February 18, 2018

Sean Finn Appointed to 17th District Court Bench

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Sean Finn to the District Court bench in the 17th Judicial District. Finn will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Ted Tow, III, to the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective February 13, 2018.

Finn is currently a Chief Trial Deputy in the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes felony offenses and supervises felony prosecutions of economic crimes, cases before Boulder County grand juries, and appeals on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office. He also handles civil matters on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office and is an adjunct professor of criminal procedure at the University of Colorado School of Law. Prior to his work in the 20th Judicial District, Finn was Deputy District Attorney and Senior Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District. He was an associate at Davis, Graham & Stubbs early in his career. He clerked for Hon. Robert Russel of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his law degree from Loyola University School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Rules Governing Commissions on Judicial Performance Repealed

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2018(02), repealing Chapter 37 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, “Rules Governing the Commissions on Judicial Performance.” The repeal was adopted by the court on February 15, effective immediately.

For the text of the rule change, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/15/2018

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Scott v. Mid-Del Schools Board of Education

Brown v. Zupan

Center v. Lampert

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/14/2018

On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

Medical Lien Management, Inc. v. Dampier

Aronstein v. Thompson Creek Metals Co., Inc.

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Colorado Court of Appeals: ALJ Properly Applied “Major Purpose” Test to Determine Whether Organization was Political Party

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC v. Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution on Thursday, February 2, 2018.

Election Law—Campaign Finance—Major Purpose Test for Political Committee.

Colorado Citizens Protecting our Constitution (Colorado Citizens) paid for a radio advertisement that supported a candidate for state senate. Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC (Campaign Integrity) filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State (Secretary) alleging that Colorado Citizens had not registered as a political committee as required by article XXVIII of the Colorado Constitution and the Fair Campaign Practices Act. Colorado Citizens and the Secretary moved for summary judgment before the administrative law judge (ALJ). Colorado Citizens argued it was not a political committee because it did not have the “major purpose” of supporting or opposing candidates. The Secretary added that it could not be a political committee because it did not make or receive contributions. The motions were denied.

Following a hearing on the merits, the ALJ found that Colorado Citizens’ spending on political candidates only accounted for little more than one-third of its total spending, while the majority of its spending involved political issues. He concluded it was not a political committee because it did not have the major purpose of nominating or electing political candidates.

On appeal, Campaign Integrity argued that the ALJ misapplied the major purpose test and erred in holding that Colorado Citizens was not a political committee.  The court of appeals first reaffirmed that the “major purpose” test was the correct test to be applied. To determine an organization’s major purpose, a court can (1) examine its central organizational purpose, or (2) examine the organization’s spending to determine whether the preponderance of expenditures are for express advocacy or candidate contributions. The court agreed with the ALJ that Colorado Citizens’ statement of its organizational purpose was unhelpful and that analyzing Colorado Citizens’ spending activity was the appropriate method. The court determined that the record supported the ALJ’s determination that the organization was not a political committee because, based on the amount of its spending on political advocacy for candidates, it did not have the major purpose of nominating or electing candidates.

Campaign Integrity also argued that when applying the major purpose test, the ALJ should have considered Colorado Citizens’ spending in a calendar year, instead of a consecutive 12-month period. The records the judge examined were those subpoenaed by Campaign Integrity. It was up to Campaign Integrity to provide the additional records if it had wanted the judge to consider them. In addition, there is no legal authority requiring a calendar year analysis.

Campaign Integrity further argued that the ALJ improperly excluded evidence from his analysis that Colorado Citizens had made $76,000 in candidate contributions during March and April of 2015. The Court found the judge did not err because there was no evidence regarding other expenditures made during that time period, so the record was incomplete as to Colorado Citizens’ total spending in those months. Moreover, even if the $76,000 were included, the total candidate spending would still have constituted less than 50% of Colorado Citizens’ overall candidate-related expenditures, or less than what would constitute the central purpose for which Colorado Citizens was created.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/13/2018

On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

Gatewood v. VA Government Compensation

United States v. Rodriguez

Campos v. Mantech International Corp.

Woesler v. Utah Valley University

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/12/2018

On Monday, February 12, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

Boettcher v. Conoco Phillips, Co.

Grammer v. Sauers

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 2/12/2018

On Monday, February 12, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued two published opinions.

Burton v. Colorado Access

Oakwood Holdings, LLC v. Mortgage Investment Enterprises, LLC

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/9/2018

On Friday, February 9, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and six unpublished opinions.

United States v. McIntosh

United States v. Zander

McDermod v. Ford Motor Co.

Samuels v. McDonald

Martin-El v. Zeerip

United States v. Rodriguez

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/8/2018

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and one unpublished opinion.

United States v. Thyberg

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 2/8/2018

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued eight published opinions and 19 unpublished opinions.

People v. Trujillo

People v. Van Meter

Danko v. Conyers, M.D.

Marso v. Homeowners Realty, Inc.

Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC v. Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution

Brunson v. Colorado Cab Co., LLC

Save Cheyenne v. City of Colorado Springs

Montoya v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/7/2018

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Goertz v. Chrisman

Amerson v. United States Bankruptcy Court

Perez v. Denver Fire Department

Gardenhire v. Johns Manville

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.