T. Peter Craven Distinguished Lawyer Award

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The T. Peter Craven Distinguished Lawyer Award is presented annually to a Ninth Judicial District Bar Association member who exemplifies the qualities of public service, bar involvement, and professionalism. The Distinguished Lawyer is one who has been present in our legal community for some time, and who has been actively engaged in improving our legal community throughout their tenure.

The Honorable T. Peter Craven, who passed away in June, 2006, perfectly exemplified what a Distinguished Lawyer should be. First appointed to the court in 1991, Judge Craven handled all types of cases in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties. Prior to his judicial appointment, he maintained a distinguished career as a trial lawyer in Glenwood Springs and Denver, served as Glenwood Springs' city attorney, and as the Ninth Judicial District's first public defender. In 2002, he was selected as a recipient of the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Judicial Excellence Award.

Judge Craven's contributions to the Ninth Judicial District included initiating, creating, and presiding over a drug court for Garfield County. In an effort to make the court system more understandable for Spanish speaking litigants and to improve access to the courts for people who speak Spanish, he traveled to Mexico to learn about the Mexican legal system and has studied Spanish. He also developed differentiated case management principles for mental health cases in Garfield County. Judge Craven was been active in teaching courses in continuing legal education for special advocates for children and in family law. Judge Craven was well known for his scholarly, thorough, and patient approach to trying cases, and for his willingness to take on cases for other judges. A law graduate of the University of Michigan, Judge Craven served on the Colorado Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, Gender Justice Committee, and Probation Advisory Committee. He also chaired bench-bar committees in Garfield and Pitkin counties, and facilitated a summer intern program at the Court.

Every Distinguished Lawyer exhibits the highest level of dedication to the profession and improvement of our community through the law, over the course of a lengthy and varied career.