April 30, 2017

SB 17-062: Prohibiting Institutions of Higher Education from Limiting Students’ Free Speech

On January 13, 2017, Sen. Tim Neville and Rep. Stephen Humphrey introduced SB 17-062, “Concerning the Right to Free Speech on Campuses of Public Institutions of Higher Education.”

The bill prohibits public institutions of higher education (public institution) from limiting or restricting student expression in a student forum. ‘Expression’ is defined to mean any lawful verbal or written means by which individuals communicate ideas to one another, including all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, speaking verbally, holding signs, circulating petitions, and disstributing written materials. ‘Expression’ also includes voter registration activities but does not include speech that is primarily for a commercial purpose.

A public institution shall not subject a student to disciplinary action as a result of his or her expression. A public institution shall not designate any area on campus as a free speech zone or otherwise create policies that imply that its students’ expressive activities are restricted to a particular area of campus. Additionally, a public institution shall not impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of student speech unless such restrictions are reasonable, justified without reference to the speech’s content, are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and leave open ample alternative channels for communication of the information or message.

The bill states that it does not grant other members of the college or university community the right to disrupt previously scheduled or reserved activities in a portion or section of the student forum at that scheduled time. Additionally, the bill clarifies that it is not to be interpreted as preventing the public institution from prohibiting, limiting, or restricting expression that is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

A student who has been denied access to a student forum for expressive purposes may bring a court action to recover reasonable court costs and attorney fees.

The bill was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Education Committee. It was amended in committee, and was again amended on Second and Third Reading in the Senate. It passed the Senate and was introduced in the House and assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

Law School for Journalists: Issues that Arise in Death Penalty Cases

LawSchoolForJournalistsOn Thursday, April 16, Our Courts Colorado and the Colorado Bar Association hosted “Law School for Journalists: Issues that Arise in Death Penalty Cases,” at the CBA-CLE offices. Speakers Forrest W. Lewis, Bob Grant, and Judge Marcia S. Krieger discussed what unfolds, procedurally and factually, in death penalty cases. They also answered specific questions regarding the Aurora movie theater shooting case. The presentation was streamed online for those who could not attend in person.

The Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Judicial Branch jointly offer “Law School for Journalists,” an ongoing series of classes designed to provide reporters with background information about issues in the legal system and judiciary.

Craig Dehning of Skinner Middle School and Theresa Storto of Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy Awarded DBA Education in the Legal System Award

This is Part 2 of a series of posts about the DBA Award winners (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here; for Part 3, click here; for Part 4, click here). The article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of The Docket.

EDUCATION IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM AWARD WINNER:
CRAIG DEHNING, SKINNER MIDDLE SCHOOL

“It’s critically important that we teach civics in 8th grade because they’re not necessarily getting it later. It’s the foundation of law.”

Craig Dehning, an 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Skinner Middle School, is serious when it comes to shaping the future generation. He explains that for many, the last year of middle school is the only time kids will learn about the Constitution in Denver Public Schools. There is an elective civics class in high school, but it isn’t mandatory. And, the high school where many of his kids continue on has a shockingly high drop-out rate. So, he takes every chance he can get to impact their education.

“It’s so important for the kids to have some idea about the beginning of our country, the creation of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—among others,” Dehning says.

Although he was almost a lawyer, Dehning has clearly found his knack in teaching. His voice fills with enthusiasm when describing the value of showing kids how success feels. His favorite part of teaching is seeing the learning curve—how those kids take that knowledge and become confident. Dehning encourages his students to always ask questions, explaining: “Learning comes from questioning.”

Praising the “We the People” program, Dehning says that it’s a really great way for kids to dive into the Constitution and learn more about legal topics, such as the structure of our government and the Fifth Amendment. He hopes that more schools will become involved in it in the future.

“We need to make sure the foundation of our government and society is taught to kids,” Dehning says.

EDUCATION IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM AWARD WINNER:
THERESA STORTO, KUNSMILLER CREATIVE ARTS ACADEMY

Typically, growing up means learning from your mistakes.

That same idea is often applied—in a more general sense—to education. The more students learn about the past, the better they can shape the future. Eighth-grade social studies teacher Theresa Storto believes this is a critical aspect of her history curriculum. She teaches the students at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy that to improve the future, you have to understand the past.

An important part of Storto’s social studies teaching plan is the “We the People” program. She encourages her students to participate in Mock Congressional Hearings each year, where they become experts in parts of the Constitution.

“They’re the future and they need to know the Constitution to understand that they do have power,” Storto explains, “so that they can make the changes they feel are necessary for a better world.”

Along with the legal knowledge, students also gain confidence in their expertise and abilities throughout the program. Storto says that showing kids how they can make a difference is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher. She strives to always provide them with inspiration and hope for the future—and the courage to believe in who they are and what they can do.

Book Drive This Week to Benefit Denver’s Warm Welcome Childcare Center

The Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and Community Action Network are sponsoring a book drive this week to benefit the Denver Court Warm Welcome Childcare Center. Through Friday, December 7, 2012, the DBA-YLD and CAN are collecting new and used children’s books for kids ages 6 months to 12 years.

The Denver Warm Welcome Childcare Center provides free drop-in child care services for people with business before the district, county, and juvenile courts in Denver County. The Center provides brochures and written materials concerning child care, but it also sends a book or activity home with each child who visits. This book drive will assist the Center in donating books to each child who visits.

For more information about the book drive, contact Heather Clark (hclark@cobar.org) or Blair Bowen (bqbowen@gmail.com), or sign up online by clicking here. Books can also be brought to the CBA/DBA offices at 1900 Grant Street, 9th Floor.

CBA-CLE Business Law Institute with Plenary Speakers Tom Clark and Nat Stoddard

The CBA-CLE 2012 Business Law Institute is happening on October 18-19 at the Four Seasons Denver. The Business Law Institute will feature Tom Clark, CEO, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, who will present on “Denver’s Economic Climate and Business Outlook,” and Nat Stoddard, Chairman, Crenshaw Associates, New York, who will discuss “M&A Risk Reduction, Post-Deal Integration Success and Long-Term Value Recognition for You and Your Clients.”

Tom Clark is Chief Executive Officer of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Executive Vice President of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He has more than 30 years of economic development experience at the state, regional, county and city levels. Tom’s career spans four decades from Director of Commercial and Industrial Development for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, through positions with the Fort Collins, Colorado Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Denver Corporation, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, the Jefferson Economic Council, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Tom was the founder and first president of the Metro Denver Network, the Metro Denver region’s first economic development program, for which he received the Arthur D. Little Award for Excellence in Economic Development. He was chosen as one of the nation’s top economic development professionals by the Council on Urban Economic Development.

Nat Stoddard is the author of The Right Leader: Selecting Executives Who Fit, which establishes the importance of cultural fit between companies and leaders. The Right Leader shows how companies can reduce the risks and costs of leadership failure by defining their culture and picking leaders with cultural fit in mind. Nat leads the Forward Assessment Consulting™ practice at Crenshaw Associates, serves as an Advisor to CEOs and Lead Directors/Board Chairs, and is an Executive Mentor to Transition Clients. Nat is the former Chairman, President, and CEO of several public and private companies ranging from $300M to $1B including World Kitchen, Camco (GE’s Canadian affiliate) and Garden Way, Inc. He holds an MBA from the University of Denver and a BS from Denison University.

The Business Law Institute will also feature an exceptional faculty of over twenty leading Colorado business law practitioners includes general counsel from top Colorado companies, experienced business attorneys from Colorado law firms, and professors from the University of Colorado Law School and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The institute also offers two tracks this year, a Basics Track for attorneys newer to business law, and an Advanced Track for the more experienced practitioner. For the complete agenda and faculty, go to: http://business.annualcle.com/.