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Leonard V. B. Sutton Papers

Identifier: M388


Leonard von Bibra Sutton (1914-2002) was an alumnus of the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and went so far as serving as Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Sutton was often a guest lecturer and speaker at the University of Denver. He also founded the "international legal studies program at DU College of Law. Justice Sutton established the "Chief Justice Leonard v.B. Sutton International Law Award," an annual endowment that allows a DU law student to spend a summer at the Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands. He also had a hand in establishing DU’s annual Leonard v.B. Sutton Colloquium in International Law Award."


  • 1948-1999


Conditions Governing Use

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Biographical / Historical

Born in Colorado Springs on December 21, 1914 to father B.E. Sutton and mother Anna Marie von Bibra, Leonard v. B. Sutton was an industrious child and dedicated to schoolwork and was a high achiever. In high school, in Colorado Springs, Sutton had been involved in numerous extracurricular clubs and activities such as theatre, track, and the National Honor Society. He graduated from Colorado College in 1937, having studied geology and political science. Afterward he enrolled in the College of Law at the University of Denver, and received his LLB (Bachelor of Laws) in 1941 and was soon admitted to the Colorado Bar. Save for four years that he had spent in the military during World War II, he had a law practice in Colorado until 1956. at which point he had been appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court. After leaving the bench as Chief Justice in 1968, a position he held since 1966, he was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as Chair of the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, and did much work for international human rights. On December 16, 2002, Sutton died, preceded by his wife Janette.


12 Linear Feet (12 record boxes)

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal papers collected by Leonard V.B. Sutton throughout his lifetime. Many of these are from associateds he had been involved in, including the Inter-American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the American Arbitration Association. Some of the documents in this collection are marked confidential or are from various cases that Sutton had handled. As such, the collection will be restricted.


The collection is arranged as the boxes had been arranged by the Sturm College of Law, prior to their arrival to the university of Denver Special Collections and Archives. The collection contains 13 boxes, with no current established series.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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