April 22, 2019

Archives for April 2010

Update: U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit Updates Rules, Effective May 1

The Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit (“BAP”) have been amended (.pdf) and are effective May 1, 2010.

The amendments include 10th Circuit BAP Local Rule 8008-1(a), which requires that all documents other than sealed documents, filed on or after May 1, 2010, must be electronically filed using the BAP’s Appellate CM/ECF system. Detailed instructions for electronic filing registration are available on the BAP website.

The BAP encourages practitioners and court personnel to review the BAP website for guidance concerning the amended rules, which will be full updated by May 1, 2010.

Legislation: Governor Signs HB 10-1168, Regarding Insurance Payouts for Accident Victims

Yesterday, Governor Ritter signed HB 10-1168 (.pdf), which requires that an accident victim be “made whole” before a health insurance company that has paid benefits due to injury caused by the accident can be repaid.

The bill was introduced by Pat Steadman (Senate-D) and Claire Levy (House-D).

Legislation: Federal, State Lawmakers Prepare Citizens United Bill Challenges

In response to the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (.pdf), lawmakers at both the federal and state levels are proposing legislation that places limits on election campaign donations made by corporations and labor unions.

Later this week, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) are expected to introduce two bills before the U.S. Congress to impose limitations on corporate spending during elections. According to the National Law Journal‘s Marcia Coyle, the two congressional bills will:

  • Require the head of a corporation, union, section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) organization, or section 527 organization to say he or she “approves this message” in any campaign ad and the top contributor to “stand by” the ad.
  • Ban coordination between a candidate and outside groups on ads that reference a candidate and then run in the time period beginning 90 days before a primary and ending with the general election.
  • Require any covered organization to disclose within 24 hours to the FEC not just its campaign-related activity, but also transfers of money to other groups that then can be used for campaign-related activity. Additionally, a covered organization must disclose its donors.
  • Prohibit corporations controlled by foreign entities or foreign nationals from spending in U.S. elections.
  • Mandate disclosure by corporations, unions, and other groups to their shareholders and members in their annual and periodic reports.
  • Prohibit federal government contractors with a contract worth more than $50,000 from spending money on elections.

In local developments, Colorado State Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) and House Majority Leader Paul Weissmann (D-Louisville) have co-sponsored SB 10-203, an end-of-session bill that would require corporations and labor unions to register their election campaign donations with an independent agency, showing both the donor and the amount of the donation. This morning’s Denver Post has the details.

Colorado’s 2010 legislative session ends May 12. If enacted, SB 10-203 would take effect before this fall’s election cycle begins.

For other Citizens United coverage on CBA-CLE Legal Connection, see here, here, and here.

Case Law: State Agency Notice Does Not Trigger Limitation Period for Filing Federal Discrimination Action

When does a plaintiff’s 90 days to file a federal discrimination lawsuit run out? Today, the Tenth Circuit issued an opinion (.pdf) on the subject.

In employment discrimination cases, once a notice of right to sue has been issued by the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), plaintiffs have 90 days to file suit. The CCRD and EEOC have a worksharing agreement so that a charge filed with one agency is also considered filed at the other agency. How that worksharing agreement affects the 90-day limitation period for filing suit was recently decided by the Tenth Circuit.

In Rodriguez v. Wet Ink (.pdf), LLC, No. 08-1313 (10th Cir. April 26, 2010), the plaintiff had received a notice of right to sue from the CCRD. She later received a notice of right to sue from the EEOC and filed suit within 90 days of the EEOC notice, but after the expiration of the CCRD notice. The district court dismissed her suit on the basis that it was time barred as she had not filed within 90 days of the CCRD notice.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the dismissal and held that the state agency notice does not trigger the 90-day limitation period for filing a federal action. Only the EEOC can issue a notice of right to sue that triggers the 90-day limit for filing a federal action.

Update: Ann Frick Named to Second Judicial District Court Bench

Governor Bill Ritter has appointed Denver lawyer Ann B. Frick to the Second Judicial District Court bench.

Of Frick’s appointment, Gov. Ritter remarked:

As a longtime leader in Colorado’s legal community, Ann will bring a diverse mix of experiences, skills and knowledge to the bench. Her recent experiences as an arbitrator and a mediator will serve her well as a district court judge, where I know she will treat everyone who appears in her courtroom fairly and respectfully.

Frick succeeds former Judge Larry E. Naves, who retired from the court earlier this month to join a local arbitration and mediation group. She began her legal career in 1978 as an associate with Holme Roberts & Owen, then served in the Denver District Attorney’s Office for several years before returning to private practice with Kelly, Haglund, Garnsey & Kahn. She has been a partner, specializing in business litigation, at Jacobs, Chase, Frick, Kleinkopf & Kelly since 1995.

Frick’s appointment to the Denver District Court is effective immediately.

Legislation: Ritter Creates Healthcare Reform Task Force

Taking initiative from the national healthcare reform enacted last month, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter issued an executive order calling for the formation of an interagency task force to implement the goals of the mandate.

The executive order also named Lorez Meinhold, Ritter’s health policy analyst, as director, in charge of facilitating and coordinating the efforts of the 10 state agencies involved with implementing the widespread changes to the healthcare system.

At the signing ceremony, held at the Wellington E. Webb Center For Primary Care in Denver, Gov. Ritter remarked:

Colorado has never waited for Washington on healthcare reform, and we aren’t about to start waiting now. Because of our efforts the past few years, Colorado is better positioned than most states to make the most of national reform. National reform allows us to accelerate and build on our work to provide higher quality care at lower costs to more Coloradans. Today marks a new chapter for healthcare in Colorado.

With his signature, Gov. Ritter also enacted four legislative bills related to healthcare:

HB 10-1004, “Concerning Standardization of Health Insurance Information Provided to Consumers”

HB 10-1166, “Concerning the Use of Plain Language in Insurance Policies”

HB 10-1138, “Concerning the Program to Repay Educational Loans of Healthcare Professionals”

SB 10-058, “Concerning the Eligibility Requirements for the Nursing Teacher Loan Forgiveness Pilot Program”

(image source: Colorado Office of the Governor)

Legislation: New Bill Establishes Veterans Treatment Court Program

Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill that enables the creation of treatment courts for combat veterans suffering from head injuries or mental disorders as a consequence of their warzone experiences.

HB 10-1104 offers an alternative to incarceration to combat veterans or members of the military who enter the criminal justice system for offenses involving drugs and alcohol that were used as self-medication for combat-related syndromes.

Over 1.6 million American men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, and of them, a significant number have or will “suffer, as a result of their military service, mental health injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, and acute stress,” according to research cited in the bill.

The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Marsha Looper (R-El Paso) and Sen. Suzanne Williams (D-Arapahoe), proposed the legislation to augment the benefits the government extends to members of the military and veterans. According to the text of the bill, HB 10-1104 is a way to “honor the military service of our men and women by attempting to provide them with an alternative to incarceration when feasible, permitting them instead to access proper treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems resulting from military service.”

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Resource: State Judicial Posts New Agistor’s Lien Forms

State Judicial recently updated a bundle of agistor’s lien forms of interest to all Colorado attorneys practicing agricultural law. The new forms are already in effect, and practitioners should begin using them immediately.

All forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats. They are also available as Word templates; download templates from State Judicial’s Agistor’s Lien Forms page.

  • JDF 131, “Instructions for an Agistor’s Lien” (revised 4/10)
  • JDF 132, “Agistor’s Lien” (revised 4/10)
  • JDF 133, “Complaint for Foreclosure on Agistor’s Lien” (revised 4/10)
  • JDF 134, “Order to Show Cause re: Sale of Livestock” (revised 4/10)
  • JDF 135, “Order re: Judgment on Agistor’s Lien” (revised 4/10)
  • JDF 136, “Notice of Demand–Agistor’s Lien” (revised 4/10)

State Judicial is in the process of translating all of its forms into Spanish, but no forms in Spanish are available yet. Please note that regardless of whether a form is English or Spanish, state statute (§13-1-120, C.R.S.) requires all forms to be completed in English.

Update: Bankruptcy Court Website Has Scheduled Downtime on April 30

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado website will be down for one hour on April 30. It posted this announcement today:

We will be upgrading this website to provide faster and better service to our users. As a result, this website will be unavailable:

Friday April 30th, 2010 from 6:00 PM MDT until 7:00 PM MDT.

You may still reach the ECF filing website directly at the following link:

https://ecf.cob.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Resource: Revised Domestic Forms Available from State Judicial

State Judicial has revised three forms of interest to family lawyers: the sworn financial statement, the court-issued separation agreement form, and a worksheet for calculating presumed temporary maintenance.

All forms are in Adobe Acrobat‘s PDF format.

  • JDF 1111, “Sworn Financial Statement” (revised 4/10). JDF 1111 is also available as a Microsoft Word document.
  • JDF 1115, “Separation Agreement” (revised 3/10). JDF 1115 is also available as a Microsoft Word document.
  • JDF 1823, “Presumed Temporary Maintenance Calculation” (revised 4/10). JDF 1823 is also available as a Microsoft Excel worksheet.

Resource: State Judicial Issues Instructions for Clearing Name in Identity Theft and Mistaken Identity Cases

Getting one’s life back is never an easy or inexpensive endeavor for victims of identity theft or mistaken identity, but Colorado courts are making it a little bit easier.

State Judicial recommends contacting the District Attorney’s Office victims coordinators in the county in which the malfeasance allegedly occurred to begin the process of clearing one’s name. Next, the victim should file a Form JDF 223 (.pdf), Motion to Determine Factual Innocence, with the court, then report to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, with the motion in hand, for a fingerprint check.

Upon reviewing the evidence presented at the hearing, the court will issue an order (.pdf) declaring that the victim is found by the court to be “factually innocent” of the charges involved in the identity theft. The victim then submits the court order to the appropriate agencies to begin clearing his or her name of criminal wrongdoing.

For more information about identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice both have websites offering comprehensive counsel to victims of this increasingly prevelant form of fraud.

CLE: “The Ethics of Representing Diminished Capacity Clients” One-Hour Program

CBA-CLE will host elder lawyer Bernard Poskus in a one-hour lunchtime program, “The Ethics of Representing Diminished Capacity Clients,” next Monday, April 26. The program will be held in CBA-CLE’s small classroom, and starts at noon. A catered lunch will be served.

Poskus has practiced law since 1978, with most of his practice being devoted to representation of the elderly, the disabled, and those persons who are otherwise disadvantaged. When a client is incapacitated, says Poskus, the typical client-lawyer relationship may not be possible, which leads to a number of thorny ethics questions:

  • What kind of relationship do you have with an incapacitated client? 
  • How do you get retained by an incapacitated client?
  • When, if ever, do you overrule your incapacitated client?
  • Can you be held liable for negligence for failing to overrule your incapacitated client?

These issues and more will be analyzed in Poskus’s presentation.

The presentation will also be available as a live webcast for those unable to attend. All program registrants, whether in person or off-site, are eligible to receive one one ethics CLE credit.

Register today!