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Colorado Bar Association Selects Vaught, Garrison to Board

Date: 03.21.17

Denver: The Colorado Bar Association has selected John Vaught, a partner at Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, as President-Elect for the 2017-2018 term, starting July 1. Vaught will serve as President in 2018-2019.  Emma Garrison, also a WTO attorney, has been selected as Senior Vice President.

Vaught is a long-standing CBA member and has served in numerous roles and on various committees over the years:

  • President, Denver Bar Association
  • Chair, DBA Young Lawyers Division
  • Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors
  • Military & Veterans’ Affairs Section
  • Liaison & Budget Committee
  • Standing Committee for CBA Mentoring
  • Multidisciplinary Practice Task Force
  • Reporting Liaison for the Chief Justice's Commission on Civil Justice
  • Founder and former chairman of the Securities Litigation Subsection

As President of the DBA in 2014-2015, Vaught focused on increasing engagement particularly among younger lawyers. He introduced 15 by 15, an initiative by the Board of Trustees and the Young Lawyers Division to increase membership 15% by the end of 2015. Vaught also established the Bar Ambassadors program to identify and recruit managing partners and their appointees in every major law firm in Denver as liaisons with the DBA. The result has been enhanced communications and enriched knowledge of DBA programs and benefits in every firm in the city. Vaught also introduced iBelong, a DBA marketing initiative that articulates specific reasons young lawyers are well served to join the Bar Association.

In 2011, Vaught, a Vietnam veteran, helped establish the CBA's Colorado Lawyers for Colorado Veterans (CLCV) program to provide pro bono legal service to Colorado veterans, active duty service members, and their families. The program offers free legal advice through clinics held around the state. It also provides no-cost or low-fee legal services to veterans who require further help. CLCV is responsible for delivering thousands of hours of pro bono and reduced-fee legal services to hundreds of veterans across Colorado.

Vaught's complex commercial litigation practice emphasizes commercial matters, insurance class actions, insurance bad faith and coverage disputes, corporate governance issues, liability and director and officer insurance disputes, and appeals.  In over 30 years of practice, Vaught has gained substantial litigation, mediation, and trial experience in the federal courts and in Colorado state courts.

Garrison represents clients in sophisticated and high-stakes commercial and torts litigation. She is a member of the WTO client team serving McKesson in numerous matters, including nationwide mass torts litigation involving the drug Lipitor. Garrison previously served as Chair of the CBA’s Young Lawyers Division Executive Council and currently sits on the DBA Board of Trustees. She is also a co-chair of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Annual Convention Committee in 2017.

The CBA, founded in 1897, is a voluntary bar association with more than 18,000 members—almost three-quarters of all attorneys in the state. The CBA provides opportunities for continuing education, volunteering for the legal and civic communities, and networking for those in the legal profession while upholding the standards of the bar. The CBA also works to secure the efficient administration of justice, encourage the adoption of proper legislation, and perpetuates the history of the profession and the memory of its members.

Contact: Matt Plavnick | 303.244.0103 |

Over the past decade, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell lawyers have won 88 complete trial verdicts, 41 complex arbitrations, and 70 significant appeals nationwide for our clients. Established in 1998, WTO currently numbers 100 lawyers. The firm represents sophisticated clients in high-stakes civil trials, appeals, arbitrations, and related matters, including class actions, mass torts, and multidistrict litigation.

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