President's Page by Brad Hall
Before I begin the scintillating tale of my journey from small town boy to practicing law in Longmont and becoming president of the Boulder County Bar Association, I should disclose my dark secret before some investigative snoop outs me. I am a dyed-in-the-wool lifetime Cornhusker fan and Nebraska College of Law graduate now heading the bar association sitting in the very heart of Buff country. I am sure many are wondering right now how this happened and whether there were fail-safes in place that could have prevented this from happening. It’s an intriguing tale, but one to be told another day when I am out of ideas for this page.
As a child I never aspired to attend law school and become a lawyer. I never watched Perry Mason or carried a brief case to grade school. Other than dreaming about becoming the next Johnny Bench, my goal was to become an orthodontist and return to my hometown of Scottsbluff and start slapping metal braces on the crooked teeth of young boys and girls. It seemed like a good gig based on what I was able to gather from my orthodontist. That dream was rather short-lived falling victim to less than stellar performances in biology and chemistry. Course work consisting of singular correct answers was clearly not my strong suit. Fortunately for me and the future teenagers needing braces, I found myself in a business law class and the die was cast. Even in business law there was no one right answer all the time! As an aside the next Johnny Bench thing didn’t work out either.
I spent my undergrad years freezing in Laramie, Wyoming receiving a degree in political science and winding up with exactly zero job opportunities. The only significant events I can recall during my time there was Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term and Gerry Spence went to trial in Cheyenne against Penthouse Magazine against Bob Guiccione on a libel claim on behalf of 1978 Ms. Wyoming Kimerli Pring. Some of you may recall what the fictional Ms. Wyoming was said to be capable of in the article and not surprisingly, Ms. Pring took offense. News of the case consumed the state for several weeks and lots of people made the trip from Laramie to Cheyenne to watch Mr. Spence in action. In the end Ms. Pring didn’t get to keep the $26.5 million-dollar verdict.
Prior to heading off to Lincoln for law school I took a two-year hiatus. Lacking any real marketable skills, I applied to numerous law firms in town and wound up working in a small law firm in Scottsbluff for a personal injury lawyer. In a small town like Scottsbluff I was actually allowed to participate in pre-trial conferences and other minor matters without the threat of being charged with practicing without a license. What an amazing learning experience that was. During those two years I had the privilege of working on two large personal injury cases with Joe Epstein, partner of CTLA founder Norman Kripke. In one a young boy was horribly burned in a propane explosion in the home of a family friend as a result of the negligence of several parties. During the course of depositions of a large corporate defendant, multiple witnesses continued to deny what was incredibly plain to all parties. It was a pleasure watching Joe dismantle the lies being peddled which eventually resulted in a very large settlement to help the boy through what was going to be a long difficult life. I will never forget the stark realization that this young boy and his mother with no resources at all would have had no chance at a recovery without the assistance of some very fine lawyers.
Since moving to Longmont 28 years ago I have been privileged to represent hundreds of individuals who without a lawyer would have had no chance. And I am happy that I get to do that in one of the most beautiful places in the country right here in Boulder County.
I look forward to this coming year working with the board members of Boulder County Bar Association, our fantastic staff Laura and Kyle, and all the section chairs. And most importantly, I am looking forward to meeting as many as possible of the members and other lawyers here in Boulder County. Please feel free to contact me at any time to chat, for a beer, or just to find out more about what’s coming up this year for the BCBA.
I can also be easily engaged in long and pointless arguments about college football – especially if it involves the Huskers and the Buffs.