I was a young litigation associate at Holme Roberts & Owen while Dan was there. He hosted a session for the associates about growing as a lawyer. The end result was a series of wonderful stories from Dan about how he learned to be a lawyer, starting with his days in the military police looking for awol personnel in bars by their shiny military shoes, and including his days as the public safety manager of Denver. The lessons he imparted with all those stories was that growing as a lawyer requires that you affirmatively reach out and take on tasks that require you to learn and to stretch. Take a look at Dan’s work history and you will see exactly what he meant.
It is also important to note that Dan was also one of the few lawyers I have ever known who had the complete trust of the non-lawyer staff who worked for him. They knew that he would never, ever throw them under the bus, even if it meant that he had to stand up and publically take the blame. The staff was also amazed to find out that he wanted to hear what they had to say about his trial work. Dan knew that if what he was arguing didn’t make sense to his staff, then his chances of convincing a jury were pretty low and a change was in order. The staff I knew who worked with him would walk through fire for the man.
- Denise DeForest