June 25, 2019

Archives for October 6, 2011

Colorado Court of Appeals: Week of October 2, 2011 (No Published Opinions)

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and thirty unpublished opinions for the week of October 2, 2011.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. Case announcements are available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 10/5/11

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and one unpublished opinion.

Unpublished

Utility Trailer Sales of Kansas City, Inc. v. Mac Trailer Manufacturing, Inc.

No case summaries are available for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints Meinster as First Judicial District Judge

On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper announced his appointment of Ann Gail Meinster to serve as a district judge in the First Judicial District. Meinster will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable R. Brooke Jackson. Her appointment was effective October 3.

Meinster is from Jefferson County and served as a First Judicial District Court Magistrate, with a primary focus on juvenile and domestic relations cases. She also serves as presiding judicial officer for the Family Integrated Treatment Court.

Previously, Meinster served as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in the Jefferson County Family Drug Court. From 2002 to 2009, she acted as GAL on behalf of the Office of the Child Representative in Boulder, Jefferson, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Summit, and Lake counties. From 1999 to 2002, Meinster served as Assistant Park County Attorney representing the Park County Department of Human Services. Meinster worked in private practice in Maryland from 1978-1985 and in Colorado from 1986-2009, with an emphasis on children’s rights. From 1983 to 2005, she also worked as a divorce mediator.

Meinster earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Serve Your Clients Better by Screening Them for Domestic Violence Issues

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Are you aware of whether domestic violence affects your clients?

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I be?” Let me endeavor to convince you.

I have witnessed the prevalence of domestic violence and have seen how it intersects with almost every practice area in the law. After laboring on the problem of domestic violence for twelve years, in both a legal advocacy and a public policy capacity, I still marvel at the complexity of the matter and the myriad of other issues with which it traverses. But, that is not just my own professional reality. Given that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and given that domestic violence impinges on people from all walks of life, chances are good that some of your clients are, or have been, in abusive relationships.

It is vital that you screen your clients for domestic violence. Here’s why:

Shame, self-blame, fear, embarrassment, thinking it is irrelevant to the legal advice she is seeking, or not identifying herself as a victim of domestic violence – these are all very valid reasons why a survivor may not disclose abuse to you. Survivors have limited occasions within which to disclose abuse safely and confidentially. Telling an attorney whose communications with her are privileged is one such opening. If you don’t ask questions to uncover potential abuse, you may miss a significant opportunity to provide life-saving referrals to local community resources and to reinforce that the abuse is not her fault, not to mention enhance your legal representation.

For reasons of efficacious and ethical representation, and to avoid the “M” word (malpractice, of course), it is critical to know whether your client is a survivor, and to consider how the context of domestic violence impacts your legal strategizing and advice. A complete picture of the risks and an understanding of the needs arising from your client’s experience are necessary in order to best represent them and to avoid the unintentional harm that can result from uninformed representation.

Of equal importance are safety considerations: your client’s and yours. There are many steps you can take to help increase the safety of survivor clients who continue to be at risk and to manage your own potential risks. The first step is being aware of the domestic violence and whether your client’s physical safety is an ongoing concern. However, risk management and enhanced safety for survivors is far more complicated than seeking solutions to address physical safety alone. For example, without economic security there can be no safety for survivors. With an understanding of the financial risks a survivor client is facing, you are in a position to increase your client’s safety and personal agency by weaving economic justice tactics throughout your legal strategizing and representation.

This Domestic Violence Awareness Month I am advocating for several things. Include domestic violence screening as a standard part of your intake process. Take the time to become familiar with local resources. Learn how to safety plan with your client and for yourself. And become aware of available legal remedies to domestic violence. All are essential for follow-up when domestic violence is disclosed. The tools to get you started are out there, such as this one from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence.

So, I ask you: Why not take action this October (and beyond)?

Amy Miller is the Public Policy Director at the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Visit their website for further information and resources or join the discussion on their Facebook page. Amy can be reached at amiller@ccadv.org.

July 2011 Colorado Bar Exam Results Released This Morning

Bar exam results have been posted for the July 2011 exam. Hopefully for the 778 applicants who passed the exam, the mounting stress with each click of the refresh button has melted away into a blissful realization that all your hard work paid off, it really was all worth it, and you are – finally – legit.

Click here for more info and stats from the July 2011 Colorado Bar Exam.

As agonizing as it is awaiting the results, can you imagine not even being able to learn your fate in the semi-comfort of your own home? Before bar exam results were posted online, anxious test-takers had to wait at the dreaded “wailing wall.” Results were posted on the doors of the Supreme Court building downtown – they may still be posted there, but at least the new system allows for a bit more privacy in what definitively seems like the most important morning of many of our lives.

We at CBA-CLE wish all of you the best of luck on the beginnings of your careers. We hope to meet you in our classroom soon. (Don’t forget: if you haven’t stopped by already, you are required to take our Practicing with Professionalism course. This is a MANDATORY program and is a condition of admission to the Colorado Bar.)

Did you sit for the bar exam this July? Whether you passed or not, you might be wondering what your next step is. Here are some answers: