September 21, 2014

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.

CJD 05-01 Regarding Public Access to Records Amended by Colorado Supreme Court

On Friday, September 5, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced amendments to CJD 05-01, “Directive Concerning Access to Court Records,” effective September 4, 2014. The Chief Justice Directive seeks to provide guidance for access to court records while protecting the privacy of litigants. The directive also contains guidance for Judicial Branch personnel and promotes standards for content on Judicial Branch websites, and provides for a Public Access Committee to periodically review and update the rules for public access. Rules for public access to court records are also included in CJD 05-01.

For the full text of CJD 05-01, click here. For all of the Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Bonnie McLean Appointed to Eighteenth Judicial District Bench

On Wednesday, September 4, 2014, the governor’s office announced his appointment of Bonnie McLean to the bench of the Eighteenth Judicial District Court, encompassing Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties. McLean will replace Hon. Vincent R. White, who is retiring. The appointment is effective January 13, 2015.

McLean is currently a magistrate in the Eighteenth Judicial District, where she presides over a juvenile court docket and is in charge of the district’s mental health, drug, and veterans’ treatment courts. She helped develop the first drug court in the Eighteenth Judicial District. Prior to her appointment as a magistrate in 2006, McLean worked as a deputy district attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District, where she was in charge of the juvenile delinquency unit. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and her law degree from the University of Denver.

 

Kimberly Karn Appointed to Tenth Judicial District

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, the governor’s office announced his appointment of Kimberly Karn to the district court bench of the Tenth Judicial District in Pueblo. Karn will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Victor Reyes, effective December 31, 2014.

Karn is currently a Deputy Colorado State Public Defender in Pueblo, where she headed the regional office from 2007 through 2012. In addition to her service in Pueblo, Karn has worked at public defender offices in Colorado Springs, Denver, Arapahoe County, and Greeley. She was an attorney in private practice before becoming a public defender, focusing on family law and dependency and neglect. She was also a guardian ad litem. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Iowa.

Samuel Cassidy Appointed to Archuleta County Court

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Samuel Cassidy to the Archuleta County Court bench. Cassidy will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. James E. Denvir, effective January 13, 2015.

Cassidy currently teaches business law and ethics at DU’s Daniels College of Business. He handles pro bono cases in many practice areas, including criminal, civil litigation, business contracts and formation, and real estate. Prior to teaching at DU, Cassidy was president and CEO of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Jefferson County Economic Development Association. He has also served as Colorado’s Lieutenant Governor, Senate Minority Leader, and a state senator from Senate District 6. Prior to that, he was an attorney in private practice.

 

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

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed changes to its local rules, effective January 1, 2015. From August 22 through October 20, the comment period for these proposed changes will be open to all interested parties. Comments are welcome on all rules, but practitioners are encouraged to carefully review the appendix requirement in counseled civil cases and criminal cases where there is retained counsel.

In addition to the changes to the 10th Circuit Local Rules, a change to Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure regarding bankruptcy appeals will take effect December 1, 2014. The change addresses three areas: (1) it has been updated to include the latest numeric revisions to the bankruptcy rules; (2) language has been changed to address electronic records; and (3) references have been added to discretionary bankruptcy appeals.

The changes to Fed. R. App. P. 6 and the 10th Circuit Local Rules are available in a clean version and a redline. Comments may be submitted to the clerk of the 10th Circuit via email at 10th_Circuit_Clerk@ca10.uscourts.gov. Interested parties are welcome to call the clerk’s office with questions at (303) 844-3157.