November 22, 2017

Archives for August 23, 2012

Authority and Responsibility of Chief Judges Amended by Chief Justice

Chief Justice Directive 95-01Authority and Responsibility of Chief Judges, was revised on August 17, 2012.

The directive was amended to include a paragraph memorializing the Chief Judge Council and a subparagraph regarding the open case and age of case reports for judges who retire, resign, or are rotating to a new docket. Other conforming amendments include omitting consultation with the chief justice on swearing-in dates for new judges and the obligation for the chief judge to maintain a vacation schedule, which is no longer necessary due to the use of a computerized leave program.

The details are outlined in CJD 95-01 – “Authority and Responsibility of Chief Judges”

If you have questions about this directive or the amendments, contact Carol Haller, Deputy State Court Administrator and Legal Counsel, at (303) 837-3669 or carol.haller@judicial.state.co.us.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Week of August 19, 2012 (No Published Opinions)

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and thirty-eight unpublished opinions for the week of August 19, 2012.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. Case announcements are available here.

Coach’s Corner: Be a Lawyer and a Teacher

Rebecca Mieliwocki of Burbank, Calif., was recently named 2012 Teacher of the Year and honored by President Obama at a White House ceremony.

Among other impressive achievements in her career, she went to law school. This transition is not peculiar. Lawyers are, after all, teachers. They tell stories to instruct jurors and judges for the benefit of their clients.

But lawyers may not realize that they can use teaching techniques in many other ways to make the business of law more successful.

Consider just a few examples and ask yourself how good a teacher you are.

Justify your fees

Value is ultimately determined by the client, not the attorney. But it’s the attorney who must educate the client about the value of his services.

Most clients recognize the importance of and are willing to pay a fair fee for value. What they do not want is to pay for inefficiencies, duplications or unnecessary services.

To avoid fee disputes, lawyers must regularly demonstrate that their skills and the way in which services are delivered to the client coincide with what the client wants and needs.

Blog to inform

Lawyers often know a great deal about industry and economic issues that are important to clients, and can educate their clients about trends and developments using blog posts.

A blog combines the lawyer’s observations on breaking legal or regulatory issues with specialized content and research and can offer the option to comment and ask specific questions. This defines a teaching relationship — and also often serves as the beginning of a client relationship.

Educate your staff

In the current law firm world, lawyers and staff are affected by the ongoing transformation of client expectations and legal service delivery. Lawyers must take the lead in helping all staff members understand this change.

More than the continuing sluggish economy alone, firms are contending with upheaval in the way law is practiced. Secretarial assistants, technology specialists, project managers, any staff — they all need a better understanding of the forces reshaping law firms, and the lawyers who employ them should provide that understanding.

Emphasize the value of beyond-the-case effort

Young lawyers too often view themselves as being at the mercy of the firm’s partners when undergoing annual reviews. They can enhance their situations by educating the partners on what the lawyer has actually done in a key area, such as business development.

Attending lunch or bar association functions, posting blogs and client updates, writing articles in trade or legal publications are all valid marketing activities. The young lawyer who engages in them can make a convincing argument at review time: “This is what I’ve done to promote myself and promote the firm.”

Don’t assume these efforts are well-known tactics. Teach those who matter about the value of the effort.

Education is all about communication. It is essential that those with whom a lawyer interacts knows what the lawyer is doing and understands why it is being done. As lawyers, our job is to help others. Constantly conveying how and why you are doing this is an excellent way to derive greater personal satisfaction from your practice.

Ed Poll is a nationally recognized coach, law firm management consultant, and author who has coached and consulted with lawyers and law firms in strategic planning, profitability analysis, and practice development for over twenty years. Ed has practiced law on all sides of the table and he now helps attorneys and law firms increase their profitability and peace of mind. He writes a syndicated legal column, Coach’s Corner, where this post originally appeared on June 20, 2012.

Tenth Circuit: Buckhannon Interpretation of “Prevailing Party” Applies to EAJA Claims

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Iqbal v. Holder, Jr. on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.

Shahid Iqbal, a citizen of Pakistan, applied for naturalization with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because of an ongoing background check, USCIS did not act on his application within 120 days after he took the naturalization examination. Iqbal petitioned the district court pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b) and, among other relief, asked the court “to review his application, determine that he met the citizenship requirements, grant him naturalization, and issue a Certificate of Citizenship.” USCIS denied Iqbal’s petition because he had not met the physical presence requirements and moved to dismiss his petition as moot, or for the court to decline jurisdiction. The district court held the filing of the § 1447(b) vested exclusive jurisdiction in it and then remanded the matter to USCIS. In its remand order, the court stated, “The USCIS may determine how to best proceed on remand. Nothing in this order is intended to require the USCIS to change its earlier determination of the merits of the application.”

Iqbal filed a motion for attorney fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), 28 U.S.C. § 2412, which mandates an award to a prevailing party other than the United States. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the denial of an EAJA award because Iqbal was not a prevailing party under 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d)(1)(A). The district court had not ordered the USCIS to make any determination by a date certain or to grant Iqbal naturalization. In making this determination, the Tenth Circuit specifically adopted the interpretation of “prevailing party” in Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Dep’t of Health & Human Resources, 532 U.S. 598 (2001) and held that Buckhannon’s interpretation applies to EAJA claims. To be considered a prevailing party, there must be some judicial imprimatur on a legal change between the parties; a voluntary change is not enough.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 8/21/12

On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and fourteen unpublished opinions.

Rubio v. Ledezma

Barber v. Miller

Marrakchi v. Napolitano

United States v. Ford

United States v. Galvan-Estrada

Boyce v. Clements

Hall v. Assoc. International Insurance

Glenn v. Kane

Calcari v. Ortiz

Schulze v. Addison

Taylor v. Astrue

Stephens v. Jones

United States v. Kellogg

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Ortega

No case summaries are provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.