September 30, 2014

Comment Period Open for Changes to Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline

The Colorado Supreme Court is seeking comments regarding proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Judicial Discipline. The public comment period is now open, and will close at 4 p.m. on October 14, 2014. Comments should be submitted to Christopher Ryan, the clerk of the supreme court, at 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, 80203.

The changes to the Rules are extensive. Several rules have been moved or deleted, including the rules on confidentiality, screening of complaints, investigation, discovery, and special masters. For a redline of the changes, click here.

For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

New Rule of Criminal Procedure Added Regarding e-Filing

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2014(12), adding new Rule 49.5, “Electronic Filing and Service System,” to the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure. The new rule is effective immediately.

The rule provides that e-filing and e-service may be used for criminal cases in Colorado as determined by the Colorado Supreme Court through Chief Justice Directives. The rule was added in anticipation of the criminal e-filing pilot program in Pueblo, scheduled to begin in October.

For the complete text of the new rule, click here. For all the Colorado Supreme Court’s rule changes, click here.

C.R.C.P. 26 and 121 Amended Regarding Privilege Claims in Discovery and Motions to Reconsider

The Colorado Supreme Court released Rule Change 2014(11) on Monday, September 22, 2014. Rule Change 2014(11) creates a new subparagraph (B) in C.R.C.P. 26(b)(5), which addresses claims of privilege for information inadvertently disclosed during discovery, as follows:

(B) If information produced in disclosures or discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material, the party making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for it. After being notified, a party must not review, use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved; must take reasonable steps to retrieve the information if the party disclosed it before being notified; and shall give notice to the party making the claim within 14 days if it contests the claim. If the claim is not contested within the 14-day period, or is timely contested but resolved in favor of the party claiming privilege or protection of trial-preparation material, then the receiving party must also promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies that the receiving party has. If the claim is contested, the party making the claim shall within 14 days after receiving such notice present the information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim, or the claim is waived. The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved, and bears the burden of proving the basis of the claim and that the claim was not waived. All notices under this rule shall be in writing.

Rule Change 2014(11) changed C.R.C.P. 121, § 1-15, to add a new subparagraph 11:

11. Motions to Reconsider. Motions to reconsider interlocutory orders of the court, meaning motions to reconsider other than those governed by C.R.C.P. 59 or 60, are disfavored. A party moving to reconsider must show more than a disagreement with the court’s decision. Such a motion must allege a manifest error of fact or law that clearly mandates a different result or other circumstance resulting in manifest injustice. The motion shall be filed within 14 days from the date of the order, unless the party seeking reconsideration shows good cause for not filing within that time. Good cause for not filing within 14 days from the date of the order includes newly available material evidence and an intervening change in the governing legal standard. The court may deny the motion before receiving a responsive brief under paragraph 1(b) of this standard

The committee comment to Rule 121, § 1-15, was amended as well to clarify the limits of subparagraph 11.

Rule 411, “Appeals,” was amended to allow the clerk to certify records.

For the full text of the rule change, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s rule changes, click here.

CJD 08-02 Amended Regarding Cost Recovery Fees for Electronic Access to Court Records

On September 11, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court amended CJD 08-02, “Directive Concerning Assessment of Cost Recovery Fees for Maintaining the Technical Infrastructure Necessary to Support Electronic Access to Court Records.” The changes to CJD 08-02 are effective October 1, 2014.

The changes to CJD 08-02 affect criminal e-filing fees and e-service fees. The changes were made in preparation for the launch of the pilot criminal e-filing system in Pueblo on October 6, 2014.

For the full text of CJD 08-02, click here. For all the Chief Justice Dirctives, click here.

Application Period Open for Ouray County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced an upcoming vacancy on the Ouray County Court occasioned by the appointment of Hon. David S. Westfall to the Seventh Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created on January 13, 2015.

Applications are available on the State Judicial website or from the nominating commission’s ex officio chair, Justice Brian Boatright. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Ouray County and must have graduated high school or achieved the equivalent. The original, signed application must be delivered to Justice Boatright no later than 4 p.m. on October 29, 2014. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on October 22.

For more information about the vacancy and contact information for members of the nominating commission, click here.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Bankruptcy Court Local Rules

Significant changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure will take effect December 1, 2014. The changes are to the 8000 series of rules, which govern appeals. Correspondingly, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the 10th Circuit has amended its local rules, effective December 1, 2014.

The comment period for the proposed changes to the local bankruptcy rules is open until October 15, 2014. Comments may be submitted via email to 10th_Circuit_BAP@ca10.uscourts.gov. A redline of the proposed changes is available here, and a summary of the revisions is available here.

Comment Period Open for Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil, Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Criminal Procedure

The Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure has opened the public comment period for several proposed changes to the following rules and forms:

  • Appellate Rules 4, 5, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28.1, 29, 32, 35, and 40, and Forms 1, 5, 6, and New Form 7;
  • Bankruptcy Rules 1010, 1011, 2002, 3002, 3002.1, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5009, 7001, 9006, and 9009, and New Rule 1012, and Official Forms 11A, 11B, 106J, 201, 202, 204, 205, 206Sum, 206A/B, 206D, 206E/F, 206G, 206H, 207, 309A, 309B, 309C, 309D, 309E, 309F, 309G, 309H, 309I, 312, 313, 314, 315, 401, 410, 410A, 410S1, 410S2, 416A, 416B, 416D, 424, and Instructions, and new Official Forms 106J-2 and 113;
  • Civil Rules 4, 6, and 82; and
  • Criminal Rules 4, 41, and 45.

A PDF of the proposed changes may be found here.

The public comment period closes on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. Members of the public who wish to present testimony may appear at public hearings on the proposed amendments.

Comments and supporting files must be submitted electronically using the Regulations.gov portal. After choosing the appropriate link below, click the “Submit a Comment” link. This will display the comment web form. You can then enter your submitter information and attach your comment as a file (up to 10MB), or type your comment directly on the web form. When you have finished attaching or typing your comment, click the “Preview Comment” link to review. Once you are satisfied with your comment, click the “Submit” button to send your comment to the advisory committees. Upon completion, you will receive a tracking number for your submission.

Detailed instructions on how to submit a comment are given in the Regulations.gov FAQs.

David Cooper Taylor Appointed to Gilpin County Court

On Thursday, September 11, 2014, the governor’s office announced the appointment of David Cooper Taylor to the Gilpin County Court in the First Judicial District, effective January 13, 2015, and conditioned on Taylor becoming a qualified elector of Gilpin County. Taylor will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Hon. David R. Gloss.

Currently, Taylor is a staff attorney for the Fifth Judicial District, and also is Of Counsel to the Law Office of Edward Schindel. His practice includes civil, criminal, business, domestic relations, estate planning, and property law. Prior to his work as a staff attorney, Taylor was a law clerk in to Hon. Russell Granger in the Fifth Judicial District. Taylor received his undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College in 2002 and his law degree from Wake Forest University in 2005.

Hon. Chris Melonakis to Retire from 17th Judicial District Bench

On Thursday, September 11, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Chris Melonakis of the Seventeenth Judicial District Court, effective January 12, 2014.

Judge Melonakis graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1974, summa cum laude. He went to law school at University of the Pacific in San Francisco, California, graduating in 1977. After law school, Melonakis was an attorney in private practice, focusing in the areas of civil, criminal, probate, and domestic relations law. He was appointed to the bench in 1998, and presides over a mostly criminal docket. Judge Melonakis is a member of the American, Colorado, and Adams/Broomfield bar associations; former lead judge for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; a member of several Colorado Supreme Court committees; and serves on several boards and commissions.

Applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Seventeenth Judicial District and must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from Justice Gregory Hobbs, the ex officio chair of the judicial nominating commission, and are also available on the State Judicial website. The original, signed application, as well as an identical PDF copy, must be submitted to Justice Hobbs no later than 4 p.m. on November 3, 2014. Anyone wishing to nominate another may do so no later than 4 p.m. October 27, 2014.

Chief Judge Stephen M. Munsinger of First Judicial District Court to Retire

On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Stephen M. Munsinger, Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Court. His retirement is effective November 17, 2014.

Munsinger received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and joined the U.S. Army, where he achieved the rank of captain in field artillery and aviation. He went to law school at the University of Colorado and received his J.D. in 1971. After law school, he worked in the Denver District Attorney’s Office from 1972 through 1975 and the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1975 to 1979. In 1979, he entered private practice, where he remained until his appointment to the First Judicial District Court in 2001. He is now the Chief Judge of the First Judicial District.

Applications are being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the First Judicial District and must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and are also available from the ex officio chair of the First Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood. The original, signed application, along with an electronically-submitted PDF copy, must be returned to Justice Hood no later than 4 p.m. on October 6, 2014. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on September 29, 2014.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Application Period Open for Judicial Nominating Commission Vacancies

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced on Monday, September 8, 2014, that several of the state’s judicial district nominating commissions, as well as the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, will have vacancies as of December 31, 2014. Applications are available on the State of Colorado Boards and Commissions application page, and may only be submitted online on that page. Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2014.

The following nominating commissions will have vacancies:

  • Supreme Court Nominating Commission – one vacancy for an attorney in the Second Congressional District.
  • Eleventh Judicial District Nominating Commission – three vacancies, two for attorneys and one for a non-attorney. No more than two appointees may be registered Democrats.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – one non-attorney vacancy.
  • Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – one non-attorney vacancy.
  • Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission – two attorney vacancies. No more than one appointee may be a registered Republican.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District Nominating Commission – one non-attorney vacancy. The appointee may not be a registered Republican.

For more information about the judicial nominating commissions, click here. For the application page, click here.

Steven Schultz and David Westfall Appointed to Seventh Judicial District Court

On Friday, September 5, 2014, the governor’s office announced Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia’s appointment of two judges to the district court bench in the Seventh Judicial District, encompassing Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, San Miguel, and Ouray counties. Steven Schultz and David Westfall were appointed to fill vacancies occasioned by the retirements of Hon. James W. Schum and Hon. Charles R. Greenacre. The appointments are effective January 13, 2015.

Steven Schultz is currently a member of McCarthy & Schultz in Hotchkiss, Colorado. He practices family law, criminal law, civil litigation, business law, water law, and probate. Prior to joining McCarthy & Schultz, he practiced law for eleven years with the Wall Street firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, where he litigated a wide range of civil litigation matters for corporate clients. He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in 1988 and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 1993.

David Westfall is currently the Ouray County Court judge, where he handles traffic matters, misdemeanors, criminal cases, civil cases under $15,000, small claims, and temporary restraining orders. He also serves as the municipal court judge for Ouray, Ridgway, and Telluride. Prior to his appointment to the Ouray County Court bench in 2000, he was an owner and attorney for Attorneys Title Agency, Inc.; owner and attorney for KURA radio; an attorney at the Westfall Law Office; and owner of Westfall Construction. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma City School of Law.

For more information about the appointments, click here.