A Future Without Toxic Litigation - CLE Program
December 15 | 9:25 AM - 12:30 PM
CBA Offices or Zoom
1290 Broadway St., Suite 1700, Denver, CO 80203
The CBA Future of Law Committee is proud to present its 2023 Winter CLE Program, A Future Without Toxic Litigation.
Toxic Litigation is an abusive style of litigation that utilizes the legal process to exact punitive financial and psychological measures on opposing parties and/or counsel for purposes of harassment and intimidation, all in the name of zealous representation.
The program will explore:
- The physical and psychological effects of Toxic Litigation through testimony by a litigant who experienced Toxic Litigation and presentation by a therapist regarding that experience;
- The reality of Toxic Litigation's application across varying areas of law through presentation by colleagues and friends of the CBA;
- The ethical implications of Toxic Litigation and the difficulty in policing the line between legitimate purpose and harassment and intimidation through presentation by the Honorable Michael A. Martinez, ret.
A Future Without Toxic Litigation will culminate in a panel discussion including the presenters and the audience with an aim to generate solutions to this problem that tarnishes the practice of law, diminishes access to justice, and thwarts the purposes of our system.
Lisa Hall is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who has been working in that role for nearly 30 years. She has specialized in adolescent, individual, and family therapy, including marital therapy, separation, divorce, litigious high conflict divorce, parenting, parent-child relational issues, and many other areas. Lisa Hall is an advocate for children's mental health in the community, speaks about many topics of mental health to audiences of all kinds, and provides expert testimony in domestic relations cases.
Lisa Hall served as the President of the Boulder Interdisciplinary Committee on Child Custody for many years. She is also active in several other domestic relations organizations and causes,including the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Lisa Hall was selected to create and participate in a pilot program in the 8th Judicial District on a multidisciplinary team. Lisa has walked alongside many people who have experienced domestic relations litigation, witnessing and treating the trauma and impacts to litigants and their families.
Dr. Robert McPherson is a counseling psychologist and a Distinguished Professor of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences in the College of Education at the University of Houston, where he holds appointment as Clinical Professor in the UH College of Medicine and is a faculty affiliate of the School of Public Affairs. He is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Education Research Association, and is a member of the National Academy of Practice
He recently served as Special Assistant to the University's Chancellor & President, co-chairing two task forces addressing the promotion of mental health and the prevention of suicide following an on-campus episode of student contagion suicides. He has also served the University in a number of other administrative positions including department chair, dean, and interim sr. vice president and provost. On occasion, he has been the target of threatened litigation and sustained campaigns of open record requests, social media attack, student protest, anonymous faculty complaint, stalking, and death threat.
Gerald Pratt has his own practice in Greenwood Village, Colorado. With more than 40 years of trial experience, he has served as lead counsel in a variety of cases, including professional liability, personal injury, products liability, insurance bad faith, and criminal defense.
Mr. Pratt currently devotes a significant portion of his practice to defending lawyers in disciplinary cases and professional liability lawsuits, as well as advising lawyers on ethics and professional liability issues so that, hopefully, they will never need a defense.
Mr. Pratt has served on the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association since 1984 and is a past chair of that committee. He also has served on the CBA Lawyers' Professional Liability Committee since 2001 and chaired that committee from 2010 to 2016.
Hon. Michael A. Martinez (Ret.) currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator and court appointed neutral/discovery master with JAMS Denver. Previously, he served as a judicial officer in Colorado for more than 28 years in the county and district courts of the 2nd Judicial District as well as the 17th Judicial District. Chief Judge Martinez was appointed to the District Court, Second Judicial District (Denver) by Governor Bill Owens in September of 2000, a court of general jurisdiction, where he presided in all subject areas of the court: civil, domestic relations and criminal. In 2013, Chief Judge Martinez was selected as chief judge of the 2nd Judicial District, serving from 2014 until his retirement in 2022. From 2015 through 2021, Chief Judge Martinez served as Co-Chair of the
Colorado Chief Judges Council, a leadership group comprised of all chief judges in Colorado and advisory to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He also served as presiding judge of the Colorado Statewide Grand Jury, an investigative body charged with the responsibility to investigate violations of state law, including violations of civil rights, drug and sex trafficking, securities fraud, insurance fraud, theft and organized crime. During his tenure, he presided over hundreds of trials, hearings and evidentiary proceedings.
Prior to his appointment to the Denver District Court, Chief Judge Martinez served as a Magistrate in the 17th Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield Counties) and in the Denver County Court. In his legal career, he worked as a trial lawyer in both the public and private sectors. He served as associate general counsel for the Regional Transportation District in Denver, where he was responsible for litigating civil, administrative and labor matters, and he held positions with the Denver City Attorney's Office. In private practice, Chief Judge Martinez tried more than 60 criminal and civil trials to verdict in county, district and federal courts. His primary areas of emphasis were personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability and general negligence.
Caryn McGraw Turner of McGraw Law PLLC has her own practice in Denver, Colorado. Her practice includes mediation and representation in estate and aging planning, elder law, probate, guardianship, conservatorship, and related litigation and appeals. She is admitted to practice in Colorado, Texas, and the Western District of Texas. Caryn McGraw Turner is proud to offer an integrated service that takes into account all aspects of her clients' humanity and needs in the provision of her legal services.
Caryn McGraw Turner's professional background includes nearly a decade of litigation experience in estate planning, real estate, employment, probate, guardianship, dependent administration, consumer protection, construction, general litigation, contract disputes, and related alternative dispute resolution and appeals.
Caryn McGraw Turner has served on the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) since 2022. She is also a member of the CBA's Future of Law Committee, Elder Law Section, and Trust and Estates Section, including several subcommittees and one subgroup. Caryn McGraw Turner has been appointed to serve as a Public Member of the Needs, Assessment, Slating and Campaigns Committee of the American Psychological Association for the term 2024-2026. In addition to the CBA, Caryn McGraw Turner is a member of the American Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, and Denver Bar Association. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
While in Austin, Texas, Caryn McGraw Turner served on the Board of Family Eldercare in Austin (2017-2019) and the Finance Committee of the Ann Richards School Foundation (2018-2019).
Martin J. Champagne, Jr. has tried numerous cases before judges and juries involving multimillion-dollar commercial disputes, contract disputes, and various business-related claims. He has served as trial counsel for the trial division of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Companies and has been trial counsel for numerous Fortune 500 companies and municipalities. Martin was awarded a juris doctor, with honors, by the University of Florida College of Law in 2001. He also holds a B.A. in English from Keene State College in Keene, N.H. He currently practices business and commercial litigation in Colorado and Florida. He is Vice Chair of Metro-Volunteer Lawyers, Inc., past Chair of the Modern Law Practice Initiative, and a 2022 graduate of the Colorado Bar Leadership