Colorado Supreme Court
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel
Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.
James C. Coyle
Attorney Regulation Counsel
Jim Coyle is Attorney Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court. Mr. Coyle oversees attorney admissions, attorney registration, mandatory continuing legal and judicial education, attorney discipline and diversion, regulation of the unauthorized practice of law and inventory counsel matters. Mr. Coyle has been a trial attorney with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel or successor Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel since 1990. Prior to that, he was in private practice. He earned his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1985.
Mr. Coyle is actively involved on a national level with the National Client Protection Organization (NCPO), the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), and the International Conference of Legal Regulators (ICLR). He served on the NOBC board of directors from 2014 – 2016, and currently serves as NOBC liaison to the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) Committee on ABA Model Rules on Advertising and as a member and co-chair of the CoLAP/NOBC/APRL National Wellness Task Force (WTF).
Recent committee work includes programming work on and hosting the first ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR)/NOBC/Canadian Bar Association Regulators Workshop on proactive, risk-based regulatory programs, in Denver in May 2015, and participating in planning future workshops in Philadelphia in June 2016, Washington, D.C. in September 2016, and St. Louis in June 2017; acting as co-chair and organizer of the First ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection UPL School in Denver in August 2013; and member of the planning team for the Second UPL School in Chicago in April 2015; participating in the NOBC Program Committee and International Committee, including as Chair of the Entity Regulation Subcommittee now known as the Proactive Practice Management Programs Committee; and NOBC Aging Lawyers and Permanent Retirement subcommittees. Mr. Coyle is also an active member of the Colorado Chief Justice Commission on Professional Development and its mid-career working group, the CBA/DBA Professionalism Coordinating Council and its subcommittee on a professionalism rule, the Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, and the University of Colorado Law Alumni Board’s Diversity Committee.
Margaret B. Funk
Chief Deputy Regulation Counsel
Margaret Brown Funk is Chief Deputy Regulation Counsel of the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. Her responsibilities include operations oversight for the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, which includes the Office of Attorney Admissions, Office of Attorney Registration, Office of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education, and the intake and trial divisions in the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. Ms. Funk graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1994 and was in private practice for 12 years before joining the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel in 2006 as a trial attorney.
In private practice, Ms. Funk represented individuals in civil rights matters, primarily in the area of employment law. Between 1995 and 1998, she served as President and Vice President of the Colorado Plaintiffs Employment Lawyers Association (PELA). Between 1998 and 2005, she served as a member of the PELA board of directors and was assigned the duties of chair of the legislative committee and liaison to the Colorado Bar Association. She has published several articles in the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s monthly magazine, Trial Talk, and has lectured extensively on civil rights, litigation, and legal ethics. She administers the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel Trust Account School. She is a faculty member for the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel Ethics School program and Professionalism School program, and has been a panelist and presenter at ABA conferences, NOBC conferences and numerous CLE programs in Colorado. Recent committee work includes the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC) Program Committee; the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory subcommittee on Proactive, Management-Based Regulation; the Colorado Supreme Court Advisory subcommittee on C.R.C.P. 251 rule revision; the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct; the Colorado Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education rule revision subcommittee; the Colorado Chief Justice Commission on Professionalism Development, New Lawyer Working Group and Leadership Working Group; and the Colorado Bar Association’s Peer Professionalism Assistance Group.
April M. McMurrey
Deputy Regulation Counsel, Intake Division
April McMurrey is Deputy Regulation Counsel in the intake division. Ms. McMurrey also assists in the supervision of admissions and mandatory continuing legal and judicial education.
Ms. McMurrey received her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Ms. McMurrey joined the Office of Attorney Regulation in 2001 as a law clerk. She was later promoted to the trial division, where she worked for seven years as an Assistant Regulation Counsel. Ms. McMurrey then worked in the intake division as an Assistant Regulation Counsel.
Ms. McMurrey is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Douglas-Elbert County Bar Association and the National Organization of Bar Counsel.
Dawn M. McKnight
Deputy Regulation Counsel, Attorney Admissions, Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal and Judicial Education
Dawn McKnight is Deputy Regulation Counsel overseeing admissions, registration, and mandatory continuing legal and judicial education. Ms. McKnight received her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. After graduating from law school, Ms. McKnight practiced environmental law for a nonprofit, then became a civil litigation associate for a private firm. Prior to joining the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Ms. McKnight was Assistant Executive Director and Publications Director of Colorado Bar Association CLE for 14 years.
Ms. McKnight is a member of the National Organization of Bar Counsel; the Denver, Colorado and American Bar Associations; the Colorado Women’s Bar Association; the National Conference of Bar Examiners; and, the National Continuing Legal Education Regulators Association. She is also a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation and a Circle of Minerva member of the Women’s Bar Foundation. She is the current Co-Chair and Former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Legal Community Credit Union (d/b/a Options Credit Union). Ms. McKnight currently participates in the Supreme Court Advisory Committee’s Proactive Management-Based Regulation Subcommittee.
Previously, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association Board of Trustees, the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, the Board of Directors of the Association for Continuing Legal Education Administrators, the Board of Directors of Community Shares of Colorado, and the Board of Directors of the Denver Women’s Hockey League. Ms. McKnight has lectured extensively about continuing legal education, legal publishing, law practice management, human resources management, and professional responsibility issues.
Assistant Regulation Counsel
Assistant Regulation Counsel attorneys fill Regulation Counsel’s traditional role of investigating, regulating and, when necessary, prosecuting attorneys accused of more serious violations of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Assistant Regulation Counsel attorneys in the Intake Division act as the office’s triage unit. Its six attorneys are the front line for all complaints, deciding how a case is handled and whether it moves forward. Intake attorneys can dismiss cases outright, issue letters with educational language to the respondent attorney, agree in cases of minor misconduct to an alternative to discipline involving education or monitoring, or forward matters of more serious misconduct to the trial division. Assistant Regulation Counsel also educate attorneys by teaching the office’s Ethics School and Professionalism School and other continuing legal education courses.
Jill Perry Fernandez
Lisa E. Pearce
E. James Wilder
Intake Division Investigators
Assistant Regulation Counsel
When the Intake Division determines that an attorney’s misconduct matter is more serious or requires additional investigation, Assistant Regulation Counsel attorneys in the Trial Division conduct further investigation and, if necessary, prosecution. At the end of an investigation, attorneys in the Trial Division can dismiss a case; enter into a diversion agreement; enter into a conditional admission of misconduct, in which the respondent attorney agrees to the imposition of certain discipline; or file a report recommending formal proceedings, after which a formal complaint might be filed. Attorneys in the Trial Division also handle disciplinary trials and appeals, as well as attorney admissions, unauthorized practice of law, and client protection fund matters. Assistant Regulation Counsel also educate attorneys by teaching the office’s Ethics School and Professionalism School and other continuing legal education courses.
Kim E. Ikeler
Erin Robson Kristofco
J. P. Moore
Geanne R. Moroye
Sara Van Deusen
Trial Division Investigators
Mary Lynne Elliot
Jonathan P. White
The cornerstones of Colorado’s attorney regulation system are the diversion (alternative-to-discipline) agreement and probation conditions in discipline matters. Diversion agreements and probation conditions protect the public while allowing an otherwise competent attorney to continue practicing. The office’s full-time case monitor ensures compliance with the conditions of probation and diversion programs. Those conditions can include attendance at the office’s trust account school or ethics school, submitting to drug or alcohol monitoring, or receiving medical or mental health treatment. The case monitor also helps run the various schools for attorneys intended to improve the provision of legal services to consumers.
Nicolette (Nicole) Chavez
Attorney Admissions is charged with administering the bar exam and conducting character and fitness reviews of exam, on-motion, and Uniform Bar Exam transfer applicants. The Director of Character and Fitness, one full-time investigator, one part-time investigator, and four licensure analyst review applications for character and fitness qualifications. By addressing concerns with applicants before they become practicing attorneys, the character and fitness process takes a proactive role in protecting the public.
Director of Examinations
Director of Character and Fitness
Character and Fitness Investigator
Ashley Johnson, Receptionist
Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal and Judicial Education
Once an applicant meets admission requirements, Attorney Registration completes the process by ensuring the proper administration of the oath. Attorneys then register annually with the office and pay annual license fees. The annual license fees fund the Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection and defray the costs of attorney regulation (including the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge), attorney registration, continuing legal and judicial education, enforcement of the unauthorized practice of law rules, the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program, the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, the Commission on Judicial Discipline, and some library services. The office is run by the Clerk of Attorney Registration and Continuing Legal and Judicial Education, and is aided by five full-time staff members.
Clerk of Attorney Registration and Director of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education
When an attorney is no longer able to perform his or her duties to clients, either due to disability or death, and there is no other party responsible for the attorney’s affairs, the office steps in to file a petition for appointment of inventory counsel. With the assistance of volunteer Colorado attorneys, and investigators and attorneys from the office, the Inventory Counsel Coordinator reviews all of the files and takes steps to protect the interests of the attorney and the attorney’s clients.
Carola Rhodes, Inventory Counsel Coordinator
Adrian Radase, Staff Assistant
Zak Bratton, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Brett Corporon, Director of Technology
Karen Fritsche, Operations Manager
Kevin Hanks, Office Manager
Erica Leon, Receptionist
David Murrell, IT Support Technician
Steve Russell, Data Base Developer/DBA
Christina Solano, Receptionist
Trish Swanson, Administrator, Accounting/Payroll