August 24, 2019

Archives for January 25, 2012

Justin Ross: “I think it’s going to be okay” – The Value of Continually Encouraging Your Client

We are all familiar with the proverbial “bed-side manner,” or lack thereof, associated with physicians. However, rarely do we hear of the same for attorneys. Most times, our clients are relying on us to guide them through the most difficult time in their lives, and most clients have no idea what to make of the situation. Simply acquiring a good result may not be the most important task with which we are assigned.

Although it seems elementary, I think we, as legal professionals, forget that we are obligated, as counselors at law, to reassure our clients. In the words of Ted Borrillo, my mentor’s mentor, it is very important to tell your client, up front and often, “It’s going to be okay.”

Having pondered this concept, I would suggest the following should occur with every single client:

  1. Re-assure your client. Most clients have never gone through a divorce, custody battle, criminal charges, personal injury, etc. They need to be re-assured that the process is (or should be) designed to provide justice and fairness, and that, except for those very unusual cases, a breakdown of the system will not mean that their life is over. Clients need to be told this from the beginning of your representation. Do not patronize your client. Be honest about the risks and repercussions. However, do not forget to tell your client that there is “a light at the end of tunnel.”
  2. Share a professional, or personal, experience. Think of a case that you have handled, or a personal situation that you have gone through, that could be of benefit to your client. Without divulging confidence, share that story with your client. This is a moment when your experience as an attorney uniquely equips you to counsel your client.
  3. Repeat step 1 and, if necessary, step 2. Most every case is a marathon. Clients will experience emotional ups and downs throughout. Merely encouraging your client at the beginning of the case likely will not suffice for the entirety of the case. Make a mental note to be encouraging to your client every single time you have contact with them. If you do not have frequent contact, consider placing a call or e-mail to your client solely for the purpose of encouraging your client.
Justin Ross is an attorney at Pickard & Associates PC and focuses his practice on domestic relations, dependency & neglect, criminal defense, and personal injury. Justin is also chair of the First Judicial District Bar Membership Committee. He contributes to the First Judicial District’s monthly Proclamation, where this article originally appeared.

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Annual Banquet This Weekend

The 2012 Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Annual Banquet & Membership Meeting will be held Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the EXDO Event Center (1399 35th Street) in Denver. The Keynote Speaker for the event will be former Colorado Supreme Court Justice and Denver’s New Manager of Safety, Alex Martinez. Join the CHBA for great food, entertainment, and networking this weekend!

Click here for more information and registration.

The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association was first incorporated on February 23, 1977 as the Chicano Bar Association, envisioned as legal advisor to the Hispanic community and a force in expanding the number of Hispanics in the legal profession. Today, there are approximately 500 Hispanic attorneys in Colorado specializing in all facets of the law. It has worked to ensure the appointment of Latinos to the bench, district attorney offices, educational institutions, governmental entities, and private law firms.

Tenth Circuit: Bank Owed No Duty of Care to Petitioner and Claim Preempted by Strict Liability

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Abbasid, Inc. v. First Nat’l Bank of Santa Fe on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Petitioner was the sole officer and shareholder of Abbasid, Inc., which opened Azhar’s Oriental Rugs in Santa Fe in August 2004. Petitioner was rarely in New Mexico and, in his absence, his wife took on a role at the rug store. Petitioner’s wife deposited a portion of the store’s receipts—both checks and cash—in the account of her cousin and used some money from that account for personal expenses. Petitioner and his wife later divorced. Petitioner sued the Bank to recover the money that he said had been wrongfully taken. He claimed conversion and negligence in accepting deposits to the cousin’s account, alleging that the Bank took checks from a person not entitled to enforce the checks or receive payment. The negligence claim alleges that the Bank injured Petitioner by failing to act with proper care in accepting the checks for deposit or payment without proper authority. The district court dismissed the negligence claim on the grounds that the Bank owed no duty of care to Petitioner and that the claim was preempted by strict liability. After trial, the jury returned a special verdict that the Bank did not convert any of Petitioner’s checks.

On appeal, Petitioner made the following assertions of error: “(1) the district court improperly denied its motion for new trial claiming that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence; (2) the court improperly excluded evidence of the Bank’s check-handling policies; (3) the court improperly instructed the jury on mitigation of damages and improperly admitted evidence on the issue; (4) the court improperly rejected Abbasid’s requested jury instruction on authority; (5) the court improperly granted the Bank summary judgment on the negligence claim; and (6) the court improperly permitted postjudgment discovery.” The Court found that the claims of error need not be addressed on the merits because the arguments were not been properly preserved, or any error was mooted by the verdict. The remaining claims failed on the merits.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 1/24/12

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and four unpublished opinions.


United States v. Freerksen

United States v. Freerksen, III

Hopson v. State of Kansas

Rodriguez-Aguirre v. Garcia

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