Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC traces its beginnings back to 1926 when Clarence Ireland, a University of Colorado School of Law graduate and Army veteran, started the law firm of Ireland and Blackman with his partner Roy Hamfort Blackman. Clarence would go on to serve as Colorado’s 25th Attorney General from 1931 – 1932.
In 1940, Gail L. Ireland, joined his cousin Clarence in the practice of law, creating Ireland and Ireland. Gail Ireland would go on to serve as Colorado’s 28th Attorney General from 1941 – 1945.
In 1946, Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. and Wilber “Wib” M. Pryor joined Ireland and Ireland as associate attorneys after returning from serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. In 1946, the Firm’s law practice centered around commercial enterprises emphasizing corporate law, securities, mergers, acquisitions, insurance, real estate, banking, natural resources, public utilities and commercial and complex litigation.
Then in 1950, Benjamin F. Stapleton Jr. and Wilber “Wib” M. Pryor were made partners and the Firm changed its name to Ireland, Ireland, Stapleton & Pryor. In the early 1950s Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado. Ben was involved in many significant legal matters in Colorado. He was also very involved in civic activities over the years as President of the YMCA of Metropolitan Denver, Chairman of the Regional Advisory Committee, and national Trustee of the Institute of International Education. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Chevaliers du Tastevin, White House Conference on Ratification of Panama Canal Treaty, and Colorado Committee for Ratification of Salt II. He also served as a Trustee of the Legal Aid Foundation. Further, Ben Stapleton was decorated by the government of France, receiving the Chevalier de l’Orde National du Mte for his service in the development of the sister-city relationship between Denver and Brest, France.
Ten years later in 1960, Monte D. Pascoe, joined the Firm. Monte, a graduate of Denver’s East High School in Denver, attended Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from Stanford University. After unsuccessfully running for a seat on the Denver Public Schools Board on a pro-integration platform, he helped back a lawsuit against the school district. Ultimately, this case, known as the Keyes Case, resulted in the desegregation of the Denver Public Schools.
Pascoe served as state party chairman of the Democratic Party from 1973 to 1977 and was instrumental in the election of former Governor Richard Lamm.
He served as executive director of the Department of Natural Resources and as a commissioner on the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. He also served on the Colorado School of Mines Board and was President of the Illiff School of Theology. The Firm changed its name to its current name of Ireland Stapleton Pryor and Pascoe, PC in 1989.
In his later years, Pascoe represented clients wishing to preserve land for open space.
In 2006, the City and County of Denver established the Monte Pascoe Civic Leadership Award to honor Monte’s legacy; and he was given the first award posthumously. Since August 2007, the award has been presented annually by the Denver Mayor to a member of the community who exemplifies the civic leadership qualities demonstrated by Monte Pascoe throughout his lifetime.
Today, the firm looks much different than it did nearly 100 years ago when Clarence Ireland first opened the doors of the two-attorney law firm. We have expanded to a 40-attorney firm with offices in Denver and Grand Junction, but despite this growth, the Firm’s commitment to legal excellence and its conviction to advocate for and defend the legal rights of its clients has not wavered. “The Firm has a long history of tackling complex legal issues,” said Erica Tarpey, the firm’s managing partner; “the work we do untangles complex legal issues, sets precedent, and helps lay the groundwork for our communities to thrive”.