June 26, 2017

Run, Walk, Roll — Support Disability Law Colorado at This Year’s Colfax Marathon

Doing good has never been so fun! Support Disability Law Colorado by running, walking, or rolling in the Colfax Marathon. There is a race for everyone — there is a family 5K on Saturday, May 20, 2017 (dogs are welcome!), and on Sunday there is a 10 miler, half-marathon, full marathon, and corporate marathon relay.

The marathon relay is a great way to connect with your coworkers while getting out in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. You even get a medal at the finish! Just find five people for your team and register at www.runcolfax.org. Make sure to select Disability Law Colorado as your charity partner.

If running doesn’t sound so fun, you can still support Disability Law Colorado by making a tax-deductible donation. Contact Julie Busby at (303) 862-3505 for more details.

CJD 05-03 Dealing with Court Reporters and Recording Services Amended

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Chief Justice Directive 05-03, “Management Plan for Court Reporting and Recording Services,” was amended by the Colorado Supreme Court, effective March 14, 2017.

The changes to CJD 05-03 update § V.B.3.a, which addresses state-paid transcripts. The changes clarify that the Office of the Child’s Representative and its attorneys are each entitled to state-paid transcripts, as well as the Office of the Alternative Defense and its attorneys. The changes also add the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel to the list of offices entitled to state-paid transcripts.

For the entirety of CJD 05-03, click here. For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Application Period Open for Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel Contracts

The 2017 Application Form for The Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel is now open. To be awarded a new contract for the term of July 1, 2017, please submit this online, electronic form no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2017All applicants, including associate attorneys, are required to submit a substantive application as part of the evaluation process of the ORPC. To learn more about the application process and requirements, please refer to the Contract Renewal and Application Webinar.  Password for webinar:  ORPCApp$17  Link:  https://vimeo.com/205612668

Getting Started
To access the online ORPC Application Form, click the following link:  https://fs7.formsite.com/ORPCColorado/form33/index.html

For your review and reference only, a complete, printable version of the application is available here: https://fs7.formsite.com/ORPCColorado/form33/print

You must submit the online application, no paper application will be accepted.

You must have a Colorado Attorney Registration Number to apply.

Log In and Save Your Progress
Before beginning this form, you will be prompted to create a user login and password. These can be used to save and retrieve your work. Save your progress at any time by clicking “Save Partial Work” on the bottom of each page. Each time you advance to the next page, your work is automatically saved. To resume partially-completed work, click the link above to log in again. After logging in, click “Open Saved Form” to resume working. Be sure to advance to the last page of the form and click “Submit” before the deadline identified above.

Required Attachments to Prepare in Advance
You will be required to upload at least one electronic document to the online form (link above).  The required documents are listed below.  ORPC recommends that you begin collecting and preparing your document(s) with plenty of time before the March 31st deadline, and save each document on your computer, in PDF format.  You’ll be required to upload your document(s) when prompted on the online form—you may not e-mail or mail documents separately.  You can save your form and return to it later if you’re waiting on a required document.

  • One redacted legal writing sample – preferably a substantive D&N motion.  If you are interested in appeals please provide an appellate brief as your writing sample.
  • Your resume, indicating your legal and other relevant experience.

References
You will be prompted to submit the names and email addresses of two professional references and the names and contact information for all associates and staff.

Please notify your references that ORPC may be contacting them.

ORPC Budget
The ORPC has a pending budget request to pay all attorneys hourly regardless of their jurisdiction.  If this budget request is approved, attorneys in the following judicial districts will be paid hourly starting July 1, 2017:  2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th.

Questions?
Please contact Sara Settle at 303-731-8773 or ssettle@coloradoorpc.org with any questions about the instructions here or how to use the online form.

Income Eligibility Guidelines Amended in Several Chief Justice Directives

On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch released updates to several Chief Justice Directives to reflect changes in the income eligibilitly guidelines. The amended Chief Justice Directives are listed here:

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

For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

HB 17-1146: Allowing School Employees to Dispense Over-the-Counter Medications to Students

On February 2, 2017, Rep. Patrick Neville introduced HB 17-1146, “Concerning Parents’ Rights for Children.”

The bill allows qualified, per school district policy, employees to dispense over-the-counter medications to a student if the student’s parent or legal guardian provided the school district with written general authorization to dispense such over-the-counter medications during a specified academic year. The bill grants criminal and civil immunity to such school employees if they acted with written authorization from the student’s parent or legal guardian. The same authority and immunity is granted to child care providers, including employees or relatives in nonlicensed facilities, provided the person dispensing the over-the-counter medication has written general authority for a specific time period from the child’s parent or legal guardian.

The bill allows a parent or legal guardian to opt out of the collection and storage by a local education provider of any type of data related to his or her child.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Health, Insurance, & Environment and Appropriations committees. It is scheduled for hearing in the Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee on February 23, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

HB 17-1110: Allowing Juvenile Courts to Enter Orders Regarding Parenting Time, Child Support, and Parental Responsibilities

On January 20, 2017, Rep. Susan Beckman introduced HB 17-1110, “Concerning Juvenile Court Jurisdiction Regarding Matters Related to Parental Responsibilities in a Juvenile Delinquency Case.”

The bill allows the juvenile court to take jurisdiction involving a juvenile in a juvenile delinquency case and subsequently enter orders involving parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support when:

  • The juvenile court has maintained jurisdiction in a case involving an adjudicated juvenile, a juvenile with a deferred adjudication, or a juvenile on a management plan;
  • An action related to parental responsibilities or custody involving the same juvenile is not pending in a district court; and
  • All parties are in agreement or have been given proper notice.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Judiciary Committee. It is scheduled for hearing in committee on February 23, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

HB 17-1028: Including Domestic Unsworn Declarations in “Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act”

On January 11, 2017, Rep. Yeulin Willett and Sen. Bob Gardner introduced HB 17-1028, “Concerning the ‘Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act’.”

Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws.
Colorado has adopted the ‘Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act’, which allows the use of foreign unsworn declarations in a wide variety of situations. The bill expands the uniform law to include domestic unsworn declarations as contemplated by the ‘Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act’.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Judiciary Committee. It is scheduled to be heard in committee on January 24, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Probate Court Had Jurisdiction to Appoint Temporary Co-Guardians

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In the Interest of L.B. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Probate—Child—Subject Matter Jurisdiction—Guardianship—Home State.

L.B.’s mother died and her father, Berzins, hired Dusalijeva as L.B.’s nanny. Later, they developed a romantic relationship. Berzins had and L.B. has dual citizenship in the United States and Latvia. Berzins died in 2015 in Denver. He had two wills: a 2012 Will executed in Latvia, and a 2014 Will executed in Denver. The 2014 Will expressly revoked all prior wills and left the residuary estate in trust for the benefit of L.B. and Blumberg (Berzins’s other daughter) or Blumberg’s descendants.

In March, May, and July 2015, the court appointed Dusalijeva and Blumberg as temporary co-guardians, initially at their request. In April 2015, without informing the Denver Probate Court, Dusalijeva moved for sole guardianship of L.B. in Latvia. After a four-day hearing, the Denver probate court appointed Blumberg and a Latvian couple, the Carlins, as permanent co-guardians of L.B. in August 2015. Ultimately, the Latvian appellate court found that Dusalijeva and her attorney had attempted to deceive the Latvian orphan’s court by relying on the superseded 2012 Will and failing to inform the court of the 2014 Will, and it concluded that matters regarding L.B. should be determined by a U.S. court.

On appeal, Dusalijeva primarily contended that the probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. First, she contended that the court lacked jurisdiction under C.R.S. § 15-14-204(5) and (1) on the three occasions it temporarily appointed her and Blumberg as co-guardians. Based on the Colorado Court of Appeals’ review of the record, the court had jurisdiction under C.R.S. § 15-14-204(5). The probate court also had jurisdiction under C.R.S. § 14-13-204(1) because L.B. had been “abandoned” within the meaning of the statute.

Dusalijeva next contended that the probate court lacked permanent subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to C.R.S. § 14-13-204(2). Subsection (2) is arguably inapplicable in this case because the court did not say that its temporary orders appointing co-guardians would become permanent. Instead, the court held a hearing in August 2015 to determine independently who should be L.B.’s permanent guardian. The court did not decide this issue because it found the probate court had jurisdiction under C.R.S. § 14-13-201.

Dusalijeva also appeared to contend that the probate court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to determine permanent guardianship under C.R.S. § 14-13-201(1). The probate court properly exercised subject matter jurisdiction because Colorado was found to be L.B.’s home state. Further, even if Latvia had adopted a provision in substantial conformity with C.R.S. § 14-13-201(1)(a), the Latvian courts declined to exercise jurisdiction, ruling that Colorado was a more appropriate forum.

The court also considered and rejected six other alleged errors by the probate court and declined to address several arguments that Dusalijeva raised for the first time in her reply brief.

The orders were affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: District Court Must Take Active Role in Managing Discovery Request of Non-Party in Dissolution Proceeding

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Gromicko on Monday, January 9, 2017.

In 2015, Lisa Dawn Gromicko (Wife) filed a petition for dissolution of marriage, naming Nickifor Nicholas Gromicko (Husband) as respondent. The petition requested equitable division of marital assets and debts. In order to evaluate Husband’s income, Wife requested records from Husband’s employer, InterNACHI, a nonprofit organized as a § 501(c)(6) trade association. Although Husband initially stated he would not object to the production of certain records, he did not provide them, and Wife requested a status conference. Husband’s counsel, who was also InterNACHI’s general counsel, filed a motion in response to Wife’s discovery request, arguing (1) the only InterNACHI relevant to the divorce proceeding were those reflecting Husband’s compensation and expense reimbursements; (2) the court could not consider InterNACHI a marital asset because Wife did not allege grounds in her dissolution petition to pierce the corporate veil; and (3) the court could authorize Wife to serve a subpoena duces tecum on InterNACHI to produce the relevant documents. The court held the status conference but did not rule on the discovery issues.

Wife then served a subpoena duces tecum on InterNACHI requesting (1) Husband’s employment and compensation; (2) the employment by InterNACHI of any person related to Husband; (3) InterNACHI’s bookkeeping, accounting, and tax return or Form 990 preparation; and (4) InterNACHI’s conflict-of-interest policy. InterNACHI moved to quash the subpoena, arguing that many of the requested documents were privileged, confidential, and irrelevant to the dissolution proceeding. InterNACHI also renewed its motion that Wife did not allege any grounds sufficient to claim that InterNACHI was Husband’s alter ego and pierce the corporate veil. The court denied InterNACHI’s motion to quash, and it filed a C.A.R. 21 interlocutory appeal.

On appeal, InterNACHI argued that the district court abused its discretion in refusing to quash or modify Wife’s subpoena because (1) Wife was required to, but did not, plead in her dissolution petition a claim for piercing InterNACHI’s corporate veil and (2) certain of Wife’s discovery requests were irrelevant to her veil-piercing claim and thus were outside the scope of discovery permitted by C.R.C.P. 26. The court first analyzed the discovery requirements in domestic relations cases, which are governed by C.R.C.P. 16.2, and found that Wife was not required to plead in her dissolution petition a claim seeking to pierce InterNACHI’s corporate veil. However, the supreme court concluded the district court did not use the correct standard in evaluating InterNACHI’s objection to the requested discovery.

The court compared C.R.C.P. 16.2 to the discovery requirements in civil cases, governed by C.R.C.P. 26. The court found the two rules analogous. The court found that its holding in DCP Midstream, LP v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., 2013 CO 36, applied in this case and required the district court to take an active role in managing discovery. The supreme court found that the district court should initially have granted Wife only such discovery as would reasonably have been necessary to allow her to attempt to establish the existence of the alter ego relationship that she claimed. The supreme court noted that if, after receiving limited discovery, Wife could prove that InterNACHI was Husband’s alter ego, she may then be entitled to receive the information in her initial request, but the court must actively monitor discovery pursuant to DCP Midstream.

The supreme court made its rule to show cause absolute and returned the case to the district court for further proceedings.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Posting Bond is Necessary but Insufficient Condition to Stay Dissolution Proceedings

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Finn on Thursday, December 30, 2016.

Post-Dissolution Marriage Proceeding—Request for Stay—Romero v. City of Fountain.

Husband and wife had entered into a marital agreement. Wife later filed for dissolution of the marriage, and the trial court subsequently issued a detailed order directing husband to make certain payments to wife within 20 days. Husband filed a motion for post-trial relief pursuant to C.R.C.P. 59 and 60, which was denied. Husband appealed and also filed a motion for stay with the trial court and requested approval of his supersedeas bond; both requests were denied.

Pursuant to C.A.R. 8, husband sought a stay of the trial court’s orders requiring him to pay wife certain sums of money and to return her artwork and other personal property. Husband presented a redacted copy of a cashier’s check in the amount necessary for a supersedeas bond and represented that his counsel would deposit the check if his motion were granted.

Stays pending appeal are controlled by C.A.R. 8(a). Romero v. City of Fountain adopted a four-part test for determining whether a stay should be issued under CAR 8: (1) whether the moving party has made a strong showing that it is likely to prevail on the merits, (2) whether the moving party will suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted, (3) whether other interested parties would be harmed by granting the stay, and (4) whether the public interest will be harmed by granting the stay. Romero involved a motion to stay an order denying an injunction. Husband argued that Romero does not apply here.

A stay is an exercise of judicial discretion and not a matter of right. The Colorado Court of Appeals first concluded that posting a supersedeas bond alone is insufficient to mandate a stay in a family law case. As to both the monetary and nonmonetary orders, the court then determined that a court considering a stay of that part of a judgment involving marital and separate property must consider the first three Romero factors; the fourth factor, harm to the public interest, is ordinarily not relevant in the context of a dissolution of marriage. The court found that (1) husband had not made even a cursory showing as to why his appeal was likely to succeed on the merits; (2) husband’s contention that he faces “clear” irreparable harm if a stay is not granted was unpersuasive; and (3) wife would be harmed by the issuance of a stay, because she would be denied benefits she negotiated in the marital agreement.

The motion for stay was denied.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Top Ten Programs and Homestudies of 2016: Family Law

The year is drawing to a close, which means that the compliance period is ending for a third of Colorado’s attorneys. Still missing some credits? Don’t worry, CBA-CLE has got you covered.

Today on Legal Connection we are featuring the Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies of 2016. In addition to the programs and homestudies listed below, CBA-CLE offers multiple great books for family law practitioners, and there are many other great programs and homestudies as well. Find out more here – cle.cobar.org/Practice-Area/Family. And now, for our Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies.

10. Confluence of Family Law and Bankruptcy
It is not unusual for family law clients to also be going through bankruptcy. This program explores the intersection of family law and bankruptcy law. It explains bankruptcy law and the interplay with family law. Order the Video OnDemand here and the MP3 here. Available for 2 general credits.

9. The Difficult Client: Annual Advanced Family Law Institute 2014
The directive for the majority of the speakers on this program was to address the problems faced by a lawyer who is (by choice or by chance) representing a difficult client without falling back on the discussions of how to avoid such clients in the future or withdraw from their cases. Professionals who believe they have succeeded in eliminating difficult clients from their practice will also want to attend this program. For every lawyer representing a difficult client there is a lawyer on the other side of the case whose representation is also more challenging as a result and there are experts and judicial officers who are also impacted. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 8 general credits, including 1.1 ethics credit.

8. Civility, Cultural Competence, and Controversy: Family Law Fall Update 2015
Cultural competence refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Get the LGBT and other perspectives and learn about effectively representing families from different cultures and nationalities. Have you ever handled a military divorce? Get an overview of how to handle a military divorce, as well as an update on recent changes in the law. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 8 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

7. Unbundled Representation in Family Law Cases
When an attorney provides unbundled legal services, he or she is providing the client only certain components of the full bundle of services during the course of the representation. In most traditional attorney-client relationships, the attorney and client contract for the full bundle of legal services. Unbundled legal services afford the attorney and client the flexibility of addressing the client’s legal needs and financial limitations by contracting for something less than the full bundle of legal services. Unbundled legal services provide another avenue for citizens to gain access to justice to resolve their disputes. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 4 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

6. Counselor’s Focus on the Child, Client, and the Court: Family Law Spring Update 2016
Your Program Co-Chairs, Steve Epstein and Bill King, have done it again: they have put together a Family Law Spring Update that you simply cannot miss! Whether you attend for the Case Law or Legislative Update, or whether you register to hear about fee collection or to get the many ethics credits offered, here is your chance to stay up to date on all the latest developments in Colorado family law matters. There will also be topics on special needs children, neurobiology, accounting and tax issues for the non-accountant, and an opportunity to ask Judges your most pressing questions. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 8 general credits, including 2.6 ethics credits.

5. Continuing Issues in Family Law
Start your day with The Ethics Game Show! Test your knowledge of our Rules of Professional Conduct. Then get a refresher on the interplay of issues between criminal and family law Cases, including the 5th Amendment, among others. Next, we have all learned never to ask a question in trial to which we don’t know the answer. With all respect to Professor Younger, you’ll hear a different approach: how to ask cross examination questions you don’t know the answers to. Over lunch, learn the critical differences between a Title 14 paternity action, and a Title 19 allocation of parental responsibilities action. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits, including 1.6 ethics credits.

4. Evidence: Getting Beyond He Said/She Said
Evidence in family law and protection order cases is often reduced to “He said/She said.”  This seminar explores evidence, such as digital evidence, child hearsay, and evidence of power and control. But evidence is not helpful, if your client is unable to assist in the case because of trauma. A practicing lawyer explains how to deal with the client who is traumatized and how to keep that client engaged in their case. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 3 general credits.

3. Annual Advanced Family Law Conference 2016
Each year, CBA-CLE presents an Advanced Family Law Conference. The 2016 conference contained interesting discussions regarding guardians ad litem and the intersection of Title 15 with family law cases, whether consideration of the best interest standard constitutes representation of children, defining competency from a psychologist’s point of view, the family law practitioner’s guide to social security benefits, and a tax law update for family law practitioners. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

2. Family Law Basic Skills 2016
Why should you attend Family Law Basic Skills? Because nowhere else will you get the comprehensive toolkit you need to take on family law cases. In two days, some of the most experienced and knowledgeable family law practitioners and experts in Colorado will gather to bring you every step you need to handle a family law case from start to finish. Don’t miss your chance to build a foundation upon which you will build your successful family law practice! Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 17 general credits, including 2 ethics credits.

1. Annual Family Law Institute
Each year, CBA-CLE spends a weekend in the mountains with Colorado’s family law practitioners at the annual Family Law Institute. This live-only program provides comprehensive discussions of family law practice. The 2016 Institute offered such topics as Vicarious Trauma and Being Trauma-Resistant, Intake and Triage Assessment, CFI vs. PRE: What’s the Difference and What Do I Need – When Do I Need It?, the Indian Child Welfare Act, Income Issues on Support and Maintenance, and more. Save the date! The 2017 Annual Family Law Institute will take place August 18-20, 2016, at the Vail Marriott Resort & Spa. Find out more information at FamilyLawInstitute.org.

Colorado Gives: Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Transforms the Lives of Abused and Neglected Children Through Compassion

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 6, 2016. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

childrens-law-center-logo-gFor over thirty years, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center has provided compassionate legal advocacy and clinical services to children who have been abused or neglected. Through a team of legal professionals and social workers, the Children’s Law Center serves at-risk children and considers the whole child with each recommendation regarding the child’s best interest.

The Children’s Law Center also works for public policy change, working to make children a political priority at the local, state, and national levels. The Children’s Law Center has made great progress in this area. They created the first Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Program, promoted a 2013 Senate Bill to reduce the number of child abuse fatalities in the state, promoted a 2013 House Bill to streamline the process to report child abuse, and much more.

The Children’s Law Center has several programs devoted to legal advocacy for children. The Education Program promotes the adoption of policies and procedures in the schools and legislature to recognize the impact of trauma on children’s learning behaviors, reduce school transfers for children in the child protection system, and redirect children in the school disciplinary system from the school-to-prison pipeline. The Children’s Law Center also has a caregiver advocacy program, a domestic violence program, a trauma-informed yoga program, and a therapeutic garden.

The Children’s Law Center relies on donations to continue providing compassionate legal advocacy to abused, neglected, and at-risk children. Their annual operating expenses total over one million dollars per year. Donate on Colorado Gives Day by clicking here or any day by filling out the form on this webpage.