Member Spotlight, 0120 COBJ, Vol. 49, No. 1 Pg. 112

PositionVol. 49, 1 [Page 112]

49 Colo.Law. 112


Vol. 49, No. 1 [Page 112]

Colorado Lawyer

January, 2020

Phyllis Gottesfeld Knight

Phyllis Gottesfeld Knight recently achieved status as a CBA HonorLife member. She joins a small but distinguished group of Colorado attorneys who have practiced law for 50+ years.

Why did you become a lawyer?

A college political science class required research about a local government entity. I chose to study the Denver Board of Water Commissioners and became interested in its varied work. The Commissioners were then in the process of building the Dillon Dam. This led me to the wider questions of water and mineral allocation and to law school, although later events encouraged me to practice in other fields.

Best advice you've been given:

Don't assume criticism is personal.

Favorite memory from law school:

Working with talented team members to win the Rothgerber Moot Court Medal. I was the first woman to serve on the winning team. One of the panel judges was Colorado's former Chief Justice Edward Pringle. I was both terrified and thrilled to argue a portion of our team's case.

Favorite Colorado escape:

I venture quite often to the beautiful Spanish Peaks area; at other times it's great to drive onto the Eastern Plains. There are fewer ranches now, and the prairie is returning to the condition it was in when pioneers first tramped across it; in some places you can even walk in the wagon-train ruts. You can almost always find something of interest in small towns. The railroad museum in Limon is a quick stop—the last train departed for Denver in 1966, the year I graduated from college.

Outside of law, what are your hobbies?

Literature and history seminars, supporting the teaching of writing and literature (e.g., Lighthouse Writers in Denver and Writing the Rockies at Western Colorado University in Gunnison). I also enjoy attending Central City Opera in the summer, Opera Colorado, and especially The Met Opera live stream movies in the winter. Where else can you wear jeans and bring a brown-bag lunch to an opera?

On my desk right now:

I've stacks of files to close and cases to wrap up as I lurch toward retirement. There's also a remarkable book called Go, Went, Gone, a sensitive study of the current...

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