John T. Baker, JD'73

Alumni Professionalism Award - 2010

Following graduation from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1973, John taught as a clinical instructor at the College of Law for three years, directing a juvenile and criminal advocacy clinic. In 1975 John joined the plaintiff’s personal injury and civil trial practice law firm, Carrigan & Bragg, P.C., which eventually became Bragg & Baker, P.C. John spent the next 26 years concentrating his legal practice in products liability litigation, representing individuals that have been injured by defective pharmaceutical products and vehicles. John currently continues with his own firm concentrating on complex litigation and public interest law. John has been listed as a Colorado Super Lawyer for 2007 to the present.

During his legal career John has taken a national leadership role in multi-district litigation and other consolidated complex litigation, concerning birth control pills, intrauterine devices, L-Tryptophan dietary supplements, Jeep CJ-5 utility vehicles and diet pills In those leadership roles John coordinated and conducted nation-wide plaintiffs’ discovery, managed document depositories, and served on nation-wide litigation plaintiffs’ steering or management committees.

John has a special interest in professionalism and professional responsibility and has served or is serving in bar association leadership positions. The Denver Bar Association awarded the 2007 Award of Merit to John for his bar service. The specific bar positions include, 2009-2010 President Denver Bar Association, past chair of the Denver Bar Association Professionalism Committee, past co-hair of the Metropolitan Conciliation Panel, past chair of the Colorado Bar Association Attorney Admission and Law School Committee, member of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado Conduct Rules Committee, and past chair of the law school working group of the Colorado Bar Association Professional Reform Initiative Task Force. John is a member of the American, Colorado, and Denver Bar Associations and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. He is a fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

In addition to the practice of law, John has a strong interest in teaching. John has been appointed the Public Programs Educational Director for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (“NITA.”) NITA has honored him with the Honorable Prentice Marshall Faculty Award for 2005. John’s legal teaching experience includes adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Program Director and Lead Faculty for the NITA Hanley Advanced Advocacy Program; Program Director or Faculty for NITA pro bono programs for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Legal Services Corporation, and the American Bar Association; and Faculty for joint NITA advocacy programs with the Law Society of Ireland and the Law Society of Scotland. The University of Denver College of Law Institute for Advanced Legal Studies honored John as “Educator of the Year” in 1997. John, also, lectures in Colorado, nationally, and internationally on professionalism issues, on torts/product liability issues, and on trial advocacy.

In Denver John is active in the community. As an appointed member of the Colorado Supreme Court Judicial Advisory Council, in 2006-07, John chaired the year-long 40th Anniversary Celebration of Merit Selection of Judges in Colorado. He is past president of the board of directors of Denver Kids, Inc., a program to keep “at risk” Denver Public Schools students in school. John is married and has three children, who have involved him over the years in coaching youth soccer, basketball and baseball.