November 22, 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

 

Courthouse of the U.S. District Court Closed on Friday, December 9, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced a courthouse closure. On Friday, December 9, 2016, from 12:45 to 6 p.m., the courthouse will be closed for business due to a law enforcement training exercise. The Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse will be closed to the public. The Byron G. Rogers Courthouse will remain open, but no court business will be conducted. Court business in the Durango and Grand Junction courthouses will be conducted as scheduled. All electronic systems to include CM/ECF and PACER will remain in operation during this time period. For more information, click here.

District of Colorado Local Rules Amended, Effective December 1, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has adopted changes to its local rules, effective December 1, 2016. The changes include a new Rule 2.1, “Forms of Action,” and an entire section on Local Patent Rules.

New Rule 2.1 clarifies that a proceeding not defined as a civil action under F.R.C.P. 2 should be filed as a civil miscellaneous (“mc”) or registered judgment (“rj”) action only if included in the List of Miscellaneous Cases. Rule 5.3 was amended by the addition of a subparagraph (c) dealing with written discovery requests or responses. The subparagraph specifies that other than in prisoner cases or as otherwise ordered, discovery requests shall be submitted by email or in other non-paper form. There were several other minor changes to various rules.

Section III on the Local Patent Rules is a comprehensive section dealing with the handling of patent claims in the U.S. District Court. The local rules are to be cited as D.C.Colo.LPtR _. The rules are to be known as the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado – Patent Rules. The rules specify that the civil local rules apply except as inconsistent with the patent rules. Topics addressed in the local patent rules include scheduling conferences and orders, discovery and confidentiality, infringement, invalidity, declaratory judgment, reliance on counsel’s opinion, claim construction, final infringement and invalidity contentions, and word limits. The remaining sections were renumbered accordingly.

Comments about the local rules may be submitted to the Advisory Committee on the Local Rules via email. For more information about the local rule changes, click here. For a redline of the changes, click here.

Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to District of Colorado Local Rules

On Monday, September 26, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado proposed changes to its local rules. The proposed changes will take effect December 1, 2016.

The district court invites public comment on the proposed changes; comments may be submitted via email to LocalRule_Comments@cod.uscourts.gov or via U.S. Mail to Clerk of the Court, United States District Court, Attn: Edward Butler, Legal Officer, Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, Room A-105, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80294. Comments should specify to which local rule they relate. All comments must be received by October 26, 2016, to be considered.

The comments include a new Section III, “Local Patent Rules,” which comprehensively addresses patent filings in the district court. There are many other changes to the existing rules, including updates to rules about written discovery requests, changes to reflect filings by unrepresented prisoners, disposition of conventionally submitted materials after the time for filing appeals has passed, and more. A redline of the changes is available here.

For more information regarding the updates to the District of Colorado Local Rules, click here.

Application Period Open for Bankruptcy Judgeship in District of Colorado

BankruptcyCourtThe U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced that it is accepting applications for a bankruptcy judge in the District of Colorado. The position is located in Denver and will be available January 4, 2017, pending successful completion of a background investigation. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for 14-year terms pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 152.

Qualified applicants must be members in good standing of the highest bar of at least one state, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and must be in good standing in every bar in which the applicant is a member. Applicants must possess, and have a reputation for, integrity and good character; possess, and have demonstrated, a commitment to equal justice under the law; possess, and have demonstrated, outstanding legal ability and competence; indicate by demeanor, character, and personality that the applicant would exhibit judicial temperament if appointed; and be of sound physical and mental health sufficient to perform the essential duties of the office. Applicants must have been engaged in the practice of law or other suitable law-related occupation for the last five years, must not be related by blood or marriage to any judge of the Tenth Circuit or District of Colorado or a member of the Tenth Circuit Judicial Council, must comply with financial disclosure requirements, and must be willing to serve.

Application forms are available on the Tenth Circuit website and will be accepted through August 15, 2016. For more information, click here.

Application Period Open for Vacancies on U.S. District Court Committee on Conduct

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced on Monday, July 13, 2015, that it is seeking applications for three vacancies on its Committee on Conduct. The Committee on Conduct investigates and acts upon complaints against members of the U.S. District Court bar, considers applications for reinstatement or readmission, and addresses matters concerning attorney disability.

Eligible applicants for the committee vacancies must have practiced law for ten years or more and have no disciplinary record; be licensed to practice by the Colorado Supreme Court; have been a member in good standing of the U.S. District Court bar for at least five years with no disciplinary record; and possess experience that makes the applicant especially qualified to investigate matters governed by the U.S. District Court’s disciplinary rules.

Applicants must submit the application packet in PDF format to COC_submissions@cod.uscourts.gov.

Frederick Skillern: Real Estate Case Law — Titles and Title Insurance (5)

Editor’s note: This is Part 20 of a series of posts in which Denver-area real estate attorney Frederick Skillern provides summaries of case law pertinent to real estate practitioners (click here for previous posts). These updates originally appeared as materials for the 32nd Annual Real Estate Symposium in July 2014.

By Frederick B. Skillernfrederick-b-skillern

US Bank, N.A. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company
Civil Action No. 13-cv-00117-PAB-KLM
United States District Court For the District Of Colorado
2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36876 (March 20, 2014)

Because Colorado’s appellate courts tend to not “select for publication” any number of interesting cases involving title insurance, I make a note here of a summary judgment order of Judge Brimmer in the federal district court in Denver. There is an allegation in a case brought by homeowner X that a deed of trust recorded by Wells Fargo securing a loan to Y was not a valid lien, as a recorded quit claim deed from X to Y was forged. X first sues Wells Fargo – by this time the loan has been assigned to U.S, Bank. The court discusses whether there is a duty to defend U.S. Bank’s insured title in a lawsuit before U.S. Bank is added to the litigation – the original title claim was made by Wells Fargo. The court reasons “no,” based on a thorough review of the policy language. Paragraph 4(a) of the Conditions and Stipulations states that Stewart Title’s obligation extends only to “the defense of an insured.”

It also reviews a claim that the insurer had a duty to initiate action to clear title to U.S. Bank’s lien prior to the date that U.S. Bank was served in the underlying litigation. The court surveys the cases on whether the insurer “may” or “must” take an affirmative action when it is notified that an insured may have a title issue. The court agrees that under these facts, no such duty was triggered until U.S. Bank – the real party in interest – was named in the suit. Although a title insurer may take action to clear an insured’s title, any duty is subject to the Conditions and Stipulations in the policy. “These policy provisions do not support U.S. Bank’s assertion that the policy creates a duty to defend the title independent of the insurer’s duty to defend the insured. If anything, these provisions reinforce the interpretation of the policy that Stewart Title’s duties are defined in relationship to the insured. The policy’s stated purpose is “a contract of indemnity against actual monetary loss or damage sustained or incurred by the insured” and Paragraph 7(c) states that Stewart Title will only pay “those costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in accordance with Section 4 of these Conditions and Stipulations.” (Emphasis added).

Frederick B. Skillern, Esq., is a director and shareholder with Montgomery Little & Soran, P.C., practicing in real estate and related litigation and appeals. He serves as an expert witness in cases dealing with real estate, professional responsibility and attorney fees, and acts as a mediator and arbitrator in real estate cases. Before joining Montgomery Little in 2003, Fred was in private practice in Denver for 6 years with Carpenter & Klatskin and for 10 years with Isaacson Rosenbaum. He served as a district judge for Colorado’s Eighteenth Judicial District from 2000 through 2002. Fred is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and received his law degree at the University of Colorado in 1976, in another day and time in which the legal job market was simply awful.

Application Period Open for Bankruptcy Judge Vacancy in District of Colorado

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit seeks applicants for a bankruptcy judgeship in the District of Colorado. The position will be created effective January 4, 2016, and will be in Denver, Colorado.

Eligible applicants must be a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, DC, or Puerto Rico, and must be in good standing in every other bar in which he or she is admitted. Applicants must be committed to equal justice under the law, have good character, possess and have demonstrated outstanding legal ability, exhibit judicial temperament, and be of sound mental and physical health. Applicants may not be related by blood or marriage to any other judge of the Tenth Circuit or District of Colorado or any member of the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit. Finally, applicants must have been admitted to practice law for at least five years.

Application forms are available from the Tenth Circuit website, and must be received no later than May 22, 2015. For more information about the vacancy, or to obtain an application form, click here.

Hon. Thomas B. McNamara Appointed to Bankruptcy Bench for U.S. District Court

On Monday, March 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit appointed Thomas B. McNamara to the bankruptcy bench in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. McNamara was appointed to replace Hon. A. Bruce Campbell, who retired.

Prior to his appointment, McNamara was a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, where he litigated international cases and advised clients on regulatory matters and compliance with foreign law. He received his law degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota.

Judge McNamara will take over all of Judge Campbell’s active cases. For more information about the appointment, 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.

Informal Investiture of Nina Wang as U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge

WangNinaOn Monday, February 9, 2015, an informal investiture of Magistrate Judge Nina Wang was held at the Byron C. Rogers Courthouse. Magistrate Judge Wang is the newest magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. She replaces Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland, who retired effective February 8, 2015.

Prior to her nomination to the U.S. District Court, Wang was a partner in the Intellectual Property group at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, where she focused on complex intellectual property litigation. Wang has served as the Chair of the Colorado IP Section of the Colorado Bar; as Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association; and as past-President of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Washington University.

A formal investiture will be held at a later date.

Nina Wang Nominated for U.S. District Court for District of Colorado

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced the nomination of Nina Y. Wang to replace retiring Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland. Judge Boland will retire effective February 8, 2015.

Ms. Wang was selected from a pool of 60 applicants, from which 5 were selected for suggestion to the court. Ms. Wang was unanimously selected by the court to fill the vacancy created by Judge Boland’s retirement. Her appointment is subject to a required background investigation.

Ms. Wang is currently a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP, where she focuses her practice on complex intellectual property litigation. She represents clients on representative technologies such as software, wireless routers, genetic assays, and semiconductor materials. Prior to working at Faegre, Ms. Wang served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Colorado in the civil division. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Washington University.