March 5, 2015

Application Period Open for Two Fourth Judicial District Court Openings

On Monday, February 23, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced two forthcoming vacancies on the bench of the Fourth Judicial District Court. Hon. Thomas Kennedy will retire and Hon. Barney Iuppa will resign, both effective July 1, 2015.

Judge Thomas Kennedy was appointed to the district court bench in 1999. He presides over a mixed docket, including domestic, civil, criminal, and juvenile matters. Prior to his appointment, he was an attorney in private practice, emphasizing civil and criminal litigation. He is on the board of directors for the El Paso County Bar Foundation and is the board chair for the Pikes Peak YMCA. He received both his undergraduate degree and law degree (with honors) from the University of Colorado.

Judge Barney Iuppa was appointed to the district court bench in 2008. Prior to that, he was an El Paso County Court judge since 1995. He has also worked as a public defender, an elected district attorney, and as an attorney in private practice. He is on the board of directors for the Multiple Sclerosis Alliance of Southern Colorado, and is a former president of that organization. He earned his law degree from the University of Denver.

Eligible applicants for the vacancies must be qualified electors of the Fourth Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from Justice Allison Eid, the ex officio chair of the Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission, and also from the Colorado State Judicial Branch website. Applications are due no later than 4 p.m. on April 22, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another person must submit the nomination no later than 4 p.m. on April 15, 2015.

For more information about the vacancies and for contact information for members of the Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission, click here.

Informal Investiture of Nina Wang as U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge

WangNinaOn Monday, February 9, 2015, an informal investiture of Magistrate Judge Nina Wang was held at the Byron C. Rogers Courthouse. Magistrate Judge Wang is the newest magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. She replaces Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland, who retired effective February 8, 2015.

Prior to her nomination to the U.S. District Court, Wang was a partner in the Intellectual Property group at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, where she focused on complex intellectual property litigation. Wang has served as the Chair of the Colorado IP Section of the Colorado Bar; as Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association; and as past-President of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Washington University.

A formal investiture will be held at a later date.

2015 Probate Cost of Living Numbers Now Available

The Colorado Department of Revenue released the 2015 indexed amounts with cost of living adjustments as required by C.R.S. § 15-10-112. The cost of living adjustments affect the amount of share of intestate estate for surviving spouses, supplemental elective share, exempt property allowance, lump sum family allowance, and small estate limit. These numbers should be used for the estates of decedents dying in 2015.

2015 Probate COLA Numbers

Proposed Changes to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

The Colorado Supreme Court is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. Amendments to rules 1, 12, 16, 16.1, 26, 30, 31, 34, 37, 54, and 121, § 1-22 are proposed; some of the amendments, including those for Rule 16, “Case Management and Trial Management,” are extensive. A redline of the proposed changes is available here.

Written comments to the proposed rule changes can be submitted to Christopher Ryan, the Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, at 2 East 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 17, 2015.

A public hearing on the changes will be held on April 30, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court courtroom. The courtroom is located on the 4th floor of the Ralph Carr Justice Center at 2 East 14th Avenue in Denver.

Rules from Chapters 18 and 20 of Colorado Rules for Civil Procedure Amended

On January 14, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted Rule Change 2015(02), amending Rules 205.3, 205.5, 205.6, 224, and 227 of Chapter 18 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, and amending Rules 251.1, 260.2, and 260.6 of Chapter 20 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.

The change to Rule 205.3, “Pro Hac Vice Authority Before State Courts — Out-of-State Attorney,” updated the reference in subparagraph (7) to Colo. RPC 1.15A through E. Rules 205.5, “Pro Hac Vice – Foreign Attorney,” and 205.6, “Practice Pending Admission,” were similarly updated to cite to Colo. RPC 1.15A through E. The updates to Rule 227 were also minor, changing the reference in subparagraph (2)(a)(4) to Colo. RPC 1.15B and updating citations in the Comment to the “Regstration Fee of Non-Attorney Judges” section of the rule.

In Rule 224, “Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of a Major Disaster,” subparagraphs (2) and (3) were amended to change citations from C.R.C.P. 220(1)(a) and (b) to C.R.C.P. 205.1(a) and (b), and from C.R.C.P. 220 to C.R.C.P. 205.1; citations in subparagraphs (5)(a) and (b) were updated from C.R.C.P. 221 and 221.1 to C.R.C.P. 205.3 and 205.4; and subparagraph (6) was amended to change the citation from C.R.C.P. 220(3) to 205.1(3) and add a citation to Colo. RPC 8.5.

Citations were also updated in Rules 251.1, 260.2, and 260.6. Rule 251.1, “Discipline and Disability; Policy — Jurisdiction,” was changed to reference Rules 204 and 205 instead of Rules 220, 221, and 222. Subsection (4) of Rule 260.2, “CLE Requirements,” was amended to clarify that the subsection was repealed and replaced by C.R.C.P. 203.2(6), 203.3(4), and 203.4(6). Citations in subsections (5)(a) and (6) of Rule 260.6, “Compliance,” were also amended, updating references from Rule 201.14 to Rules 203.2(6), 203.3(4), and 203.4(6).

Click here for the Colorado Supreme Court’s 2015 rules changes.

Colorado Court of Appeals Warns of Spam Emails

On Thursday, January 8, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals posted a warning on its website regarding spam emails. An email that appears to be from a law firm is circulating, saying the Colorado Court of Appeals requires your appearance at a pretrial hearing on illegal software use. The email is a scam, and you may delete it if you receive it. The court of appeals does not have pretrial hearings, and it does not serve notice by emails from law firms.

Colorado Appellate Rules Amended in First Rule Change of 2015

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2015(01), amending the Colorado Appellate Rules. Three rules were affected by this rule change: Rule 8, “Stay or Injunction Pending Appeal,” Rule 27, “Motions,” and Rule 33, “Prehearing Conference.”

The changes to Rule 8 are extensive, and include subdivision of various subparagraphs into further subparagraphs, many changes of procedural language, and changing “shall” to “must” in many instances. The changes to Rule 27 are similarly extensive, again adding subparagraphs and changing significant amounts of the language. Rule 33 was repealed in its entirety.

A redline of these changes is available here:

2015(01) redline

The Colorado Supreme Court adopted and proposed rule change page is available here.

Nicholas Catanzarite Appointed to Grand County Court

nickOn Tuesday, January 6, 2015, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia announced the appointment of Nicholas Catanzarite to the Grand County Court bench in the Fourteenth Judicial District. Catanzarite will fill a vacancy created by the non-retention of Hon. Ben McClelland in the 2014 mid-term election. The appointment is effective January 13, 2015

Catanzarite is currently an attorney at Peters Mair Wilcox in Winter Park, where he primarily practices criminal defense with an emphasis on alcohol and drug offenses. He has worked at Peters Mair Wilcox since being admitted to the Colorado bar in 2012. Prior to law school, Catanzarite was a member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team for eight years. He is a three-time paralympian, and was awarded the Willy Schaeffler Scholarship for a disabled scholar-athlete to attend DU from 2007-2011. During law school, Catanzarite worked at DU’s renowned civil rights legal clinic as a student attorney.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Appointments to Several Judicial Nominating Commissions and Supreme Court Nominating Commission Announced

On Wednesday, December 31, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced appointments of several people to judicial nominating commissions throughout the state, and to the Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

The judicial nominating commissions are responsible for evaluating and recommending candidates for judicial vacancies in their respective judicial districts. They are comprised of seven members and one non-voting supreme court justice (the ex officio chair), of which no more than four members can be of the same political party and no more than three can be admitted to practice law in Colorado. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission evaluates and recommends candidates for vacancies on the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is comprised of two people from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, one of whom may be admitted to practice law in Colorado and one of whom may not.

The following individuals were appointed to the judicial and Supreme Court nominating commissions:

Supreme Court Nominating Commission: 

  • Shannon Stevenson of Louisville, to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from the Second Congressional District.

Eleventh Judicial District Nominating Commission:

  • Larry McGee of Canon City, to serve as a non-attorney Democrat from Fremont County.
  • Herbert Phillips of Alma, to serve as a Republican attorney from Park County.
  • Margaret Walker of Nathrop, to serve as a Democratic attorney from Chaffee County.

Fourteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission:

  • James Stimson of Steamboat Springs, to serve as a non-attorney Democrat from Routt County.

Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission:

  • Chris Rundell of Lamar, to serve as an unaffiliated non-attorney from Prowers County.

Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission:

  • Josh Marks of Louisville, to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Boulder County.
  • Jodi Martin of Louisville, to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Boulder County.

Twenty-Second Judicial District Nominating Commission:

  • Sharon Ann Lyons Hanson of Cortez, to serve as a Democratic attorney from Montezuma County.
  • Daniel Porter of Cortez, to serve as a Democratic non-attorney from Montezuma County.

All of the appointments are effective January 1, 2015, to serve six-year terms expiring December 31, 2020. For more information about the appointments, click here, and for more information about judicial nominating commissions, click here.

Electronic Filing and Service Rule of Criminal Procedure Updated

On December 29, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court approved and adopted Rule Change 2014(17), amending the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule Change 2014(17) amended C.R. Crim. P. 49.5, “Electronic Filing and Service System.” The changes were minor, including updating the web address for the e-filing system, changing capitalization and punctuation, and moving the rule about nunc pro tunc orders. The rule change also added a Committee Comment. A redline of the changes is available here.

For all of State Judicial’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Michael James Rourke Appointed District Attorney of 19th Judicial District

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Michael James Rourke as the District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial District. Rourke will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Kenneth R. Buck, effective January 2, 2015. Buck was elected to the 4th Congressional District and will be sworn in to Congress in January.

Rourke has been at the Nineteenth Judicial District Attorney’s office since November 2007. In 2010, he received the Robert R. Gallagher, Jr. Prosecutor of the Year Award. Currently, he is the assistant district attorney in the Nineteenth Judicial District, where he manages operations and the budget of the office. Previously, he served as Chief Deputy District Attorney, and has also been an interim district attorney. Prior to his work at the Weld County District Attorney’s office, Rourke was a deputy district attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline Amended by Colorado Supreme Court

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2014(16), amending the Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline. The rule change was adopted and effective December 10, 2014.

The rule changes were extensive and covered many of the rules. Significant changes were made to the rules regarding review of complaints, investigation, determination, statement of charges, and many others. For a redline of the changes, click here.