April 29, 2016

Diego Hunt Appointed to 1st Judicial District Court

Hunt_DiegoOn Wednesday, April 27, 2016, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Diego Hunt to the First Judicial District Court. Hunt will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Christopher Munch, effective June 1, 2016.

Hunt is currently Of Counsel at Holland & Hart, where he focuses his litigation practice on complex domestic and international products liability and torts disputes. He also represents clients involved in governmental compliance audits and investigations and government contract disputes, including litigation and state and federal bid protests. Hunt is a member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Advisory Committee on Language Access for the Office of the Colorado State Court Administrator, and is a board member for the Faculty of Federal Advocates. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Hon. David A. Bottger to Retire from 21st Judicial District Court

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. David A. Bottger of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, effective August 12, 2016.

Judge Bottger was appointed to the district court bench in 1987, and was appointed Chief Judge of the Twenty-First Judicial District Court in 2005. Prior to his appointment, Judge Bottger was Mesa County’s first magistrate, where he served from 1983 to 1987. He was in private practice from 1977 to 1983 and also served as a law clerk for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Lee. He is a member of the Colorado and Mesa County bar associations. Judge Bottger received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern and his law degree from Notre Dame University School of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the twenty-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 or from the ex officio chair of the Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Allison H. Eid. Application forms must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 18, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on May 11, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Jay Grant and Jennifer Torrington Appointed to Denver District Court

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Jay Grant and Jennifer Torrington to the Second Judicial District Court. Grant and Torrington will fill vacancies created by the retirement of Hon. R. Michael Mullins and the resignation of Hon. Ann B. Frick, effective July 1, 2016.

Jay Grant is currently a lead attorney in the Denver office of the Colorado State Public Defender. He previously was an attorney at Stiner, Beck, Jonson & Nolan, where he practiced criminal defense and family law, and was an attorney at Cudd & Associates, where he practiced securities law. He received his undergraduate degree from New Mexico State University in 1989, a Master’s Degree in History from New Mexico State University in 1992, and his J.D. from Oklahoma City University in 1997.

Jennifer Torrington is currently a magistrate in the Denver District Court where she oversees post-decree domestic relations cases. Prior to her work on the Denver District Court, Torrington was a magistrate for the Denver Juvenile Court from 2004 to 2015. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 1993 and her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of law in 1999.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Andrea Eddy and Chelsea Malone Appointed as Denver County Court Judges

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced his appointments of Andrea Eddy and Chelsea Malone to the bench of the Denver County Court. Eddy and Malone will fill vacancies created by the retirements of Hon. Alfred Harrell and Hon. Kerry Hada, and the appointments will be effective the first week of July 2016.

Eddy is currently a Denver County Court magistrate. Prior to her work on the Denver County Court, Eddy was a Senior Deputy District Attorney in the Denver District Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and the Colorado GLBT Bar Association.

Malone is currently a solo practitioner at the Law Offices of Chelsea Malone and Of Counsel to the Law Offices of Fred Andrew Dunsing. Previously, Malone served as a Deputy State Public Defender. She is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

For more information about the appointments, click here.

Six Finalists Selected for Two Vacancies on 18th Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of six nominees to fill two vacancies on the Eighteenth Judicial District Court. The vacancies will be occasioned by the retirements of Hon. Richard Caschette and Hon. Marilyn Antrim, effective July 1, 2016. The nominees are Andrew C. Baum of Highlands Ranch, Richard H. Ferro of Centennial, Ben L. Leutwyler, III, of Highlands Ranch, Robert Lung of Parker, Michael W. Melito of Littleton, and Eric B. White of Centennial.

Andrew C. Baum is a prosecutor at the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Richard H. Ferro is an attorney in the state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Ben L. Leutwyler, III, is a partner at Mike Hulen, P.C., where he practices personal injury, criminal defense, family law, and estate planning. Robert Lung is an Arapahoe County Magistrate. Michael W. Melito is a Senior Assistant Attorney General. Eric B. White is also an Arapahoe County Magistrate.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from April 13, 2016, in which to appoint two of the nominees to the Eighteenth Judicial District Court. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Nominees Selected for First Judicial District Court Vacancy

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees to fill a vacancy on the First Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Christopher Munch, effective June 1, 2016. The nominees selected by the First Judicial District Nominating Commission are Diego G. Hunt of Golden, Miller M. Leonard of Arvada, and Harold D. Sargent of Lakewood.

Diego G. Hunt is Of Counsel at Holland & Hart, where he represents parties in complex domestic and international products liability and torts litigation. Miller Leonard operates his own criminal defense firm in Golden, where he represents clients in federal, state, and municipal court. Harold D. Sargent is an attorney with the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from April 12, 2016, in which to appoint one of the nominees to the First Judicial District Court. 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.

Colorado Supreme Court Adopts Changes to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Colorado Appellate Rules

The Colorado Supreme Court adopted Rule Change 2016(04), 2016(05), and 2016(06) last week, approving changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and the Colorado Appellate Rules.

Rule Change 2016(04), adopted and effective April 6, 2016, enacts substantial changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Many of the changes were to the Comments to the Rules, and language was added to many comments about lawyers contracting outside their own firms to provide legal assistance to the client. Additionally, a new model pro bono policy was added to the Comment to Rule 6.1. The changes are extensive; a redline and clean version is available here.

Rule Change 2016(05) amended Rules 35, 40, 41, 41.1, and 42 of the Colorado Appellate Rules, adopted and effective April 7, 2016. The changes to the affected rules were extensive, and the Comments to those rules generally explain the changes. Rule 41.1 was deleted and incorporated into Rule 41. A redline and clean version of the rule change is available here.

Rule Change 2016(06), adopted and effective April 7, 2016, amended the Preamble to the Rules Governing the Practice of Law, Chapters 18 to 20 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. The Preamble addresses the Colorado Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction and its ability to appoint directors of certain legal programs to assist the court. The Preamble also sets forth the court’s objectives in regulating the practice of law. A clean version of the newly adopted Preamble is available here.

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

Comments Solicited for Proposed Increase to Jurisdiction of County Courts

The Colorado Supreme Court is requesting comments regarding a proposed jurisdictional increase for Colorado’s county courts. The proposal to the supreme court, submitted by the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, requests that the Colorado Supreme Court support legislation to increase the jurisdiction of the county courts from a $15,000 limit to a $35,000 limit. The committee suggests that increasing the jurisdictional limit of the county courts will promote access to justice by taking relatively low dollar value cases out of the district court and relieving the parties of the requirement to engage in the more complex and expensive procedures of the district court. The full proposal is available here.

Comments regarding increasing the county courts’ jurisdictional limits may be submitted to Christopher Ryan, clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, via email at christopher.ryan@judicial.state.co.us or mailed to 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 10, 2016. Comments will be posted on the State Judicial website after the comment period has ended.

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

Hon. Larry E. Stutler to Retire from Prowers County Court

Stutler (Formatted)On Monday, April 4, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Larry E. Stutler from the Prowers County Court, effective July 1, 2016.

Judge Stutler was appointed to the Prowers County Court in 1995, where he hears cases including civil, traffic, and misdemeanor offenses. He is also the municipal judge in Lamar. Prior to his appointment to the Prowers County Court, he was in general practice in Lamar, focusing on civil and criminal litigation with some background in real estate and probate. Judge Stutler received his undergraduate degree from the University of Denver and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy on the Prowers County Court. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Prowers County and must have graduated from high school or attained the equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and from the ex officio chair of the Fifteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 4, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on April 27, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

CJDs Regarding Wiretapping and Access to Court Records Amended

Two of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives were amended last week. CJD 85-02, regarding wiretap reports, was updated on March 31, 2016, to include the location of the electronic wiretap form on the United States Court website, provide updated information for submission to the U.S. courts, and to clarify that all applications and extensions are to be reported whether granted or denied.

CJD 05-01, regarding access to court records, was revised on April 1, 2016, based on the review of a subcommittee of Public Access Committee members. The revisions to CJD 05-01 were substantial. A summary of the most substantial changes is reprinted here:

Section 3.00: General Provisions
• Section 3.00 was expanded to include additional definitions of common terms used in this policy.
• Section 3.01 defines the Department’s Case Management System (CMS) as all Department information systems designed to capture, monitor, and track court and probation content.
• Section 3.02 defines the role of the State Court Administrator, Clerks of Court, and Chief Probation Officers as custodians of court records. This Section also states that Clerks of Court are responsible for assigning document or case security levels.
• Section 3.03 provides the definition of “court record” for purposes of this policy. Section 3.03(a)(2) was added to clarify that any records related to a defendant or probationer that are created, collected, received, and maintained by a probation department are court records.

Section 4.40: Access to Aggregate and Compiled Data from Court Records
• Section 4.40(a)(2)(ii) was added to allow (but not require) requests for compiled or aggregate data specific to one judicial district to be submitted to, prepared by, and released from that judicial district. Data requests specific to one judicial district may also be submitted to, prepared by, and released from SCAO.
• Section 4.40(a)(4) was added to clarify that all reports generated from the Department’s CMS constitute compiled or aggregate data. If a request is made to release these reports outside of the Department, all provisions of CJD 05-01 must be met. This includes all reports created through COGNOS, and management reports generated through ICON/Eclipse/JPOD, etc.
• Section 4.40(f)(4) was added to recognize the need of interagency teams/Best Practice Teams to share information within the team that includes personally identifiable data, and to require the use of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the protection and use of data.

Section 4.60: Court Records Excluded from Public Access
• Section 4.60(b)(7) was amended to add Probate protected proceedings case types to those case classes/types that are not accessible to the public unless the court orders otherwise.
• Section 4.60(d) was amended to alphabetically list records that are not accessible to the public without a court order.
• Additional records were added to the list, including: (1) Audio/Video recordings collected, received, and maintained by the Court; (7) Domestic Relations Memoranda of Understanding, and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders; (19) Medical marijuana registry application or card; (20) Motion for Informa Pauperis; and (21) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or Colorado Crime Information Center (CCIC) printed reports.
• Criminal history records checks were removed from this list.
• Section 4.60(e)(6) was amended to clarify that Social Security Numbers (SSNs), including partial SSNs, are to be redacted from pleadings or documents prior to being released.
• Section 4.60(e)(7) was added and requires that tax identification numbers be redacted from pleadings or documents prior to being released.

Section 5.00: Accessing Court Records
• Section 5.00 was amended to align more closely with the requirements outlined in P.A.I.R.R. 2 (Public Access to Administrative Records of the Judicial Branch) regarding the procedure to access records.
• Section 5.00(d) was amended to clarify that if court records cannot be provided upon request, the custodian will provide court records within three business days. If, due to extenuating circumstances, the custodian cannot provide records within three business days, the custodian may have an additional seven business days to respond.
• Sections 5.00 (d)(1-5) provides definitions of the extenuating circumstances under which the custodian may provide court records within the seven business day extension.

Addendum C: Data Request for Purposes or Research, Including Personally Identifiable Data, Pursuant to Section 4.40(f) was created to be used with researchers that request compiled data that includes personally identifiable data components.

Although e-filing specifications are not defined in CJD 05-01, this policy does address “court records subject to remote access” (Section 4.20). As a result, the Public Access Committee also approved case information for Probate trust and estate case types to be opened via remote access in ICCES. ITS requires sufficient time to make necessary updates to ICCES, therefore, this change will occur on or before 9/1/2016. For probate trust and estate cases filed prior to 9/1/16, the security level of public documents filed in these cases will be “protected”; after 9/1/16, only certain public documents (to be specified by the Clerks of Court) will be auto-protected.

For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

New Rule 502 Added to Colorado Rules of Evidence

The Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2016(03), adopted and effective March 22, 2016, adding a new Rule 502 to the Colorado Rules of Evidence. Rule 502, “Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product; Limitations on Waiver,” addresses disclosures of communications covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. The rule is effective March 22, 2016. The rule is available below or on the State Judicial website.

Rule 502. Attorney-Client Privilege and
Work Product; Limitations on Waiver

The following provisions apply, in the circumstances set out, to disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection.

(a) Disclosure Made in a Colorado Proceeding or to a Colorado Office or Agency; Scope of a Waiver. When the disclosure is made in a Colorado proceeding or to an office or agency of a Colorado state, county, or local government and waives the attorney-client privilege or work- product protection, the waiver extends to an undisclosed communication or information in a Colorado proceeding only if:
(1) the waiver is intentional;
(2) the disclosed and undisclosed communications or information concern the same subject matter; and
(3) they ought in fairness to be considered together.

(b) Inadvertent Disclosure. When made in a Colorado proceeding or to an office or agency of a Colorado state, county, or local government, the disclosure does not operate as a waiver in a Colorado proceeding if:
(1) the disclosure is inadvertent;
(2) the holder of the privilege or protection took reasonable steps to prevent disclosure; and
(3) the holder promptly took reasonable steps to rectify the error, including (if applicable) following C.R.C.P. 26(b)(5)(B).

(c) Disclosure Made in a Federal or other State Proceeding. When the disclosure is made in a proceeding in federal court or the court of another state and is not the subject of a court order concerning waiver, the disclosure does not operate as a waiver in a Colorado proceeding if the disclosure:
(1) would not be a waiver under this rule if it had been made in a Colorado proceeding; or
(2) is not a waiver under the law governing the state or federal proceeding where the disclosure occurred.

(d) Controlling Effect of a Court Order. A Colorado court may order that the privilege or protection is not waived by disclosure connected with the litigation pending before the court – in which event the disclosure is also not a waiver in any other proceeding.

(e) Controlling Effect of a Party Agreement. An agreement on the effect of disclosure in a Colorado proceeding is binding only on the parties to the agreement, unless it is incorporated into a court order.

(f) Definitions. In this rule:
(1) “attorney-client privilege” means the protection that applicable law provides for confidential attorney-client communications; and
(2) “work-product protection” means the protection that applicable law provides for tangible material (or its intangible equivalent) prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial.

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

Nominees Selected for Vacancies on Second Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission announced its selection of six nominees to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Second Judicial District Court. The nominees are Christopher J. Baumann, Jay S. Grant, Frances E. Simonet, Jay B. Simonson, Jennifer B. Torrington, and Christine A. Washburn.

Christopher J. Baumann is the head of the Denver office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Jay S. Grant is lead attorney at the same office. Frances Simonet is a magistrate in the Seventeenth Judicial District. Jay B. Simonson is a First Assistant Attorney General. Jennifer B. Torrington is a magistrate in the Second Judicial District. Christine A. Washburn is the Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from March 29 in which to appoint two of the nominees to the vacancies. 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.