September 2, 2015

Finalists Selected for Vacancy on Ninth Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of two finalists to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Gail Nichols, effective November 1, 2015.

The two nominees are Jefferson J. Cheney of New Castle and Christopher G. Seldin of Basalt. Jefferson Cheney is an associate at Kerst & Strautman, P.C., where he practices in the areas of probate and estate planning, trust and trust administration, protective proceedings, real property law, land use, oil and gas law, and litigation. Christopher Selden is an assistant Pitkin County Attorney, where he focuses on civil litigation, including land use, real estate law, eminent domain, property tax law, contract law, and child and adult protection.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from September 1, 2015, in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the bench. Comments regarding either of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Hon. Janice Karlin Appointed 10th Circuit BAP Chief Judge

On Monday, August 31, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that Hon. Janice Karlin will be the new Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, effective September 4, 2015. Judge Karlin will replace Judge Thurman, Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Utah, as Chief Judge of the BAP. Judge Thurman will continue to serve as a recalled bankruptcy judge despite his retirement.

Judge Karlin has been a judge on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel since 2008, and prior to that was a Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Kansas since 2002. She was an Assistant United States Attorney for 22 years prior to her appointment to the bench, where she practiced civil litigation and was in charge of the Kansas City office. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Boulder County Court Vacancy

On Monday, August 31, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three candidates to fill a vacancy on the Boulder County Court, effective August 1, 2015. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Norma Sierra to the bench of the Twentieth Judicial District Court. The three nominees, selected on August 28 by the Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission, are Elizabeth H.M. Brodsky of Nederland, Jonathon P. Martin of Boulder, and Robert S. Shapiro of Louisville.

Elizabeth Brodsky has been a magistrate in the Boulder District Court since 2011, where she manages a domestic relations docket. Jonathon P. Martin is currently a Deputy District Attorney in the Twentieth Judicial District, and he previously handled commercial litigation, product liability litigation, and aviation disputes. Robert Shapiro is currently the First Assistant Attorney General for Special Prosecutions in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has fifteen days from August 31 in which to appoint one of the nominees to the Boulder County Court bench. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Finalists Selected for San Miguel County Court Vacancy

On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees to fill a vacancy on the San Miguel County Court, effective immediately. The three nominees are Jennifer S. Fox, Sean K. Murphy, and Susanne J. Ross, all of Telluride. Jennifer Fox a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Jennifer Fox, where she practices in many areas including licensing, landlord/tenant, contracts, criminal defense, and litigation. Sean Murphy is the owner of Arroyo Gallery and Wine Bar in Telluride and formerly practiced tax law in New York. Susanne Ross is a solo practitioner in Telluride, where she practices in the areas of immigration, including permanent residency, waivers, visas, and citizenship; DUI law; and criminal defense.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from August 19 in which to select one of the nominees for appointment. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be submitted to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees and the vacancy, click here.

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

On August 14, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that changes to its local rules will take effect January 1, 2016. From August 14, 2015 to October 22, 2015, all interested parties are encouraged to review the changes and make comments to the clerk of the court. The changes are outlined in a memorandum explaining the proposals, and are excerpted here:

10th Cir. R. 8.3(A) (addressing applications for stay made to a single judge) This proposed change removes the language at the end of the current rule which states applications for stay made to single judges are disfavored “except in an emergency.” Given technical advancements, all emergency motions can be processed centrally.

10th Cir. R. 9.1(C) (regarding application of the Rule 46.3(B) motion requirement to bail appeals) This proposed change modifies the rule to make clear that the new motion practice announced in R. 46.3(B) does not apply to bail appeals.

10th Cir. R. 17.3 (regarding filing an appendix in agency cases) This proposed change modifies the rule to make clear that when an agency record is filed, the parties need not submit a separate appendix.

10th Cir. R. 25.6 (addressing CM technical failures) This new rule addresses procedures in the event of a CM/ECF system failure.

10th Cir. R. 27.1 (location of the “confer and consent” provision of the local rule on motions) The court’s “confer and consent” rule has been moved to the beginning of local rule 27 for greater visibility. In addition, the rule now makes clear that CJA counsel need not confer on motions filed to withdraw or for continued appointment.

10th Cir. R. 30.1(D)(6) (addressing motions to seal documents) This local rule addresses the submission of sealed materials. The proposed change to the rule requires parties submitting materials under seal (except for presentence reports, which are exempt) to file a motion to do so. The proposed change is made in accord with circuit case law emphasizing the presumption in favor of providing access to judicial records. See Eugene S. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, 663 F.3d 1124, 1135-1136 (10th Cir. 2011).

10th Cir. R. 31.5 (addressing the number of hard copies required for briefs) This modification adds a specific clause regarding the court’s already existing requirement that 7 hard copies of briefs must be received in the clerk’s office within 2 business days of the electronic filing.

10th Cir. R. 33.2 (removal of the requirement to have a private settlement discussion) This modification deletes this local rule.

10th Cir. R. 46.3(B) and R. 46.4(B)(1) (incorporating the new motion requirement from the amended CJA Plan adopted effective July 8, 2015) This proposal includes a section memorializing the new motion requirement created by virtue of the court’s amendment of the circuit Criminal Justice Act Plan in July 2015. In addition, please note the language added to Rule 46.4(B)(1), which makes clear the new requirement is not a substitute for filing a motion to withdraw, as appropriate, in Anders cases. In addition, the court’s decision in United States v. Cervantes, ___F.3d___, 2015 WL 4636640 (10th Cir. May 22, 2015) has been incorporated into the rule. Finally, Addendum I of the rules, which is a copy of the CJA Plan, has been updated.

Addendum IV (removal of the Rules for Judicial Misconduct and Judicial Disability Proceedings) Because they are now available on the court’s website, the Rules on Judicial Misconduct have been deleted as an attachment to the Rules.

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure will not be updated January 1, 2016. A redline of the Tenth Circuit Local Rules including the proposed changes is available here.

Appointments Announced to New Title Insurance Commission

Last legislative session, SB 15-210, “Concerning Creation of the Title Insurance Commission, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” was enacted, requiring the development of a nine-member Title Insurance Commission to act as an advisory body to the Insurance Commissioner regarding matters of title insurance. The Title Insurance Commission will propose, advise, and recommend rules, bulletins, and other consumer protection materials for promulgation by the Insurance Commissioner.

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper appointed the first nine members of the Title Insurance Commission. Three of the appointees must be licensed employees of title insurance companies with not less than five years’ experience, three must be licensed employees of title insurance companies meeting certain qualifications regarding geographic diversity, and three must be members of the public at large and not be engaged in the business of title insurance. Governor Hickenlooper’s appointees are:

  • Phillip Michael Schreiber of Littleton, to serve as a licensed employee of a title insurance company with not less than five years of experience in the title insurance business; for a term expiring August 5, 2017;
  • Alexander Pankonin of Denver, to serve as a resident title insurance agent with not less than five years experience in the title insurance business, for a term expiring August 5, 2017;
  • Gary Glenn of Tabernash, to serve as an at-large public member who is not engaged in the business of title insurance and resides outside of a standard metropolitan area, for a term expiring August 5, 2017;
  • Charles Hallack Cowperthwaite of Littleton, to serve as an at-large public member who is not engaged in the business of title insurance, for a term expiring August 5, 2017;
  • Paul David Dickard of Aurora, to serve as a licensed employee of a title insurance company that has netted admitted assets of less than $500 million, with not less than five years of experience in the title insurance business, for a term expiring August 5, 2019;
  • Carl Phillip Laffin of Highlands Ranch, to serve as a licensed employee of a title insurance company that has netted admitted assets of more than $500 million, with not less than five years of experience in the title insurance business, for a term expiring August 5, 2019;
  • Jason Duncan of Alamosa, to serve as a resident title insurance agent with not less than five years experience in the title insurance business, for a term expiring August 5, 2019;
  • Patrick Alan Rice of Superior, to serve as a resident title insurance agent with not less than five years experience in the title insurance business, for a term expiring August 5, 2019;
  • Mary Renee Babkiewich of Denver, to serve as an at-large public member who is not engaged in the business of title insurance, for a term expiring August 5, 2019.

For more information about the role of the Title Insurance Commission, click here.

Barbara Zollars Appointed to Rio Grande County Court

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Barbara Zollars to the Rio Grande County Court in the Twelfth Judicial District, effective immediately. Zollars will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Patrick H. Hayes, Jr. to the Twelfth Judicial District Court.

Zollars is currently a partner at the San Luis Valley Law Firm, where she practices criminal defense, handling everything from traffic offenses to first-degree murder cases. Prior to opening her firm, Zollars was a Deputy State Public Defender in various offices from 1988 to 2002. She also founded and managed a legal aid program in Seattle, Washington. Zollars earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Seattle University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Teresa Kilgore Appointed to Teller County Court

On Friday, August 7, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointment of Teresa Kilgore to the Teller County Court. Ms. Kilgore will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Linda Billings-Vela to the Fourth Judicial District Court, effective immediately.

Ms. Kilgore is currently the managing attorney for the Colorado Springs office of Colorado Legal Services, where her practice is varied and consists of family law, real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, collections, and other consumer issues. She also was a staff attorney at Colorado Legal Services from 1997 to 2007. In addition to her work at CLS, Ms. Kilgore was a senior legal editor at McGraw-Hill Publishing and an associate at Cornish & Dell’Olio. She received her law degree from Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and her undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary.

Appointments to Seventh and Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commissions Announced

On Friday, August 7, 2015, the governor’s office announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointments to the Seventh and Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commissions, effective immediately. Leah Gates of Montrose was appointed to the Seventh Judicial District Nominating Commission to serve as a Republican attorney from Ouray County. Her term expires December 31, 2020. Richard Gast of Timnath was appointed to the Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission to serve as a Democratic attorney from Larimer County. His term also expires December 31, 2020. Judicial nominating commissions review applications for judicial vacancies in their district and select nominees for appointment by the governor. They consist of three attorneys and four non-attorneys, and no more than three members can be from the same political party. For more information about judicial nominating commissions, click here.

Hon. P. Douglas Tallman to Retire from Fifteenth Judicial District Court

On Monday, August 3, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. P. Douglas Tallman will retire from the Fifteenth Judicial District Court, effective October 2, 2015. Judge Tallman was appointed to the district court in 2003. Prior to his appointment, he served as Cheyenne County Court judge from 1987 to 2002. He is active in his local community, and he participates yearly in the annual Lamar Hospice Golf Tournament.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Fifteenth Judicial District 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 Justice Monica Marquez, ex officio chair of the Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on August 24, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on August 17, 2015. For more information about the vacancy, click here.

New Crowdfunding Rules Released by Division of Securities

The Colorado Crowdfunding Act, HB 15-1246, was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on April 13, 2015, with an effective date of August 5, 2015. The goal of the Act was to increase equity opportunities for Colorado start-ups by creating a crowdfunding option with limitations to protect investors. The Act required the Securities Commissioner to promulgate rules and regulations in order to protect small businesses and investors.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Securities released comprehensive new crowdfunding rules on Thursday, July 30, 2015. The regulations are available here. The Division of Securities also issued guidelines about the new rules, noting that before a business can take advantage of the new crowdfunding rules it must file various forms with the Division of Securities; there are limits to how much money can be raised and how much individual investors can contribute; and all aspects of the transaction must take place between Colorado residents. The Division’s guidelines are available here.

Finalists Selected for Rio Grande County Court Vacancy

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of two finalists to fill a vacancy on the Rio Grande County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Patrick H. Hayes, Jr., to the Twelfth Judicial District Court, effective July 1, 2015.

The two nominees are Mérida I. Zerbi and Barbara A. Zollars, both of Monte Vista. Mérida I. Zerbi is a solo practitioner in Monte Vista, where she practices in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations, immigration, probate, and water law. Barbara A. Zollars of the San Luis Valley Law Firm is a former public defender who currently practices criminal defense.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has fifteen days in which to appoint one of the nominees to the bench. Comments regarding the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.