October 18, 2017

Amendments to District of Colorado Local Rules Open for Public Comment

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado released a redline of the proposed amendments to its local rules. The amendments will be effective December 1, 2017. Comments must be submitted by October 19, 2017, to LocalRule_Comments@cod.uscourts.gov or via U.S. Mail to the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court, Attn: Legal Officer, Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80294. Comments should specify to which rule they refer.

A summary of the changes to the local rules is available here:

SECTION I – CIVIL RULES
D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.1(b) and (d) MOTIONS – (b) Exceptions to the Duty to Confer; (d) Motion, Response and Reply, Time for Serving and Filing; Length. (b) Entry of appearance and motions to withdraw are excepted from the list of motions requiring conferral of the parties or counsel; and (d) summary judgment motions are excluded from special treatment
D.C.COLO.LCivR 8.1 IN FORMA PAUPERIS PARTY AND PRISONER PLEADINGS Initial Review authorized for In Forma Pauperis filers, more closely following the statute; more specific instructions to pro se parties; former prisoners who bring “prison” actions now included.
D.C.COLO.LCivR 15.1(b) Amendment or Supplementation by Motion Removes exception for prisoner litigants; supplements to pleadings added.
D.C.COLO.LCivR 40.1(c) Direct Assignment to Magistrate Judges Adds another exception to direct assignment — cases where an order of referral has already been filed.
SECTION II – Criminal Rules
D.C.COLO.LCrR 47.1 PUBLIC ACCESS TO CASES, DOCUMENTS,          AND PROCEEDINGS (a) Adds judicial authorization to broaden levels of restriction or be more specific regarding access; (f) restricts information about parties posting any bond; broadens language about possible restricted CJA filings.
Section III – Local Patent Rules
(No Changes)
SECTION IV – AP Rules
(No Changes)
SECTION V – Attorney Rules
D.C.COLO.LAttyR 5 ENTRY AND WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF CONTACT INFORMATION (b) Provides more details as to counsel’s responsibilities for withdrawal from limited representation.
D.C.COLO.LAttyR 6 DISCIPLINARY PANEL AND COMMITTEE ON CONDUCT Memorializes the selection criteria for Committee on Conduct membership.
D.C.COLO.LAttyR 15 CIVIL PRO BONO REPRESENTATION (a) Updates Civil Pro Bono Program to allow appointment of both limited and general representation pro bono counsel;
(e) Expands unrepresented parties’ eligibility to include potential for appointment of counsel during the initial review process; and acknowledges that appointment of counsel for defendants/respondents is authorized; and
(f) Appointment procedure includes limited representation

 

Comments Solicited for Proposed Increase to Jurisdiction of County Courts

The Colorado Supreme Court is requesting comments regarding a proposed jurisdictional increase for Colorado’s county courts. The proposal to the supreme court, submitted by the Colorado Supreme Court Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, requests that the Colorado Supreme Court support legislation to increase the jurisdiction of the county courts from a $15,000 limit to a $35,000 limit. The committee suggests that increasing the jurisdictional limit of the county courts will promote access to justice by taking relatively low dollar value cases out of the district court and relieving the parties of the requirement to engage in the more complex and expensive procedures of the district court. The full proposal is available here.

Comments regarding increasing the county courts’ jurisdictional limits may be submitted to Christopher Ryan, clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, via email at christopher.ryan@judicial.state.co.us or mailed to 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 10, 2016. Comments will be posted on the State Judicial website after the comment period has ended.

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

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Rule 120

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced proposed changes to Rule 120 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, “Orders Authorizing Sales Under Powers.” The changes are extensive, and include changing the title of the rule to be “Orders Authorizing Foreclosure Sale Under Power in a Deed of Trust to the Public Trustee.”A redline of the proposed changes is available here.

The supreme court is now accepting comments on the proposed changes to Rule 120. Comments may be made in writing via email to Christopher Ryan, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, or via U.S. Mail at 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 close of the comment period.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Amendments to ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4

The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has developed proposed amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The Standing Committee has proposed the addition of a subsection (g) to Model Rule 8.4 to address discrimination in the practice of law, and a revision to the comments to explain the purpose of new subsection (g):

Rule 8.4: Misconduct

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

***

(g) in conduct related to the practice of law, harass or knowingly discriminate against persons on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status.

 

Comment [3] Paragraph (g) applies to conduct related to a lawyer’s practice of law, including the operation and management of a law firm or law practice. It does not apply to conduct unrelated to the practice of law or conduct protected by the First Amendment. Harassment or discrimination that violates paragraph (g) undermines confidence in the legal profession and our legal system. Paragraph (g) does not prohibit lawyers from referring to any particular status or group when such references are material and relevant to factual or legal issues or arguments in a representation. Although lawyers should be mindful of their professional obligations under Rule 6.1 to provide legal services to those unable to pay, as well as the obligations attendant to accepting a court appointment under Rule 6.2, a lawyer is usually not required to represent any specific person or entity. Paragraph (g) does not alter the circumstances stated in Rule 1.16 under which a lawyer is required or permitted to withdraw from or decline to accept a representation. A lawyer who, in the course of representing a client, knowingly manifests by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, violates paragraph (d) when such actions are prejudicial to the administration of justice. Legitimate advocacy respecting the foregoing factors does not violate paragraph (d). A trial judge’s finding that peremptory challenges were exercised on a discriminatory basis does not alone establish a violation of this rule.

The Standing Committee also issued a memorandum explaining the origin of the amendments, available here. The memorandum explains that although the comments to the Model Rules have addressed discrimination in the practice of law for many years, the Committee thought it important to add the prohibition to the black letter portion of the Model Rules in order to authoritatively prohibit discrimination. As the ABA Young Lawyers Division eloquently explained, “There is a need for a cultural shift in understanding the inherent integrity of people regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability, to be captured in the rules of professional conduct. This is true because the Model Rules are supposed to ensure the integrity of the legal profession.”

The Standing Committee invites comments on the draft proposal, both in writing and at its public hearing from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, 2016, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, 3rd Floor, South Tower, Balboa & Mission Hills Meeting Rooms, San Diego, CA. Persons wishing to speak should register by sending an email to abamodelruleamend@americanbar.org by January 29, 2016. Speakers should be prepared to speak for four to five minutes and then take questions from the Committee, and there may not be time to accommodate all interested speakers. Comments may be submitted in writing as well to the above email address by March 11, 2016. Comments will be made publicly available.

For more information about the proposed Model Rule change, click here.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Change to Colorado Rules of Evidence

The Colorado Supreme Court announced a proposed rule change to the Colorado Rules of Evidence. The change would add a new Rule 502, “Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product; Limitations on Waiver.” The new rule discusses waiver of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine as applied to disclosures in Colorado proceedings or Colorado offices or agencies, and in federal proceedings. The rule also discusses inadvertent disclosure and party agreements.

Comments about the new rule may be submitted in writing to Christopher Ryan, clerk of the Supreme Court, via email or at 2 East 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on March 3, 2016. Written comments will be posted on the State Judicial website after the comment period ends.

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

Changes to 10th Circuit Local Rules and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Posted

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has posted changes to its local rules and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which will take effect January 1, 2016. The changes to the Tenth Circuit Local Rules are outlined in a memo, which is available here. A redline of the changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, including the corresponding Tenth Circuit Local Rules, is available here.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are also changing, effective December 1, 2015. The most significant change in the new Rules is that the scope of discovery is changing, as outlined below:

Rule 26.   Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery

(b)    Discovery Scope and Limits.

(1)    Scope in General.  Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.  Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.— including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. All discovery is subject to the limitations imposed by Rule 26(b)(2)(C).

A redline of the proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is available here.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the proposed repeal and reenactment of the Colorado Rules of Probate Procedure. The proposed changes involve reordering and renumbering of the rules, with several reserved spots for future rules.

A redline of the proposed changes is available here. Comments regarding the changes may be emailed to the clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, Christopher Ryan, at christopher.ryan@judicial.state.co.us, or they may be mailed or delivered to the courthouse at 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. The comment period will end at 5 p.m. on December 1, 2015. Written comments will be posted on the State Judicial website after the comment period closes.

For more information, visit the Adopted & Proposed Rule Changes page of the Colorado Supreme Court website.

Public Comment Period Open for Changes to Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct

The public comment period is now open for proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Most of the proposed changes amend the Comments to the Rules. Some of the proposed changes are minor, such as updating cross-references or contemplating electronic communications, while others are extensive, such as changes regarding how much disclosure of client information is appropriate during conflict checks or use of lawyers and nonlawyers outside the firm.

Comments regarding the proposed changes may be submitted to Christopher Ryan, Clerk of the Supreme Court, via email, mail, or hand-delivery. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on October 15, 2015. A public hearing will be held on November 4, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court courtroom, and anyone wishing to participate in the hearing must notify Mr. Ryan no later than October 26, 2015.

For a redline of the proposed changes, click here.

Public Comments Being Accepted for Proposed New Rule to C.R.C.P. Chapter 38

The Colorado Supreme Court posted a proposed new rule to Chapter 38 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, “Public Access to Records and Information.” The new rule addresses public access to administrative records of the judicial branch, and would be numbered as Rule 2 (current Rule 2 would become Rule 3).

The public comment period for the proposed new rule is now open. Written comments may be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Christopher Ryan, no later than 5 p.m. on September 18, 2015. Additionally, a public hearing on the proposed new rule will take place on October 1, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. Persons wishing to participate in the public hearing should confirm their presence to Mr. Ryan no later than September 21, 2015.

For more information about the proposed rule, click here.

 

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to U.S. District Court Local Rules

The comment period is now open for proposed amendments to the local rules for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The proposed revision affects D.C.Colo.L.Cr.R. 11.1(b) and is intended to facilitate implementation of the proposed Durango and Grand Junction protocol. The changes specifically reference Durango and Grand Junction cases:

(b) Pleas Before District Judgein a Felony Case. In a felony case, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere shall be made before the assigned district judge.; however, in a felony case designated as a Durango or Grand Junction case, with the express written consent of the government and defendant (using the form found HERE) and on referral for recommendation by the assigned district judge, the resident magistrate judge in Durango and Grand Junction, Colorado, may accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and conduct a corresponding advisement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11.

Comments regarding the proposed changes may be emailed to the court clerk at LocalRule_Comments@cod.uscourts.gov. Comments should be titled “Comment to Proposed Amendment to D.C.COLO.LCrR 11.1” and must be received no later than the close of business on Monday, April 6, 2015.

Proposed Changes to Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

The Colorado Supreme Court is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. Amendments to rules 1, 12, 16, 16.1, 26, 30, 31, 34, 37, 54, and 121, § 1-22 are proposed; some of the amendments, including those for Rule 16, “Case Management and Trial Management,” are extensive. A redline of the proposed changes is available here.

Written comments to the proposed rule changes can be submitted to Christopher Ryan, the Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court, at 2 East 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203. Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on April 17, 2015.

A public hearing on the changes will be held on April 30, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court courtroom. The courtroom is located on the 4th floor of the Ralph Carr Justice Center at 2 East 14th Avenue in Denver.