August 26, 2016

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.

Hon. Francis C. Wasserman to Retire from 17th Judicial District Court

Wasserman (Formatted)On Friday, July 29, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Francis C. Wasserman from the Seventeenth Judicial District Court, effective October 17, 2016. Judge Wasserman was appointed to the district court bench in July 2005, where he presides over a mixed docket of civil, criminal, juvenile, and domestic relations cases. Prior to his appointment, he was a Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney in the Seventeenth Judicial District and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver. He also served as a Merchant Marine and in the Navy, and had Top Secret security clearance. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his law degree from the University of Florida Law School.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Seventeenth Judicial District 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 Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Nathan Coats. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on September 1, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on August 25, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Hon. Alex R. Bencze to Retire from Arapahoe County Court

Bencze2On Thursday, July 28, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Alex R. Bencze from the Arapahoe County Court, effective January 1, 2017. Judge Bencze was appointed to the Arapahoe County Court bench in August 1998. Prior to that, he was an attorney in private practice. He also was a staff attorney at the Colorado Public Defender’s Office until 1982. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University Northwest and his doctorate in law degree from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Arapahoe County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available from the State Judicial website and from the ex officio chair of the Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood, III. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 4, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Chief Justice Directive 12-03 Regarding Court Compensation of Expert Witnesses Amended

On July 21, 2016, Chief Justice Nancy Rice of the Colorado Supreme Court signed an amended version of CJD 12-03, “Directive Concerning Court Compensation of Expert Witnesses and Professionals Conducting Mental Health Evaluations, Sanity Evaluations, and Competency Evaluations,” effective July 1, 2016. The CJD was amended in conjunction with the establishment of the new Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel. The experts covered by the CJD now fall within the purview of the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel, so the reference to C.R.S. § 19-3-607 was removed. The Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel now has the related state funding and is statutorily responsible for payment of expert witnesses in these cases.

For the full text of the CJD 12-03, click here. For all of the Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Hon. Sam Cassidy to Resign from Archuleta County Court

AR-140829505On Friday, July 22, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the resignation of Hon. Sam Cassidy from the Archuleta County Court, effective September 20, 2016. Judge Cassidy was appointed to the Archuleta County Court in August 2014. Prior to his appointment, he taught business law and ethics at the University of Denver and frequently handled pro bono cases. He has also served as Colorado’s lieutenant governor, the Senate minority leader, and a state senator from Senate District 6. He received his law degree from the University of Tulsa Law School in 1975.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Archuleta County and must have graduated high school or attained the equivalent degree. Applications are available from the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Brian Boatright. Applications must be received no later than noon on August 16, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than noon on August 9, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Hon. Daniel B. Petre to Retire from Ninth Judicial District Court

Petre (Formatted)On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Daniel Petre from the Ninth Judicial District Court, effective October 1, 2016. Judge Petre was appointed to the bench in 2002. Prior to his appointment, he was a District Court Magistrate in the Ninth Judicial District and a Division 5 Water Referee. He was in private practice for 24 years before working as a magistrate and water referee. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from Southern Methodist University Law School.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Ninth Judicial District 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 Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Allison Eid. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 31, 2016; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than August 24, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Hon. John F. Stavely to Retire from Boulder County Court

StavelyOn Monday, July 18, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. John F. Stavely from the Boulder County Court, effective January 10, 2017. Judge Stavely was appointed to the Boulder County Court in August 2001, where he handles a docket of traffic, misdemeanor criminal, felony criminal, civil, and small claims cases. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was a partner at Chrisman, Bynum & Johnson in Boulder for 19 years. He also served as a Louisville Municipal Court judge. He received his law degree from the University of North Dakota Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Boulder County and must have been admitted 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 Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 12, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than August 5, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

New and Revised Ethics Opinions Address Unbundling, Missing Clients

The Colorado Bar Association’s Ethics Committee has released Formal Opinion 128, addressing missing clients, and has revised Formal Opinion 101, addressing unbundling of legal services. Formal Opinion 128, “Ethical Duties of Lawyer Who Cannot Contact Client,” addresses situations where a client disappears at some time during the representation, or situations where a lawyer is retained by an insurance company to represent an insured but cannot locate the client. The CBA Ethics Committee opines that the lawyer should continue to act on behalf of the client in order to preserve legal rights, as long as the actions do not conflict with other ethical rules. The Committee also notes that the lawyer should take reasonable steps to locate the missing client.

Formal Opinion 101, “Unbundled Legal Services,” was revised by the Ethics Committee and reenacted as a new opinion. Formal Opinion 101 addresses unbundled legal services, where a lawyer undertakes part of the representation for a client but does not provide full services, such as in situations where a client cannot afford the full range of legal services but retains a lawyer to “ghostwrite” pleadings. The Ethics Committee incorporated the changes to Colo. RPC 1.2(c), which rule specifically allows limited representation, and the amendments to C.R.C.P. 11(b) and 311(b), which allow “ghostwriting” of pleadings. The opinion discusses the rule changes and their significance to lawyers in limited representations.

These rules and more will be discussed at CBA-CLE on July 26, 2016, at a breakfast program: “Ethics Rules Changes – Effective April 6, 2016.” Speakers Marcy Glenn, David Stark, and Jamie Sudler will discuss the new and revised rules and their implications for practitioners. Click the links below to register, or call (303) 860-0608.

 

ET072616L

CLE Program: Ethics Rules Changes — Effective April 6, 2016

This CLE presentation will occur on July 26, 2016, at the CBA-CLE offices (1900 Grant Street, Third Floor), from 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. Register for the live program here or register for the webcast here. You may also call (303) 860-0608 to register.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here: MP3Video OnDemand.

Hon. Gregory G. Lyman to Retire from Sixth Judicial District Court

lymanOn Thursday, July 14, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Gregory G. Lyman from the Sixth Judicial District Court, effective January 10, 2017. Judge Lyman was appointed to the district court in June 1996, where he primarily handles civil, criminal, probate, and domestic relations matters. He is the Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District, and is also a Water Judge in Division 7. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was the District Attorney of the Sixth Judicial District and also worked at the District Attorney’s Office in the Seventh Judicial District. He was in private practice before his work as a District Attorney. Judge Lyman received his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancy on the Sixth Judicial District Court bench. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Sixth Judicial District and must have been licensed 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 Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Brian Boatright. Completed applications must be received no later than noon on August 5, 2016, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than July 29, 2016.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Hon. Stephen J. Schapanski and Hon. Daniel J. Kaup to Retire from 8th Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirements of Hon. Stephen J. Schapanski and Hon. Daniel J. Kaup from the Eighth Judicial District Court, both effective January 10, 2017.

Judge Schapanski2Judge Schapanski was appointed to the district court in June 2007, and was named Chief Judge in August 2009. His docket includes civil, criminal, probate, juvenile, domestic relations, and appeals from magistrate orders. Prior to his appointment to the district court, he was a district court magistrate in the Eighth Judicial District from 1993 to 2007. He was in private practice in Fort Collins from 1974 to 1993. He received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Kaup (Formatted)Judge Kaup was appointed to the district court in October 2001, where his docket consists of civil and criminal actions and domestic relations cases. He was also appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court to serve as a water judge in the North Platte, Yampa, and White River basins from 2002 to 2008. He is also the presiding judge for the Adult Drug Court. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice for 23 years in the North Park area, Jackson County, and the City of Walden, where he had a general practice. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his law degree from the University of Denver.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancies. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Eighth Judicial District 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 Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Richard Gabriel. Completed applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on August 4, 2016. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 28, 2016.

For more information about the vacancies, click here.