The Legal Advocate

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Category Archives: Giving Voice

Board Support – 100% Board Giving

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The NITA Board of Trustees guides NITA as a whole in pursuing our vision of extending our reach to accomplish the public service aspect of our mission. To fulfill this mission, we rely upon donor commitment. Once again, for 2014, the Trustees led by example through generous donations to The NITA Foundation. This marks the fourth year in a row that they have achieved their 100% Board-Giving goal. Collectively, our current Board members, Emeritus Trustees and past Board Members donated $61,245 in 2014, making up over forty percent of contributions made to the Foundation. 

We are deeply thankful for the continual generosity, commitment and support shown by our leaders – the Trustees. Thank you once again to all members of the Board, as well as the Emeritus Trustees who made this a reality. 

Board Commitment – Public Interest Programming

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NITA remains committed to our annual scholarship program and aims to add abundant public service programming. The NITA Board and NITA Foundation Board members, in their regular 2014 fall meeting, acted with certainty and insight to dedicate additional NITA funding to our public service training work. We are proud to announce their allocation of a percentage of its reserves annually toward pre-budgeted means to plan ways to expand NITA’s public service projects. 

This action represents our Board of Trustees commitment to the NITA public service mission. This is innovation in action. It also is preparation – broadening our public service platform and showing you the strong impact of your individual donations. This work will include NITA-initiated public service training programs, aimed at particular groups of attorneys, or particular client groups who are caught in a tradition of under-representation. In 2015, we have established new partnerships with public interest organizations and have trainings on the calendar along with the reinstatement of two Legal Service programs. 

These are exciting years for NITA, and years that bode well for targeted, wise and expanded advancement of our mission now and into the future. We ask you to join NITA’s effort, supported by our Board of Trustees, to exceed the Board’s leadership gifts and thus expand our reach to public interest organizations to support advocacy on both sides of the courtroom. 

International Society of Barristers Acknowledgement Video

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Our appreciation for the $10,000 donation from the International Society of Barristers (ISOB) in 2014 was shared in our last newsletter. This donation supported defined scholarships to NITA trial skills programs, called the International Society of Barristers Craig Spangenberg/John Liber Scholarships.

We are thrilled to share our donor acknowledgement video to exhibit the valued friendship and partnership between the NITA Foundation and the International Society of Barristers. 

Establishment of Bill Keating Memorial Scholarship

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At the end of February, the establishment of the Bill Keating Memorial Scholarship was announced after his passing in January. Keating was a distinguished Denver attorney and cherished NITA faculty member. The outpouring of support in Bill’s honor has been remarkable.

To date, combined contributions to the Memorial are upwards of $28,000. We would like to thank members of Keating Wagner Polidori Free for contributing; especially NITA faculty member and firm partner Christina Habas for facilitating the intent and creation of the Memorial. “Bill was one of those people that you say is larger than life,” said Habas, a former Denver district judge.

Deep appreciation is extended to all the donors of the Memorial. We are humbled by the generosity and fund leadership of Bennett Aisenberg, Esq. of Denver at $10,000, Burg Simpson, a Denver-based firm at $5,000 and an anonymous out of state donor at $5,000.

Peter Burg of Burg Simpson said, “He had such wit and humor, but was a tough guy. He would not let you get away with anything. Bill was very skilled and it is such a loss in the community.”

Bennett (Ben) Aisenberg’s close friendship with Keating dates back to 1970. Aisenberg is responsible for introducing Keating to NITA. For this as well we are endlessly grateful. “I thought the world of Bill. I admired him as much as anyone I have ever known,” Ben reminisces about his friend.

Aisenberg, the past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Denver Bar Association, and President of the Colorado Bar Association, had the privilege of presenting Keating with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “Bill was such a down to earth, regular guy who was just too young to go. The respect he held in the community is indescribable,” said Ben. His hope in being a major donor is to inspire other large donors to this Memorial. In that way, he and the fund’s donors hope to carry on Bill’s legacy by enabling qualified attorneys to receive a scholarship to a NITA Deposition program.

If you missed the announcement honoring this amazing man, mentor and attorney please visit our email announcement here. Details about donating to The Bill Keating Memorial Scholarship are included there.

Jo Ann Harris Memorial on April 21 in New York

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The family of JoAnn has asked NITA to share the below details about an upcoming memorial service for Harris that will take place later this month.

Dear Friends of Jo Ann,

The loving family of Jo Ann Harris invites you to join us in celebrating her inspiring life and public service on April 21st, 2015 at 7:00 pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel.

The chapel is located at 180 West 76th St., New York, NY 10023 on the corner of Amsterdam and 76th. Our hearts, and her heart, would be deeply warmed if you could join us.

In December of 2014 The NITA Foundation was proud to establish the Jo Ann Harris Public Service Memorial to inspire donations to the NITA Public Service Fund after the passing of Harris in October. We are happy to report that $9,400 has been contributed into the Jo Ann Harris Public Service Memorial Fund. NITA encourages additional donations to support our public interest vision by helping to initiate programs for attorney populations who will measurably benefit in representing their public interest clients. To read more about JoAnn Harris and the establishment of the Memorial, please visit our previous articles by clicking here.

NITA and the NITA Foundation thank everyone for the gifts and memories in Jo Ann’s honor both when she was with us reminding us weekly of the public service obligations of NITA, and especially since her untimely passing. She is sorely missed by all in the NITA community.

NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system. NITA's Goals are to:
  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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