March 28, 2015

Hon. Charles M. Barton to Retire from 11th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Charles M. Barton, effective July 1, 2015. Judge Barton was appointed to the Eleventh Judicial District Court bench in January 2003, where he presides over a criminal, civil, domestic relations, and juvenile docket. Prior to his appointment, Barton served as a deputy district attorney in both the Tenth and Eleventh Judicial Districts. He received his law degree from Northern Kentucky University and his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Eleventh Judicial District (Chaffee, Custer, Park, and Fremont counties) and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website and also from the ex officio chair of the Eleventh Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Gregory Hobbs. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on April 27, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so lo later than 4 p.m. on April 20, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Minor Change to Colo. R. Crim. P. 44 Announced

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2015(03), which amended Rule 44 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure. The change affects subsection (a) of the rule, and the only change was to update a cross-reference from C.R.C.P. 226 to C.R.C.P. 205.7. For a redline of the rule change, click here.

Hon. Thomas B. McNamara Appointed to Bankruptcy Bench for U.S. District Court

On Monday, March 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit appointed Thomas B. McNamara to the bankruptcy bench in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. McNamara was appointed to replace Hon. A. Bruce Campbell, who retired.

Prior to his appointment, McNamara was a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, where he litigated international cases and advised clients on regulatory matters and compliance with foreign law. He received his law degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota.

Judge McNamara will take over all of Judge Campbell’s active cases. For more information about the appointment, click here.

 

Hon. Herbert L. Stern, III, to Retire from Second Judicial District Court

On Monday, March 23, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Herbert L. Stern, III, from the Denver District Court, effective June 1, 2015. Judge Stern was appointed to the Denver District Court in June 1990, and primarily presides over civil cases involving money damages. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Stern was a public defender for over 10 years and maintained a private law practice. He received his law degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy on the Denver District Court. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website and also from the ex officio chair of the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Nathan Coats. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Second Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on April 21, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another for the vacancy must do so in writing no later than 4 p.m. on April 14, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs to Retire

Justice HobbsThe Colorado State Judicial Branch announced last week that Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs will retire, effective August 31, 2015.

Justice Hobbs was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court on May 1, 1996, by Governor Roy Romer. Prior to his appointment, Justice Hobbs was the senior partner at Hobbs, Trout & Raley, P.C., where he practiced in the areas of water law, environmental law, and land use; a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs; an assistant attorney general in the natural resources section for the State of Colorado; and an enforcement attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Justice Hobbs received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Justice Hobbs is a frequent speaker and author, and has written three water-themed books for CBA-CLE: The Public’s Water ResourceLiving the Four Corners, and Into the Grand.

Applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court. Qualified applicants must be electors in the State of Colorado and must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the Colorado State Judicial Branch website and also from the ex officio chair of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Nancy Rice. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 6, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another person must do so no later than 4 p.m. on April 29, 2015.

More information about the judicial vacancy is available here.

Appointment to Supreme Court Nominating Commission Announced

On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced the appointment of Tracee Marie Bentley of Severance to the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, to serve as a Republican and a non-attorney from the Fourth Congressional District. Bentley’s term will expire December 31, 2020.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission reviews applicants and selects nominees for vacancies on the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission comprises one attorney and one non-attorney from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, plus one additional non-attorney and the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court as committee chair and ex officio member.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to U.S. District Court Local Rules

The comment period is now open for proposed amendments to the local rules for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The proposed revision affects D.C.Colo.L.Cr.R. 11.1(b) and is intended to facilitate implementation of the proposed Durango and Grand Junction protocol. The changes specifically reference Durango and Grand Junction cases:

(b) Pleas Before District Judgein a Felony Case. In a felony case, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be made before the assigned district judge.; however, in a felony case designated as a Durango or Grand Junction case, with the express written consent of the government and defendant (using the form found HERE) and on referral for recommendation by the assigned district judge, the resident magistrate judge in Durango and Grand Junction, Colorado, may accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and conduct a corresponding advisement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11.

Comments regarding the proposed changes may be emailed to the court clerk at LocalRule_Comments@cod.uscourts.gov. Comments should be titled “Comment to Proposed Amendment to D.C.COLO.LCrR 11.1” and must be received no later than the close of business on Monday, April 6, 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.