Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa, Chair
Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa is a Colorado Native. She has been an attorney for over 20 years, currently in private practice. Ms. Krupa practices primarily in the areas of criminal defense, white collar and civil litigation, securities law and internal investigations, professional conduct and attorney admissions to Colorado. She graduated from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in 1994, served a judicial clerkship and then worked for the Colorado State Public Defender Office providing criminal defense for indigent clients. Ms. Krupa also worked for the Federal Defender for the District of Colorado. Ms. Krupa then worked as a Trial Attorney for the Denver Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission conducting trials and administrative proceedings throughout the United States. Ms. Krupa also served as Assistant Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and Faculty Member for National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She has been teaching NITA since 2009 in regional, public service and custom programs including the Program Director for the NITA/National Organization of Bar Counsel Advanced Trial Advocates Training.
Ms. Krupa has argued before courts in the state, appellate and federal levels. She has been active in many bar associations including the Hispanic National Bar and Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, for which she served as Vice President and President. She has been appointed to and served on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, the Commission on Judicial Discipline, the Identity Theft and Financial Fraud Board, the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyer's Manual on Professional Conduct, the Colorado State Supreme Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and the Western Regional Advisory Board for the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She is a frequent lecturer at CLE programs, was an adjunct professor teaching trial advocacy and coached the American Association for Justice mock trial team for the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.
Selina Baschiera, Vice-Chair
Selina Baschiera was recently appointed to the Commission by its standing members, and is originally from New York. Selina graduated from Arizona State University School of Law, and was awarded High Pro Bono with Distinction designation. While there, she served on the Student Bar Association, was an editor of the Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, competed in Moot Court, and was active in the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Since graduating, Selina has worked as a legal fellow for the National Association for Counsel for Children at the Kempe Center at Children’s Hospital, as a worker’s compensation defense attorney, and served at the state and local government levels for the past 6 years.
Her government roles have included work in compliance, personnel management, budget oversight, project management, and as a director. Selina participated in the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicle’s first DRIVES system roll-out in 2017 as an analyst and data access manager for all government entities’ third-party access. Selina’s current role is with Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office as the Deputy Director of Motor Vehicle. More locally, Selina serves on the City of Lakewood’s Advisory Commission, and she continues to seek out opportunities to become involved in neighborhood projects that have a positive impact on her community.
Annie Kao, Commissioner
Annie Kao was appointed to the Independent Ethics Commission by the Colorado House of Representatives. She is the Founder of Ascent Inclusion Consulting, specializing in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion for various public, private, and non-profit organizations in the outdoor industry. Commissioner Kao is part of a three-generation family of Coloradans.
Prior to Ascent, Commissioner Kao was an attorney for over 18 years. During that time, she was an Assistant General Counsel at Vail Resorts, providing legal and regulatory advice for mountain resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Whistler Blackcomb. Before then, Commissioner Kao was a commercial trial attorney at the law firms of Hogan Lovells and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, following a judicial clerkship with the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. She is a graduate of Amherst College and The George Washington University Law School, where she was on the Law Review.
Commissioner Kao’s community work includes her service as the Board Secretary of the Share Winter Foundation and as a Board member of the National Ski Areas Association. She previously served as the Secretary and a Regional Governor of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and is a past President of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Commissioner Kao has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and Colorado Mesa University’s Outdoor Recreation Industries Studies program, while also partnering with the Outdoor Industry MBA program at Western Colorado University.
Sarah Mercer, Commissioner
Sarah Mercer was recently appointed to the Ethics Commission by Chief Justice Brian Boatright. She has been practicing law for over 14 years, earning her B.A. from Harvard University, and in true Colorado native fashion, earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado. Upon completion of her J.D., Commissioner Mercer served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Justice Michael Bender of the Colorado Supreme Court. After practicing natural resources litigation for several years, she returned to the Court to serve at Counsel to Chief Justice Bender. She currently practices with AM Law200 firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck where she combines her litigation background with her experience navigating state and local government as a shareholder in the state government relations group.
Her determination and passion extend beyond her client work. Commissioner Mercer is a steadfast community volunteer serving as board members for the National Sports Center for the Disabled and Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She was also recently named chair of the Colorado Competitive Council, and previously served on the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. The Commissioner has a roster of pro bono clients helping Denver’s underserved communities. She has also been on the forefront of the pandemic assisting pro bono clients navigate evictions and has become one of the nation’s experts on assisting countless for-profit and non-profit businesses receive funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Commissioner has received countless recognition including Law Week Colorado’s Top Women Lawyers, 2021, Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, 2020, 5280's Top Lawyers, 2019-2020, and Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2015-2021.
Cole Wist, Commissioner
Cole Wist is a fourth-generation Coloradan. He recently completed two terms in the Colorado General Assembly, serving as the Assistant Minority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives and a Commissioner on the Uniform Law Commission.
Commissioner Wist is a 30-year defense attorney with the Denver office of Squire Patton Boggs, a global law firm with 45 offices and over 1,500 attorneys. His legal practice emphasizes representation of employers in labor and employment matters and workplace accident investigations. Commissioner Wist has counseled and defended clients following some of the country’s highest profile occupational disasters. He has appeared in state and federal courts across the country.
Over the course of his legislative career, Commissioner Wist earned a reputation as a productive, bipartisan lawmaker. He sponsored and passed significant legislation, including Colorado’s sweeping data privacy and breach notification statute, a bill to reform the state’s construction defect litigation process, a law creating an alternative dispute mechanism for open records disputes, and a civil rape shield statute. Commissioner Wist’s legislative accomplishments and policy work have been recognized by national and state organizations, including Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Colorado Civil Justice League and Mental Health America.
Commissioner Wist is a graduate of the University of Denver and Georgetown University Law Center.