Published: Oct. 25, 2017

The University of Colorado Law School is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 alumni awards. Selected for their contributions to the legal profession, service to their communities, and dedication to the law school, the honorees will be recognized at the 37th Annual Colorado Law Alumni Awards Banquet on March 8, 2018, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Peter C. Dietze (’62) will receive the William Lee Knous Award, Colorado Law’s highest alumni honor. Awarded annually since 1960, the Knous Award recognizes outstanding achievement and sustained service to Colorado Law. Dietze recently retired from Dietze and Davis, P.C., where his practice focused on real estate title insurance law.

Colorado Law will also honor four alumni with Distinguished Achievement Awards for demonstrated excellence in their professions:

  • Javed M. Abbas (’13), The Harris Law Firm P.C.
    Distinguished Achievement—Recent Alumnus
  • Sonny Cave (’85), ON Semiconductor
    Distinguished Achievement—Corporate Counsel
  • Timothy Monahan (’87), Colorado Office of the Attorney General
    Distinguished Achievement—Public Sector
  • Niki Frangos Tuttle (’84), Hogan Lovells
    Distinguished Achievement—Private Practice

Dean S. James Anaya will also present two Dean's Choice Awards, recognizing exceptional contributions to Colorado Law:

  • Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice, Colorado Supreme Court
    Dean’s Choice—Richard Schaden Adopted Alumna Award
  • Mekela Goehring (’02), Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
    Dean’s Choice—Dean Edward C. King Making a Difference Award

For more information on the Colorado Law Alumni Awards Banquet, including details on sponsorship opportunities and ticket sales, please visit or email Biographies of the honorees are below.

Peter C. Dietze (’62) clerked for U.S. District Court Judge H. Chilson immediately following graduation from law school. He served as Boulder’s assistant city attorney from 1963 to 1965 and as the city attorney from 1965 to 1968. In 1972, Dietze and his friend and classmate Joel Davis founded Dietze and Davis, P.C., where Dietze worked until his retirement in 2017. Dietze served on the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents for 18 years and on the law school’s alumni board for four.

Javed M. Abbas (’13), a family law attorney with The Harris Law Firm P.C., is an active member of the law school’s alumni diversity committee and is a frequent volunteer at the law school, interviewing prospective students, speaking on panels, and mentoring students. Abbas has a passion for serving families in need of legal assistance and works to provide individuals with sound advice and advocacy during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Sonny Cave (’85) currently serves as executive vice president, general counsel, chief compliance and ethics officer, and chief risk officer and corporate secretary for ON Semiconductor, a leading supplier of semiconductor-based solutions with over 30,000 employees worldwide. Cave has been with the company since 1999 and has over 25 years of broad legal and business experience. Cave has lent his expertise in legal ethics by speaking to students as part of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at Colorado Law.

Timothy Monahan (’87) has dedicated his entire career to public service. Following graduation, Monahan joined the Colorado Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general in the natural resources section, where he specialized in environmental and natural resources law. For the last 10 years, Monahan has served as a first assistant attorney general, acting as general counsel to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which manages state wildlife areas and state parks, hunting and fishing programs, and other recreational pursuits. In the course of his distinguished career, Monahan has worked to protect and manage the natural resources for the state of Colorado and mentored countless attorneys who served under him.

Niki Frangos Tuttle (’84), a partner at Hogan Lovells, advises some of the largest media companies in the United States in connection with their programming distribution negotiations. For over 30 years, Tuttle has played a key role in the evolving industry, helping to bring programming content to customers, when they want it and on the device of their choice. Tuttle is active in alumni mentoring programs at Colorado Law, has been a class reunion organizer, and has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council.

Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice became chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in 2014. She has served as an adjunct professor of law at Colorado Law since 1987, assisting hundreds of students in learning trial advocacy and motions practice. Chief Justice Rice graduated from the University of Utah College of Law and then clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Fred Winner. She worked briefly in the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office and, in 1977, she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office and became its deputy chief of civil division in 1985. Chief Justice Rice was on the bench of the Denver District Court from 1987 until she joined the Colorado Supreme Court in 1998.

Mekela Goehring (’02) joined Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) in 2003 as the organization’s first detention staff attorney, representing detained clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2005, Goehring became RMIAN’s executive director. In 2013, the American Immigration Lawyers Association awarded Goehring the Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award for her outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights.