December 11, 2017

Colorado Gives: Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Compassionately Transforms the Lives of Abused and Neglected Children

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection is focusing on several legal charities in honor of Colorado Gives Day, December 5, 2017. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

childrens-law-center-logo-gFor over thirty-five years, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center has provided compassionate legal advocacy and clinical services to children who have been abused or neglected. Through a team of legal professionals and social workers, the Children’s Law Center serves at-risk children and considers the whole child with each recommendation regarding the child’s best interest.

The Children’s Law Center also works for public policy change, working to make children a political priority at the local, state, and national levels. The Children’s Law Center has made great progress in this area. They created the first Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Program, promoted a 2013 Senate Bill to reduce the number of child abuse fatalities in the state, promoted a 2013 House Bill to streamline the process to report child abuse, and much more.

The Children’s Law Center has several programs devoted to legal advocacy for children. The Education Program promotes the adoption of policies and procedures in the schools and legislature to recognize the impact of trauma on children’s learning behaviors, reduce school transfers for children in the child protection system, and redirect children in the school disciplinary system from the school-to-prison pipeline. The Children’s Law Center also has a caregiver advocacy program, a domestic violence program, a trauma-informed yoga program, and a therapeutic garden.

The Children’s Law Center relies on donations to continue providing compassionate legal advocacy to abused, neglected, and at-risk children. Their annual operating expenses total over one million dollars per year. Donate on Colorado Gives Day by clicking here or any day by filling out the form on this webpage.

Colorado Gives: Disability Law Colorado Recognizes the Inherent Value of All People and Embraces Empowerment

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities this week in honor of Colorado Gives Day— Tuesday, December 5, 2017. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

Disability Law Colorado (formerly known as The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People) was created in 1976 out of the dream of a small group of parents who came together to secure equal rights for their children with developmental disabilities who were living in state institutions. These parents wanted a better life for their children and believed that all people with disabilities deserved the right to live full and rewarding lives. Disability Law Colorado’s early successes included requiring school districts to pay for children’s education in public schools, allowing children with severe disabilities to attend school for the first time. Disability Law Colorado also succeeded in preventing sterilization of people with developmental disabilities and preventing workplace discrimination against people with disabilities.

In 1977, the governor designated Disability Law Colorado to be Colorado’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for people with developmental disabilities. Today, Disability Law Colorado is recognized as a leader in the National Disability Rights Network made up of Protection and Advocacy programs from all the states and territories.

For Colorado Gives Day, Disability Law Colorado has a $15,000 fundraising goal. By donating through Colorado Gives, your gift will go further thanks to a $1 million dollar incentive fund. Click here to donate.

Colorado Gives: Help Provide Justice for All through Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

It’s Colorado Gives Day today, and you can make a big difference for some of the least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our community by supporting Legal Aid. Donate here to help ensure that low-income Coloradans are not left to face serious civil legal problems alone.

Contributions to the Legal Aid Foundation help support Colorado Legal Services (CLS), which provides free legal services to over 10,000 Coloradans every year, giving priority to the poor, elderly and disabled in greatest economic and social need. Unfortunately, for every client served by CLS, at least one income-eligible client is turned away because of inadequate resources.  CLS has only 50 lawyers statewide to serve nearly 800,000 income-eligible Coloradans.  By comparison, there are nearly 500 public defenders in the state to serve the indigent in serious criminal matters.

As lawyers, we know first-hand the value and necessity of quality legal representation when faced with a potentially life-changing legal problem. This is especially true of low income individuals and families, whose basic survival may depend on being able to stay in their home, protect themselves from abuse or exploitation, or secure food and necessary health care.

Making a Colorado Gives Day donation is quick and easy, and all donations made today will receive a proportional “boost” from a $1 Million Incentive Fund.  Please join lawyers from around the state today in helping Colorado move closer to fulfilling the promise of “justice for all.”

To learn more about the Legal Aid Foundation, please visit www.legalaidfoundation.org.

Colorado Gives: Metro Volunteer Lawyers Provides Representation to Low-income Coloradans

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities this week in honor of Colorado Gives Day—Tuesday, December 5, 2017. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

MVL-50-Year-Logo (png) SmallerMetro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) is a program of the Denver Bar Association and is co-sponsored by the Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Douglas/Elbert, and First Judicial District Bar Associations. MVL is committed to bridging the gap of access to justice by providing pro bono legal services to people who could not otherwise afford legal assistance.

MVL offers pro bono opportunities to attorneys, especially in the areas of estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, family law, and consumer law. By volunteering with MVL, attorneys can receive valuable experience while assisting Colorado’s most vulnerable populations with their legal needs. Under C.R.C.P. 260.8, Colorado attorneys providing uncompensated pro bono legal representation may apply for 1 general CLE credit for every 5 billable-equivalent hours of representation, up to a maximum of 9 credits in each 3 year compliance period.

Give your expertise, as well as supporting MVL with a cash donation. Click here to donate and/or submit an online application to volunteer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The CBA-CLE offices will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, and will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Our website is always open, though — visit http://cle.cobar.org to register for programs, order homestudies, or purchase books.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving!

The Colorado Lawyer Self-Assessment Program

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jonathan White of the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. You can find out more about the lawyer self-assessment survey on the OARC website

By Jonathan P. White, Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Colorado has launched its new lawyer self-assessment program designed to help lawyers better serve clients and simplify their professional lives. This program arises out of a multi-year initiative of a subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee. Over 50 practicing lawyers have participated in the subcommittee. They have drawn from their professional experience to identify practices that promote client service, that lead to more efficient office management, and that allow lawyers to assess their practice’s ethical infrastructure. The subcommittee’s goal is to help lawyers assess their practice and identify points of excellence and areas for improvement.

There are ten individual areas of self-assessment:

  1. Developing a competent practice;
  2. Communicating in an effective, timely, professional manner and maintaining relations;
  3. Ensuring that confidentiality requirements are met;
  4. Avoiding conflicts of interest;
  5. Maintaining appropriate file and records management systems;
  6. Managing the law firm/legal entity and staff appropriately;
  7. Charging appropriate fees and making appropriate disbursements;
  8. Ensuring that reliable trust account practices are in use;
  9. Working to improve the administration of justice and access to legal services; and
  10. Wellness and inclusivity.

Ultimately, these self-assessments should help attorneys avoid grievances and alleviate some of the stress associated with practice, especially for solo and small firm practitioners and those new to practice. The self-assessments are voluntary and confidential. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel does not receive any personally-attributable answers. The assessments offer links to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and to a variety of educational resources ranging from template forms to advisory opinions to articles on current professionalism issues.

Lawyers can now view and complete the self-assessments through the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel’s website: https://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/AboutUs/LawyerSelfAssessmentProgram.asp. Lawyers can choose to take all ten self-assessments through an online survey platform accessible at the top of the previously-referenced webpage. This online platform may be used on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device. As an alternative, lawyers may also download the print/PDF survey through the same webpage. After completing either the online self-assessment or the print/PDF version, lawyers may claim up to three general credit hours and three ethics credit hours of continuing legal education. A CLE affidavit is available on the self-assessment program webpage, as well as through the online survey itself.

Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center on October 20

On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center will host a celebratory gala in honor of its 35th anniversary. The Legacy Gala will feature a presentation by former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers. There will also be an awards ceremony, a live auction, and a silent auction, in addition to dinner and cocktails. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Legacy Gala, and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center is accepting donations for the silent auction as well. To register for the event or to learn more about sponsorship, click here.

Lawyers Run for Kids on October 1, 2017

Run for a good cause! The 2017 Hot Chocolate 5K/15K will take place on October 1, 2017. You can support the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center while you run — the Children’s Law Center arranged with Hot Chocolate to invite you, your business, and its clients to run in a fun and chocolate-filled race against other businesses in the Denver metro area. Join Lawyers Run for Kids with employees or clients to race against other businesses for bragging rights, all while making a difference in a child’s life.

The Children’s Law Center Lawyers Run for Kids lets you:

  • Create teams with your colleagues and build office camaraderie (we encourage professionals in all work
    sectors and industries to participate!)
  • Invite your clients to join you for a fun, relationship-building event
  • Race against other businesses for fabulous prizes – there’s more than one way to win!
  • Run with your friends and make a tax-deductible donation through your sponsorship to help the kids we serve!

Perks for you:

  • Every runner will receive a Lawyers Run for Kids tech t-shirt, with all teams business logos on back of shirt
  • Hot Chocolate Swag including a soft, tech-fabric pullover, goodie bag, chocolate medal and finish line hot chocolate fondue and dippers
  • Children’s Law Center prizes for fastest (and slowest) male, female and coed teams as well as an elite prize for the firm with the most teams
  • Prominent recognition via: Law week Colorado post-race color ad, Children’s Law Center social media platforms, website, & quarterly newsletter
  • Special rates for government employees, non-profit employees, and CLC Junior Board members!

Registration information is available here. Register individuals and teams by September 13 in order to have your logo printed on the Lawyers Run for Kids shirt. Click here to register, and use coupon code MTQJYBFMQP to have your registration completed by the Children’s Law Center.

Attorney Volunteers Needed for Hurricane Harvey Victims

The Colorado Bar Association extends its heartfelt sympathy and support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. In light of the severity of the situation, the Texas Supreme Court has issued an order allowing attorneys licensed and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction to practice in Texas for six months so that they can volunteer their services to assist victims of this natural disaster. According to the ABA Journal, lawyers will be needed for disaster appeals with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to help people secure temporary housing, to get money for home repairs, and to deal with insurance claims. Click here for more information and to volunteer.

Out-of-state lawyers without practice-area expertise or the time to handle cases may consider donating money to area legal services groups, particularly Lone Star Legal Aid. Lone Star Legal Aid suffered a double blow from the hurricane when their flood-damaged Houston office exploded. Currently, their Angleton/Clute, Beaumont, Bryan, Conroe, and Galveston offices also remain closed. The Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is holding a donation drive for Lone Star Legal Aid from now through next Friday. Click here to donate to Lone Star Legal Aid through the CBA-YLD donation drive.

Other legal aid organizations providing help through the area are also accepting donations, including Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

The CBA thanks those Colorado attorneys who are willing and able to help.

Happy Fourth of July from CBA-CLE!

Happy Fourth of July from CBA-CLE! The CBA-CLE offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in honor of Independence Day.

Most people learned in elementary school that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, but did you know there’s more to the story? The Declaration of Independence was first drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, and, after some revisions, the Continental Congress approved the draft on July 2, 1776. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776—John Hancock and Charles Thompson. Most of the rest of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence signed on August 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was not actually submitted to Britain until November 1776.

Independence Day was not celebrated until many years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Political strife after the War of 1812 helped promote the country’s celebrations related to the Declaration of Independence, printed copies of which all bore the date July 4, 1776. When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, the day became even more widely celebrated. Finally, in 1870, Congress passed a bill to recognize several national holidays, including Independence Day and Christmas. In 1941, Congress voted to grant a paid holiday to government workers on July 4. Today, most people celebrate the Fourth of July by decorating with American flags, cooking out, and watching fireworks.

Regardless of how you celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Comment Period Open for Reappointment of Federal Bankruptcy Judge Michael E. Romero

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that Federal Bankruptcy Judge Michael E. Romero’s 14-year term of office will expire on December 21, 2017. The court is considering whether to reappoint Judge Romero for a new 14-year term of office. Under a new appointment, Judge Romero would continue to exercise jurisdiction as a bankruptcy judge under Titles 11 and 28 of the United States Code.

Comments about Judge Romero’s reappointment are now being accepted by the Tenth Circuit. All comments will be kept confidential. Comments should be mailed to

David Tighe
Circuit Executive
Byron White United States Courthouse
1823 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80257

and must be received no later than July 21, 2017. For more information about the reappointment, click here.

In Memoriam: John Campbell

We at CBA-CLE were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of John Campbell, a managing editor, author, and frequent presenter for CBA-CLE on elder law topics.

John practiced estate planning and elder law at the Law Offices of John J. Campbell, PC, in Denver, where he offered services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, probate law, guardianships, and conservatorships, Social Security, SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare setaside trusts, and disability trusts, and he offers special consultations in settlement of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims involving public benefits.

John was active in the Trust & Estate and Elder Law sections of the Colorado Bar Association, and was past-chair of the Elder Law Section. He was also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, was certified in elder law by the National Elder Law Association, and was a member of the Arapahoe County Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals.

John was the managing editor of Elder Law in Colorado and an author for the Colorado Senior Law Handbook. He was also was a frequent speaker for CBA-CLE, presenting annually at the Elder Law Retreat and Elder Law Basics seminars.

We wish to offer our deepest condolences to John’s family in this time of sorrow.