April 19, 2018

Rules of Civil Procedure, JDF 601, and Form 4 Amended in Rule Changes 2018(05) and 2018(06)

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued two rule changes. Rule Change 2018(05) amends Form 4, “Petition for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to Crim. P. 35(c),” and Rule Change 2018(06) amends Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.1, “Simplified Procedure for Civil Actions,” and JDF 601, “District Court Civil Case Cover Sheet for Initial Pleading of Complaint, Counterclaim, Cross-Claim, or Third-Party Complaint and Jury Demand.”

The changes to C.R.C.P. 16.1 are extensive, and contain multiple changes to the first several subsections, including “Purpose of Simplified Procedure,” “Actions Subject to Simplified Procedure,” “Civil Cover Sheet,” “Motion for Exclusion from Simplified Procedure,” and more. There is also new Comment to the Rule that explains the reasoning for the changes.

For the full text of the 2018 rule changes, click here. For all of the court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Updated Regarding Legal and Judicial Education

On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch released Rule Change 2018(04), adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court on March 15, 2018, and effective on July 1, 2018. The rule change adds C.R.C.P. 250 and amends C.R.C.P. 260, both rule sets titled “Mandatory Continuing Legal and Judicial Eduction.”

The new Rules 250.1 through 250.10 comprehensively define the continuing education requirements of lawyers and judges. The new rules make some changes from the previously enacted rules. Specifically, the definition of which activities will be accredited has been expanded, and now activities related to wellness, diversity, law practice management, leadership, professionalism, and more may qualify for accreditation.

Another major change enacted with the new rules is that lawyers are required to track compliance with CLE requirements until age 72. Lawyers who had previously aged out under the former limit of age 65 will now be required to continue tracking credits until they reach age 72, beginning with the effective date of the new rules (July 1, 2018).

The new rules also clarify that lawyers may receive CLE credit for certain pro bono activities, participation in the CAMP program, and mentoring. Attorneys who mentor can receive CLE credit for mentoring each year, while mentees can only receive CLE credit one time.

The former rules, codified at C.R.C.P. 260 through 260.8, were amended to reference the new rules, as appropriate.

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

Cynthia J. Jones Appointed to Clear Creek County Court

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Cynthia J. Jones to the Clear Creek County Court in the Fifth Judicial District. Jones will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Rachel Olguin-Fresquez to the Eagle County Court, effective February 1, 2018.

Jones is currently a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Cynthia J. Jones, LLC, where she practices criminal law. She is also the primary Alternate Defense Counsel for Eagle County, but has taken cases in Summit, Lake, and Garfield Counties as well. Prior to opening her own firm, Jones was a Colorado State Public Defender for 12 years. She has also worked as an associate at Bailey & Peterson, P.C., where she practiced civil litigation. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, her law degree from the University of Montana, and a Masters of Art History degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Chief Justice Nancy Rice to Retire from Colorado Supreme Court

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Chief Justice Nancy Rice will retire from the state’s high court, effective June 30, 2018. Justice Rice has been on the Colorado Supreme Court for nearly 20 years, and has been Chief Justice for the past three and a half years. Prior to her appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court, she was a Denver District Court judge for 11 years, from 1987 to 1998. Before taking the bench, she was an Assistant United States Attorney from 1977 to 1987 and was the Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division in the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1985 to 1987. She has also served as a deputy state public defender. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts College and her law degree from the University of Utah College of Law.

Justice Rice has accomplished many feats during her tenure as Chief Justice. She has overseen completion of electronic filing systems for civil and criminal cases, and has advocated for new funding for probation officers and programs to help implement evidence-based programs. She has worked with the General Assembly to help courthouses obtain funding for improvements and new construction in order to enhance security, efficiency, and comfort. She has also formed commissions and task forces to address issues important to the Judicial Department and the public, including a blue ribbon commission to study bail and other pretrial release services, and a task force to study truancy and reduce the number of children ordered to detention in truancy cases. Additionally, she received funding from the General Assembly to increase the number of language interpreters in Colorado courts.

Applications will soon be accepted for the upcoming vacancy on the Colorado Supreme Court. For additional information about Justice Rice’s retirement, click here.

Rule Change 2018(03) Amends Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

On Thursday, February 22, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2018(03), amending the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 5.4, “Professional Independence of a Lawyer,” and Rule 7.3, “Solicitation of Clients,” were amended in this rule change.

Rule 5.4(d) and (e) were amended to add the phrase, “that is authorized to practice law for a profit,” as follows:

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional company that is authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

* * *

(e) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional company that is authorized to practice law for a profit except in compliance with C.R.C.P. 265.

Rule 7.3(c)(1) was amended to correct a typo, as follows:

(1) no such communication may be made if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person to whom the communication is directed is represented resented by a lawyer in the matter; and

For a redline and clean version of Rule Change 2018(03), click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s adopted and proposed rule changes, click here.

Income Eligibility Guidelines Updated; Several CJDs Affected

On Thursday, February 22, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch released revisions to the Income Eligibility Guidelines. Several Chief Justice Directives were affected by these revisions:

  • CJD 98-01 – “Costs for Indigent Persons in Civil Matters”
  • CJD 04-04 – “Appointment of State-Funded Counsel in Criminal Cases and for Contempt of Court”
  • CJD 04-05 – “Appointment and Payment Procedures for Court-appointed Counsel, Guardians ad litem, Child and Family Investigators, and Court Visitors paid by the Judicial Department in proceedings under Titles 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 (special respondents in dependency and neglect only), 22, 25.5, and 27, C.R.S.”
  • CJD 04-06 – “Court Appointments Through the Office of the Child’s Representative”
  • CJD 14-01 – “Appointment of State-Funded Counsel in Juvenile Delinquency Cases”
  • CJD 16-02 – “Court Appointments Through the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel”

All of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives can be accessed here.

Sean Finn Appointed to 17th District Court Bench

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Sean Finn to the District Court bench in the 17th Judicial District. Finn will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Ted Tow, III, to the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective February 13, 2018.

Finn is currently a Chief Trial Deputy in the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes felony offenses and supervises felony prosecutions of economic crimes, cases before Boulder County grand juries, and appeals on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office. He also handles civil matters on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office and is an adjunct professor of criminal procedure at the University of Colorado School of Law. Prior to his work in the 20th Judicial District, Finn was Deputy District Attorney and Senior Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District. He was an associate at Davis, Graham & Stubbs early in his career. He clerked for Hon. Robert Russel of the Colorado Court of Appeals. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his law degree from Loyola University School of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Rules Governing Commissions on Judicial Performance Repealed

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Rule Change 2018(02), repealing Chapter 37 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, “Rules Governing the Commissions on Judicial Performance.” The repeal was adopted by the court on February 15, effective immediately.

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

Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board Opinion Issued Regarding Memorial Fundraiser for Judge’s Late Son

The Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board issued C.J.E.A.B. Opinion 2018-01 on January 29, 2018. The opinion addresses whether a judge can help plan, play in, and invite others to play in a golf tournament designed to raise funds for an endowed scholarship honoring the judge’s late son if the judge’s name and title are not used to promote the tournament. The C.J.E.A.B. determined that the tournament may bear the name of the judge’s late son, and may invite family friends, lawyers, non-lawyers, and others to play in the tournament. The judge may also help plan the tournament, personally solicit family members and judges not under the judge’s supervision or appellate authority to participate in the tournament, and attend and play in the tournament.

For the complete text of C.J.E.A.B. Opinion 2018-01, click here. For all of the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board’s opinions, click here.

Application Period Open for Clear Creek County Vacancy

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Clear Creek County Court, occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Rachel Olguin-Fresquez to the Eagle County Court, effective February 1, 2018. Applications are now being accepted for the Clear Creek County Court vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Clear Creek County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officioclick here chair of the Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on February 8, 2018. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than February 1, 2018. For more information about the vacancy, .

CJD 05-03 Amended Regarding Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording

On Friday, January 19, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court amended Chief Justice Directive 05-03, “Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording Services.” This CJD was amended to reflect recent changes to C.A.R. 10 and 11, effective for appeals filed on or after January 1, 2018. The full text of the CJD is available here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

CJD 85-22 Amended, Modifying Rate of Interest on Judgments that are Appealed

On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued modifications to Chief Justice Directive 85-22, “Rate of Interest on Judgments Which are Appealed.” The changes to the CJD reflect the Secretary of State’s certification that interest on monetary judgments that are appealed is 4 percent. The changes are in accordance with C.R.S. § 5-12-106(2)(a) and 13-21-101(3). For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.