much to Beaver’s chagrin, Minny and his buddies often held band practice in the basement of the Tavern. The band had very little talent and got even worse as they played into the night. But I have to give it to them, they were entertaining as hell. Equally as entertaining were the characters that sat at the bar and drank a day in and day out. The “loose” management style generally acquiesced to impromptu after-hours parties. The rooftop deck had unobstructed views of the Flatirons and often drew capacity crowds. Unfortunately, years later the Tavern was sold to a corporation, and eventually, the view became obstructed by office buildings and apartments.
During the Summers in Boulder, I landscaped for CU during the day and The West End Tavern at night. I refer to it as landscaping, but actually, I operated a riding lawn mower and cut the fields and lawn around CU’s campus. I must admit it was boring as hell, but my Walkman made it bearable. (For those of you that don’t know, a Walkman is a portable device popular in the ’80s and ’90s that plays music from a cassette tape). And best of all, when it rained I didn’t have to work.
For reasons unknown to me at this time, I chose political science as my major. One thing is for certain, I spent all my hard-earned money on what basically amounted to a worthless degree. So after graduation, I did what many people do with unmarketable degrees, I headed to the mountains. I wound up in Basalt, Colorado, up to that point in time I had no idea Basalt even existed, now it remains one of my favorite places. One of the beauties of Basalt is that it is located directly at the confluence of the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork Rivers both of which are considered gold medal fly fishing waters. So I read some books and took a couple of classes to learn to fly fish. I fished as much as I could and with a little help and assistance, I became pretty decent. During the summer I worked at restaurants in Aspen and fished, hiked and mountain biked as much as possible. I should say I tried to mountain bike, even in my prime, and to this day, I really suck at mountain biking.
During the winters, I skied a ridiculous amount of days and as usual, worked in restaurants to pay the bills and get free meals. I worked at a restaurant on Aspen/Ajax Mountain for a few hours most days then the rest of the day was dedicated to skiing. The three years spent in Basalt flew by and besides being constantly broke I loved it. There was one night or I guess I should say morning at around 2 am at the Flying Dog Brewery, I was finishing a shift mopping when I finally had enough. The fishing and skiing were second to none, but I wanted to do more with my life not to mention I had student loans and a political science degree that wasn’t doing me any favors. I had already taken the LSAT while living in Boulder, and I was lucky enough to get accepted to DU. Although still broke, It felt good to work toward the goal of earning a law degree.
I attended DU’s night program which allowed me to get real-life legal experience during the day. During my first year of law school, I was hired to clerk at Bell and Pollock. It was a rough transition from Basalt to Denver, but eventually, I caught my stride. Upon receiving my Juris doctorate, I continued my employment at B&P and due to my experience as a clerk, I hit the ground running as an attorney. I am still employed at B&P working in areas of law that I find intriguing and meaningful and on most days, enjoyable.
Once becoming an attorney, I attended the American Association of Justice’s Trial and Deposition Colleges which were invaluable. I am a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, Colorado Trial Attorneys’ Association, American Association for Justice, Workers’ Compensation Education Association, and nominated as a Colorado Super Lawyer. Also, the National College of Advocacy Achievement Recognition Program recognized my practice as dedicated to providing the best possible service to clients.
Despite the traffic, I still try to get into the mountains and fly fish and ski as much as possible. I now spend a lot of my free time upland hunting (pheasant, quail, and chukars) at Valhalla in Benton, CO, and The Bluffs near Byers, CO. I am a member of Trout Unlimited and Pheasants Forever. With assistance from guides at Valhalla, my lab soon will be my bird hunting companion. Currently, my favorite fly fishing spot is the Green River near Dutch John, Utah. I am a huge fan of live music, thankfully Colorado has some of the most impressive outdoor music venues in the world. Some of my favorite venues include The Mishawaka located on the banks of the Poudre River, Dillion Amphitheatre, Town Park in Telluride, and of course, Red Rocks.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any legal questions. We work on a contingency basis which provides folks the opportunity to hire an attorney and not get billed on an hourly basis. My practice is limited to plaintiff’s personal injury, car crashes, trucking cases, and workers’ compensation.