Daniel Hoffman (1931 – 2009)
Dean 1978 - 1984
Passed away 2009
Daniel Hoffman served as the youngest-ever manager of public safety for the city of Denver in the 1960s, overseeing its police, fire and sheriff’s departments.
He was a political activist who joined Martin Luther King’s historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965 and was an adviser to Robert Kennedy during his 1968 presidential campaign.
Hoffman was dean of the University of Denver College of Law from 1978 to 1984, where he had graduated magna cum laude in 1958.
He was a past president of both the Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association — the only person to have held both those posts — as well as state chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
For many years, Hoffman practiced law with partners Dan Reilly and Larry Pozner as a senior partner in the firm Hoffman, Reilly, Pozner & Williamson.
As a lawyer, Hoffman’s best known court case was in defense of Jackson against a suit in U.S. District Court in Denver, under the spotlight of national media attention. A local songwriter, Crystal Cartier, claimed that Jackson had appropriated the song “Dangerous” from her. Jackson and Hoffman prevailed.
Hoffman also represented the former American Basketball Association in its merger with the National Basketball Association.
He also defended many corporate clients in class-action, antitrust and other cases, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Gates Corp.
Among Hoffman’s many honors were the Colorado State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Jewish Committee Judge Learned Hand Award, and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Outstanding Alumni Award.