February 27, 2017

CBA-CLE Welcomes Vincent O’Brien, Our New Executive Director

CBA-CLE is proud to welcome Vincent “Vince” O’Brien as our new Executive Director. Vince hails from Minnesota, where he was Assistant Director and Program Attorney at Minnesota CLE. He has been at Minnesota CLE since 1987. Vince also spent 20 years working as a firefighter and EMT for the Hastings Fire Department in Minnesota, and he is active on his local school board. Prior to his work at Minnesota CLE, Vince was a public defender and in private practice, where he practiced in the areas of probate, estate planning, family law, business planning, and criminal defense.

Vince is a proud husband to Amy, an ER nurse, and father of five children ranging in ages from 24 to 3. He likes to run and work out in his spare time, and he loves great literature. When asked about a favorite sports team, Vince wisely declined to comment (this is Broncos Country, after all), but mentioned that Amy is a Green Bay Packers fan.

CLE was a natural fit for Vince, because he is passionate about life-long learning and all it entails. He has worked two jobs for most of his adult life; he commented that working at CBA-CLE will be the first time he will have a sole professional objective. Vince notes that he loves to work with attorneys and listen to them and think about their needs: “There’s an obscure note in a translation of ‘The Art of War,’ where, in discussing the five elements, a commentating general talks about seeing the tree on the plain before it grows… I have been very fortunate a few times to ‘see the tree’ in my work in CLE.”

Vince plans 33 seminars annually, and notes that one of his favorite and most successful ventures was a series of TED Talk-style programs with the estate planning group. Vince mentioned that he likes all the programs he plans, from the rural agricultural law programs to the large multi-day probate conference. He is looking forward to working with the CBA-CLE members and staff to empower people to do best they can and grow to meet increasingly diversified educational needs.

Before working at Minnesota CLE, Vince was a practicing attorney. When asked about a favorite practice area, Vince said, “Cases where I felt I truly helped people were my favorite—in criminal defense, family law, and Veterans disability appeals.” He related a story where once he used vacation time to try a family law case pro bono. On the first day of trial, the judge called counsel and said that if he were to rule preliminarily on what was in the record, he would rule against Vince’s client. However, after that week of “vacation,” Vince prevailed and his client had a successful outcome.

Education of non-attorneys is also important to Vince—he has been on his local school board in Hastings, Minnesota, for many years, and has been in leadership roles such as the school board chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and secretary. He found that his extensive school board experience helped his continuing legal education work in two ways. First, he took an active role in getting into classrooms and observing how “educational processes, differentiation, and technology, blended with classically wonderful teaching methods and hard work led to evolved learning, data-driven practices, and engaged students.” Vince would like to transfer these teaching models into CLE programming. Second, working on the school board helped him learn to listen respectfully to the different factions and interests to steer vision and focus processes.

CBA-CLE is excited to welcome Vince. His vision for our future is to work together with our great staff and wonderful stakeholders throughout Colorado, to evolve the CLE work as best we can. He is excited to present innovative and important education for attorneys.

Nominate a Trust & Estate Attorney for the R. Sterling Ambler Award

Each year, the CBA Trust & Estate Section presents its Sterling Ambler Award to an outstanding trust and estate attorney who has made significant and multitudinous contributions to the Trust & Estate Section and the legal profession. The Award is given to an individual who has contributed substantially to furtherance of Colorado law, education of others, and the Trust and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association. It is named in honor of R. Sterling Ambler, an exceptional attorney who practiced law in Colorado for over 50 years and who gave freely of his time and expertise to individual lawyers, to the Colorado Bar Association, and to the legal profession, until his death in 2004 at the age of 72.

Sterling was skilled in the law but in addition he excelled at writing, debating and refining statutory language and ideas. He worked on many legislative proposals and willingly considered new ideas and developments in the law. His diplomacy and insights were often useful in bridging differences among lawyers, sections of the Bar, and the legislature. He was selfless in advancing the law as a whole over his own personal interests. Sterling Ambler will be remembered for his sense of humor, his quiet unassuming way, and his willingness to accept help from others and to freely share his wealth of knowledge of the law.

Criteria for eligibility for the Sterling Ambler Award include significant years of contribution to the Trust & Estate Section and the legal profession, as well as multiple areas of contribution, including but not limited to building connections between sections of the CBA, helping advance the legislative agenda of the CBA, participation in Trust & Estate Section committee meetings, assisting less experienced attorneys, and participation in professional organizations.

Past recipients of the R. Sterling Ambler Award are:

  • 2009: Bruce Deacon
  • 2010: John DeBruyn
  • 2011: Stanley C. Kent
  • 2012: Robert Steenrod
  • 2013: Marc Darling
  • 2014: Laurie Hunter
  • 2015: Kevin Millard
  • 2016: Eugene Zuspann

Nominations must be returned to the Trust & Estate Section Chair, Darla Daniel. The nomination form is available here.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from CBA-CLE

Today, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights activist who bravely spoke out against racism and oppression so many years ago. Dr. King’s important work continues to be relevant. His full speech is available here.


“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”


“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”


“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Colorado Gives: Legal Aid Foundation Helps Provide Free Civil Legal Services to Low-income Coloradoans

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

laf_logo1The Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado raises money for Colorado Legal Services (CLS), Colorado’s statewide Legal Aid program. CLS is the only agency in the state that provides free legal services in civil cases to indigent clients in every Colorado county.

CLS operates like a legal emergency room. In conducting its triage, it gives priority to the poor and elderly in greatest economic and social need, focusing on legal issues that have an impact on basic needs, including at least minimally adequate income, food, shelter, utilities, necessary medical care, and freedom from domestic violence and abuse.

CLS provides legal services in many areas of law, including domestic relations, landlord-tenant disputes, guardianships and conservatorships, wage claims, bankruptcy protection, nursing home eviction prevention, and more. Eighty percent of low-income people have trouble obtaining legal representation in court to protect their property, family, and livelihood when dealing with evictions, foreclosures, unpaid wages, domestic violence, and public benefits. The Legal Aid Foundation helps bridge the justice gap by allowing low-income Coloradoans to obtain legal representation.

The Legal Aid Foundation relies on community donations to support CLS and ensure that low-income people receive legal representation. To schedule a donation for Colorado Gives Day, click here. To donate through the Legal Aid Foundation website, click here. And, to volunteer through Colorado Legal Services, click here.

 

About the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

The Legal Aid Foundation raises money for Colorado Legal Services, which provides free civil legal assistance to low-income Coloradans who are facing serious civil legal problems. For more information, please visit legalaidfoundation.org.

Colorado Legal Services (CLS) provides legal representation and advice through a network of 13 offices around the state, as well as easy-to-understand, online self-help information and state-of-the art interactive forms that can be used in civil proceedings.

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

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

childrens-law-center-logo-gFor over thirty 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: Wheels of Justice Cycling Team Pedals for Pediatric Cancer Patients

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

woj-logoEach year, the Wheels of Justice Cycling Team rides in Colorado’s Courage Classic, a challenging 2-day bicycle tour covering 157 miles of mountain passes, in order to raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The Wheels of Justice has contributed over $3 Million toward treating and researching cancer, as well as supporting patients suffering from cancer.

The Wheels of Justice Team was created in 2005 by Heather Purcell and Aaron Bradford. They formed a team of attorneys to participate in the Courage Classic with the underlying goal of being the top fundraising team each year. In its first three years, the Wheels of Justice Team raised more than $500,000 for Children’s Hospital Colorado. Since then, the Wheels of Justice Team has raised more than 3 million dollars. In 2016, the team raised $345,000 with 238 riders from various law firms, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

The Wheels of Justice Team is always happy to accept new riders, be they experienced cyclists or weekend warriors. To join for the team, email info@wheelsofjusticecycling.org or call (720) 323-2538.

The Team also accepts sponsorships. In 2016, Denver’s top law firms and businesses stepped up as sponsors, adding more than $110,000 to the team’s total raised for Children’s Hospital Colorado. Sponsorship information is available at info@wheelsofjusticecycling.org.

Individual donations are also accepted. Each team member is required to raise $300 in addition to paying the race’s registration fee, so donations can be made to individual riders or the team as a whole. Contact info@wheelsofjusticecycling.org for more information.

Colorado Gives: Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network Promotes a More Humane Immigration System

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

rmianThe Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) is a nonprofit legal services organization that believes justice for immigrants means justice for all. RMIAN provides life-changing legal services to vulnerable immigrant children in Colorado, and to adults in immigration detention. Without this assistance from RMIAN’s attorneys, RMIAN’s child clients and individuals in detention would be forced to face immigration court hearings entirely on their own, an injustice by any standard. A national study, headed by a federal judge, found that immigrants with lawyers are five times more likely to win their cases than those without. For many, a loss in immigration court means deportation and a forced return to the persecution, abuse, or other violence from which they fled. For many others, it signifies a permanent and heartbreaking separation from spouses, partners, children, siblings, and other loved ones.  RMIAN’s programs are dedicated to ensuring legal representation, due process, and support.

RMIAN’s Detention Program has a daily presence at the immigration detention center in Aurora, Colorado, where over 900 individuals are detained on civil immigration charges every day. RMIAN’s attorneys provide know-your-rights presentations before detained individuals have to go before the immigration judge for the first time, assist with applications and case preparation, refer cases to pro bono attorneys, represent clients, and provide social service support for the most vulnerable detainees. Recent RMIAN cases involving clients in detention include a man from Somalia granted asylum on the basis of his political opinion; a longtime lawful permanent resident granted a second chance by the immigration judge to stay with his family in Colorado; a young man from Honduras granted asylum based on the persecution he would face because of his sexual orientation; and numerous clients who won bond reductions with RMIAN’s representation. In 2015, RMIAN’s Detention Program provided 209 know-your-rights presentations to over 1,700 individuals in detention, conducted over 800 individual intakes, held 33 workshops for over 100 individuals fighting their cases on their own, and provided intensive individual assistance to over 500 detainees. In addition, RMIAN’s staff attorneys and volunteer attorneys represented 59 clients in their complete immigration court cases.

RMIAN’s Children’s Program provides immigration legal services to children through Colorado. Recent clients include a young man who was granted a T visa based on being a victim of human trafficking; several children who won Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a result of being abused, abandoned or neglected; several young crime victims and their family members who were granted U Visas; and numerous youth who were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In the past several years, RMIAN’s Children’s Program has seen an exponential increase in its representation of unaccompanied children who fled horrors in their home countries and who are now seeking asylum and other immigration relief before the Denver Immigration Court. In 2015, RMIAN’s Children’s program directly represented 288 children, conducted 658 intakes and consultations, and referred 205 cases to pro bono attorneys. By providing free legal services to immigrant children, as well as outreach efforts to community partners, RMIAN educates children and their families on the rights and protections to which they are entitled under federal immigration law and works to ensure that Colorado’s communities are safe.

In addition to direct legal services, RMIAN provides community education and training about immigration law, particularly as it relates to individuals in immigration detention and immigrant children. In 2015, RMIAN gave 66 presentations to 2,210 community members.

Please consider making a donation to RMIAN today to help us fulfill our values statement, “We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all.” Donations may be mailed directly to RMIAN at 3489 West 72nd Avenue, Suite 211, Westminster, CO 80030 or via RMIAN’s website at www.rmian.org  RMIAN is participating in Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

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 in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

dlc-630x160Disability 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: Metro Volunteer Lawyers Provides Representation to Low-income Coloradans

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. 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 from Colorado Bar Association CLE

Happy Thanksgiving from Colorado Bar Association CLE! We are thankful to all our volunteer authors and speakers. Thank you for contributing your time and expertise for the betterment of Colorado attorneys. We are thankful for our class attendees, book purchasers, and customers also. Thank you for enabling us to provide high-quality CLE programs and publications.

The CBA-CLE offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24, and Friday, November 25, 2016. Our website is always open, though—visit http://cba-cle.org to register for programs, purchase books, or order homestudies.

very-thankful

Colorado Gives: Volunteers Needed for Sturm College of Law’s Tribal Wills Project

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

Each year, students from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver participate in the Tribal Wills Project (TWP). In January, March and May, TWP participants travel to a tribal reservation in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona or Montana for a week to draft wills, medical powers of attorney, living wills, and burial instructions for tribal members on a pro bono basis. This work is extremely important for the following reasons.

Under the American Indian Probate Reform Act (AIPRA), if a tribal member dies without a will and his or her interests in trust land total less than specified amount, such interests automatically pass to the tribal member’s oldest living descendant to the exclusion of his or her remaining descendants. If the tribal member is not survived by any descendants, such interests pass back to the tribe. This is often in contravention of the tribal member’s intent. In some instances, tribal members are unaware of these default provisions under AIPRA; in other instances, tribal members may be aware of the default provision but are without the means or resources to have a will prepared to avoid the foregoing results. TWP gives tribal members a voice so that desired family members are not excluded from inheriting interests in trust land.

Additionally, TWP provides a unique opportunity for law students to gain hands-on experience with real clients. Initially, a student is paired with a client to conduct an interview. Thereafter, the student prepares initial drafts of the desired documents, which are then reviewed by a Colorado supervising attorney. The student and attorney work through the revision process together, which provides an essential learning opportunity for the student. Once the documents appear to be in order, the documents are further reviewed by an attorney who is licensed in the particular state where the reservation is location. Once the documents receive final approval, the student participates in the execution process.

TWP was initially developed in February 2013 by John Roach, who is a Fiduciary Trust Officer for the Southern Ute Agency of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians; former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr.; and University of Denver Professor Lucy Marsh, among others. The first trip occurred in March 2013 when the students and supervising attorneys travelled to the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Reservations in southern Colorado. Since then, TWP has grown exponentially. Each year, students apply for limited positions on the TWP team; many must be turned away based on the limited availability of funds and supervising attorneys.

In January 2017, twenty students and four supervising attorneys will travel to two reservations outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Similar groups will travel to New Mexico in March and Montana in May. It costs approximately $15,000 to fund each trip, which is funded primarily by donations.

TWP is actively seeking volunteer supervising attorneys to assist with future trips. If you are unable to serve as a supervising attorney for any reason, you can still help by making a tax-deductible donation to TWP.

For more information, please contact Lucy Marsh at (303) 871-6285 or lmarsh@law.du.edu.

Retirement Reception for Hon. Howard Tallman of U.S. Bankruptcy Court on December 1

You are cordially invited to
a retirement reception

FOR THE
HONORABLE HOWARD R. TALLMAN

judge-tallman

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Marriott Denver City Center
1701 California Street, Downtown Denver

5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be provided.

 This event is proudly co-sponsored with the Bankruptcy Subsection of the Colorado Bar Association.

After an already impressive legal career and service as the U.S. Trustee for Region 19, Judge Tallman was appointed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado in 2002 and served as Chief Judge from 2007 to 2014.  Judge Tallman will officially retire on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

We hope you will join us for this retirement reception to honor Judge Tallman for his exemplary judicial service during his tenure with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and his contributions to the practice of law throughout his legal career.

Questions? Click Here to Email Amanda Hoffman.