September 27, 2016

J. Jay Williford and Colleen Clark Appointed to Arapahoe County Court

On Wednesday, September 14, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of J. Jay Williford and Colleen Clark to the Arapahoe County Court in the Eighteenth Judicial District. Williford and Clark will fill vacancies created by the retirement of Hon. Addison Adams and Hon. Alex R. Bencze. Clark’s appointment is effective September 30, 2016, and Williford’s appointment is effective January 1, 2017.

Clark is currently a Municipal Judge for the City of Aurora, a Magistrate in the Eighteenth Judicial District in the truancy division, and a hearing officer for Aurora Public Schools. She previously has worked in the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and the Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and her law degree from from Boston University.

Williford is currently a Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District. Williford joined the District Attorney’s Office in 2007, where he has worked in the special victims unit. He worked in the Adams County District Attorney’s Office from 2003 through 2007. He received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and his law degree from the University of Denver.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

John “Clay” McKisson, III, Appointed to Huerfano County Court

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of John “Clay” McKisson, III, to the Huerfano County Court. McKisson will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Gary R. Stork, effective January 10, 2017.

McKisson is currently a probation officer in Walsenburg. He has also worked at the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office; the Jackson, Michigan Office of the Independent Medical Monitor; and at the Law Office of J. Clay McKisson P.L.L.C. in DeWitt, Michigan. McKisson received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University and his law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Chief Judges Appointed in 6th and 8th Judicial District

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the appointment of Jeffrey R. Wilson as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District and Judge Stephen E. Howard as Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District.

Judge Wilson will replace Chief Judge Gregory Lyman, who will retire from the bench on January 10, 2017. Judge Wilson was appointed to the Sixth Judicial District Court in 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice as the founder of Wilson & Crawford, and also served as a district attorney in the Twenty-Second Judicial District.

Judge Howard will replace Chief Judge Stephen J. Schapanski, who will retire from the bench on January 10, 2017. Judge Howard was appointed to the district court bench in 2011. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was an attorney in private practice in Fort Collins from 1978 through 2011, where he had a general practice emphasizing business and real estate litigation.

Todd Norvell Appointed to Sixth Judicial District Court

On Friday, September 9, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Todd Norvell to the Sixth Judicial District Court. Norvell will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Gregory G. Lyman, effective January 10, 2017.

Norvell is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in Durango, where he practices in the criminal division and has served as the tribal liaison. Prior to becoming an AUSA, Norvell was a special agent in the FBI, a deputy district attorney in the Sixth Judicial District, an associate at two Texas law firms, an assistant district attorney in Texas’s Thirty-Fourth Judicial District, and an assistant district attorney in New Mexico’s Eleventh Judicial District. Norvell received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and his law degree from Southern Methodist University.

Kimberly D. Cortez-Rodriguez and Anna N.H. Ulrich Appointed to County Courts in 12th Judicial District

On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Kimberly D. Cortez-Rodriguez to the Conejos County Court and Ann N. Ulrich to the Saguache County Court, both in the Twelfth Judicial District. Cortez-Rodriguez will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Susan I. Broyles, effective January 10, 2017. Ulrich will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Amanda K. Pearson, effective November 1, 2016.

Cortez-Rodriguez is currently the Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator for the Twelfth Judicial District. Prior to her work for the court, Cortez-Rodriguez was an associate at the Alamosa firm of Lester Sigmond Rooney & Schwiesow. She has also worked as a staff attorney and paralegal for Colorado Legal Services. She received her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and her law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Ulrich is a solo practitioner at Anna N.H. Ulrich, Attorney at Law, where she has worked since 2006. In addition to her solo practice, Ulrich is an assistant county attorney for Chaffee County. She has also been a research attorney for the Twelfth Judicial District, and an associate at law firms in Boulder and Durango. She received her undergraduate degree from Trinity University and her law degree from University of Colorado Law School.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Justin Fay Appointed to Archuleta County Court in 6th Judicial District

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Justin Fay to the Archuleta County Court in the Sixth Judicial District. Fay will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Sam Cassidy, effective September 20, 2016.

Fay is currently a Deputy District Attorney in the Sixth Judicial District, where he prosecutes sex crimes and is a county court supervisor. He has been with the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office for his entire law career. Fay received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his law degree from the University of Tulsa.

 

Chief Justice Directive 95-01 Regarding Authority of Chief Judges Amended

On Friday, August 26, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch released an amended version of Chief Justice Directive 95-01, “Authority and Responsibility of Chief Judges,” effective August 24, 2016. The changes to the Chief Justice Directive were minor; section 3 of the Directive was amended to clarify the Chief Justice’s authority to designate a presiding county court judge in each county with more than one county court judge. Click here to read the directive; click here for all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives.

Public Comment Period Open for Changes to 10th Circuit Local Rules

On Friday, August 26, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals released proposed changes to the Tenth Circuit Rules, effective January 1, 2017. These rule changes are in addition to the changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that take effect December 1, 2016. The changes include a reduction in word count for briefs; primary brief word limits have been reduced from 14,000 to 13,000 and reply brief word limits have been reduced from 7,000 to 6,500. The word limit changes are summarized in a new Appendix to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. The changes to the rules also address when filings are timely under F.R.A.P. 4, clarify service dates when filings are completed electronically, and require attorneys to explain the criminal process and right to object in a defendant’s native language.

Comments regarding any of the changes may be submitted via email to clerk@ca10.uscourts.gov. For a memo outlining the various amendments, click here. For a redline of the changes, click here.

Honorable David W. Crockenberg to Retire from Tenth Judicial District Court

Crockenberg (Formatted)On Friday, August 26, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. David W. Crockenberg from the Tenth Judicial District Court. Judge Crockenberg was appointed to the district court bench in December 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was an attorney in private practice in Pueblo, specializing in insurance defense, personal injury, employment law, and civil rights. He received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Tenth Judicial District at the time of investiture, 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 Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on October 3, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than September 28, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Honorable Thomas M. Deister to Retire from 21st Judicial District Court

DeisterOn Friday, August 19, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Thomas M. Deister from the Twenty-first Judicial District Court, effective January 1, 2017. Judge Deister was appointed to the Mesa County Court in 1994 and the Twenty-first Judicial District Court in October 2005. Prior to his appointment to the county court bench, he was in private practice in Grand Junction and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corp. in the U.S. Navy for nine years. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Twenty-first Judicial District at the time of investiture and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Twenty-first Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on September 26, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so in writing no later than September 19, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 Amended to Prohibit Discrimination

ABAOn Monday, August 8, 2016, the ABA announced that the ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution to amend Model Rule 8.4 in order to bring into the black letter of the rule an express prohibition against discriminatory conduct in the practice of law.

Revised Resolution 109 amended subparagraph (g) of Model Rule 8.4 as follows:

(g) engage in conduct that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination harass or discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law. This Rule paragraph does not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline or withdraw from a representation in accordance with Rule 1.16. This paragraph does not preclude legitimate advice or advocacy consistent with these Rules.

Additionally, the Comment to the Model Rule was amended as follows:

[3] A lawyer who, in the course of representing a client, knowingly manifests by words or conduct,  bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation  or socioeconomic status, violates paragraph (d) when such actions are prejudicial to the  administration of justice. Legitimate advocacy respecting the foregoing factors does not violate  paragraph (d). A trial judge’s finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a  discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of this rule.

[3] Discrimination and harassment by lawyers in violation of paragraph (g) undermines confidence  in the legal profession and the legal system. Such discrimination includes harmful verbal or  physical conduct that manifests bias or prejudice towards others because of their membership or  perceived membership in one or more of the groups listed in paragraph (g). Harassment includes  sexual harassment and derogatory or demeaning verbal or physical conduct towards a person who is, or is perceived to be, a member of one of the groups. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The substantive law of antidiscrimination and anti-harassment statutes and case law may guide application of paragraph (g).

[4] Conduct related to the practice of law includes representing clients; interacting with witnesses, coworkers, court personnel, lawyers and others while engaged in the practice of law; operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law. Paragraph (g) does not prohibit conduct undertaken to promote diversity. Lawyers may engage in conduct undertaken to promote diversity and inclusion without violating this Rule by, for example, implementing initiatives aimed at recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing diverse employees or sponsoring diverse law student organizations.

[5] Paragraph (g) does not prohibit legitimate advocacy that is material and relevant to factual or legal issues or arguments in a representation. A trial judge’s finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of paragraph (g). A lawyer does not violate paragraph (g) by limiting the scope or subject matter of the lawyer’s practice or by limiting the lawyer’s practice to members of underserved populations in accordance with these Rules and other law. A lawyer may charge and collect reasonable fees and expenses for a representation. Rule 1.5(a). Lawyers also should be mindful of their professional obligations under Rule 6.1 to provide legal services to those who are unable to pay, and their obligation under Rule 6.2 not to avoid appointments from a tribunal except for good cause. See Rule 6.2(a), (b) and (c). A lawyer’s representation of a client does not constitute an endorsement by the lawyer of the client’s views or activities. See Rule 1.2(b).

The remaining comments were renumbered.

The ABA Model Rules Committee considered the changes a “necessary and significant first step to address the issues of bias, prejudice, discrimination and harassment in the Model Rules,” but noted that it is only the first step in a multi-disciplinary effort to provide access to justice.

The chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Model Rules, Myles V. Lynk of Arizona, noted that 25 jurisdictions across the country have enacted similar language. Over 70 lawyers signed up to speak in support of the changes, while none spoke in opposition. Only a few members of the House of Delegates voted “no” in a voice vote.

For the complete text of the ABA Resolution, click here.

Kelly S. Hansen Appointed to Washington County Court

On Thursday, August 11, 2016, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Kelly S. Hansen to the Washington County Court, effective July 1, 2016. Hansen will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Carl S. McGuire, III, to the Thirteenth Judicial District Court.

Hansen is currently a solo practitioner at Hansen Law, LLC, where she concentrates her practice on real estate, estate planning, and probate. She is also municipal court judge for the Town of Akron. Previously, she had been a city attorney for the City of Yuma and an associate at W.B. Paynter, P.C. She also served as a staff attorney for Mountain States Legal Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.