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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center & Denver District Attorney’s Office Jointly Honored with 2012 Victims’ Rights Partnership Award

June 20, 2012

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    Mitch Morrissey of the Denver District Attorney's Office and Lisa Teesch-Maguire of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center accept the 2012 Victims' Rights Partnership Award at the 11th Annual Crime Victim Law Conference.

NCVLI’s Victims’ Rights Partnership Award recognizes the collaborative efforts of individuals and/or organizations who have devoted their time to advancing crime victims’ rights.

The Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center (RMvlc) provides free legal representation for victims of violent crime in criminal cases aiding with the enforcement of both Colorado and Federal Crime Victim’s Rights Acts.  RMvlc operates as independent legal counsel charged to protect the legal rights and best interests of the victim through a broad-based approach grounded in litigation, creative problem-solving, and extensive knowledge of the judicial system.  RMvlc was started as a part of a national network of clinics organized under The National Crime Victim Law Institute.  Founders John Clune, J.D., and Shari Vanino, Psy.D. now serve on the Board.  Lisa Teesch-Maguire, Esq., is the Legal Director for RMvlc, specializing in victims’ rights and direct legal representation for crime victims.  Ms. Teesch-Maguire was a prosecutor in the Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District of Colorado and served as the Criminal Division Chief of the Attorney General’s Office in American Samoa.  Ms. Teesch-Maguire received both her J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Colorado in 2004.  She has also studied international law in Sweden and international affairs in the Netherlands. 

The Denver District Attorney’s Office has 75 attorneys and approximately 125 support staff working on behalf of the citizens of Denver. Under the leadership of Denver District Attorney Mitchell R. Morrissey, the office maintains two priorities: prosecuting criminals to the fullest extent possible, and protecting the rights and interests of innocent victims.

Mitch Morrissey was elected District Attorney of Denver, Colorado in November 2004 and was sworn into office on January 11, 2005.  Mr. Morrissey is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology, applying that technology in criminal prosecutions and working to ensure that DNA science is admissible in court.  He has trained law enforcement officers and prosecutors regarding DNA technology in the Middle East, Canada and throughout the United States.  A veteran prosecutor, he introduced the first DNA evidence used in a criminal trial in Denver.  The DNA Resource section of his Website, www.denverda.org, has become a resource for people interested in forensic DNA throughout the world.

Mr. Morrissey has worked extensively on the Denver Cold Case Project where over 5,400 unsolved sexual assaults and murders have been reviewed in an effort to use DNA technologies to solve those cases.  Mr. Morrissey, along with the Denver Police Department, is permanently implementing the use of DNA to also solve burglary cases and other property crimes.  Mr. Morrissey is one of the lead proponents of using Familial DNA Database Searches in the United States and directs the Denver DNA Human Identification Research Project which is studying the use of familial DNA searches in criminal investigations in Denver and Colorado.  A familial DNA search software developed under Morrissey’s direction is in use in criminal investigations in Colorado, Virginia and Wyoming.

Past Recipients:

  • Grant County Prosecutor’s Office & Dano, Gilbert & Ahrend P.L.L.C. (2006)
  • Attorney General Hardy Myers (2007)
  • Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, James McIntyre, & Russ Rato (2008)
  • Mónica Ramírez (2009)
  • Victim Witness Section of the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arizona (2010)
  • Alaska Office of Victims’ Rights (2011)