June 18, 2019

Archives for March 18, 2011

Colorado Supreme Court Amends Professional Conduct Rules Regarding Fee Change Communications

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved a new amendment to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. The rule change concerns communications with clients regarding changes to the basis or rate of fees or expenses.

Rules 1.5, which deals with fees, was amended in section (b) to require that any changes in the basis or rate of the fee or expenses be promptly communicated to the client, in writing. The amended rule removes and replaces the following language: “Except as provided in a written fee agreement, any material changes to the basis or rate of the fee or expenses are subject to the provisions of Rule 1.8(a).”

The new language of Rule 1.5(b) reads:

When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee and expenses shall be communicated to the client, in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. Any changes in the basis or rate of the fee or expenses shall also be promptly communicated to the client, in writing.

The rule change can be reviewed at State Judicial.

Affected Rules:

Rule 1.5 – “Fees”

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Five More Bills into Law

This week, Governor John Hickenlooper signed five bills into law. The bills were the fourth group to emerge from the 2011 General Assembly.

  • HB 11-1017
    • Sponsored by Rep. Duran and Sen. Steadman. Procedures for replacing a member of the Auraria Higher Education Advisory Committee.
  • HB 11-1019
    • Sponsored by Rep. Kagan and Sen. Boyd. Waivers of copays and deductibles by school-based health centers.
  • HB 11-1027
    • Sponsored by Rep. Looper and Sen. Newell. Guidelines for the creation of a Department of Defense Child Care Pilot Program.
  • HB 11-1035
    • Sponsored by Rep. Court and Sen. Carroll. Concerning an informative statement to be included with the ballot proceeding each new measure.
  • HB 11-1036
    • Sponsored by Rep. D. Gardner and Sen. S. King. Alert system for public to indicate when a peace officer is seriously injured or killed.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2011 legislation decisions click here.

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 3/17/11

The Tenth Circuit on Thursday issued one published opinion and two unpublished opinions.


In United States v. Tony, the Court denied Petitioner’s certificate of appealability (COA) and dismissed the case. Petitioner, an Indian federal prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, seeks to appeal the district court’s dismissal of his 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion raising jurisdictional and double jeopardy issues. The denial of a § 2255 motion may be appealed if the district court or the Tenth Circuit issues a COA; but a COA will be granted “only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” Petitioner has made no such showing. Additionally, “[a]n Indian defendant is not subject to double jeopardy when the federal government tries him on a federal offense after he is tried in a tribal prosecution on a similar tribal offense arising out of the same conduct.”


Troutt v. Jones

United States v. Medina-Montes

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 3/16/11

The Tenth Circuit on Wednesday issued two published opinions and six unpublished opinions.


In Mathews v. Denver Newspaper Agency LLP, the Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s decision. Petitioner, a former employee of Respondent, sought to litigate certain employment discrimination claims, despite having previously arbitrated similar claims to a final, adverse determination, and claims the district court erred by dismissing his claim of discriminatory and retaliatory demotion. The Court found that the court did err by finding that the collective bargaining agreement’s arbitration provisions were broad enough to encompass Petitioner’s statutory claims; his submission to arbitration did not operate as a waiver of judicial forum because “such a waiver may only occur where the arbitration agreement expressly grants the arbitrator authority to decide statutory claims.” Additionally, under a McDonnell Douglas analysis, Petitioner’s claims of retaliatory demotion must survive summary judgement. However, Petitioner cannot establish his prima facie case of discriminatory demotion because he is judicially estopped from asserting he was qualified for his job at the time he was demoted.

In Alto Eldorado Partnership v. City of Santa Fe, the Court affirmed the district court’s decision. Petitioners, developers owning property in the County of Santa Fe, New Mexico, brought suit to challenge an ordinance requiring the provision of affordable housing in new subdivisions as unconstitutional under the Takings Clause; the district court dismissed the complaint as not being ripe. The Court agreed, finding that Petitioners first must have argued compensation procedures are unavailable, such as by bringing an inverse condemnation action in state court. The case is not yet ripe because, assuming a court finds that the ordinance effectuates a taking of property, Respondent County could decide to compensate Petitioners for the taking rather than abandon the ordinance.


Reyna v. Ledezma

Palmer v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.

Hysten v. Burlington Norther Santa Fe Railway Co.

Durant v. MillerCoors, LLC

Coney v. Zavaras

O’Neal, Jr. v. Province

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/17/11

On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued eight published opinions and thirteen unpublished opinions.


People v. Griffin

Meyerstein v. City of Aspen

People v. Kiniston

JW Construction Company, Inc. v. Wodiuk

In re the Marriage of Wells

Medina v. Sonic-Denver T, Inc.

People v. Sowell

People v. Blue

Summaries of published cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.