State of the Inn from President Joe Michaels

June 30, 2022

Dear Doyle Inn members and colleagues,

Today is the last day of the 2021–2022 Inn year and my last day as Inn President. What a year it has been! Each and every one of us should be proud with how we persevered, (re-)engaged with each other, came back to our community, and grew as people, as professionals, and as an Inn. Back in September, I identified this year’s themes as “collegiality and diversity.” As the past months unfolded, these themes proved more apt than anybody could have anticipated.

We have accomplished much over this Inn year, consistently championing those themes. Over the course of the year, we:

– Returned to in-person programming for the first time in over a year and a half, gathering together in the fall for socializing, dinner, and presentations. We navigated this return with intentionality, holding paramount both member safety and the Inn’s principles of professionalism, civility, excellence, and community building.
– Showed resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges. During the Omicron surge, we resumed Zoom meetings for two months, narrowly tailoring our temporary retreat to virtual programming until it was appropriate to return in person for the remainder of the year.
– Will, in just a few short weeks, gather together for our first in-person summer social in over two years.
– Came together as a community in response to December’s Marshall Fire, including donating what would have been the costs of our January meeting to Marshall Fire recovery efforts.
– Held ten different CLE programs over the course of the year, including our monthly practical skills in litigation mentoring programs, our
February virtual presentation on climate change, and our joint-Inn DEI CLE on recognizing and combating implicit bias in the courtroom.
– Negotiated with the University Club to avoid price increases mid-year, despite ongoing supply chain challenges and inflation.
– Sadly bid adieu to longtime Inn and Executive Council member Randy Bramer, who has taken leave of Colorado for less-elevated pastures on the east coast. Randy has spearheaded our monthly CLE programs on litigation skills for over a decade, impacting an incalculable number of lawyers in developing and honing their legal skills. We plan to continue this programming going forward, so stay tuned for how that will develop! And if you’re interested in helping run or teach a program, please reach out to an Executive Committee member.

From a membership and financial standpoint, the Inn remains healthy. Despite the pandemic, our member numbers remain strong and our dues paid. We are fortunate to have such a wide of array of judicial leaders—thanks to each of you for your engagement!—and an invested student group (including one who co-presented at our November meeting). In between, we enjoy robust contributions from our masters, barristers, and associate barristers. Every one of us deserves recognition for our involvement.

Finally, we turned our attention to DEI. This included updating our diversity statement (now posted on our website –, acting with intentionality around DEI principles, and presenting DEI programming. This work, of course, is just a start. The conversation is ongoing, and we will build on this foundation.

Every day, it’s my goal to “leave it better than we found it.” Given all the above and all that’s to come, I believe together we’ve done just that—made the Inn just a bit better with every passing day. Tomorrow, Jamie Cotter takes over as President. She has exciting things in store, and I can’t wait to support her. The Inn will be in excellent hands.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your President over this past year. Thank you for placing your trust in me, in your Executive Committee,
and in your pupilage group leaders. I look forward to seeing you at the summer social, next fall, and in between!



Doyle Inn Updates Diversity Policy

The Doyle Inn’s Executive Committee updated its diversity policy and reaffirms the Inn’s commitment to diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion:

The William E. Doyle Inn of Court is committed to diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These core values reflect the standards of our Inn and promote the practice of law with dignity, respect, and professionalism. We aim to uphold and practice these values in all aspects of our Inn, including programming, leadership, selection, and retention. When we bring together people of different races, ages, genders, ethnicities, cultures, religions, physical abilities, and sexual orientations and identifications, we all thrive—as individuals, as lawyers, as an organization, and as a profession. The Doyle Inn is therefore committed to creating and maintaining a culture that promotes and supports DEI not only throughout our organization, but in our profession as a whole.

Considering Ukraine: Root Causes and Paths Forward in the Ukraine War

Considering Ukraine: Root Causes and Paths Forward in the Ukraine War

At our May 18th meeting, the Doyle Inn hosted a panel discussion discussing perspectives on the Russia-Ukraine war.  The presentation, organized by Judge Liz Harris and her pupilage group, featured Dr. Sanja Bhagat, Dr. Betcy Jose, and Dr. Christoph Stefes discussing factors that led to the war, geopolitics, human rights abuses, and impact both on the U.S. and Russian economy.



(L to R): Dr. Betcy Jose, Dr. Samja Bhagat, and Dr. Cristoph Stefes.
President Joseph Michaels addressing the Doyle Inn of Court.

An evening discussing Colorado’s Commission on Judicial Discipline

At our April 20th meeting, the Doyle Inn heard from representatives of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline.  The panel discussion included remarks from the commission’s Chair, Liz Krupa; from the commission’s executive director, Christopher Gregory; and from the commission’s Vice Chair, the Hon. David Price.  The panelists discussed the commission’s charge, its makeup, the number and type of complaints it receives, the amount of cases that proceed to investigation and discipline, and the pending legislation making its way through the General Assembly—including the bill’s purpose, scope, and limitations.  An engaging, challenging discussion followed.  Thank you to Judge Goldberg’s group for organizing.

From left to right: The Hon. Gary Jackson, Christopher Gregory, the Hon. David Price, Liz Krupa, Doyle Inn President Joe Michaels, the Hon. David Goldberg, and Wadi Muhaisen.


Glasgow Climate Change Conference COP26 presentation – How did we get here, where to now?

On February 16, the Doyle Inn met virtually for a program organized by the Judge Johnson Group, to hear a CLE on environmental law discussing climate change and the recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference COP26.  Presented by Inn member John L. Watson, the presentation discussed current climate metrics, calls to action, and climate change in pop culture.  Over the last three decades, Speaker Watson has closely followed the United Nations Climate Change Conferences of the Parties, including most recently the 26th Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, in October and November 2021.  His presentation reviewed the international political climate that preceded COP26, outlined the 30-year history of the United Nations’ climate change activities, summarized the outcomes and agreements reached in Glasgow, and reviewed the Biden Administration’s initiatives to fulfill the U.S. commitments to address climate change.

Spencer Fane attorney John Watson square
John Watson, Esq.
The Hon. Eric Johnson



Doyle Inn Donates to Wildfire Relief

On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire ignited in Boulder County, Colorado.  With winds gusting up to 100 mph, the fire spread rapidly.  It burned through significant portions of the towns of Superior and Louisville, Colorado, as well as through parts of unincorporated Boulder County.  Over 1,000 homes were lost, and tens of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate—often with only moments to gather belongings and flee.  Few in the greater metro area were unaffected, and the Doyle Inn was not immune.  Several Inn members directly were affected, including losing their home, and many Inn members know additional colleagues and people impacted by the fire.

In response, the Doyle Inn distributed Marshall Fire information, including donation options, fire resources, available services, and outreach programs.  It also offered a place to turn for Inn members impacted by the fire.  Additionally, the Inn sent out a call seeking Inn members able to assist in assessing insurance claims, which can be difficult and draining under the circumstances.

With the COVID-19 Omicron variant contemporaneously sweeping through the state, the Doyle Inn made the difficult but necessary decision to pivot to meeting virtually in January.  The Inn then decided to donate the approximate amount we would have spent meeting in person in January to the wildfire relief efforts.  Specifically, on February 4, 2022, the Doyle Inn of Court donated $4,000 to the Community Foundation’s Boulder County Wildfire Relief Fund.  At least one other Inn has similarly committed to donating, so both individually and collectively, we have made a small but respectable contribution to ongoing relief for those impacted by the Marshall Fire.

We believe such donation not only supports our affected Inn members, but also is consistent with our Inn’s purpose and ideals, along with supporting the greater Colorado community.  We are a community, and we stand with those affected by the Marshall Fire.  But there is more to be done.  So we encourage other citizens and Inns to likewise consider donating to this important relief effort.  The degree of devastation is difficult to convey, and the need for assistance immense.  The recovery and rebuilding process will take time.  You can learn more about the Community Foundation’s Boulder County Wildfire Relief Fund by visiting


Secretary of State Jena Griswold Featured Speaker at the January Program

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold was our featured speaker at the our January 25th program. After presenting to the Inn for approximately 20 minutes, Secretary Griswold took questions for the remainder of the hour.  Discussion ranged from Secretary Griswold’s path to office and Colorado’s mail-in ballot procedure, to efforts made to preserve and enhance election security, to threats to election integrity and the Secretary’s efforts to coordinate a national response to ensure secure elections, to what it means to be an elected official in a politically divisive climate.  Given the prevalence of Omicron in our community, our Inn shifted to a virtual format, which was perfectly structured for this presentation.  We enjoyed a robust Q & A, and we thank the Frick/Richman group for putting together this program.

Doyle Inn President Joe Michaels
Clockwise: The Hon. Judge Richman, Hon. Judge Frick, Alison Connaughty, and Secretary of State Griswold.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

January Meeting [Virtual]

Presented by the Richman/Judge Frick group, the Doyle Inn upcoming January virtual meeting will feature an evening with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

Look for Kari’s event email with Zoom link.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold - Colorado Pols

Joint Inn Event

In December, the Doyle Inn co-hosted a virtual joint-Inn CLE with the Thompson Marsh and Minoru Yasui Inns of Court.  The program addressed the importance of diversity and inclusion; recognizing, addressing, and responding to bias, exploring implicit bias; and obstacles legal professionals have encountered as a result of bias in the practice of law.  It challenged attendees to think critically about bias and engaged the audience with exercises to think about their background.  It also satisfied Colorado’s newly enacted EDI CLE requirements.

CLE Materials are provided here:

Recognizing and Interrupting Bias in the Courtroom Doyle-Marsh-Yasui Joint Inn CLE


Our November program, presented by the Neureiter Group, featured a joint presentation by a Doyle Inn member and Afghanistan war veteran alongside the executive director of the Colorado office of the International Rescue Committee, which is resettling Afghan refugees in Denver.  The discussion ranged from thoughts and insights from serving in Afghanistan, to the recent withdrawal and collapse of the Afghan government, to efforts to evacuate and provide emergency aid and long-term assistance to Afghan refugees resettling in the United States and Colorado.


[L to R]: Robert Bucknam, Jennifer Wilson, Hon. Reid Neureiter.