August 23, 2019

Archives for December 2011

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 12/29/11

On Thursday, December 29, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and one unpublished opinion.


Johns v. Astrue

No case summaries are available for unpublished opinions.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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Week of December 25, 2011 (No Published Opinions)

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and fifteen unpublished opinions for the week of December 25, 2011.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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

Tom Matte: 7 More Social Media Tips to Bring Leads to Your Law Firm

The main reason most law firms start using social media is to generate leads. Make sure you are getting the most from your efforts and creating the awareness that will pay off.

I recently read an article on Social Media Today entitled, “7 Reasons You’re Not Generating Leads From Social Media.” Now here’s a topic that looks interesting, since I get asked about the connection between social media and leads quite frequently. As it turns out, lead generation is the top reason most B2B marketers say they are using social media in the first place, so if leads aren’t coming in, it’s probably difficult to justify the time and cost of social media, right?

So using this article as a base, I thought I would talk about 7 ways you can start generating leads from your social media activities.

Go where your prospects are. This may seem obvious, and it is. While I think it’s a good idea to be on all the major platforms, spend most of your time where your next client is hanging out most of the time. This may mean more focus on LinkedIn than Twitter. Or vice versa. Or if your law firm is targeting a specific industry, look for industry-specific social media platforms and start building awareness there.

Provide valuable content. I’ve written quite a few blog posts on the importance of providing good content, so I won’t rehash that here. But if all you are putting out on  your social media pages is information about you, your practice or your law firm, people will quickly grow bored and you will sound completely self-centered. Mix it up with some interesting articles about a topic of interest to your prospects, comment on other people’s posts and retweet valuable information too. Remember, it’s social, so one-way push messages can’t be all you do.

Create strong calls to action and consider creating targeted landing pages. If someone really likes what you have to say, make it easy for them to reach out to you by creating a call to action. It can be something as easy as making your phone number and email address easily accessible. Or better yet, send readers to a landing page where they can find further details, a white paper or some other item of value. In return, ask for their contact information. Targeted landing pages are a great way to expand your database and find out who is really interested in hearing more of what you have to say.

Get the most from your social media real estate. I’m amazed at how many times I go to a law firm’s Twitter page and see no information in the bio space or a Facebook page with nothing on the info page. Whatever you do, provide readers the information they need about your firm, a way to get to your Website easily and other ways to reach out to you as well. Make sure your messaging is consistent throughout all platforms too, so no matter how someone finds you, they see and hear the same thing and walk away with a good idea of what your law firm does.

Integrate email and social media. How many emails do you send a day? I’d be willing to bet it’s at least scores and probably more than 100 on many days. So why not include links to your social media pages in your email signature? If you have an offer on a landing page, include that information there as well. It will generate awareness for your social media work, and it’s easy for someone to forward to a colleague or friend to broaden your reach even more.

Display highly visible social share and follow buttons. While you are adding your social media buttons to your email, make sure they are on your Website too. Not just your home page, but your blog pages, your bio page and possibly your practice area and industry pages. Make it easy for people to share and follow you and your firm, and they will.

Measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts. All this is well and good, but in the end, you need to measure how well you are doing and make adjustments as needed. Set up a time to regularly review your social media traffic, activity and audience. Has any business come to your firm that can be directly tied to social media activities? Are you in the right place or should you branch out and try some new platforms?

What do you suggest? Are your social media efforts paying off in leads?

Tom Matte is CEO of Max Advertising, and focuses his endless enthusiasm on crafting creative and lasting marketing and advertising for law firms, helping them to ultimately grow their practices. Whether a 10-person firm or one of the Am Law 100, he works with firms of all sizes. Tom blogs at the The Matte Pad, where this post originally appeared on December 7, 2011.

Tenth Circuit: No Authority to Suggest that Possibility a Record Might Be Revealed to Unauthorized Readers through Negligent or Reckless Transmission is Sufficient to Violate Privacy Act

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Luster v. Vilsack on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit granted the motion to publish the order and judgment previously issued on December 1, 2011. In the case, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Petitioner, a full-time Visitor Information Specialist with the Forest Service, claimed that “(1) she was not selected for a Forestry Technician position because of her gender; (2) she suffered disparate work conditions because of her gender and in retaliation for her Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) discrimination complaint, and (3) a Forest Service attorney inappropriately disclosed her EEO complaint information in violation of the Privacy Act.” The district court granted summary judgment to the Forest Service on all claims.

The Court agreed with the district court’s analysis. The Court determined that the district court did not err in its pretext analysis of Petitioner’s non-selection discrimination claim. Also, the Court concluded that Petitioner did not present evidence suggesting that her “summer job conditions occurred under circumstances giving rise to an inference of gender discrimination or that the Forest Service’s proffered justification for those job conditions is so weak, implausible, inconsistent, or incoherent that a reasonable factfinder could rationally find it unworthy of credence.” Lastly, the Court found that Petitioner cited “no authority to suggest that the possibility that a record might be revealed to unauthorized readers by negligent or reckless transmission is sufficient to constitute a prohibited disclosure under the Privacy Act.”

Tenth Circuit: Appeal is Moot; Court Need Not Decide Whether District Court Erred in Ordering Children’s Return to Country of Habitual Residence Without Finding of Wrongful Removal

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Leser v. Berridge on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit dismissed the appeal as moot. Respondent relocated to Colorado from the Czech Republic with her two children. Subsequently, Petitioner, Respondent’s ex-husband and father of the children, filed a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado seeking return of the children to the Czech Republic pursuant to the Hague Convention and the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA). Respondent filed the motion to continue in response to a summons for the children to attend a custody hearing in the Czech court. Respondent indicated that the Czech court intended to rule on Petitioner’s and Respondent’s cross motions for “custody rights,” “contact rights,” and “the right to determine residence.” Respondent confirmed to the court that she would take the children to that hearing and that court was the proper court to adjudicate the matter. Pursuant to the stipulation and without objection, the district court ordered the children returned to the Czech Republic for the  hearing and made no finding as to wrongful removal as required by the Hague Convention.

“Rather than promptly asking the district court to vacate its order granting the petition, and requesting the court to grant her motion to continue instead, Respondent appealed and thereafter filed a motion to stay the judgment. [The Court] denied that motion and the children returned to the Czech Republic for the hearing. Once the children arrived in the Czech Republic, the Czech courts seized the children’s passports and issued new custody orders.”

The Court dismissed Respondent’s appeal as moot. The Court must determine whether a party “has suffered some actual injury that can be redressed by a favorable decision.” Because the Court cannot offer Respondent any relief, it determined that it need not decide whether the district court “erred in ordering Respondent to return the children to the country of habitual residence without a finding of wrongful removal, where the parents stipulated that the children would return to the Czech Republic for the hearing.” Additionally, holding that this action is moot rests on the fact that the district court made no finding of wrongful removal, not on the basis of the children’s current location; “therefore nothing prevents the children from returning to the United States if either the Czech court determines the new custody arrangements allow for the children to relocate to the United States or if the court lifts the travel ban and the original custody agreement remains in place.”

Tenth Circuit: Waiver of the Right to Appeal “Any Sentence” Does Not Encompass the Right to Appeal a Sentence Modification

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Lonjose on Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision. Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a sexual act with a minor in Indian Country and was sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. “As part of his plea agreement, [Petitioner] waived his right to appeal his sentence. The United States Probation Office (USPO) later filed an ex parte petition seeking to modify [Petitioner]’s conditions of supervised release to include two additional special conditions. On appeal, [Petitioner] contends that the district court erred in granting the USPO’s motion as to one condition. [He] argues that the condition prohibiting him from having contact with any child under the age of 18 without prior written permission of his probation officer is overly broad because it intrudes on his right to freely associate with his family and lacks compelling justification. In response, the government argues that the appellate waiver contained in [Petitioner]’s plea agreement deprives this court of jurisdiction to hear this appeal.”

The Court disagreed with the district court and found that the appellate waiver in Petitioner’s plea agreement does not preclude the filing of this appeal. “A defendant’s waiver of the right to appeal ‘any sentence’ encompasses only the right to appeal the original sentence imposed at sentencing and memorialized in the judgment, and does not encompass the right to appeal a sentence modification pursuant to § 3583(e)(2). This appeal is outside the scope of Defendant’s waiver.” Additionally, the Court reversed the district court’s imposition of the challenged condition of supervised release, and remand for further proceedings as to the scope of the condition so that it reasonably relates to Defendant’s offense.

Hilarious Ethics Revue Homestudy: Pirates of the COBAR – Search for the Ethics Pearl

Some of the most effective and entertaining ethics lessons of the year were brought to life in a dazzling three-night run on the stage of Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret in November.  The CBA-CLE 2011 Ethics Revue is an incredible CLE program produced and performed by a talented group of lawyers and judges from the Law Club.  The production weaves dancing, singing, music, and ethics lessons into one irreverent musical satire.

The theme this year was Pirates of the COBAR: Search for the Ethics Pearl, with Greg Cairns as Captain and Patricia Madsen as First Mate and hosted by Phil James, chair of the CBA Ethics Committee.  Moderated by the Honorable Claude Appel, the Ethics Committee Panel brought wisdom and gravitas with insightful ethics lessons from attorneys Michael Berger and Marcy Glenn, and the Honorable Ray Satter.  Director Barbara Laff ably guided the production that featured clever legal-themed twists on the lyrics of familiar songs including: “Mister Adjuster” (“Officer Krupke”), “Litigation, A Lawyer’s Life for Me” (“A Pirate’s Life for Me”), and “Tweet It” (“Beat It”).

Watch the trailer below to get a taste of the “must see” musical production of the year.  And, you can also get the whole program for 3 ethics CLE credits! Click here for more information.

Ethics Revue Pirates of the Cobar Trailer from Colorado Bar Association CLE on Vimeo.

The Law Club was founded nearly 100 years ago by a group of young lawyers, as a way to meet and discuss legal topics.  The club evolved over the years and started staging elaborate skits and productions featuring distinguished judges, as well as founders and senior partners of some of Colorado’s most prestigious law firms. Today’s Law Club puts their talents to good use performing at various law functions throughout the year.

We look forward to seeing what antics the Law Club gets into for the 2012 Revue!

Tenth Circuit: Opinion Amended Regarding Sentence Enhancement Stemming from Escape from Custody

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals amended its opinion in United States v. Koufos on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

Upon consideration of Petitioner’s request for rehearing en banc and panel rehearing, the original panel members determined that rehearing is appropriate. Consequently, the panel rehearing request was granted, and the original opinion from November 17, 2011 was withdrawn. An amended opinion was issued with substantially the same holding.

Tenth Circuit: Transactions as Part of Share-Lending Agreements Should Be Treated as Current Sales of Shares; Income Tax Deficiencies for Unrecognized Taxable Gain

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Anschutz Co. v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the tax court’s decision. Petitioners appeal from a decision of the United States Tax Court holding them responsible for substantial income tax deficiencies for the taxable years 2000 and 2001. The tax court concluded that the deficiencies resulted from Petitioners’ “failure to recognize taxable gain when a subsidiary of the Anschutz Company entered into a series of related agreements that included a variable prepaid forward contract for the sale of certain shares of stock and accompanying share-lending agreements.”

The Court agreed with the tax court and concluded that “the transactions should be treated under the IRC as current sales of [the Anschutz Company]’s shares [under the share-lending agreements]. Not only did [the other company] effectively obtain and dispose of the actual shares pledged by [the Anschutz company], [the Anschutz Company] received significant value for those shares and simultaneously lost nearly all of the incidents of ownership of those shares. The Court further noted that “the transactions effectively eliminated [the Anschutz Company]’s risk of loss and substantially reduced [its] opportunity for gain. Consequently, Petitioners are not entitled to the so-called ‘safe harbor’ afforded by § 1058.”

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 12/27/11

On Tuesday, December 27, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and one unpublished opinion.


Hoko v. Huish Detergents, Inc.

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

Appointment and Training Policies Amended for GALs, CFIs, and Child’s Representatives

The Colorado Supreme Court has amended a Chief Justice Directive, which governs court appointments through the Office of the Child’s Representative. The changes were made to CJD 04-06, which was adopted to assist the administration of justice through the best interest appointment and training of Guardians ad Litem (GALs), attorney Child and Family Investigators, and Child’s Representatives appointed on behalf of minors/children (under age 18).

CJD 04-06 – “Court Appointments Through the Office of the Child’s Representative” – revised and adopted effective January 1, 2012.

Colorado Supreme Court: Week of December 25, 2011 (No Opinions)

The Colorado Supreme Court issued no opinions for the week of December 25, 2011.