Talk Colorado Wine & Colorado's Wine Country: Remembering Doug Philips, A Wine Trailblazer

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remembering Doug Philips, A Wine Trailblazer

Here is the full text of the Colorado State Legislature's Resolution SJR09-008, honoring Doug Phillips, for his many contributions to Colorado's legal system and the wine industry:

"WHEREAS, Doug Phillips began practicing workers' compensation law in the 1970s when very few lawyers did, becoming Dean of the workers' compensation claimant's Bar, and Mr. Phillips set the gold standard for the ethical, fair, and compassionate practice of workers' compensation law; and"

"WHEREAS, During the 35 years that Mr. Phillips practiced workers' compensation law, he was a forceful advocate for the thousands of injured workers whom he represented, and he was always a gentleman in his dealings with the court, opposing counsel, and all other individuals involved with the system, thereby avoiding the animosity and acrimony often involved in litigated cases; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips was known for his thorough work-up of claims, his knowledge of the statute and supporting case law, and his superlative courtroom skills; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips blazed new trails in workers' compensation law through successful appeals to the Colorado Supreme Court, forever changing the way the workers' compensation system works; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips also engineered many beneficial changes in the workers' compensation statutes because of his high degree of credibility with the General Assembly and with four governors: Dick Lamm, Roy Romer, Bill Owens, and Bill Ritter; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips and his wife, Sue, wrote Volume 17 of the Colorado Practice Series, Colorado Workers' Compensation Practice and Procedure, the Bible for many workers' compensation practitioners and judges; and"

"WHEREAS, In addition to being a distinguished Colorado attorney, Mr. Phillips was also a pioneer in the Colorado wine industry, which has grown to contribute in excess of forty million dollars annually to the Colorado economy; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips was a founding partner of Plum Creek Cellars, originally established in Larkspur, but later moved to Palisade so that it would be closest to the vineyards where, as Mr. Phillips observed, the best wineries in the world were located; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips' goal in establishing Plum Creek Cellars was to make the highest-quality wine with grapes grown only in Colorado; and"

"WHEREAS, Wine experts were skeptical that Colorado wines would ever compete successfully with fine wines from other locales, but Mr. Phillips and the Colorado wine industry proved the early critics wrong by producing award-winning wines that continue to increase market share nationally; and"

"WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips helped draft legislation for and lobbied for creation of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, serving on the Board from 1990 through 1998 and again from 2005 through 2008, with much of that service as its Chair; and"

WHEREAS, Mr. Phillips, among other things, also chaired the Colorado Mountain Winefest Committee for the Rocky Mountain Vintners' and Viticulturalists' Association and was a co-founder of the Grand Valley Winery Association; and

"WHEREAS, Because of Mr. Phillips and the many others he encouraged and showed what was possible there are more than 1,000 acres of vinifera grapes grown in Colorado that are turned into wine by more than 70 wineries, making the impact of grape and wine production in Colorado second only to that of peaches; and"

"WHEREAS, The wine industry is now a leading agricultural-based attraction for Western Colorado, promoting mountain tourism during the summer and fall to complement ski tourism in the winter and better utilize"

"Colorado's total tourism capacity; now, therefore,"

"Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-seventh General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:"

"That the General Assembly hereby expresses its gratitude for the many contributions of Doug Phillips to our state and celebrates the many achievements of his life."

"Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Senate Joint Resolution be presented to Mr. Phillips' wife, Sue Phillips, and to his daughters, Jennifer and Megan Phillips."

Thank you, Doug, for all that you did. Many of us never would have been here without all your hard work and thoughtfulness.

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