November 27, 2015

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.

Adoption Day Events Scheduled in Colorado Courts Throughout November

November is National Adoption Month, and to celebrate, Colorado’s courts are holding Adoption Day events throughout the month. This month, Colorado judges will finalize adoptions for 159 foster children. National Adoption Day is a national effort to raise awareness of more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving families. It occurs on the Since its inception, nearly 54,500 children have been adopted as part of National Adoption Day. This year’s National Adoption Day will be November 21, 2015. The following events are occurring in Colorado’s courts throughout the month of November to celebrate National Adoption Day:

  • First Judicial District: 22 children will be adopted on Saturday, November 21, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Second Judicial District: 50 children will be adopted on Friday, November 13, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Eighth Judicial District: 20 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the day.
  • Tenth Judicial District: 10 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the morning.
  • Eleventh Judicial District: 8 children will be adopted as part of the National Adoption Day celebration.
  • Twelfth Judicial District: All families who finalized an adoption in November are invited to a reception on Wednesday, November 18.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District: A celebration for the families of all 12 children adopted in 2015 will be held on Tuesday, November 17.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District: 13 children will be adopted on Saturday, November 21, from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District: 7 children will be adopted in Arapahoe County on Thursday, November 19, and in Douglas County, 4 adoptions were held on November 6 and 3 more will be held on November 20.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: 13 children will be adopted throughout the day on Friday, November 20.
  • Twentieth Judicial District: 3 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, throughout the morning. A public celebration of Adoption Day will be held following the hearings.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District: 6 children will be adopted on Friday, November 20, from 1 to 2 p.m.

To find out more about National Adoption Day and Colorado’s court participation, and for information about whether media coverage is permitted at the various events, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Domestic Relations Court Lost Jurisdiction Five Years After Case Ended

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Fritsche v. Fritsche Thoreson on Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Divorce—Modification of Decree—Statute of Limitations—Fraud, Theft and Conversion.

Husband and wife divorced in April 2007. In January 2013, wife allegedly disclosed, for the first time, income of $69,399 that she had earned in 2011 from an employment-related lawsuit. In July 3013, wife filed sworn financial statements that allegedly disclosed, for the first time, a pension from IBM in the amount of $111,575.94. In November 2013, husband filed a motion to modify the final decree. The court did not rule on the motion within the 63-day period, as required by CRCP 59(j), and therefore it was deemed denied in January 2014. In June 2014, husband filed a motion for relief from judgment under CRCP 60(a) and (b), which was denied as untimely. Husband then filed an equitable action in district court, asserting fraud, theft, and conversion claims against wife. Wife moved to dismiss, and the district court granted the motion.

The Court of Appeals first held that a party to the original domestic relations proceedings may file an independent equitable action in district court related to the domestic relations court proceedings aft the expiration of that five-year period. The Court then affirmed the district court’s conclusion that husband failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Relief pursuant to an independent equitable action is available in cases of unusual and exceptional circumstances, including fraud. However, a party challenging a judgment previously entered in a domestic relations case by “seeking relief through an independent equitable action based on fraud must establish extrinsic fraud as opposed to mere intrinsic fraud.” Husband’s claims of perjury and failure to disclose are forms of intrinsic fraud, and therefore do not warrant relief through an independent action, and his claims of theft and conversion do not present unusual or exceptional circumstances. The Court denied wife’s request for attorney fees, holding that husband’s claims were not frivolous or lacking substantial justification.

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

Finalists for Child Protection Ombudsman Announced

On Friday, November 6, 2015, the Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Board announced five finalists to be considered for appointment as the Child Protection Ombudsman. The five finalists are William Betts, Dennis Goodwin, Amy Hendrickson, Claudia Ponce Joly, and Stephanie Villafuerte. Comments regarding the five finalists may be emailed to Terry Scanlon and must be received no later than close of business on November 19, 2015. The Child Protection Ombudsman Board will conduct interviews with the five finalists at a publicly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in the Ralph Carr Judicial Center. The Board will determine which finalist to appoint as Child Protection Ombudsman at another publicly scheduled meeting on Friday, November 20, 2015. The appointee must pass a criminal background check. For more information about the Child Protection Ombudsman program, click here.

New JDF Forms Issued in Adoption, Seal My Case, and More Categories

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has issued several revised JDF forms with September, October, and November release dates. Some of the modified forms include record sealing requests for Minor in Possession charges, applications to file in forma pauperis, and a motion and order for access to juvenile personal records. The forms are available for PDF download here or are available in Word format on the State Judicial website.


  • JDF 534 – “Request for Access to Juvenile Personal Records” (revised 10/15)
  • JDF 535 – “Order for Good Cause re: Access to Juvenile Personal Records” (revised 10/15)


  • Form 6A – “Certificate of Compliance for Amicus Briefs” (revised 11/15)


  • JDF 231 – “Waiver of Extradition as a Condition of Bail Bond” (revised 10/15)


  • JDF 208 – “Application for Public Defender, Court-Appointed Counsel, or Guardian ad Litem” (revised 10/15)


  • JDF 1409 – “Order to Terminate Child Support” (revised 09/15)


  • JDF 205 – “Motion to File Without Payment of Filing Fee/Waive Other Costs Owed to the State and Supporting Affidavit” (revised 10/15)


  • JDF 6 – “Request to Add Interest by Victim” (revised 09/15)


  • JDF 314(a) – “Order Regarding the Sealing of Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 10/15)
  • JDF 314(b) – “Order Regarding the Sealing of Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 10/15)

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Father’s Prevailing at Dependency and Neglect Hearing Deprives Juvenile Court of Further Jurisdiction

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of S.T. on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

Dependency and Neglect—Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

The Department of Human Services (Department) became involved in this case after receiving a call from someone concerned that mother was abusing prescription pills and not properly supervising her infant, S.T. Following its investigation, the Department obtained an emergency custody order, placed S.T. with his maternal grandparents, and filed a dependency and neglect petition. The biological father was unknown, but the petition named three possible fathers. Mother admitted to the allegations, and the juvenile court adjudicated S.T. dependent and neglected.

Following a paternity test, the juvenile court identified the biological father of S.T. Father denied the allegations in the dependency and neglect petition and requested a contested adjudicatory hearing. The court dismissed the petition after a hearing but did not award custody to father, finding it was in S.T.’s best interests to remain in placement with his grandparents. Father moved for an order allocating parental responsibilities and summary judgment on that motion. He contended that he should have been awarded custody after the juvenile court dismissed the dependency and neglect petition.

The juvenile court denied the summary judgment motion but held a hearing as to allocation. It entered an allocating parental responsibilities (APR) order, granting parental responsibilities for S.T. to the grandparents.

The Court of Appeals considered whether the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter the APR order and concluded that it did. CRS § 19-3-505(6) provides that when the allegations in a dependency and neglect petition are not proven, the court loses jurisdiction over the matter. Therefore, the court erred in holding a fitness hearing and entering the APR order. The APR order was vacated and the juvenile court was directed to discharge father and S.T. from any existing temporary orders entered before the adjudicatory hearing involving father and S.T.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Evidence of Prior Bad Acts Not Introduced to Show Character but to Show Potential Harms

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of A.W. on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

Juvenile—Dependent and Neglected—Motion to Continue—Witness—CRE 404(b)—Injurious Environment—Motion for New Trial—CRCP 59(d)(1).

This case involves a juvenile court adjudicating an infant child, A.W., dependent and neglected. A.W.’s mother tried her case to a jury, which found that A.W. lacked proper parental care and that A.W.’s environment was injurious to her welfare.

On appeal, mother argued that the juvenile court erred in denying her motion to continue the adjudicatory hearing. When a motion for continuance is based on the absence of a witness, there is no abuse of discretion in denying the motion if the party seeking continuance did not use due diligence to procure the presence of that witness. Here, mother did not provide the transcript of the hearing in which she requested the continuance. Therefore, it cannot be shown that the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying her motion.

Mother next argued that the juvenile court violated CRE 404(b) and People v. Spoto, 795 P.2d 1314 (Colo. 1990), in permitting the Department of Human Services to introduce evidence about her prior dependency and neglect case, wherein her parental rights to her other seven children were terminated. A.W. had not been in mother’s care; therefore, neither CRE 404(b) nor the Spoto test applied to this case. Further, because mother’s acts in a prior dependency and neglect case were used to predict whether A.W. would be exposed to an injurious environment, they were relevant to the jury determining A.W.’s status as dependent and neglected.

Finally, mother contended that the juvenile court erred by denying her motion for a new trial. Because mother’s motion was not supported by affidavit, as required by CRCP 59(d)(1), the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by denying her motion. The order was affirmed.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Foreign Judgment Must Comport with United States Law Prior to Enforcement

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Lohman on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

Dissolution of Marriage—Foreign Judgment—Personal Jurisdiction—Uniform Interstate Family Support Act—Due Process—Support Order.

Husband and wife (a native of England) married in Colorado in 1997. Their child was born the following year. Wife moved back to England with the child in 2008 after the parties’ separation. Husband remained in Colorado. Wife petitioned for divorce in England and served husband in Colorado. Husband did not respond or participate in the English court, which entered judgment against husband for £638,000 (approximately $1,010,911). Wife then filed a notice of registration of foreign support order with the Grand County District Court, which sustained the notice of registration and ordered enforcement of the English judgment.

On appeal, husband contended that for purposes of enforcement by a Colorado court, the English court lacked personal jurisdiction over him and, therefore, the English judgment cannot constitutionally be recognized. Pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the district court was required to determine not only whether the English court had personal jurisdiction over husband under the laws of England, but also whether enforcement of the English court’s order by a U.S. court was permissible under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the district court was required to adjudicate whether husband had sufficient minimum contacts with England to render constitutional (under U.S. law) the assertion of jurisdiction over him by the English court. Because the district court did not do so, its orders were reversed.

Husband also contended that the district court erred in determining that the portion of the English judgment awarding wife £423,000 to purchase a home constituted support rather than a transfer or award of property. The court’s finding that the English judgment represented a support order, rather than a property equalization payment, was not clearly erroneous and may not be overturned.

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

Honorable Angela Arkin and Honorable Gerald Rafferty to Retire from Eighteenth Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, September 15, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. Angela Arkin will retire from the Eighteenth Judicial District Court, effective January 1, 2016, and Hon. Gerald Rafferty will retire from the same court, effective Jan. 23, 2016. The application period is now open for both vacancies.

Hon. Angela Arkin was appointed to the Eighteenth Judicial District Court in 2002, where she oversees a domestic relations docket. Prior to her appointment, she was a district court magistrate in Arapahoe County with a domestic relations and juvenile docket. She is a frequent lecturer and author for CLE in Colorado, speaking on topics related to family law, DNA evidence, and jurisdiction, and she writes for the Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Domestic Relations Law. She received her law degree from Emory Law School and is licensed in Colorado, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.

Hon. Gerald Rafferty was appointed to the Eighteenth Judicial District Court in 1999. Prior to his appointment, he was a Deputy District Attorney in the Denver DA’s office from 1995-1999 and was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1989-1995 and 1978-1988. He was Of Counsel at a law firm from 1988-1989. Judge Rafferty served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1967-1972 and was an FBI special agent from 1973-1977. He earned his law degree, with honors, from John Marshall Law School in 1978.

Applications are now being accepted for the judicial vacancies. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and also from the ex officio chair of the Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Allison Eid. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on October 14, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on October 7, 2015.

For more information about the vacancies and application process, click here.

Probate and Domestic Relations JDFs Amended in August

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released four more updated JDF forms in August 2015: two probate forms and two domestic relations forms. The updated forms are available for download here in PDF format or from the State Judicial website in Word, Word template, and PDF format.


  • JDF 820 – “Instructions for Appointment of Guardian for Minor by Will or Other Signed Writing” (revised 8/15)
  • JDF 882 – “Conservator’s Financial Plan with Inventory and Motion for Approval” (revised 8/15)


  • JDF 1201 – “Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties (Marriage)” (revised 8/15)
  • JDF 1258 – “Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties (Civil Union)” (revised 8/15)

Click here for all State Judicial’s JDF forms.

10 iPad Apps for Use in the Office and the Courtroom

PrintThink of the first courtroom you were ever in. Was there a flip chart? An easel? A projector and slides? Or was there a sophisticated plasma TV screen and electronic system so attorneys could showcase their best evidence through their tablets? That last example may not have appeared in your first courtroom, but it certainly is becoming a common sight today.

Attorney Jason Márquez of Johnson Márquez Legal Group uses an iPad in every courtroom presentation where the judge allows it. Using apps like Adobe, Evernote, and Pocket Scan, he can create a compelling courtroom presentation to highlight favorable evidence while minimizing costs associated with photocopying and creating exhibit notebooks. Márquez believes so strongly in using iPads in his practice that he provides them to every member of his firm. He uses several apps, but suggests these ten apps as must-haves for office use and courtroom presentations:

  1. Adobe Acrobat® is multi-platform, PDF solution that allows you to work with all kinds of documents to: View, Create, Manipulate, Print, Combine files.
  2. GoodReader® is the super-robust PDF reader for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Sync with Dropbox, OneDrive, any FTP or SFTP server. Sync entire folders or individual files separately.
  3. DropBox® is a folder on your computer that synchronizes your files online and across computers. Any files you place within it will be available on your other computers with Dropbox, as well as the web.
  4. Evernote® is designed for note-taking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments.
  5. Pocket Cloud® is a secure and fast way to remotely connect to your Mac or Windows desktop with your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Android device no matter where you are. Access your files, pictures, and applications like Excel, Powerpoint, Photoshop, games or any other program.
  6. Tiny Scan® turns your iPhone/iPad into a portable scanner. Scans are saved to your phone as images or PDFs. Name and organize your scans into folders, or share them by: Email, Dropbox, Evernote, DropBox, Wi-Fi to your computer, Fax (using TinyFax).
  7. Dragon® Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.
  8. Prezi® is a presentation tool that can be used as an alternative to traditional slide making programs such as PowerPoint or Keynote. Instead of slides, Prezi makes use of one large canvas that allows you to pan and zoom to various parts of the canvas and emphasize the ideas presented there.
  9. Casemaker® is an alternative legal research tool to LexisNexis and Westlaw. It allows users to search and browse a variety of legal information such as statutes, regulations, and case law on the Web. Casemaker comes free with your CBA membership!
  10. JuryPad® assists with voir dire in different jurisdictions. Create custom seating charts for any courtroom. Add or modify a juror’s information including age, occupation, education, prior jury service, and much more.

Márquez will present on “The iPad Advantage” at the 2015 Colorado Legal & Technology Expo on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Warwick Hotel in downtown Denver. Entrance to the Expo is free, and Márquez’s CLE program is only $19 for CBA members. Join us at the Warwick on Friday and learn how you can increase your productivity—and your bottom line.

2015 Colorado Legal & Technology Expo

The 2015 Colorado Legal & Technology Expo will take place on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Warwick Hotel in Denver. Entrance to the Expo is free. Each 50-minute CLE program is $19 for CBA members and $39 for non-CBA members. Register for the event and find more information here.

Forms to Seal Minor In Possession Cases, Relinquish Parental Rights, and More Amended

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released several amended forms in July and August, 2015. The amended forms were in the categories of adoption, DMV appeals, protection orders, relinquishing parental rights, and sealing cases. The forms are available here in PDF format and are available for download as Word documents from the State Judicial website.


  • JDF 345 – “Order for Appointment of Confidential Intermediary” (revised 8/15)


  • JDF 599 – “Complaint for Judicial Review of Denial, Cancellation, Suspension, or Revocation of a Driver’s License or Identification Card” (revised 8/15)


  • JDF 440 – “Mandatory Protection Order” (revised 7/15)


  • JDF 512 – “Relinquishment Interrogatory – Father” (revised 8/15)


  • JDF 305 – “Petition for Expungement of UDD” (revised 8/15)
  • JDF 313 – “Petition to Seal Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)
  • JDF 314 – “Order Regarding the Sealing of Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)
  • JDF 323 – “Instructions to File a Petition to Seal Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)

Click here for all of State Judicial’s JDF forms.