November 23, 2017

Archives for January 31, 2013

Nominate Your Favorite Paralegal for the Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year Award

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 is the deadline for nominations for the 2013 Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year Award. Any Colorado paralegal can be nominated for the award; the recipient will be honored at the Colorado Paralegal Day reception on May 2, 2013. The recipient will also be honored by the Colorado Supreme Court in April.

The nomination form is available on the CBA website. Completed nomination forms should be submitted to Lauren Eisenbach. Forms must include contact information for the nominee and the nominating individual, as well as a short description of the paralegal’s activities that qualify him or her for the Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year award.

Nominations will be evaluated by a panel of judges and community members. Nominees will be evaluated on whether they have assisted in providing legal services to people who could not otherwise afford those services, whether the nominee enhanced the provision of pro bono services to the community, whether the nominee exhibits a true dedication to pro bono work, and the quality of the legal services provided. It will not be a quantitative evaluation but rather will focus on dedication to furthering pro bono legal services.

For more information about the 2013 Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year Award, click here. For the nomination form, click here.

 

Governor Hickenlooper Signs First Two Bills of the 2013 Legislative Session

On Thursday, January 31, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed the first two bills of the 2013 legislative session.

House Bill 13-1057, Concerning the Retention of the Avalanche Information Center Within the Department of Natural Resources, was sponsored by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson. The bill specifies that, although the Colorado Geologic Survey transferred to the Colorado School of Mines from the Department of Natural Resources on January 31, 2013, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center will be retained at the DNR and classified as a Type 2 agency.

Senate Bill 13-036, Concerning the Repeal of the Requirement that the General Assembly Annually Pass a Joint Resolution to Certify a General Fund Revenue Estimate, was sponsored by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill eliminates the requirement that the General Assembly approve the budget estimate by February 1, since the Office of Legislative Legal Services updates the previous joint resolutions, and the Legislative Council economists regularly track and update the revenue forecasts.

For the Governor’s office press release concerning the bills, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 1/31/13

On Thursday, January 13, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued three published opinions and 29 unpublished opinions.

Published

People v. Houser

Target Corporation v. Prestige Maintenance USA, Ltd.

In re Parental Responsibilities Concerning M.D.E., a Child

The summaries for these cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

SB 13-030: Requiring that Applicable Bill Sponsors and Commitees of Reference be Notified of Rules Adopted as a Result of Legislation Enacted During the Legislative Session

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Mark Scheffel introduced SB 13-030 – Concerning an Additional Review of Rules Promulgated Pursuant to the “State Administrative Procedure Act” by Committees of Reference of the General Assembly. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

For rules adopted on or after Nov. 1, 2013, the staff of the committee on legal services are required to identify the rules that were adopted during each applicable one-year period as a result of legislation enacted during any legislative session commencing on or after Jan. 1, 2013. After such rules have been identified, the staff of the committee on legal services are required to notify in writing any prime sponsors and cosponsors of the enacted legislation who are still serving in the general assembly, and the current members of the applicable committees of reference in the senate and house of representatives for that enacted legislation that a rule has been adopted as a result of the legislation.

The bill also requires the posting of a completed cost-benefit analysis on the official web sites of the agencies completing the cost-benefit analysis and the official web site of the department of regulatory agencies. The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

SB 13-025: Allowing Firefighters to Participate in Collective Bargaining

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced SB 13-025 – Concerning Collective Bargaining by Firefighters. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill grants firefighters the right to:

  • Organize, form, join, or assist an employee organization or refrain from doing so;
  • Negotiate collectively or express a grievance through representatives of their choice;
  • Engage in other lawful concerted activity for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection; and
  • Be represented by their exclusive representative without discrimination.

An employee organization recognized or elected for collective bargaining becomes the exclusive representative of all firefighters for collective bargaining. The bill prohibits a fire department from bargaining on matters covered by the act with any other employee or group. The bill grants the exclusive representative the right to be present and express its views at the adjustment of a complaint made by a member of the bargaining unit without the intervention of the exclusive representative. An exclusive representative may have dues and other moneys deducted from the pay of firefighters who authorize the deduction.

A fire department and an exclusive representative have to bargain collectively in good faith. Any agreements negotiated between an exclusive representative and a fire department, along with any terms approved by the voters of the political subdivision of the fire department, constitute the collective bargaining agreement between the parties. The bill requires the term of a collective bargaining agreement to be for between one and three years unless the parties agree to negotiate and reach a voluntary agreement on all terms of a new contract. The parties have to begin collective bargaining within a specified time after the notice. An impasse is deemed to exist if the parties fail to reach a collective bargaining agreement within a specified time after the beginning of collective bargaining. A collective bargaining agreement may require all members of the bargaining unit, as a condition of employment, to pay the exclusive representative’s fees and expenses in negotiating and enforcing the agreement.

If an impasse exists, the bill requires the parties to allow an arbitration organization to appoint an advisory fact finder to hold a hearing on the unresolved issues and make recommendations on which party’s final offer on each issue should be accepted. The bill specifies the factors that the advisory fact finder must consider. The parties have a specified time to consider the advisory fact-finder’s recommendations and conduct further negotiations. If either party rejects the recommendations, the final offers of the parties on the unresolved issues will be submitted to the voters of the political subdivision of the public employer at a special election.

The bill prohibits firefighters from striking.

Existing bargaining units, exclusive representatives, and bargaining relationships as of the effective date of the bill remain in effect unless modified by agreement or election in accordance with the bill.

Firefighters may conduct secret-ballot elections to certify or decertify an employee organization as the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit.

The bill grants a firefighter or an employee organization the right to sue to enforce the provisions of the bill.

On Jan. 23, the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee amended and approved the bill and moved it to the Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill was laid over on Second Reading in the Senate until February 4, 2013.

SB 13-024: Prohibiting Employers from Discriminating Against Employees Based on Labor Union Participation

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Owen Hill introduced SB 13-024 – Concerning the Prohibition of Discrimination Against Employees Based on Labor Union Participation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill prohibits an employer from requiring any person, as a condition of employment, to become or remain a member of a labor organization or to pay dues, fees, or other assessments to a labor organization or to a charity organization or other third party in lieu of the labor organization. Any agreement that violates these prohibitions or the rights of an employee is void.

The bill creates civil and criminal penalties for violations and authorizes the attorney general and the district attorney in each judicial district to investigate alleged violations and take action against a person believed to be in violation. The bill states that all-union agreements are unfair labor practices.

On Jan. 23, the Business, Labor, & Technology voted to Postpone Indefinitely (kill) the bill.

Tenth Circuit: Appellant’s Failure to Provide an Adequate Record on Appeal Constituted Waiver of Claims Concerning Sufficiency of Evidence at Trial

The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in United States v. Brody on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

Patrick Merrill Brody was convicted after a jury trial of willful failure to file a tax return. Brody was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment and filed this appeal challenging both his conviction and sentence.

The claims Brody raised required a review of items that were not provided in the record. Under the Tenth Circuit’s Rules of Appellate Procedure, “[t]he appellant must provide all portions of the transcript necessary to give the court a complete and accurate record of the proceedings related to the issues on appeal.” 10th Cir. R. 10.1(A)(1). An appellant’s failure to file a trial transcript precludes review of a conviction for sufficiency of the evidence. By failing to file a copy of the trial transcript as part of the record on appeal, the appellant waives any claims concerning the sufficiency of the evidence at trial.

Here, all of Brody’s claims failed, because he failed to provide the Court with the record the Court needed to assess each claim.

AFFIRMED.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 1/30/13

On Wednesday, January 30, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and two unpublished opinions.

United States v. Shobe

United States v. Gutierrez

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

SB 13-023: Increasing the Limits on Damages that May be Recovered Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Bill Cadman introduced SB 13-023 – Concerning an Increase in the Limitation on the Amount of Damages that May be Recovered by an Injured Party Under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.” This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Currently, the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act” (Act) sets as a maximum amount that may be recovered by a person suing a public entity or public employee for loss or injury caused by the entity or employee in any single occurrence, whether from one or more public entities and public employees:

  • For any injury to one person in any single occurrence, the sum of $150,000; and
  • For an injury to two or more persons in any single occurrence, the sum of $600,000, and, in such circumstances, the act prohibits any single person from recovering in excess of $150,000.

To ensure these limitations on damages reflect the effects of inflation since the specific limitations were last increased by the general assembly, the bill increases the damages limitation for any injury to one person in any single occurrence to $478,000. For an injury to two or more persons in any single occurrence, the bill increases the damages limitation to $990,000 and further specifies that, in such circumstances, a single person is precluded from recovering in excess of $478,000.

The bill further provides that the increased damages amounts are:

  • Exclusive of interest awarded; and
  • Adjusted for inflation every four years. The bill requires the attorney general to make this required adjustment on an every four-year basis commencing Jan. 1, 2018, to certify the amount of the adjustment, and to publish the amount of the adjustment on the attorney general’s web site.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

SB 13-022: Making the County Treasurer the Public Trustee in All Colorado Counties Except Denver and Broomfield

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Sen. Kent Lambert introduced SB 13-022 – Concerning the County Treasurer Becoming the Public Trustee in the Counties Where the Public Trustee is Currently Appointed by the
Governor. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Currently, 10 counties designated as counties of the second class in the public trustee law have a public trustee who is appointed by the Governor. According to current law, the city and county of Denver is a county of the first class and should also have an appointed public trustee, but the public trustee in the city and county of Denver is specified in its charter. In the remainder of the counties the county treasurer serves as the public trustee; except that, in the city and county of Broomfield, the public trustee is specified in its charter.

On or before Feb. 1, 2015, in all counties of the second class, the county treasurer of the county shall become the public trustee. The board of county commissioners of each such county shall determine the date on which the county treasurer of the county will become the public trustee.

On and after Feb. 1, 2015, the county treasurer will be the public trustee in all counties in the state; except that in the city and county of Broomfield and the city and county of Denver, the public trustee will be such equivalent officer as is specified in the city and county’s charter or code.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2015, the governor’s authority to appoint the public trustee in counties of the first and second classes and to fill vacancies in the office of the public trustee in such counties is eliminated.

On Jan. 23, the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs voted to Postpone Indefinitely (kill) the bill.

HB 13-1025: Authorizing Increase in Allowable Deductible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policies

On January 9, 2013, Rep. Spencer Swalm and Sen. Cheri Jahn introduced HB 13-1025 – Concerning an Increase in the Amount of the Authorized Deductible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance PoliciesThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Current workers’ compensation law allows employers a deductible of up to $5,000 in a workers’ compensation policy. This bill increases the amount of the authorized deductible up to the amount of the workers’ compensation insurance rate split point approved by the commissioner of insurance. Assigned to the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee.

HB 13-1022: Creating a Traffic Infraction for Failure to Carry Automobile Insurance and Dismissing Charges of Failure to Carry Insurance if Proof Provided

On January 9, 2013, Rep. Chris Holbert and Sen. Cheri Jahn introduced HB 13-1022 – Concerning Proof of Motor Vehicle InsuranceThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill makes providing false evidence of proof of motor vehicle insurance a class B traffic infraction punishable by a fine of $500. The bill also allows a court clerk’s office to dismiss a charge of violation of the compulsory auto insurance requirement if it verifies there was a policy in effect at the time of the alleged violation using the uninsured motorist database. On Jan. 24, the bill was amended and approved by the Judiciary Committee and referred to the Appropriations Committee.