Burg Simpson Shareholders Promote Well-Being in the Legal Community
Burg Simpson Working to Promote Well-Being in the Legal Community
Burg Simpson shareholders David P. Hersh and David K. TeSelle are actively involved in the Colorado Supreme Court Pilot Project developing a Well-Being Recognition Program for Legal Employers. The Pilot Project was an outgrowth of the Colorado Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, on which Mr. Hersh serves. The Pilot Project was initiated to assess the feasibility of a formal well-being recognition program in Colorado and generate strategies to inspire legal employers to implement organization-wide well-being recommendations.
The Colorado Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being
In November of 2021, the Colorado Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being issued its final report. The report was the culmination of three years of work identifying solutions to wellness issues that can negatively affect the personal lives of law school students, lawyers, and judicial officers. The Task Force uses its members’ leadership and commitment to service to develop concrete actions to help judges, lawyers, and law students thrive in the profession.
The report included recommendations for action by the Task Force’s five committees and set several goals:
- Creating a culture of well-being; fostering competence;
- Improving work-life integration;
- Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity;
- Assessing alternative or additional ways to compensate lawyers and staff for performance outside the traditional billable-hour model;
- Making clients part of the conversation about well-being among legal professionals.
Colorado a National Leader in Lawyer Well-Being
The Colorado Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being has provided Colorado with the opportunity to be a national leader in lawyer well-being by creating a first-of-its-kind program to encourage, support, and recognize legal employers for implementing well-being strategies and recommendations within their organizations.
Under the leadership of Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica M. Márquez, the Colorado Task Force brought together nearly 60 lawyers, judicial officers, law school deans, law students, and mental health professionals.
Justice Marquez said:
“What began for me as an 18-month obligation as Chair of the Task Force has evolved into a three-year, transformative journey. It’s no great surprise to anyone that the legal profession is stressful, and studies have shown our profession is at an elevated risk for mental health and substance use disorders. It’s my sincere hope this report helps build on the solid work that already has been done in these areas in Colorado and provides momentum toward lasting and positive cultural change.”
David Hersh said,
“It is essential for legal employers to support lawyer well-being and to raise awareness, create more communication and solidify community support of lawyers who are trying to be healthy, take care of themselves, achieve work-life balance and in fact pursue being agents for positive change in our legal culture.”
Dave is the co-practice group leader of the business and commercial litigation department of Burg Simpson. He focuses his practice on complex commercial matters involving contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, ownership disputes, construction matters, “bet your company” litigation, and professional negligence. Admitted to practice before the United States, Colorado, and Wyoming Supreme Courts, as well as numerous Federal Courts, Dave has tried civil jury trials to verdict throughout the United States.
In addition to his work on the Task Force, Mr. Hersh also chairs the Arapahoe County Bar Association Lawyer Well-Being Committee. The committee is charged with the responsibility for raising awareness about lawyer well-being issues, providing assistance to its community with available resources, and normalizing the essential conversations around the health and wellness issues facing its members. Mr. Hersh is also active in the Wyoming Bar Association Ad-Hoc Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, as well as the upcoming Well-Being Committee for the Colorado Bar Association.
Burg Simpson shareholder and trial lawyer David K. TeSelle is the co-leader of the firm’s Commercial and Business Litigation team. Mr. TeSelle has successfully tried multiple cases to jury verdicts in state court, federal court, and private arbitration, and practices before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and the U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit. In 2019, he was lead counsel on one of the largest personal injury jury verdicts in Arizona’s history and secured a judgment of $58.5 million. He also represents and provides guidance to state and federal whistleblowers under the False Claims Act (Qui Tam Actions) when they expose fraud against state and federal governments. Following the 2008 economic collapse, Mr. TeSelle battled some of the nation’s largest banks in litigation regarding “The Big Short” cases. Throughout his career, Mr. TeSelle has represented both plaintiffs and defendants and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients.