19 December 2007

Beginnings and Endings

Sometimes, New Year's Day is just another year, but this year, the changes will be a bit more significant in my household.

While I rarely talk about my professional life on this blog, now is as good a time as any to announce that my law firm is re-organizing to become the law firm of McGihon & Oh-Willeke, LLC, effective with the coming of the new year. Anne L. McGihon and I will be practicing as full law partners, after a couple of years getting acquainted in which I have been Of Counsel to the firm of McGihon & Associates, LLC.

McGihon & Oh-Willeke, LLC has a general civil practice with a focus on commercial litigation, transactional business and real estate work, tax law, estate planning, and election law. We also get dogs off death row and take other work on a case by case basis. We do not generally handle criminal cases, although we do provide emergency advice to established clients in the area until counsel with a criminal law specialty can be obtained. We aren't cheap and expect retainers as security for reasonably expected future payment in most cases, but we also are hardly the most expensive firm in town and hold ourselves to large firm standards of competence in fields of law that demand high levels of technical skill. Our office is at 837 Sherman Street, a restored early Denver mansion, conveniently near the state capital and the offices of the Democratic Party of Denver.

Anne L. McGihon who is my state representative where, among other responsibilities, she serves as chair of the State House Health and Human Services Committee. She is admitted to practice in Florida and Colorado and also has a background as a social worker. She has practiced about a decade longer than I have, and practiced at Holland & Hart doing, among other things, litigation in connection with the S&L crisis and bond work before establishing her own small firm. I am admitted to practice in New York State and Colorado, and have practiced law for twelve years, although this was only a part time practice when I was an associate professor of estate planning at the College for Financial Planning, a sister institution of the University of Phoenix that established the Certified Financial Planner profession. I am also active in Democratic Party politics, of course, serving as the treasurer of the Democratic Party of Denver in addition to some less impressive responsibilities such as serving as precinct committee person for my West Washington Park precinct. Both of us have significant trial experience.

This spring I will be part of the faculty for a continuing legal education class on the subject of asset protection, something state representative Joel Judd, who is familiar with my passion for rooting out illegitimate means of accomplishing jokingly jabbed me about when he learned this news. My presentation will concern exemptions from creditors expressly established by state and federal laws, something made vastly more complicated in the latest round of bankruptcy law amendments. Considering and managing liability risks is, of course, an integral part of almost all well done estate planning and business planning.

After a good run of a year and a half as an inaugural semi-professional blogger journalist for the Center for Independent Media sponsored online magazine Colorado Confidential, I will step down from my role as regular columnist, and limit my contributions to the publication to the occasional guest column, news tip and comment to stories. In my first six months as a fellow, I was writing about six stories a week. In the last ten months or so, I have reduced that to six to eight stories a month. The publication is narrowing its focus to more expressly political things, while remain more of a general interest policy wonk, something reflected in my stories. But, the notion that partners in law firms have more time available for leisure than those lower down the totem pole is, alas, completely false, so I will have no trouble making use of the found time.

While her life is not mine to discuss in detail on the Internet, a significant change in my wife's daily schedule in January will also mean a big change in the daily rhythm of my life.

As regular readers will know, I've also recently trading in my beloved Honda Accord, which served me well for nine years but was starting to show its age, for a small SUV, as I have been advised that we have a social obligation to give rides to friends and sports team mates of my two elementary school aged children that will remain a key demand on our vehicle for the rest of the vehicle's useful life. As financially prudent people, we have, of course, been saving in our "car fund" for sometime, although it is always a bit frightening to make a major purchase like this one because our "car fund" was also a healthy supplement to our "emergency fund".

As a result of all of this, and the annual change that my professional life undergoes as we shift from out of legislative session mode, to in legislative session mode each January, the New Year in 2008 really will involve big changes for me this time around.

The character of this blog will no doubt change as well starting in the New Year, but it definitely will continue to operate and I have not yet decided what changes I will make to it.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations. What a great step.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and continued success on all fronts.

George In Denver said...

Andrew, sincere congratulations. New fronts abound, eh. Exciting time in your life. Very happy for you and your family.

George In Denver said...

Andrew, I note that your practice includes "...get dogs off death row." Curious if you have been following the Rolo episode in Arvada. The site:

The court transcripts are included at this site.

Loving both dogs and children, I understand you may be conflicted by this story. But, just thought I'd check. Wonder what your thoughts are?


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I was the appellate lawyer in Rolo's case. The matter is now in the hands of trial counsel.

One argument made on appeal was that the court statements were neither under oath, nor offered in a situation that would have allowed for rebuttal or cross-examination since the issue was raised at the hearing without notice that the issue would be considered at that time. It is notable that the city's animal control office did not request destruction of the dog.

Anonymous said...

A good run, indeed.

Andrew, thank you very much for your contributions at Colorado Confidential. No doubt you've got plenty to keep you busy. Congrats on launching the new firm too!

Happy holidays,


George In Denver said...

Andrew, thanks for your work on the Rolo case.