February 12, 2016

Five Cybersecurity Tech Tips: Worries to Give You the Willies

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Attorney at Work on January 29, 2016. Reprinted with permission. See below for information about ordering Colorado CLE’s homestudy for our program, “Data Privacy & Information Security: Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law.”

By Sharon Nelson and John Simek

A keyboard with a red button - Privacy

A keyboard with a red button – Privacy

There are lots of cybersecurity worries to give you the willies in the wee hours of the morning, but we were asked to pick five. So here are some of the most common threats for lawyers to keep in mind.

1. Ransomware. We continue to see law firms struck by ransomware, which is a type of malware that encrypts your data (restricting your access to it) and then demands a ransom payment — usually in bitcoins — to get your data back. Training your employees not to click on suspicious attachments or links in email will help. They should stay away from suspicious sites as well since ransomware can be installed by just “driving by” an infected website.

Overwhelmingly, from a technological standpoint, you can defeat ransomware by having a backup that is immune to it. This can mean, particularly for solo lawyers, that you back up and then disconnect the backup from the network. For others, it means running an agent-based backup system rather than one that uses drive letters. Make sure your IT consultant has your backup engineered so that backups are protected — that way, even if you are attacked with ransomware, you can thumb your nose at the thief’s demands for money because you can restore your system from your backup. Of course, this means backups need to be made frequently to avoid any significant data loss.

2. Employees. Employees are by nature rogues. Every study made shows employees will ignore policies (assuming they exist) to do what they want to do. This often means people bring their own devices (BYOD) which may be infected when they connect to your network. They may also bring their own network (BYON) or bring their own cloud (BYOC). Certainly, your policies should disallow these practices (in our judgment) or, at least, manage the risks by controlling what it is done by implementing a combination of policies and technology.

Oh, and employees steal your data or leave it on flash drives or their home devices, too. This means you have “dark data” — data you don’t know about and over which you have no control. This means you may miss data required in discovery because you don’t know it exists. Your data may not be protected in compliance with federal or state laws and regulations. And you have no way to manage the data because you don’t know it is there. Once again, a combination of policies and technology should be in place to prevent these issues.

3. Targeted phishing. This is perhaps the greatest and most successful threat to law firm data. Someone has you in their sights — often they have done research on your law firm. They may know the cases you are involved in — and who your opponents are. They may know the managing partner’s nickname. Everything they know about you, they may use to get you to click on something (say, an email from an opponent referencing a specific case and saying “The next hearing in ___ case has been rescheduled as per the attachment). Many a lawyer has clicked on such attachments — or a link within an email.

The best solution to protect yourself from targeted phishing is training and more training — endlessly. One California firm was targeted by multiple phishing attacks but survived them because the lawyers and staff who received such emails questioned their authenticity.

Forget the loss of billable time. The loss of money, time and even clients due to a data breach can be far worse.

4. Interception of confidential information. Start with the proposition that everyone wants your data, including cybercriminals, hackers and nation states (including our own). Frankly, if they want your data and they have sophisticated tools, they will get it. So shame on you if you are not employing encryption (which is now cheap and easy) to protect confidential data transmitted and received via voice, text, and email. Encryption today is a law firm’s best friend. You may choose to use it always or in cases where it is warranted — but you surely should have the capability of encrypting.

5. Failure to use technology to enforce passwords policies. First, let us say that you should use multi-factor authentication where available and use it to protect sensitive data. But failing that, we recognize that passwords are still king in solo practices and small to midsize firms. Therefore, have your IT consultant assist you in setting up policies that can be enforced by technology, requiring that network passwords be changed every 30 days, not reused for an extended period of time — and mandating strong passwords (14 or more characters in length, utilizing upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols). Passphrases are best. Iloveattorneyatwork2016! would do nicely.

There are many other “willies” out there, but address them one digestible chunk at a time!

Sharon D. Nelson (@SharonNelsonEsq) and John W. Simek (@SenseiEnt) are the President and Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a digital forensics, legal technology and information security firm based in Fairfax, VA. Popular speakers and authors, they have written several books, including “The 2008-2015 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guides” and “Encryption Made Simple for Lawyers.” Sharon blogs at Ride the Lightning and together they co-host of the Digital Detectives podcast.

 

CLE Homestudy: Data Privacy & Information Security — Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law

This CLE presentation took place Friday, January 22, 2016. Order the homestudy here: CDMP3 audioVideo OnDemand.

Data Privacy & Information Security: Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law

The breakneck speed at which technology is advancing presents both extraordinary opportunity and unprecedented risk to you and your clients. As data breaches and cyber attacks increase, so do the costs associated with preventing and dealing with them when — not if — they happen.

This practical seminar provides guidance on the state of the law on data security and privacy, as well as sound practices on how to minimize risk of a breach. Learn about data security and privacy issues with the European Union and Changes to the Safe Harbor Act, as well as the status of negotiations over the General Data Protection Regulations. Learn the reasonable measures to take in case of a breach, as well as best practices for advising your board and executives. Discover the latest challenges in employment law, as well as ethical dilemmas.

 

CLE Program: Data Privacy & Information Security — Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law

This CLE presentation will take place Friday, January 22, 2016, in the CLE Large Classroom. Click here to register for the live program and click here to register for the webcast, or call (303) 860-0608.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here: CDMP3 audioVideo OnDemand.

Top Ten Law Practice Management Programs and Homestudies

The year is almost over, and with it the compliance period is ending for many Colorado attorneys. As we draw to a close with our review of the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several substantive practice areas, we wanted to include something important to practitioners across all fields of law—law practice management and legal writing. Colorado CLE offers law practice management and legal writing programs throughout the year, including classes on how to use Adobe Acrobat in a law practice, analyzing financial statements, conducting online research, and much more. Read on for the Top Ten Law Practice Management Programs and Homestudies.

10. Essential Legal Research Methods and Resources for Colorado Lawyers. Legal research in a university setting often involves analyzing a long-standing legal issue with well-established outcomes. Research in practice, however, can focus on cutting edge and messy legal issues where the law is only starting to emerge, with conflicting and ethical issues. This program provides advanced techniques for finding and analyzing primary and secondary law sources, free legal research, and more. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Drafting Complex Legal Documents with Microsoft Word. This program, taught by nationally renowned speaker Barron Henley, features tips and tricks to create, share, automate, and manage electronic documents. Learn about Word’s style features, simple automation techniques, file organization, keeping documents secure while allowing comments, and more. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as DVD homestudy and Video OnDemand.

8. Legal Writing in the Smartphone Age. Gone are the long, flowing emails messages with pretty graphics and lots of attachments. Today’s communication — almost 100% electronic — is immediate, brief, clear, and powerful. Designed to boost your instant or near-instant message-drafting skills, this practical half-day program will teach you how to draft clearer and more effective emails, court documents, and memoranda. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Accounting and How to Understand and Analyze Financial Statements. There are financial issues involved with every type of law practice and it is your duty to possess the skills and knowledge necessary to handle those issues effectively.  This detailed program will provide you with the financial literacy required to protect yourself and your clients through your understanding of accounting concepts, terminology, and financial statements. Six general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. iPad for Legal Professionals — Basics and Advanced. These two half-day programs provide useful tips for using iPads in a law practice. The first half covers “must-have” apps that should be on every lawyer’s iPad and tackle important security settings and how-to’s on loading documents and printing. The second half answers more advanced questions, like “How can you do legal research on the iPad? How do you give a presentation on the iPad? Do you need to buy a keyboard or stylus?” Four general credits each; available as DVD homestudy (Basics/Advanced) or Video OnDemand (Basics/Advanced).

5. Better Motion Practice — How to Argue, Present, and Write Motions More Effectively. This program is designed for lawyers who want to sharpen their skills. It provides a practical overview of various kinds of motions likely encountered in pre-trial civil practice. Specific techniques, skills, and methods for persuading the court and decision-makers are covered. The program will generally reference state and federal rules of procedure and evidence. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. The Art of Communication. Being a lawyer means being an effective communicator. Yet, in an increasingly electronic age, what is effective communication and how do we measure our own effectiveness in keeping our clients informed as to complex issues, guiding them in making difficult decisions, and speaking on their behalf to others? This half-day interactive seminar is designed to explore in depth the art of strategic communication by introducing participants to theories and specific practice tips concerning improved written and electronic communications. Four general credits; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

3. How to Become Your Own Cybersleuth: Conducting Effective Internet Investigative and Background Research. In this fast-paced investigative research seminar, you will learn to create more effective Internet searches to locate information crucial to your matters, which you might otherwise miss. We will reveal hidden Google search features and shortcuts to speed up your research. You will also learn to use free public record sites and sites with free “publicly available” information (including social media sites), for discovery, trial preparation, background checks, and for locating missing persons. Discover the advantages (and limitations) of data broker databases. Each homestudy comes with a copy of the book, The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the InternetSeven general credits; available as live Video Replay in Denver on January 5, 2016, or as CD homestudy.

2. Hanging Your Shingle 2015: Hardware. Software. Anywhere You Go. In this intensive two and a half day course, you will get the tools, information and building blocks you need to confidently open the doors to your new firm. If you believe you can’t afford to venture out on your own, is it time to ask yourself if you can afford not to? Eighteen general credits, including 7.9 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

1. Preventing Legal Malpractice. Each year, CLE presents two Preventing Legal Malpractice programs: one directed at transactional attorneys, one directed at litigation attorneys. In addition to the printed materials, each attendee receives a copy of CLE’s book, Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado. For 2016, there will be Preventing Legal Malpractice programs in Denver on March 11 and in Colorado Springs on March 17. Registration is not yet open, but save the dateFour general credits, including four ethics credits. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2015 programs (transactional/litigation) and click here for the 2014 programs (transactional/litigation).

Top Programs and Homestudies — Intellectual Property, Elder Law, Immigration, and More

Over the past few weeks, we have been featuring the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in various practice areas. Previous posts include:

Although we addressed several substantive practice areas, we offer many more great programs not featured on the previous Top Ten lists. These are discussed today.

Intellectual Property The Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Institute is the region’s premier event for IP lawyers. The 2015 Institute featured four simultaneous tracks of sessions for attorneys, covering patents and patent litigation, trademarks/copyrights, licensing, and transactional/e-commerce. As a bonus, Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada donated custom brews for the 2015 Institute. The 2016 IP Institute is scheduled for June 2 and 3, 2016, at the Westin Westminster. Click here for more information about the IP Institute and the 2016 conference agenda.

Elder Law Colorado CLE presents an annual mountain program for elder law practitioners, the Annual Elder Law Retreat. The 2015 Retreat, held in beautiful Snowmass, discussed social security issues, including maximizing benefits; trends in VA, including special programs and applications for long-term care; atypical beneficiary requests; financial exploitation of the elderly; long-term care planning; and much more. The dates for the 2016 Retreat have not yet been announced; stay tuned to cle.cobar.org/elder for details.

Immigration — In addition to the comprehensive reference book, Immigration Law for the Colorado Practitioner, Colorado CLE offers several great immigration programs each year. Most recently, the CBA Immigration Law Section co-sponsored the program, “Immigration Law — Asylum and Other Humanitarian Relief,” which covered U visas, T visas, VAWA, special immigrant juvenile status, asylum law, and more. Find this and other important immigration law programs here.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Colorado CLE offers many great ADR programs, but the flagstone event is the 40-hour Mediation Training. This five day live program, taught by renowned mediator Judy Mares-Dixon, presents an in-depth guide to mediation as well as several breakout sessions to practice mediation skills. The 40-hour Mediation Training will occur on January 18, 19, 20, 25, and 26, 2016. Space is limited so register today.

Workers’ Compensation — Each year, the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section co-sponsors two annual events: the Workers’ Compensation Fall Update and the Workers’ Compensation Spring Update. Topics vary from year to year but each program features case law updates and news from the Division. In addition, many times medical professionals will provide education on particular types of injuries, including psychological injuries. More information about CLE’s workers’ compensation offerings can be found here.

Health Law — Two years ago, Colorado CLE began offering an annual Health Law Symposium, co-sponsored by the CBA Health Law Section and the American Health Lawyers Association. This program offers an exceptional speaker lineup of nationally recognized health law experts focused on current issues in health law of interest and concern to practicing attorneys in the rocky mountain. Topics discussed at the 2015 Health Law Symposium include discussion of the Affordable Care Act, franchising in the health care industry, HIPAA and meaningful use, antitrust rules in the provider context, and more.

Juvenile Law Although many family law programs cover topics of interest to juvenile law practitioners, this important practice area also has its own programming. Each year, Colorado CLE presents a juvenile law update, co-sponsored by the CBA Juvenile Law Section. The 2016 Juvenile Law Program, “Ethics! Ethics! Ethics!,” is scheduled for April 1, 2016, with a focus on—you guessed it—ethics. Topics covered include implicit bias, social media, ethical challenges in juvenile defense, and more. Click here to register.

Solo/Small Firm — This technically is not a practice area, but there are myriad issues that solo practitioners face while running a law business that their biglaw counterparts do not. The Solo and Small Firm Section of the CBA puts on great programming throughout the year, including topical lunches, and hosts monthly networking meetings, the Solo in Colo blog, and much more. For information on joining the Solo and Small Firm Section, click here.

If you don’t see your practice area listed here or on the previous Top Ten posts, please let us know. If you are interested at speaking at an event in your practice area, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today!

Top Ten Marijuana Law Programs and Homestudies

Colorado is in the forefront of the marijuana industry, and as such the need for legal guidance regarding medical and recreational marijuana has exponentially increased. In fact, the CBA has a new Cannabis Law Committee to further the legal profession’s understanding of marijuana law. Today’s Top Ten Programs and Homestudies feature marijuana law. (In case you missed it, we previously featured ethics, family law, trust and estate law, real estate law, litigation,business law, employment law, criminal law, and construction/environmental/oil and gas/water law.) Grab a snack and read on for the Top Ten Marijuana Law Programs and Homestudies:

10. Ethics 7.0 2014. Although not strictly a marijuana law program, the 2014 Ethics 7.0 program featured a discussion by Chief Deputy Regulation Counsel James Sudler on hot topics in attorney regulation, including marijuana. As a bonus, this program fulfills an entire compliance period’s ethics credits requirements. Seven general credits, including seven ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Marijuana in Estate Planning and Administration. Even trust and estate attorneys encounter marijuana-related issues. The recent addition of recreational marijuana rights to the already-existing medical marijuana industry means that estate and probate attorneys are almost certain to encounter marijuana-related issues in both estate planning and probate. This is a must-attend session dealing with everything from a joint found with a decedent’s personal property to an estate-planning client who owns a thriving, licensed marijuana business. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

8. Criminal Law Fall Update 2013. Amendment 64 provides for the regulation of marijuana like alcohol, and allows for the lawful operation of marijuana-related facilities. Amendment 64 presented issues of first impression in Colorado and in the United States, as no other state except Washington State at that time had legalized marijuana for non-medical, adult use in the face of federal legal restrictions. What are the implications for the criminal law landscape on the state and federal levels? What does it mean from a behavioral health perspective? Get answers to these questions and more. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Lending Compliance Update: Appraisals, Marijuana, and More. As the Colorado marijuana industry flourishes, banking issues related to marijuana become more and more important. This program discusses banking compliance and provides a CPA’s perspective on the marijuana business and compliance issues. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

6. New Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2: Marijuana Law Update. On March 24, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted a comment to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2. According to the comment, a lawyer may counsel a client regarding the validity, scope and meaning of Colorado’s marijuana laws and may assist a client in conduct the lawyer believes is permitted under state law. It’s important to know not only what the comment said, but what it didn’t say—and possible consequences for Colorado attorneys. Two general credits, including two ethics credits; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

5. Banking for Marijuana Businesses — An Update. Get up to speed on banking for marijuana businesses! Learn about the Justice Department’s efforts to craft guidance for banks that work with marijuana businesses and how banking views those efforts. Learn what bank regulators, who aren’t bound by Justice Department actions, are doing. Are banks still at risk of racketeering charges if they knowingly handle money made from the sale of marijuana? Hear obstacles, potential solutions and potential best practices. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

4. The Business of Marijuana. In November 2012, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, which makes the personal, non-medical use, possession, and limited home-growing of marijuana legal under Colorado law for adults 21 years of age and older. Amendment 64 presented issues of first impression in Colorado and in the United States, as no other state except Washington State had legalized marijuana for non-medical, adult use in the face of federal legal restrictions at that time. This 2013 program discussed tax, accounting and legal implications for people involved in marijuana-related businesses in light of Amendment 64. Six general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

3. Marijuana — The Colorado Model. Colorado pulled in $2 million in taxes related to the sale of recreational marijuana… in January 2014 alone. Combined with taxes on sales from medicinal marijuana, Colorado pulled in nearly $3.5 million in pot-related tax revenue. This growing industry and resulting revenue has created a myriad of legal, financial and regulatory issues for the State of Colorado. Hear from some of the State’s top regulatory and legal experts on what’s going on in the ever-changing marijuana industry. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

2. Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana in Criminal Law, Civil Regulations, and Forensic Science. The legalization of both medical and later recreational possession of marijuana in Colorado has brought an abundance of new legal issues in criminal, civil and regulatory law. With a focus on the new book Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana (Lawyers and Judges Publishing, 2015), the faculty explores both the forensic and legal issues of running a dispensary, drug testing for confirmation in narcotics cases and THC levels for DUI-D cases. Topics covered include land use and HOA laws, federal controlled substance laws, licensing and regulation, business regulation, and more. Eight general credits; available as live Video Replay in Denver on January 6, 2016, and also available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

1. The Colorado Marijuana Industry — Legal and Accounting Advice and Compliance. Colorado marijuana stores sold a record amount of marijuana in June 2015, a huge leap over the previous record set in March 2015. Recreational marijuana sales topped $50 million for the first time. Medical marijuana also had its biggest month in more than a year. Some owners reported seeing more than 300 customers a day. At the halfway mark of 2015, Colorado stores had sold nearly half a billion dollars in marijuana and paid about $60 million in taxes to the state. Clearly, the marijuana business is thriving in Colorado. But we as attorneys, accountants, business valuators, regulators, bankers and citizens still have a lot to learn about this fledgling industry. Find out what you need to know about marijuana law in Colorado at this important program. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

Top Ten Programs and Homestudies for Construction, Environmental, Water, and Oil and Gas Law

As 2015 winds to a close, we continue our review of the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in various practice areas. In case you missed it, we previously reviewed the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in ethics, family law, trust and estate law, real estate law, litigation, business law, employment law, and criminal law. Today, we have consolidated several related practice areas, because there is often a great deal of overlap in the programs for these practice areas. And now, here are the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies for Construction, Environmental, Water, and Oil and Gas Law.

10. Mechanics’ Liens: Advanced Issues. Mechanics’ liens are the stuff of nightmares for homeowners. This program tackles some of the tough issues with mechanics’ liens, including oil and gas liens, priority following a public trustee sale, and the impact of a bankruptcy filing on a mechanics’ lien. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Oil and Gas Law Nuts and Bolts. This Oil and Gas Law Nuts and Bolts program is for attorneys who are new to the oil and gas arena or want to expand their practice. It is also for attorneys who have been practicing in the area and want to refresh their knowledge, get up-to-date on recent developments, or simply want essential information on oil and gas law. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

8. Agricultural, Environmental, and Water Law Symposium 2014: The Great Drought and What It Means To You. From agriculture to tourism, real estate, and oil and gas development, the lack of water is affecting many segments of our economy and communities across the state. This program brings together some of the top public officials, academics, and attorneys to address the great western drought and how you can help your clients respond to it. Four general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Oil and Gas Law Advanced Topics 2015. Power up your oil and gas practice and knowledge as you learn about the legal framework for oil and gas in the Rocky Mountain West region, emerging title issues, ethics, master limited partnerships, and federal access issues. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. Colorado’s River Basins: A Comprehensive UpdateThis program provides insights on basins in 6 of Colorado’s 7 water divisions. Topics discussed include water administration related to marijuana cultivation, alternative transfer methods, surface water irrigation improvement rules implementation, water rights versus property rights in storm water management, new/proposed groundwater rules, and more. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Oil and Gas Development in Colorado: Balancing Energy and the Environment. Striking the balance: energy production and use is desirable, but not without challenges and risks. Environmental regulation is effective and positive, but not without costs. Learn how hot button energy and environmental interests are being balanced by state and local governments, the energy industry, environmental and technical professionals, and practitioners. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. Mechanics’ Liens: Getting Paid for Accomplished Work. When a homeowner does not pay for work that has been done on his or her property, the construction workers can assert a lien on the subject property. Whether you represent the homeowner or the construction worker, there is much to learn about this area of the law! Although mechanics’ liens are effective tools, there are numerous pitfalls in meeting the deadlines for recording a mechanics’ lien, for accurately drafting the lien, and for correctly serving the lien. Learn about the nuances of mechanics’ liens in this program. Four general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

3. Water, Oil, and Gas: Nuts and Bolts of Oil and Gas Leases, Surface Use Agreements, and Water Rights for Non-Oil and Gas Attorneys. This program focuses on critical water, oil and gas issues in Colorado. This program provides those who don’t practice in the area with essential information regarding oil and leases, surface use agreements, government’s role in authorizing locations for oil and gas development; the ins and outs of nontributary and produced nontributary ground water and nontributary ground water as a landowner asset. Six general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

2. Residential Construction Defect Law Update 2014. The program will highlight recent liability, damages and insurance developments as discussed in the 2013 Fourth Edition of Residential Construction Law in Colorado (CLE) authored by Ronald M. Sandgrund, Scott F. Sullan and Leslie A. Tuft. A PDF copy of the book is included as part of the course materials, along with a summary list of significant, recent cases. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

1. Basics of Mechanics’ Liens and Verified Claims. The ins and outs of mechanics’ liens are addressed in this program, including who can claim a lien, what may be liened, commercial and residential property, what pleadings are needed to assert a lien, lien waivers, and more. A PDF copy of the CLE book, Colorado Liens and Claims Handbook, is included as part of the course materials. Five general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

Top Ten Criminal Law Programs and Homestudies

We are in the last week of the year, and the end of the compliance period is almost here. We are continuing our review of the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in various practice areas — in case you missed it, we already reviewed ethics, family law, trust & estate law, real estate law, litigation, business law, and employment law.

Today’s focus is on criminal law. Although we have many great programs on various evidentiary issues, they are generally categorized as litigation programs, so make sure to check the Top Ten Litigation Programs and Homestudies for a review of hearsay rules, e-Discovery, and more. The Top Ten Criminal Law Programs and Homestudies generally focus more on practice issues and DUI law. Read on for the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies:

10. Anatomy of a DUI Case. Part of the “Small Firms, Big Success” series, this program provides an overview of handling a DUI case. The program is geared toward attorneys who do not have experience in criminal and DUI law. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

9. Legal Writing in Criminal Law. Learn from judges and other attorneys as they discuss how to write effective briefs in criminal law cases. Topics include efficient writing, writing and motions practice at the trial court level, “Top Ten” observations about legal writing in criminal law cases, ethics, and more. Five general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

8. DUI Basics: A Nuts-and-Bolts Approach. Anyone who practices DUI defense should listen to this homestudy. The program features discussions of litigating a forensic laboratory, a primer on defending DUI cases, how to attack standardized field sobriety tests, ethical considerations in DUI defense, and understanding the basics of DMV reinstatement hearings. Six general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Felony DUI: The Law and Penalties. Learn the ins and outs of Colorado’s new felony DUI law, which creates a class 4 felony for fourth DUI offenses and also creates new sentencing schemes and provides alternatives for repeat offenders. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

6. The Law of Forensic Science — Criminal Law Fall Update 2014. Forensic science has come a long way in recent years. What began as fingerprint, ballistics and blood spatter evidence has evolved into DNA profiling, digital forensics and forensic chemistry. Criminal lawyers are often called upon to understand and litigate complex areas of forensics. This program not only illustrates how things have changed, but also includes thought-provoking discussion about the ethical and societal implications of these changes. Six general credits, including 1.8 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Search & Seizure Law in Colorado: Update and Overview. A thorough knowledge of search and seizure law is vital to the practice of criminal law. Not one word of the Fourth Amendment has changed in over 200 years, but search and seizure law is constantly evolving, as new cases are added to the Fourth Amendment mosaic. This program discusses important cases involving searches and seizures. Attendees will receive a PDF copy of H. Morley Swingle’s book, Search and Seizure Law in ColoradoFour general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. Criminal Law Hot Topics 2013. Whether you are new to the practice of criminal law or a seasoned practitioner, this program focuses on timely topics with you in mind. Gain deeper knowledge of the Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Defense (NGRI); Level of Supervision Inventory (LSI); and Crim. P. 35(c). Hear the perspectives of prosecutors, defense counsel, mental health professionals and a long-time Chief Judge. This program provides critical and practical information and materials. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

3. The New Bail Statutes — Criminal Law Spring Update 2014. In 2013, Colorado’s General Assembly overhauled our statutes governing pretrial release. Colorado’s new laws recognize what decades of research has proven: that using money as a condition of release does nothing to guarantee community safety and future court appearances. This program will give an overview of the new statutory scheme and some history behind bond. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

2. The NEW Criminal Jury Instructions AND Criminal Motions Practice — Criminal Law Spring Update 2015. On September 3, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court announced the release of new Model Criminal Jury Instructions. The entire first half of the Spring Update is devoted to the new instructions. A case can be won or lost at the motions stage, so knowing how to craft a persuasive pretrial motion is essential to your criminal law practice, whether you sit on the prosecution or defense side of the aisle. The second half is be devoted to persuasive motions practice. Hear from the bench, the prosecution and defense on what works … and what doesn’t. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

1. Race and the Criminal Justice System — Criminal Law Fall Update 2015. Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and Ferguson, Missouri have become household names in recent times. It is not new information that minorities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. One difficult question we may ask ourselves is how do we as members of the legal profession contribute to this problem? And yet more difficult … can we do anything to change it? Attend this year’s Criminal Law Fall Update to join the difficult conversation about race in the criminal justice system, and to join in being proactive in your daily practice to be part of the solution toward racial equality … in the cell … in the courtroom … and in our community. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

Top Ten Employment Law Programs and Homestudies

As the end of the year draws nigh, we are reviewing the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several substantive areas of law. Previously, we covered ethics, family law, trust & estate law, real estate law, litigation, and business law. We continue our review with employment law. And now, without further ado, here are the Top Ten Employment Law Programs and Homestudies:

10. Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Law Institute — Dignity to All Persons. Although not strictly an employment law program, the LGBT Law Institute included topics of interest to employment law attorneys, including a session called “GLBTQ Employment Law Issues, FMLA, Sensitivity Training and Discrimination.” Eleven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Employment Law Fall Update 2013 — New Cases, New Legislation, and Tools Every Employment Lawyer Needs. Highly experienced employment lawyers discuss what’s new in the field in this informative program. Topics covered include stock options with mergers & acquisitions, arbitration, workplace violence, FLSA, retaliation, and more. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

8. Independent Contractor or Employee? Softrock‘s and Western Logistics‘ Effect. In 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued two important employment law decisions, ICAO v. Softrock and Western Logistics v. ICAO, reversing decades of case law regarding the test for whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee. This program discusses the two decisions and their impact on employment law in Colorado. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

7. Discipline, Documentation, and Discharge of Problem Employees. Performance reviews strike dread into the hearts of employers and employees alike, but the consequences of poor disciplinary practices can be disastrous. This program provides practical tools for navigating the disciplinary process, including coaching, warnings, performance improvement plans, and last chance agreements. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. Non-Compete Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, and Other Restrictions on Employee Competition. Many employers of entry level workers force their employees to sign non-compete agreements as a condition of employment. Is this legal? In this program, learn about the proper use of non-compete agreements and the law of restrictive employment covenants, as well as the necessity of and limitations on confidentiality agreements, statutory protection of trade secrets, common law rights of employers and employees, and litigation risks and realities. Four general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Workplace Discrimination. Many employment law cases have an element of discrimination, and the important topic is the center of this program. Learn about the intersection of religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, what really happens during mediations, bias and discrimination within the legal profession, Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, employment testing and the ADA, and much more. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. Employment Law 2014. Whether you are interested in state or federal issues, the plaintiff or defense perspective, or whether you are new to employment law or a seasoned professional – the 2014 Employment Law Conference is a must-have. This two-day program offers a litigation track and a counseling track, with sessions on associational discrimination, workplace privacy, premises liability, corporate compliance, and more. Nineteen general credits, including 1.2 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy and MP3 audio download.

3. Whistleblower Litigation, Discrimination, and the First Amendment — Employment Law Fall Update 2014. The hottest topics in employment law are featured in this program, including the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act, free speech, non-compete agreements, ADEA update, labor law for employment lawyers, and more. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

2. Intellectual Property in the Workplace — Employment Law Fall Update 2015. Regardless of a company’s business model, its IP assets are important in sustaining growth and fostering robust employment. But overly controlling a company’s ownership of the intellectual product of its employees can stifle the creativity of the workforce. This program discusses protection of employer and employee rights in intellectual property, workplace privacy concerns, defending employees against claims of trade secret theft, human capital as intellectual property, and much more. Six general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

1. 2015 Employment Law. This annual conference discusses everything employment law, regardless of whether you represent plaintiffs or the defense, are a solo or member of a large firm or in-house counsel, or are new to employment law or are a seasoned professional. Topics covered in the 2015 program include the cat’s paw theory, the Affordable Care Act, transgender issues in employment law, common investigation mistakes and how to avoid them, an update from the Division of Labor, and much more. Eighteen general credits, including 1.2 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy and MP3 audio download. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

Top Ten Business Law Programs and Homestudies

The days keep marching forward, and the end of the compliance period looms large for many Colorado attorneys. If you still need some last-minute CLE credits, never fear—we are reviewing the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several areas of law. In case you missed it, we previously covered ethics, family law, trust & estate law, real estate law, and litigation. Today’s focus is on business law. Whether advising nonprofits, dealing with securities issues, or representing particular types of businesses, we have programs to fit your needs. Read on for the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies.

10. Banking for Marijuana Businesses. This short program discusses banking issues unique to marijuana businesses, including the Justice Department’s efforts to create guidance for banks that work with marijuana businesses. Learn about potential racketeering issues and potential solutions. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

9. Forming and Funding Early Stage Companies. Created for lawyers working with early stage companies, this program covers entity selection, vesting, key agreements, counseling clients on raising money, common securities law exemptions, and more. Two general credits; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

8. Commercial Loan Documents — Important Covenants and Potential Modifications. Loan covenants are an important part of every loan document. This program discusses loan modifications generally sought by lenders and those requested by borrowers. Default is also discussed in this program. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

7. Boilerplate and Drafting Business Documents — 2014 Business Document Drafting Series. The first in a series of six programs, this program offers practical advice on the perils of using boilerplate in document drafting, including specific examples of drafting issues, the importance of keeping provisions current with the law, the value of silence, and much more. Two general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is Part 1 of a six-part series. Click here for Part 2, click here for Part 3, click here for Part 4, click here for Part 5, and click here for Part 6.

6. Limited Liability Companies in Colorado. Because of the combination of limited liability for all owners of the LLC, pass-through tax treatment, and ease and flexibility in customizing the relationships between the owners, the LLC has been a very popular choice of entity for many types of businesses since the IRS adopted the “check the box” regulations in 1996. This program details advantages and disadvantages of LLCs, litigation issues, estate and tax planning, real estate development, and more. Attendees receive a PDF copy of the CLE book, Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in ColoradoEight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Buying and Selling a Business. Need to know the ins and outs of buying and selling businesses? This program is for you! It provides practical advice on advising parties in M&A transactions, planning the exit, protecting your client in the sale, professional responsibility and ethics in business transactions, and more. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. Closely Held Businesses: Strategies for Tackling Key Issues. Advising closely held businesses requires attorneys to have a wide range of knowledge. This program addresses some of the issues that may arise in advising the closely held business, including family dynamics, the Affordable Care Act and its impact on small businesses, probate of business interests, charitable planning, small business financials and accounting, and securities issues. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

3. A Primer on Advising Nonprofit Organizations and 24th Annual Institute on Advising Nonprofit Organizations in Colorado. This annual program provides everything you need to know about advising nonprofits. Topics covered at the primer include formation and governance of nonprofit entities, obtaining and retaining tax-exempt status, operational issues for tax-exempt organizations, and taxation of unrelated business income. The Institute discusses fiduciary duties of for-profit boards, tax-exempt entity types, best practices for employee discipline and termination, volunteers, and more. Primer—four general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. Institute—seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: These programs are repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 programs (Primer/Institute) and click here for the 2013 programs (Primer/Institute).

2. Annual Rocky Mountain Securities Conference. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the CBA Business Law Section, this program is the Rocky Mountain’s premier securities law update presented by the country’s top practitioners. Topics covered in the 2015 Conference included an enforcement update, a view from the defense, a conversation with the Division of Corporate Finance, ethical considerations with the SEC’s whistleblower program, hot topics regarding regulated entities, and much more. Nine general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

1. Annual Business Law Institute. This two-day Institute provides everything you need to know for your business law practice. Get updates on case law and legislation, social responsibility, real world ethical dilemmas, business lawyers’ worst nightmares, forming and funding early stage companies, employment law update, marijuana investments in commercial banking, commercial insurance, and much more. Twenty-seven general credits, including two ethics credits; available as CD homestudy and MP3 audio download. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

Top Ten Litigation Programs and Homestudies

We continue to inch closer to the end of the compliance period for a third of Colorado’s attorneys. As that mark draws near, we are profiling the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several practice areas. Last week, we featured the Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies, the Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies, the Top Ten Trust & Estate Programs and Homestudies, and the Top Ten Real Estate Programs and Homestudies.

Today we will review the Top Ten Litigation Programs and Homestudies. There were so many great programs to choose from that we have some runners up. Litigation programs include programs about federal practice, appellate practice, and tort law, as well as programs about general litigation skills such as motion practice and deposition skills. The five runners up are:

  • Hearsay — The Truth of the Matter Asserted. This program detailed the ins and outs of the hearsay rules, including the many exceptions. Four general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.
  • What’s New in Brain Injury Litigation? and Examining Medical Experts at Deposition and Trial. These two half-day programs explored the latest on diagnosing, treating, and presenting brain injury cases and how to effectively examine a medical expert at trial. Three general credits each; available as CD homestudy (AM/PM), MP3 audio download (AM/PM), and Video OnDemand (AM/PM).
  • Product Liability Fundamentals. This program discusses everything you need to know to try a product liability case. Attendees receive a PDF copy of the CLE book, Product Liability Law & Procedure in ColoradoSeven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.
  • E-Discovery. United States Magistrate Judges presented this program on the importance of electronic discovery. Learn about identifying and preserving electronic files, as well as keeping up with technological advances. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.
  • NEW Rules of Civil Procedure in Colorado: Effective July 1, 2015. The Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure underwent several dramatic changes in 2015, and this program details the changes and what they mean for your practice. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

And now, for the Top Ten Litigation Programs and Homestudies:

10. Join the Honorable John Webb on Better Appellate Writing, Briefing, and Oral Argument. Judge Webb returned to the CLE classroom for a refresher on appellate briefing and writing. Judge Webb has been teaching legal writing for many years, and has good tips on how to write more persuasively and how to give a powerful oral argument. Four general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Emerging Trends in Economic Damages, Business Valuation, and Lost Profits. The Society of CPAs co-sponsored this program, which discussed the cost of capital, lost profits and economic damages, the courts as gatekeeper of expert testimony, optimizing relationships between legal counsel and financial experts, and a view from the bench. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

8. Ethics and Electronically Stored Information / Electronically Stored Information and the Law. These two programs discuss electronically stored information, or ESI, and what that means for your litigation practice. Ethics and ESI focuses on social media use by attorneys and how to avoid ethical pitfalls when advising clients about social media. ESI and the Law is an update on the intersection of technology and privacy, especially in a litigation practice. Ethics and ESI—four general credits, including 3.6 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. ESI and the Law—seven general credits, including 1.5 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Collecting Judgments: Strategies for Success. You’ve won at trial—congratulations! But how are you going to collect on your judgment? This program provides an overview of collections strategies within the bounds of the law and ethical obligations. The nuts and bolts of collections are reviewed, as well as bankruptcy and creditor representation, garnishments and post-judgment collections, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and more. Six general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. Better Motion Practice — How to Argue, Present, and Write Motions More Effectively. This program is a great “how-to” guide for lawyers who want to sharpen their skills by learning about the various kinds of motions encountered in a litigation practice. Learn how to draft and organize better briefs, make more concise and persuasive arguments, present persuasive arguments using technology, and more. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Winning at Deposition: Skills and Strategy. Have you ever been frustrated by a witness who pretends not to know the answer to a simple question or flat out lies? Do you dread taking a deposition against an obnoxious opposing counsel? Do your depositions lack focus and productivity? These issues and more are addressed by national speaker Shane Read, author of the award-winning textbook, Winning at DepositionEight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as DVD homestudy or Video OnDemand.

4. Annual Tort Law Update 2015. Back by popular demand, this program features short 25-minute segments on insurance bad faith, insurance law, subrogation law, product liability, nursing home litigation and elder abuse, premises liability, wrongful death, workplace torts, professional liability, and more. Five general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

3. Appellate Practice Update 2015. Federal and state judges, as well as top attorneys, presented this helpful update. The program included discussions of when to appeal, trial advocacy versus appellate advocacy, briefing and oral argument from the judges’ perspectives, appellate ethics, rules updates, court statistics, a clerks’ panel, and more. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

2. Federal Practice Update 2015. The Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado provided perspective on federal practice in this annual program, and federal magistrates opined on successful federal court advocacy. Federal rule changes were discussed, as well as eDiscovery tips and trends, ethics, and tips for effective litigation strategy. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

1. Winning at Trial 2015: Skills and Tactics. The ultimate goal of every litigation attorney is to win at trial, and this program provides skills for successful litigation. Seasoned advocates present topics such as how to create winning trial graphics, taking useful depositions, jury selection tips, how to make persuasive opening statements, effective direct and cross-examinations, and much more. Eight general credits, including two ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

Top Ten Real Estate Programs and Homestudies

As the end of the year approaches, and the end of the compliance period looms for a third of Colorado’s attorneys, we continue examining the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several areas of law. In case you missed it, we already profiled the Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies, the Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies, and the Top Ten Trust & Estate Programs and Homestudies. Today we turn to real estate law. Although there are many great programs to choose from, we have narrowed down our list to these ten programs.

10. HOA Basics: Common Interest Communities. HOA law is a booming subset of real estate law. This program details the basics of representing a client in an HOA, or representing an HOA as your client, including providing an overview of common interest communities and the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA), collection actions for HOA dues, covenant enforcement, transparency, and ethical issues related to representing HOAs and developers. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

9. Eminent Domain Law for Pipelines in Colorado. In 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a 100-year-old pipeline condemnation statute was not applicable to petroleum pipelines, only electrical conduits. The petroleum industry unsuccessfully petitioned to legislatively overturn the decision in 2013 and 2014. In this one-hour course, learn about the history of pipeline condemnation statutes and the powers they grant, as well as important safety considerations. One general credit; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

8. Foreclosure Law — All the Latest and Greatest. In 2011, Colorado had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Since then, foreclosures have waned in the metro area, but despite the decrease in foreclosure proceedings, real estate lawyers need to be aware of the ins and outs of foreclosure law, especially because Colorado’s foreclosure process is unique compared to other states. This program details Colorado’s public trustee foreclosure process from start to finish, and also addresses issues such as bankruptcy, tax liens, and receiverships, that are commonly seen alongside foreclosures. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. The Life of a Residential Real Estate Transaction. Everything you need to know about residential real estate practice, from the offer to the closing, is explained in this helpful program. Learn about the Colorado Real Estate Commission forms and how to use them, get an overview of title commitments and title policy issues, learn about types of conveyance deeds and when to use each type, hear about mortgage lender concerns and issues, and discuss the ethics of being both an attorney and a real estate broker. Seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. Eminent Domain. Eminent domain involves the acquisition of private property by public entities for public projects or, in certain specific circumstances, by private parties for private use. Learn about key aspects of representing condemning authorities or private landowners during the various stages of eminent domain proceedings in this informative program, including immediate possession hearings, eminent domain appraisals, and ethical considerations in condemnation actions. Three general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. 25 Cases Every Real Estate Lawyer Should Know. Fred Skillern, seasoned practitioner and former judge, hand-picked 25 cases from the repertoire he has amassed by doing the case law update at the Real Estate Symposium for the last 16 years. From an obscure attorney discipline case that sets precedent on recording attorney liens to a well-publicized case that revolutionized easement disputes, from cases that interpret statutes to cases that seem to rewrite the law, Fred Skillern discusses it all. Three general credits. This program will take place January 21, 2016. Click here to register for the live program and click here to register for the webcast. Also available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand after the program.

4. Colorado Real Estate Practice with Willis Carpenter. No list of real estate programs would be complete without mention of Willis Carpenter’s legendary 10-week course, “Colorado Real Estate Practice.” Although this was Willis’s last year teaching the class, we hope to continue his legacy in 2016. Stay tuned. Eighteen general credits, including four ethics credits.

3. Anatomy of a Commercial Real Estate Transaction — Real Estate Spring Update 2015. Commercial real estate transactions are complex, and present a different array of issues than residential transactions. This program offers a look at the commercial real estate contract, including key provisions, due diligence, and common issues, as well as leasing issues, financing the transaction, construction and construction defects, environmental concerns, zoning, and more. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: The Real Estate Spring Update occurs annually with a different theme. Click here for the 2014 program.

2. Hot Topics! — Real Estate Fall Update 2015. The ABA, ACMA, and ACREL developed guidelines for typical and appropriate real estate opinions, which were discussed at this Hot Topic update. Also covered were HOA assessment lien priority, available insurance products for clients, and recent changes in conservation easement and urban renewal laws. Six general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: The Real Estate Fall Update is repeated annually with different themes. Click here for the 2014 program, and click here for the 2013 program.

1. Annual Real Estate Symposium. For 33 years, the annual Real Estate Symposium has been THE event for Colorado’s real estate lawyers, with top-notch presentations, wine tasting, and beautiful scenery in the Colorado mountains. For the 2015 Symposium, topics discussed included legislative and case law updates, ditch rights, section 1031 exchanges, recent changes to foreclosure law, ethics, eminent domain, and more. The 2016 Symposium is scheduled for July 21-23 in Breckenridge. Registration is not yet open but keep an eye on http://cle.cobar.org/realestatesymposium for details. 2015 Symposium—20 general credits, including 2.7 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

Top Ten Trust & Estate Programs and Homestudies

We have been featuring the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in several practice areas on Legal Connection—earlier this week, we featured the Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies and the Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies. We will continue to feature substantive areas of law through the rest of December so stay tuned. And now, for the Top Ten Trust & Estate Programs and Homestudies. Drumroll, please:

10. Trust and Estate Topical CLE Luncheons. Each month on the first Tuesday of the month, the CBA Trust and Estate Section presents a topical lunch program highlighting a particular area of trust and estate law. They feature great topics, including “Marijuana in Estate Planning and Administration,” “Gun Trusts,” “Estate Planning During Divorce,” “Special Needs Trusts,” “Medicaid Recovery,” and more. Typically one general credit each; available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

9. 30 Cases Every Trust & Estate Lawyer Should Know. Did you think of any cases when you saw this title? They were probably featured in this program. Spencer Crona explained the holdings and provided analysis and key insights for 30 important cases in trust and estate law. This is a great way to stock your legal toolkit. Two general credits; available as MP3 audio download and Video OnDemand.

8. Trusts in Divorce Property Divisions. This program, equally valuable to family law and trust and estate practitioners, considers important issues to evaluate when there is a trust in a divorce property division. Attendees receive an electronic copy of Marc Chorney’s book, Trusts in Divorce Property DivisionsTopics discussed at the program included valuation issues, whether beneficiary withdrawal rights are property, approaches to allocation, the dissipation doctrine and trust interests, and more. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

7. Gifts to Minors. There are many reasons people make gifts to minors, including setting up college savings accounts, reducing estates for tax purposes, or making gifts to children and grandchildren. These reasons and more are covered in “Gifts to Minors.” Learn from Laurie Hunter and Kaylynn Hemlock as they discuss the Colorado Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, 529 savings plans, Crummey trusts, § 2503(c) trusts, and more. Attendees receive an electronic copy of Laurie Hunter’s book, Gifts to Minors. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

6. Wade/Parks: Colorado Law of Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciary Administration. Former probate judge James Wade presented this informative program about his book, Wade/Parks: Colorado Law of Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciary Administration, which is included with course materials in PDF format. Topics covered include standing to sue, federal court jurisdiction, the directed trustee statute, case law developments regarding spousal elective share, sham trusts, and much more. Attendees receive an electronic copy of the book. Four general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

5. Advanced Estate Planning Symposium with Ted Atlass. National speaker Ted Atlass returned to CLE to present this program on advanced topics in estate planning. Sessions included planning to minimize Colorado or other state income taxes on trusts, trusts as retirement plan beneficiaries, what to do when your client loses capacity, estate planning for non-traditional families, and estate planning issues with marital agreements. Seven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand.

4. Estate Planning Basic Skills/Estate Administration Basic Skills. Each of these programs is held every other year to provide attorneys the fundamentals of estate planning and administration. Estate Planning Basic Skills, which will occur on February 26 and 27, 2016, will discuss the initial client interview, planning and drafting of documents, planning for disability, small estates, use of life insurance, traps to avoid, and much more. Estate Administration Basic Skills, which occurred on February 20, 2015,  covered rights of the surviving spouse and family, income tax issues, real estate matters, ethics and advising fiduciaries, creditors’ claims, and more. Estate Administration Basic Skills — seven general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. Estate Planning Basic Skills — fourteen general credits, including one ethics credit; available as live program and webcast, and as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand after the program.

3. Estate Planning with Retirement Assets — Trust & Estate Spring Update 2015. Retirement funds are a common asset considered in estate planning, and this program provided an overview of considerations for using retirement funds in estates. Topics covered include definitions of common terms, such as minimum required distributions and designated beneficiaries, designating trusts as beneficiaries of retirement assets, post-death planning, directed IRAs, and more. Six general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand

2. Understanding Benefits — Trust & Estate Fall Update 2015. Estate planning with consideration of benefit eligibility is an important tool for practitioners. This program discussed planning for Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Income, and VA compensation, as well as implications for nursing home placement and planning for ethical implications. Six general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: The Trust & Estate Fall Update is repeated annually with different themes. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

1. 36th Annual Estate Planning Retreat. Each year, Colorado’s trust and estate attorneys gather for a fun weekend of CLE in a beautiful location. The 2016 Estate Planning Retreat will be June 9-11, 2016, in spectacular Snowmass. Highlights for the 2016 Retreat include discussions of international estate planning, case law and legislative updates, unconscious bias in estate planning, “bullet proof” will drafting, tax issues, and more. Registration is not yet open for the 2016 Retreat; visit http://cle.cobar.org/estateplanningretreat for updates.