February 6, 2016

Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Amended in Rule Change 2016(01)

On Thursday, February 4, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court posted Rule Change 2016(01), adopted January 29, 2016. The rule change affects several of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, and there are various effective dates for the changes.

C.R.C.P. 10 was changed to specify that footnotes should be in 12 point font and motions should be double-spaced. The comment to § 1-12 of Rule 121 was changed to include oral discovery in its scope. Rule 121, § 1-15, was revised significantly, changing several of the specifications for word and page limits of motions and addressing when the court should rule on motions. The comment to § 1-15 was also changed to explain some of the revisions. The changes to Rule 10 and §§ 1-12 and 1-15 of Rule 121 apply to motions filed on or after April 1, 2016.

C.R.C.P. 23, “Class Actions,” was amended by the addition of a new subsection (g), dealing with residual funds left after class action settlements. The changes to Rule 23 are effective for all class settlements approved by the court on or after July 1, 2016.

Rules 103 and 403 dealing with garnishments in district and county court were amended to provide that for pro se judgment creditors, indebtedness must be paid into the registry of the court, whereas judgment creditors represented by attorneys and collection agencies may receive funds directly. The Writ of Garnishment form was amended accordingly. These changes are effective March 1, 2016.

The amendment to Rule 359, “New Trials; Amendment of Judgments,” changed the deadline for appeal from 21 days to 14 days. The change is effective April 1, 2016.

Finally, Form 35.1, “Mandatory Disclosure,” was changed significantly. Most of the changes clarified required disclosures when a decree has been filed, specifying that only documents filed or prepared since the entry of the decree need be disclosed. These changes are effective April 1, 2016.

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

Five Cybersecurity Tech Tips: Worries to Give You the Willies

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Attorney at Work on January 29, 2016. Reprinted with permission. See below for information about ordering Colorado CLE’s homestudy for our program, “Data Privacy & Information Security: Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law.”

By Sharon Nelson and John Simek

A keyboard with a red button - Privacy

A keyboard with a red button – Privacy

There are lots of cybersecurity worries to give you the willies in the wee hours of the morning, but we were asked to pick five. So here are some of the most common threats for lawyers to keep in mind.

1. Ransomware. We continue to see law firms struck by ransomware, which is a type of malware that encrypts your data (restricting your access to it) and then demands a ransom payment — usually in bitcoins — to get your data back. Training your employees not to click on suspicious attachments or links in email will help. They should stay away from suspicious sites as well since ransomware can be installed by just “driving by” an infected website.

Overwhelmingly, from a technological standpoint, you can defeat ransomware by having a backup that is immune to it. This can mean, particularly for solo lawyers, that you back up and then disconnect the backup from the network. For others, it means running an agent-based backup system rather than one that uses drive letters. Make sure your IT consultant has your backup engineered so that backups are protected — that way, even if you are attacked with ransomware, you can thumb your nose at the thief’s demands for money because you can restore your system from your backup. Of course, this means backups need to be made frequently to avoid any significant data loss.

2. Employees. Employees are by nature rogues. Every study made shows employees will ignore policies (assuming they exist) to do what they want to do. This often means people bring their own devices (BYOD) which may be infected when they connect to your network. They may also bring their own network (BYON) or bring their own cloud (BYOC). Certainly, your policies should disallow these practices (in our judgment) or, at least, manage the risks by controlling what it is done by implementing a combination of policies and technology.

Oh, and employees steal your data or leave it on flash drives or their home devices, too. This means you have “dark data” — data you don’t know about and over which you have no control. This means you may miss data required in discovery because you don’t know it exists. Your data may not be protected in compliance with federal or state laws and regulations. And you have no way to manage the data because you don’t know it is there. Once again, a combination of policies and technology should be in place to prevent these issues.

3. Targeted phishing. This is perhaps the greatest and most successful threat to law firm data. Someone has you in their sights — often they have done research on your law firm. They may know the cases you are involved in — and who your opponents are. They may know the managing partner’s nickname. Everything they know about you, they may use to get you to click on something (say, an email from an opponent referencing a specific case and saying “The next hearing in ___ case has been rescheduled as per the attachment). Many a lawyer has clicked on such attachments — or a link within an email.

The best solution to protect yourself from targeted phishing is training and more training — endlessly. One California firm was targeted by multiple phishing attacks but survived them because the lawyers and staff who received such emails questioned their authenticity.

Forget the loss of billable time. The loss of money, time and even clients due to a data breach can be far worse.

4. Interception of confidential information. Start with the proposition that everyone wants your data, including cybercriminals, hackers and nation states (including our own). Frankly, if they want your data and they have sophisticated tools, they will get it. So shame on you if you are not employing encryption (which is now cheap and easy) to protect confidential data transmitted and received via voice, text, and email. Encryption today is a law firm’s best friend. You may choose to use it always or in cases where it is warranted — but you surely should have the capability of encrypting.

5. Failure to use technology to enforce passwords policies. First, let us say that you should use multi-factor authentication where available and use it to protect sensitive data. But failing that, we recognize that passwords are still king in solo practices and small to midsize firms. Therefore, have your IT consultant assist you in setting up policies that can be enforced by technology, requiring that network passwords be changed every 30 days, not reused for an extended period of time — and mandating strong passwords (14 or more characters in length, utilizing upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols). Passphrases are best. Iloveattorneyatwork2016! would do nicely.

There are many other “willies” out there, but address them one digestible chunk at a time!

Sharon D. Nelson (@SharonNelsonEsq) and John W. Simek (@SenseiEnt) are the President and Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a digital forensics, legal technology and information security firm based in Fairfax, VA. Popular speakers and authors, they have written several books, including “The 2008-2015 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guides” and “Encryption Made Simple for Lawyers.” Sharon blogs at Ride the Lightning and together they co-host of the Digital Detectives podcast.


CLE Homestudy: Data Privacy & Information Security — Meeting the Challenges of this Complex and Evolving Area of the Law

This CLE presentation took place Friday, January 22, 2016. Order the homestudy here: CDMP3 audioVideo OnDemand.

Probate, Name Change, and More JDF Forms Amended by State Judicial in January

In January 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch issued 13 new forms. Many of the forms are in the Probate category, specifically dealing with adult guardianships, and the rest of the forms include forms about name changes, request for payment of fees, and appointments of guardians ad litem. The forms are available here in PDF format and are available from the State Judicial forms page in Word or PDF.


  • JDF 895 – “Instructions to Register Out of State Guardianship or Conservatorship Orders for Adult in Colorado” (1/16)
  • JDF 797 – “Rights of Respondent in Appointment of Guardian/Conservator” (R01/16)
  • JDF 799 – “Information for Respondent in Appointment of Guardian” (R01/16)
  • JDF 805 – “Acceptance of Office” (R01/16)
  • JDF 854 – “Order for Termination of Guardianship” (R01/16)


  • JDF 385 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name Following Conviction/Adjudication of a Felony” (R01/16)
  • JDF 388 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name for an Individual 70 Years of Age or Older” (R01/16)
  • JDF 432 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name (Adult)” (R01/16)
  • JDF 387 – “Final Decree for Change of Name to Obtain Identity Related Documents” (R01/16)
  • JDF 433 – “Petition for Change of Name (Adult)” (R01/16)


  • JDF 208 – “Application for Public Defender, Court-Appointed Counsel, or Guardian Ad Litem” (R01/16)


  • JDF 1318 – “Order Appointing Child and Family Investigator” (R01/16)


  • JDF 207 – “Request and Authorization for Payment of Fees” (R01/16)

For all of State Judicial’s JDF forms, click here.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Colorado Appellate Rules

The Colorado Supreme Court is soliciting comments regarding proposed changes to the Colorado Appellate Rules. The changes affect Rule 3.4, “Appeals from Proceedings in Dependency and Neglect,” and the corresponding forms, JDF 545 through 549. The proposed changes to Rule 3.4 include minor changes, such as changing the word “record” to “transcript” in some places, and major changes, including the court’s continued jurisdiction over the case, composition of the record on appeal, inclusion of information about the Indian Child Welfare Act, and more. A redline of the proposed changes is available here.

Comments regarding the proposed changes may be submitted in writing to Christopher Ryan, Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, via email or via U.S. mail to 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 6, 2016. Comments will be posted on the State Judicial website after the comment period has closed.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Student Loan Debt Improperly Characterized as Income for Maintenance Determination

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Morton on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

In this dissolution action, husband and wife were married for approximately six years. During the marriage and after the parties separated but before permanent orders entered, wife attended school to become a radiological technologist and later took a sonogram course. She took out student loans for her schooling. In dividing marital property, the trial court concluded that wife’s student loan debt was her separate debt because it was incurred after the parties’ separation and it was not “fair or equitable” to treat the debt as marital. Wife contended this was an abuse of discretion, and the court of appeals agreed, finding any debt incurred during a pre-decree separation was marital. The court remanded for the district court to first treat the student loan debt as marital and then decide equitable distribution as part of the overall property distribution.

Wife also contended the trial court erred by considering her student loans a financial resource in determining the maintenance award, and the court of appeals again agreed. By considering the loan proceeds as income, the trial court ignored the need for the loans to be repayed with interest. The court determined that by allowing loan proceeds to be counted as income, the trial court thwarted the purpose of the maintenance statute. The court of appeals remanded for reconsideration of the maintenance award without considering the student loans as a financial resource or income of any kind.

Wife further contended the trial court erred in determining the maintenance award before fully dividing the parties’ marital and separate property, and the court of appeals again agreed, noting that the maintenance award depends on its findings and order dividing property. Without first dividing the property, the court cannot reasonably determine the requesting party’s maintenance needs.

Because the court remanded on the issues of maintenance and the division of marital property, it set aside the trial court’s attorney fee award. On remand, after dividing property and determining a maintenance award, the trial court could reconsider an award of attorney fees. The court of appeals instructed the trial court to base its decision on the parties’ financial circumstances at the time of remand.

Colorado Supreme Court: Fee Award Determined Based on Financial Circumstances at Permanent Orders Hearing

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Marriage of de Koning on Monday, January 11, 2016.

Divorce—Attorney Fees.

In this divorce action under the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, CRS §§ 14-10-101 to -133, the trial court postponed the attorney fees hearing until months after the permanent orders hearing and issuance of the decree dissolving the marriage. The trial court did not permit the parties to obtain evidence of changed financial circumstances between the issuance of the decree and the attorney fees hearing. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the trial court must determine the attorney fees award based on the parties’ financial circumstances at the time of the hearing on attorney fees.

The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ decision and held that for the purpose of deciding whether to award attorney fees under CRS § 14-10-119, a trial court should consider the parties’ financial resources as of the date of the issuance of the decree of dissolution or the date of the hearing on disposition of property, if such hearing precedes the date of the decree.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Three Chief Justice Directives Related to Family Law Amended

On Friday, January 1, 2016, three amended Chief Justice Directives were issued by the Colorado Supreme Court: CJD 04-06, regarding court appointments through the Office of the Child’s Representative (OCR), CJD 04-05, regarding payment of court-appointed attorney child representatives, and CJD 04-08, regarding court appointment of Child and Family Investigators (CFIs).

The changes to CJD 04-05 are due to legislation passed in 2015. HB 15-1153 transferred oversight of state-paid attorney CFIs from the Office of the Child’s Representative to the Office of the State Court Administrator, and CJD 04-05 was amended to reflect this change. CJD 04-06 was also amended to eliminate appointments of state-paid CFIs from the Office of the Child’s Representative, and to clarify GAL appointments in dependency and neglect cases, establish standards for GALs in delinquency proceedings and other cases, and require attorneys to submit a certificate of compliance with the CJD’s requirements to the OCR for all case types.

The changes to CJD 04-08 were significant. Judges who routinely appoint CFIs are encouraged to request a redline of the changes, given the volume of changes. State Judicial summarized some of the changes below:

• Regarding CFI oversight, SCAO will oversee all CFI appointments, with all state pay CFI appointments governed by CJD 04-05. OCR will have no involvement in CFI oversight or payment.
• Regarding expansion of CFI appointments, courts may expand a CFI appointment to a parental responsibility evaluation for an otherwise qualified appointee only upon written stipulation of the parties, approved by the court.
• Regarding the presumptive fee cap in private pay CFI cases, the cap increased from $2,000 to $2,750. This amount is a cap, not a flat fee.
• Regarding CFI complaints, complaints must be filed no later than one year following termination of the CFI appointment. No investigation will occur for complaints involving individuals not listed on the Statewide Roster. Regarding founded complaints, District Administrators will provide the complaint, investigation report and CFI report to regulatory agencies entitled to notice of the founded complaint, such as DORA and OARC, redacting the names, addresses and birthdates of the children and collateral witnesses, and with the redacted documents marked, “Confidential pursuant to CJD 04-08.” No complaint is required for a district to find a CFI no longer suitable for appointment and to remove the CFI from the district’s eligibility roster. When this occurs, the district must notify the SCAO of the reason for removal and SCAO will determine whether to remove the CFI from the Statewide Roster.
• Regarding Standard 2, CFIs must file JDF 1338, the Mandatory Disclosure form, to disclose the existence or nonexistence of a prior or current relationship.
• Regarding Standard 11, the “timely” filing of a report when the court has not specified a due date is defined as “at least 35 days before the trial or hearing.” Reports should not recite all information obtained during the investigation, but rather summarize legally relevant information.
• Regarding Standard 12, requests for CFI files must be written. Standard 12 now contains a default time frame for provision of the CFI file and adds a permissible rate for file duplication or scanning.
• Regarding Standard 13, CFIs shall not perform or require drug, alcohol, polygraph or other testing, inspection or evaluation unless specifically ordered by the court. Standard 13 now permits a qualified CFI to conduct drug and alcohol evaluation in addition to other CFI duties when specifically ordered. CFIs may conduct domestic violence screening if competent to do so.

For all of the Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Top Programs and Homestudies — Intellectual Property, Elder Law, Immigration, and More

Over the past few weeks, we have been featuring the Top Ten Programs and Homestudies in various practice areas. Previous posts include:

Although we addressed several substantive practice areas, we offer many more great programs not featured on the previous Top Ten lists. These are discussed today.

Intellectual Property The Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Institute is the region’s premier event for IP lawyers. The 2015 Institute featured four simultaneous tracks of sessions for attorneys, covering patents and patent litigation, trademarks/copyrights, licensing, and transactional/e-commerce. As a bonus, Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada donated custom brews for the 2015 Institute. The 2016 IP Institute is scheduled for June 2 and 3, 2016, at the Westin Westminster. Click here for more information about the IP Institute and the 2016 conference agenda.

Elder Law Colorado CLE presents an annual mountain program for elder law practitioners, the Annual Elder Law Retreat. The 2015 Retreat, held in beautiful Snowmass, discussed social security issues, including maximizing benefits; trends in VA, including special programs and applications for long-term care; atypical beneficiary requests; financial exploitation of the elderly; long-term care planning; and much more. The dates for the 2016 Retreat have not yet been announced; stay tuned to cle.cobar.org/elder for details.

Immigration — In addition to the comprehensive reference book, Immigration Law for the Colorado Practitioner, Colorado CLE offers several great immigration programs each year. Most recently, the CBA Immigration Law Section co-sponsored the program, “Immigration Law — Asylum and Other Humanitarian Relief,” which covered U visas, T visas, VAWA, special immigrant juvenile status, asylum law, and more. Find this and other important immigration law programs here.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Colorado CLE offers many great ADR programs, but the flagstone event is the 40-hour Mediation Training. This five day live program, taught by renowned mediator Judy Mares-Dixon, presents an in-depth guide to mediation as well as several breakout sessions to practice mediation skills. The 40-hour Mediation Training will occur on January 18, 19, 20, 25, and 26, 2016. Space is limited so register today.

Workers’ Compensation — Each year, the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section co-sponsors two annual events: the Workers’ Compensation Fall Update and the Workers’ Compensation Spring Update. Topics vary from year to year but each program features case law updates and news from the Division. In addition, many times medical professionals will provide education on particular types of injuries, including psychological injuries. More information about CLE’s workers’ compensation offerings can be found here.

Health Law — Two years ago, Colorado CLE began offering an annual Health Law Symposium, co-sponsored by the CBA Health Law Section and the American Health Lawyers Association. This program offers an exceptional speaker lineup of nationally recognized health law experts focused on current issues in health law of interest and concern to practicing attorneys in the rocky mountain. Topics discussed at the 2015 Health Law Symposium include discussion of the Affordable Care Act, franchising in the health care industry, HIPAA and meaningful use, antitrust rules in the provider context, and more.

Juvenile Law Although many family law programs cover topics of interest to juvenile law practitioners, this important practice area also has its own programming. Each year, Colorado CLE presents a juvenile law update, co-sponsored by the CBA Juvenile Law Section. The 2016 Juvenile Law Program, “Ethics! Ethics! Ethics!,” is scheduled for April 1, 2016, with a focus on—you guessed it—ethics. Topics covered include implicit bias, social media, ethical challenges in juvenile defense, and more. Click here to register.

Solo/Small Firm — This technically is not a practice area, but there are myriad issues that solo practitioners face while running a law business that their biglaw counterparts do not. The Solo and Small Firm Section of the CBA puts on great programming throughout the year, including topical lunches, and hosts monthly networking meetings, the Solo in Colo blog, and much more. For information on joining the Solo and Small Firm Section, click here.

If you don’t see your practice area listed here or on the previous Top Ten posts, please let us know. If you are interested at speaking at an event in your practice area, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today!

Protective Order, Parenting Time JDFs Modified in December

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has amended six forms in December 2015, including forms regarding protective orders, instructions for forcible entry and detainer, and motions to modify parenting time and decision-making responsibility. The forms are available here in PDF format and are available in Word or PDF on the State Judicial forms page.


  • JDF 1406 – Verified Motion to Modify/Restrict Parenting Time (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 1415 – Verified Motion/Stipulation to Modify Decision-Making Responsibility (revised 12/15)


  • JDF 100 – Instructions for Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED)/Eviction (revised 12/15)


  • JDF 400 – Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 401 – Incident Checklist (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 442 – Information Sheet for Registering a Protection Order (revised 12/15)

Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies

As the compliance period ends for many Colorado attorneys, we are featuring top homestudies and programs in several practice areas. Today’s focus is on family law — click here for the Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies, and stay tuned for Top Ten lists in other practice areas.

10. Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Law Institute — Dignity to All Persons. Although not strictly a family law program, this informative Institute discussed several issues of interest to family law practitioners, including Colorado’s litigation path to same-sex marriage, a discussion of polyamory, a point-counterpoint panel discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and more. Eleven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

9. Civil Unions — Legal Consequences for Family Law and Trust & Estate Practitioners. In May 2013, the Colorado Civil Unions Act became effective, allowing civil unions for same sex couples. This program discussed the changes to Title 14 and Title 19, C.R.S., and predicted consequences from the enactment of the Civil Unions Act. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

8. 33rd Annual National CLE Conference — Family Law. This annual conference in gorgeous Vail will highlight several important topics, including custody and placement issues for special needs children, tax aspects of divorce, and complex personalities in family law matters. Twenty-one general credits, including 3.6 ethics credits; only available as live program.

7. The Difficult Client: Annual Advanced Family Law Institute 2014. Most lawyers are prepared to address difficult legal issues, but what about difficult clients? Narcissistic, angry, defiant, and criminal clients cross all demographic backgrounds, but none are easy to represent. Family law practitioners encounter many difficult clients, and this program aims to provide practitioners with tools to deal with them. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

6. Trials and Tribulations: Preparing for Permanent Orders in Family Law — Family Law Fall Update 2014. This program details trends in family law, including an interactive ethics program on Rule 45 subpoenas, the most common grievances, emerging trends in Colorado family law, a judges’ panel on effective trial strategies and preparation, and more. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

5. Family Law Basic Skills. An ideal program for practitioners just entering family law, this event provides a comprehensive toolkit of skills for family law attorneys. Hear about ethics, jurisdiction, Rule 16.2, bankruptcy, collaborative law, criminal law issues in family law, low income issues, childhood development, juvenile issues, child support and maintenance, separation agreements, and more. Seventeen general credits, including 1.8 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and here for the 2013 program.

4. Civility, Cultural Competence, and Challenging Issues — Family Law Fall Update 2015. Faculty members at this program discuss civility in the practice of law and how to bring it back. Cultural competence refers to an ability to work with people of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Challenging issues include everything from domestic violence to military divorce to LGBT issues. In addition to these topics, the program discusses case law updates and rule changes. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

3. Family Law Spring Update 2015. Stay up to date with recent changes in family law practice, including legislative and case law updates, imputation of passive and earned income, premarital and marital agreements, LGBT issues, out-of-court legal services, complex financial issues, and more. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

2. So You Want to Be A Super Lawyer: Best Practices for Family Law Attorneys In and Out of the Courtroom — Annual Advanced Family Law Conference 2015. Regardless of inclusion in a “Super Lawyers”-type publication, every attorney wants to be the best lawyer they can be. This program provides tools to help family law attorneys excel, including tips for organizing all the pieces of a case, how to address thorny evidence issues, getting the best bang for your buck at mediation, view from the bench, balancing client interests with the best interests of the child, and more. Nine general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

1. Annual Family Law Institute. Every summer, Colorado’s family law practitioners gather in the mountains to learn about the latest family law issues — and also enjoy fun events like Hawaiian Shirt Day, a wine tasting event, hiking, and more. Topics covered at the 2015 Institute included marijuana and parenting time, parenting plans for infants, sex addiction and divorce, spoliation, real estate transfers in family law, a judges’ panel on maintenance, and more. Twenty-seven general credits, including four ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 Institute and click here for the 2013 Institute.

Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies

It’s that time again — the end of the compliance period for a third of Colorado’s attorneys. As we approach the end of the year, we have compiled lists of the top programs across several practice areas. Keep reading Legal Connection for updates on the top programs in your practice area. Today, our spotlight is on ethics. The top ten ethics programs and homestudies are:

10. The Use of Technology in Your Practice Without Ethical Violations. In this program, Heather Kelly and John Palmeri discuss social media, cloud computing, smartphones, metadata, and their implications for your practice. Learn about the duty to safeguard client information and how that works with today’s technology. The program also discusses ABA Model Rules and ethics opinions regarding technology. One general credit, including one ethics credit. Available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

9. New Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2: Marijuana Law Update. In March 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court adopted a new comment to Colo. RPC 1.2 addressing a lawyer’s representation of clients with marijuana-related issues. Colorado Court of Appeals Judge John Webb, attorney Alec Rothrock, and Attorney Regulation Counsel Jamie Sudler presented this two-hour program regarding what the new comment says—and what it does not say. Two general credits, including two ethics credits. Available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

8. Settlement and Mediation Best Practices: Avoiding Pitfalls and Malpractice. This helpful one-hour program presented by Heather Kelly and Julie Williamson provides settlement tips applicable to all mediations and settlement discussions, including issues particular to medical damages, legal malpractice claims, and aggregate settlements. One general credit, including one ethics credit. Available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

7.  Privileges and Confidentiality. This program presented by John Palmeri discussed practical approaches to client secrets, confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine, lawyer disqualification, and lawyers as witnesses. One general credit, including one ethics credit. Available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

6. Ethical Issues for Attorneys Serving on Nonprofit Boards. Attorneys are frequently invited to serve on boards of directors for nonprofits, but there are potential ethical implications for attorneys who cannot resist the temptation to use their legal skills in their roles as directors. In this program, Ericka Houck Englert reviewed some potential ethical consequences for attorneys serving on nonprofit boards, including conflicts of interest, loss of attorney-client privilege, and competence. One general credit, including one ethics credit. Available as MP3 audio download or Video OnDemand.

5. Ethics and Professionalism in the Practice of Law 2015. This entertaining annual program, dubbed “interactive CLE legal theater” by the Peer Professionalism Assistance Group, provides a distinguished panel of experts who discuss a series of interactive vignettes acted out by the PPAG. Common and difficult problem areas are covered, and the four-hour program ends with perspectives from the bench and from Attorney Regulation Counsel. Four general credits, including four ethics credits. Available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and here for the 2013 program.

4. Preventing Legal Malpractice 2015 — Managing Risks and Client Relations OR A Perspective on Practice Pitfalls. Each year, CLE presents two Preventing Legal Malpractice programs: one directed at transactional attorneys, one directed at litigation attorneys. In addition to the printed materials, each attendee receives a copy of CLE’s book, Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado. For 2015, recent case law was discussed, as well as ten things not to do when responding to regulation counsel, how to make mediation work, the lifecycle of a malpractice case, recurring malpractice and professional responsibility dilemmas, and beginning and ending representation. Four general credits, including four ethics credits. Available as CD homestudy (transactional/litigation), MP3 audio download (transactional/litigation), and Video OnDemand (transactional/litigation). NOTE: These programs are repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 programs (transactional/litigation) and here for the 2013 programs.

3. Ethics 7.0. This annual program provides a full compliance period worth of ethics credit in one day. For 2015, topics discussed included do’s and don’t’s to avoid having grievances filed against you, ethical issues in family law, ethical issues with providing unbundled legal services, dealing with clients with diminished capacity, ethics in juvenile law, use of social media, and the latest developments regarding marijuana use. Seven general credits, including seven ethics credits. Available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and here for the 2013 program.

2. Ethics with the Incomparable Sean Carter — Comedic Professional Education. Sean Carter travels the country providing ethics CLEs in the funniest way possible. He describes himself as a “Humorist At Law,” and his programs never disappoint. Sean Carter is coming to CLE this Friday, December 18, to present a full-day program featuring discussions of same-sex marriage, religious liberty, the Affordable Care Act, dress codes and religious observances, the Fourth Amendment, workplace discrimination, and the limits of political expression. Registration is still open for the live program and webcast — click here to register for the live program and click here for the webcast. Six general credits, including six ethics credits. Available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand after the program. NOTE: This program also occurred in 2013; click here for the homestudy.

1. Ethics Revue at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. Every year, the Law Club performs a musical-theater-inspired ethics program at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, complete with singing, musical performances, and acting. This year’s theme was 9.1 Shades of Grey, and performances discussed such topics as conversion, misrepresentation, billing and fees, conflicts of interest, and more. The performances are so fun you’ll forget you’re watching a CLE program. Three general credits, including three ethics credits. Available as DVD homestudy, MP3 audio download, and Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program occurs annually; click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana: Issues Facing Colorado Practitioners

By Jay Tiftickjian

MedicolegalMJOn December 4, CLE in Colorado will present Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana, an all-day event that focuses on the forensic and regulatory aspects of legal and medical cannabis in Colorado. The seminar will feature most of the authors of the textbook of the same name, available from Lawyers and Judges Publishing. This event is co-sponsored by the Colorado Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee.

Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000, making Colorado the only state at the time to legalize medical marijuana in its own constitution. Twelve years later, in 2012, Colorado citizens passed Amendment 64 with 55 percent of the vote, making Colorado the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Criminal, civil, and regulatory law has since been rapidly developing and changing in this area.

Because of these rapid changes, Colorado practitioners are faced with an ever-expanding array of marijuana-related issues:

  • Regulation of Marijuana Sales: Dispensaries must abide by strict and constantly evolving state and local laws and regulations. The program explores regulations that cover both medical dispensaries and recreational stores, and includes two major economic issues: I.R.C. 280E and the lack of access to banking.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Since recreational marijuana use was legalized by Amendment 64 for persons 21 and older, the issue of driving under the influence of drugs is in the law enforcement spotlight. Denver criminal defense attorney and program chair Jay Tiftickjian will explore the drug recognition examinations and more-permissive chemical testing that are being used, and will look at controversial studies and research regarding these methods.
  • Blood Testing for DUI-D Cases: The active substance in marijuana, THC, remains detectable in the blood for only a few hours, but some research has shown that residual levels can be found in chronic marijuana users for up to 24 hours. The program includes a discussion on blood testing for marijuana to help educate practitioners about the legal intricacies.
  • Employment Issues: In June, the Colorado Supreme Court, in Coats v. Dish Network, held that employers could terminate employees for using medical marijuana because it is illegal under federal law. The program includes a discussion of the impact this decision will have for hundreds, if not thousands, of employees who use medical and/or recreational cannabis.
  • Tension Between Federal and Colorado Controlled Substance Laws: Under federal law, the punishment for persons convicted of marijuana charges is steep, and possession continues to be a misdemeanor subject to up to one year’s imprisonment. Possession of larger quantities of marijuana could lead to a felony conviction and a substantial prison term. Even under Colorado law, illegal cultivation and distribution is a felony. Program presenters will review and contrast Colorado controlled substance law and the federal Controlled Substance Act.

Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana will provide an extensive overview of the areas of law most affected by legal cannibals in Colorado. Colorado practitioners in all areas of the law are encouraged to attend this program. More information about the program can be found here.

CLE Program: Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana in Criminal Law, Civil Regulations, and Forensic Science

This CLE presentation will take place Friday, December 4, 2015, in the CLE Large Classroom. Click here to register for the live program and click here to register for the webcast, or call (303) 860-0608.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here: CDMP3 audioVideo OnDemand.


Jay M. Tiftickjian, Esq., is widely considered one of the best DUI attorneys in Colorado. He was named “Barrister’s Best DUI Lawyer” by Colorado Law Week multiple times, voted “People’s Choice-Best DUI Lawyer” multiple times, is Preeminent AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is listed in Super Lawyers. He is the elected Secretary of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and in succession to be the president in 2018, and has been published numerous times on the subject of DUI defense and drug law. Mr. Tiftickjian is the co-author of Colorado DUI Defense: The Law and Practice, and the editor of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar’s DUI Defense Manual as well as Medicolegal Aspects of Marijuana. He frequently lectures to attorneys, judges, and students about criminal law, law practice management, and ethics, and provided legal expertise to The New York Times, The Denver Post, 9News, Colorado Public Radio, 850KOA, and many other local and national media outlets. Mr. Tiftickjian is president of Tiftickjian Law Firm, PC, which represents clients out of the firm’s offices in Denver and Aspen.