CJI's Young Professionals Committee
CJI Statement About the Russia-Ukraine War
May 9, 2022
The Colorado Judicial Institute and its Young Professionals Committee are very concerned with the current situation in Ukraine and condemn the unconscionable acts and policies of the current Russian government in the strongest words possible.
As an organization that seeks protect and defend non-partisan courts and engender the public’s trust in the judicial system, we feel compelled to speak out against the Russian government’s violations of international law and resort to violence rather than diplomacy and judicial resolution of its dispute with Ukraine.
Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and the families globally who have been impacted by this atrocity. This war has had a devastating impact on Ukraine and the destruction and displacement will be felt for generations to come. It is up to us, as a global community, and as concerned individuals, to offer support and aid to those affected most.
We commend the numerous organizations working tirelessly to provide aid to both the refugees and those who remain in Ukraine to fight.
If you have the means to contribute, we encourage donations to the following groups:
What Is the CJI Young Professionals Committee
The Young Professionals Committee is a team of diverse young leaders who aim to protect and defend the ability of the Colorado judiciary to decide cases fairly and impartially and free from partisan politics. Our goal is to engage young professionals from all backgrounds in promoting a better understanding of Colorado's judicial system.
Meet our committee members:
Matthew Kapsak, Polsinelli PC — Matthew Kapsak joins us from Polsinelli PC, where Matthew practices employment litigation. Based on extensive travels, Matthew is particularly cognizant of how a fair and impartial judiciary affects every citizens' life daily and is excited to increase CJI's outreach throughout the state. After graduating from Longmont High School, Matthew taught English in Nepal, earned a degree in Anthropology at American University, volunteered with AmeriCorps, and worked for the Department of Justice. Matthew then served in the Peace Corps in South Africa, hitchhiked throughout southern Africa, and oversaw trail restoration for the Student Conservation Association. Ten years after leaving home for Nepal, Matthew completed a solo bicycle ride from Washington D.C. back to Longmont, Colorado. Matthew attended law school at the University of Colorado in Boulder and now practices law in Denver, CO. Matthew enjoys snowboarding, camping, hiking, mountain biking, gardening, and (of course) traveling.
John Feeney-Coyle, Colorado Attorney General’s Office — John Feeney-Coyle currently serves as the YPC ‘s Secretary and joins us from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where he is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the AG’s Opioid Unit. John is a Denver native and earned his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He is also heavily involved in other nonprofits around Colorado, having recently served on the Board for City Park Jazz and currently serving on the Boards for the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative and the Rocky Mountain Health Foundation. Having previously worked for Legal Services in New York City and for a prisoner re-entry nonprofit in Tennessee, John is uniquely aware of the importance of CJI’s mission to educate the public about Colorado’s judicial system and ensuring that it remains free from bias and accessible to all. John and his wife Elizabeth live in Denver with their dog Molly and can often be found hiking 14ers, soaking in the sun on local patios, or debating Bruce Springsteen’s status as a rock-n-roll legend (he is).
Dr. Nicholas Breitnauer, Denver Health Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics — Nick Breitnauer joins us from Denver Health, where he is a physician in the Department of Pediatrics and at the Federico F. Pena Family Health Center. Nick is a Colorado native, and grew up on the Western Slope. He was a Boettcher Scholar and is a proud product of the Colorado University system, having graduated from CU Boulder and the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. Nick is looking forward to working with CJI and his health provider colleagues to engage his patients and the community on the importance of the rule of law and our merit-based selection system. Nick and his wife, Brooke Breitnauer, MD, have a son, Max, and a daughter, Casey. Nick enjoys backcountry skiing, camping, gardening, and baking bread.
James Fogg, Ogborn Mihm, LLP — Jim Fogg is a Coloradan through and through. Born and raised in the Denver Metro Area, Jim obtained dual bachelor's degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his law degree from the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, where he graduated with honors. Jim now practices at Ogborn Mihm, LLP, focusing on business disputes, legal malpractice, trusts, and estates, in cases with a high likelihood of going to trial. Before joining Ogborn Mihm, LLP, Jim served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. James S. Casebolt on the Colorado Court of Appeals. His experience clerking instilled in Jim a deep appreciation for the difficult work the Colorado judiciary performs, which ultimately led Jim to donate his time and energy to the Colorado Judicial Institute. When not at work, you will find Jim adventuring with his wife, Becca, and daughter, Addie, fly-fishing a mountain stream with his dog, Gus, or searching for his golf ball.
Abigail Hinchcliff, Colorado Attorney General’s Office — Abby Hinchcliff is the First Assistant Attorney General of the Consumer Fraud Unit at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. She is also an active member of the Colorado pro bono community, serving most recently on the Executive Board of the Colorado Lawyers Committee. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Abby was a litigation partner at Bartlit Beck. She clerked for Judge Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for Judge Amul Thapar, then of the Eastern District of Kentucky. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2012.
Rachelle Jackson, Grant Thornton — Rachelle Jackson is the third non-lawyer joining us, and she does so from Grant Thornton, where she is an Experienced Manager in the firm’s Government Contracts Practice. Rachelle received her degree in Finance from James Madison University. She assists public and private government contractors with cost accounting and compliance issues, and so she has firsthand knowledge of the importance of a well-functioning legal system. She is also a member of the NCMA Denver Chapter Board of Directors, and looks forward to expanding CJI’s reach among other young professionals. Rachelle is not a Colorado native, but not to worry—she does have a Subaru, a taste for craft beer, and a Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix named Mac and Cheese.
Daniel Jozwiak, Shoemaker Ghiselli + Schwartz LLC — Daniel Jozwiak graduated from the University of Denver in 2020 and is licensed to practice law in Colorado. Daniel joined the CJI Young Professional Committee as a law student with the desire to help educate the Colorado community about the importance of an independent judiciary, active participation in judicial elections, and the judiciary's responsibility to serve and reflect the public. In his free time, Daniel enjoys skiing, hiking with his Siberian Husky, and supporting his favorite soccer team, FC Köln.
Katherine Madden, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP — Kate Madden joins CJI from Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, where she is an Associate in the Real Estate Department. Kate earned her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is passionate about CJI's mission and is pleased to be involved in an organization dedicated to an independent Colorado judiciary. In her free time, Kate enjoys cooking, attending concerts, and camping.
Charles Mendez, Wahlberg, Woodruff, Nimmo & Sloane, LLP — Charles Mendez has been a member of the Young Professionals Committee since its inception. As a litigator, he knows firsthand the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. He recognizes the tremendous impact it has on the clients he serves and is dedicated to instilling and maintaining the public's faith in the court system. Charles graduated from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He enjoys reading and writing, trail running, and those precious few moments of decency he experiences on the golf course. To this day, his greatest life achievement was being a winning contestant on the Price is Right.
Gabrielle Robbie, Office of University Counsel, The University of ColoradoP — Gabby Robbie earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, and she clerked for the Honorable Nancy J. Lichtenstein of the Colorado Court of Appeals. She brings to CJI a passion for community service and strong fundraising experience—she is heavily involved in a non-profit founded by her husband called Enduring Communities to fund an elementary school in Uganda. Her work for Enduring Communities included social media fundraising campaigns, organizing charitable dinners, and helping create a new charitable giving system whereby donors sponsor a child on a monthly recurring basis. Gabby also represented DGS last spring in the Legal Aid Foundation Associates Campaign. Gabby looks forward to bringing this considerable experience to CJI, where she is excited to empower and educate those for whom the judicial system might otherwise seem biased, daunting, or irrelevant. Gabby, her husband, and their two golden retrievers recently relocated from Denver to Superior, Colorado, where all of them are enjoying all the nearby open space and hiking trails.
Bailey Ross, G Stephen Long Trial Lawyers — Bailey joins us as a recent graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is planning to sit for the February 2021 bar exam. Bailey has long experience as a self-starter and contributor to business and professional organizations, having served on the Young Lawyers Division of the Colorado Bar Association (where she helped start build the organization’s social media presence), and as the HR Manager for Custom Machining Corporation in Englewood (where she created, from scratch, the company’s OSHA compliance program). Bailey learned of CJI as an intern for Justice Richard Gabriel of the Colorado Supreme Court, and she is already an enthusiastic CJI participant. Bailey has attended several YPC and other CJI events, and she plans to work to shift the public’s perspective of Colorado’s justice system through educational outreach efforts and by deepening CJI’s connection to the DU Law School community. Bailey went to college on a rodeo scholarship before going to law school.
William Scarpato, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado — Bill Scarpato is one of the CJI Young Professional Committee's founding members. Bill is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and moved to Colorado in 2017. He clerked for a federal judge and was a lawyer in private practice for several years before taking on a public-sector position in May 2020. He is passionate about fostering the public's faith in the rule of law. Outside the law, Bill enjoys rock climbing, woodworking, and making music. CJI is pleased to announce that he joined the CJI Board of Directors in the spring of 2021.
The rest of our committee includes:
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