July 25, 2014

Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado Offers Discounts, Services, and More

Does your bank offer you discounts on auto, home, and life insurance? Do you get discounts on vacations from your bank? What about identity theft protection discounts? If the answer is no, you need to consider opening an account with the Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado.

Membership in the Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado is open to all Colorado Bar Association members, as well as to their family members and employees. Legal Community Credit Union offers traditional banking services and auto loans, and the benefits do not stop there. Partnerships with Balance Financial ServicesTrustage Insurance CompanyInvest in America, and Get Away Today vacations provide Legal Community Credit Union members with benefits far beyond traditional banking.

Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado also offers counseling services to its members. Money management, identity theft protection, credit report review, and housing counseling are some of the financial education services provided by the Legal Community Credit Union through its partners.

For more information on how to make your money work for you, visit the Legal Community Credit Union of Colorado website.

e-Legislative Report – March 4, 2013

Michael Valdez, the CBA Director of Legislative Relations, issued his e-Legislative Report on March 4, 2013. In this issue, he discusses the activity of the CBA Legislative Policy Committee and notable bills at the capitol.

Legislative Policy Committee

For readers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions on requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

At the meeting on Friday, March 1,the LPC voted to take action supporting the following bill:

  • HB 13–1135. Concerning the ability of a person to preregister to vote if the person has reached sixteen years of age but will not be eighteen years of age by the date of the next election. (See description below.)

At the Capitol

  • CBA Sponsored. SB 13-77. Concerning certain provisions of the Colorado Probate Code. By Sen. Roberts and Rep. Pabon. On Feb. 27, the Senate gave final approval to the Trusts and Estate Section’s Probate Code Omnibus bill. We added a handful of amendments to the introduced version of the bill.View the bill online.
  • HB 13-1213. Concerning the uniform asset-freezing orders act. By Rep. Levy. On Feb. 28, the House Judiciary Committee Postponed Indefinitely (killed) the bill at the request of the sponsor. Previously, the CBA LPC had voted to request that the bill be withdrawn to allow for further study and possible amendment. It looks like we have our first summer project from the 2013 legislative session!
  • SB 13-11. Concerning authorization of civil unions, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. By Sen. Steadman and Rep. Ferrandino. On Feb. 28, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill and sent it to the Finance Committee. This bill makes headlines each time the legislature takes it up. View the bill online.

For summaries of 20 Bills of Interest, 10 from each house, click here or stay tuned to CBA-CLE Legal Connection.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers to Benefit from This Year’s Barrister’s Benefit Ball

Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) is a program of the Denver Bar Association committed to bridging the gap of access to justice by providing pro bono legal services to people who could not otherwise afford representation. Last year, MVL handled 1,448 cases, 416 of which were addressed through the family law and post-decree clinics and 953 cases were non-clinic matters. MVL estimates that the donated services received totaled more than $12.7 million in value.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers is somewhat supported by the Denver Bar Association, but they also receive funding from other groups and various activities throughout the year. The Barrister’s Benefit Ball; the Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament; Colorado Legal Services; COLTAF; the Fred & Jean Allegretti Foudnation; Lois Ann Rovira; the bar associations of the First Judicial District, Douglas/Elbert counties, Adams/Broomfield counties, and Arapahoe county; and private donations also help support MVL.

On Saturday, May 4, 2013, the Denver Bar Association will celebrate its 25th annual Barrister’s Benefit Ball. This year, in order to commemorate the ball’s anniversary, the Denver Bar Foundation Barrister’s Ball Committee is working to raise an additional $25,000 to benefit Metro Volunteer Lawyers. To contribute to the $25K for 25 Years fundraising drive, click here. For more information about the charitable activities of Metro Volunteer Lawyers, click here. To volunteer for MVL, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Summary Judgment Affirmed Where Action Not Filed Within Statutory Limitations Period

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pham v. State Farm Auto Insurance Co. on Monday, March 4, 2013.

Statute of Limitations—Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims—CRS § 13-80-107.5.

Steven Pham, representing the estate of the driver of a car involved in a traffic accident, as well as the deceased driver’s parents and the five passengers in his car at the time, sought review of the court of appeals’ judgment. The court of appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of State Farm Automobile Insurance Company on the ground that plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations governing underinsured motorist claims, found at CRS § 13-80-107.5(1)(b).

The Supreme Court affirmed. The Court held that plaintiffs failed to file this action or demand arbitration of their underinsured motorist claims within either three years of the accrual of their cause of action or within two years after receiving payment of a settlement or judgment on an underlying bodily injury liability claim that had been preserved as prescribed by the statute.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Trial Court Abused Its Discretion by Ordering Closure of Court During Testimony of Undercover Police Officers

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Hassen on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Closed Courtroom—Public Trial.

Defendant Omer Hassen appealed his criminal conviction following a jury trial, along with his sentence. The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

During trial, the prosecution requested that the courtroom be closed during the testimony of two police officers. The prosecution explained that the witnesses were working undercover at the time of trial and expressed concerns that a spectator might recognize them as police officers. Hassen objected, contending the trial court abused its discretion when it closed the courtroom during the testimony of the two officers. However, the trial court granted the prosecution’s request and excluded the public.

Criminal defendants have a right, guaranteed by both the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions, to a public trial. Here, the trial court failed to articulate an overriding interest that would support the total closure of the courtroom, to make findings as to why Hassen’s presence in the courtroom was a risk, to consider less restrictive alternatives to total closure, and to make any findings to support the closure. Therefore, the trial court abused its discretion in ordering the total closure of the courtroom during the testimony of the two undercover police officers.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Who Entered Guilty Plea Waived Right to Appeal Procedural Defect

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Garcia on Thursday, February 28, 2013.

County Court—Re-Filing Complaint—Jurisdiction—Statement of Good Cause—Crim.P. 5(a)(4)(VII).

Defendant appealed the order of the district court concluding it had jurisdiction to accept his guilty plea. The order was affirmed.

On August 28, 2008, the People filed a complaint against defendant in Alamosa County Court, alleging assault in the second degree. The complaint was dismissed after the prosecution was unable to produce witnesses for a preliminary hearing. On December 12, 2008, the People re-filed the complaint in Alamosa County Court. Defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and on April 6, 2009, he pleaded guilty to felony menacing in Alamosa District Court.

Defendant argued that the prosecution was not permitted to re-file the charges in county court and, alternatively, that failure to include a statement of good cause with the re-filing of felony criminal charges in county court pursuant to Crim.P. 5(a)(4)(VII) created a jurisdictional bar to his prosecution. First, Crim.P. 5(a)(4)(VII) now authorizes the re-filing of charges in county court. Next, the prosecutor’s failure to file a statement of good cause was not a jurisdictional defect but a procedural defect, which defendant waived when he pleaded guilty.

Summary and full case available here.

Tenth Circuit: No Appellate Jurisdiction Where Grand Jury Subpoena Complied With

The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in In re Grand Jury Subpoena on Friday, March 1, 2013.

The appellant was the sole member of a limited liability company (LLC) whose federal income taxes were being investigated by a grand jury. The “Custodian of Records” of the LLC was subpoenaed to bring LLC records to the grand jury. As the records custodian, the appellant moved to quash the subpoena duces tecum on the ground that it violated his personal Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The district court denied the motion to quash and refused to grant a stay pending appeal. The appellant complied with the district court’s order to produce the records.

A protesting grand jury witness may seek appellate review only after the witness refuses to obey the subpoena and is held in contempt. The appellant argued that he came within the Perlman exception that allows a witness to appeal based on a third party’s intent to produce records. The appellant’s argument that the subpoena was directed to the custodian of records of the LLC and the capacity in which he claimed a privilege—as an individual entitled to the protection of the Fifth Amendment—was distinct from his capacity as the LLC’s records custodian did not qualify as a third-party situation. The Tenth Circuit dismissed the appeal because it lacked jurisdiction.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/1/13

On Friday, March 1, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

United States v. Church

Webb v. Oklahoma Dep’t of Human Servs.

Sissom v. Colvin

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