August 22, 2014

Legal Update: Supreme Court Hearing Set for Proposed Colo. RPC Changes

The Colorado Supreme Court will hold an open hearing on proposed amendments to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct (Colo. RPC) 1.15 and 3.8 and a proposed new rule, Colo. RPC 1.16A, on Thursday, June 10, at 3:00 p.m.

The proposed amendments to Colo. RPC 1.15, “Safekeeping Property,” will add language to the Rules that clarifies the disposition of client property subject to law firm dissolutions and attorney departures. An addition to Comment [1] would define “property” to mean “jewelry and other valuables entrusted to the lawyer by the client, as well as documents having intrinsic value or directly affecting valuable righs, such as securities, negotiable instruments, deeds, and wills.”

The proposed amendments to Colo. RPC 3.8, “Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor,” delineate the actions a prosecutor must undertake when he or she “knows of new, credible and material evidence creating a reasonable probability that a convicted defendant did not commit an offense of which the defendant was convicted.” Six new Comments to the Rule discuss definitions of terms, steps to be taken by the prosecutor, and criteria for determining the nature of the evidence at issue.

Proposed new rule Colo. RPC 1.16A, “Client File Retention,” elicidates how long a lawyer must retain a client’s files after the representation ends. It proposes a minimum two-year retention period for client files, unless particular circumstances exist. Further, it proposes that a lawyer may, ten years after a representation ends and there are no further legal actions yet pending, destroy the files without giving notice to the client. The Comments distinguish “files” from “property”; explain that file retention may be in electronic, rather than paper, form; and defines the limitations of various time periods cited in the proposed Rule.

The June 10 hearing is open to the public and will be held in the Colorado Supreme Court’s temporary courtroom on the first floor of the Denver Post building at 101 W. Colfax Avenue. Interested parties are also invited to submit written comments to the court prior to the hearing. Comments and requests to participate in the hearing must be received by Susan J. Festag, Clerk of the Supreme Court, by the close of business on Thursday, June 3.

Additional details here.

Legal Update: Colorado Supreme Court to Hold Public Hearing on C.R.C.P. 47

The Civil Rules Committee of the Colorado Supreme Court will hold an open hearing on proposed amendments to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 47(a)(5) and (u) on Wednesday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m.

The proposed amendments to C.R.C.P. 47 will add language to the Rules that limit the circumstances under which an impaneled jury may discuss a case, the evidence presented at trial, and the case’s potential outcome. The language would also grant the trial court the discretion to limit “pre-deliberation discussions of the evidence” based on a showing of “good cause.”

The April 28 hearing is open to the public and will be held in the Colorado Supreme Court’s temporary courtroom on the first floor of the Denver Post building at 101 W. Colfax Avenue. Interested parties are also invited to submit written comments to the court prior to the hearing. Comments and requests to participate in the hearing must be received by Susan J. Festag, Clerk of the Supreme Court, by the close of business on Friday, April 2.

Additional details here.