July 18, 2019

Archives for February 9, 2012

Project Visibility: Understanding the Strengths and Needs of the Elder GLBT Community

There is increasing evidence that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders in our community are uncertain where to turn and what to do if they need care or support services. They are concerned with the level of sensitivity and awareness on the part of staff at facilities, businesses, and agencies. The GLBT Center and the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) recognize that with a growing population of GLBT elders in the Denver area, steps need to be taken now to ensure a safe and healthy future for these older adults.

Project Visibility is a sensitivity program that began through Boulder County Aging Services, and has developed into a dynamic and continually updated training format that has touched hundreds of concerned providers in Colorado and across the country. The training is comprised of a moving film that showcases the lives of lesbian and gay elders, a Power Point presentation, and discussion of the steps service providers can take to provide good service for the GLBT community.

Free training for people serving older adults will be provided Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at Denver Regional Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging 1290 Broadway, Denver CO 80203, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Participants will receive

  • A new awareness of the strengths and needs of elder GLBTs
  • A manual to help you get started on simple and effective steps to communicate that your services/agency is welcoming and safe, and
  • Inclusion in a directory of service providers for GLBT elders developed by DRCOG and The Center.

To take part in this free training, contact Jennifer Solms at (303) 480-6796 or jsolms@drcog.org, or Shari Wilkins at (303) 733-7743, ext. 122 or swilkins@glbtcolorado.org.

Denver Students Prepare for Mock Trial Tournament

The students from the Denver Center for International Studies have had a bit of a reality check while they’ve been preparing for their first appearance in a mock trial tournament.

“I learned a lot more terms, like prosecution and defense, and how serious court really is,” said DCIS student Olivia Sanders, 14, while their team practiced in a courtroom at the Denver City and County Building. “It’s really not like the movies, because that courtroom is really small and I was like, is it going to stretch out some more?”

Though the courtrooms may be smaller than those in the movies, they have learned a lot about what happens in those courtrooms in a matter of weeks. Led by their teacher, Rachael Streitman, and attorney coach Joe Peters, they will argue a criminal case at the Denver Regional High School Mock Trial Tournament on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11.

“It’s a ton of fun,” said Peters, an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. “The kids are all very bright and motivated.”

The team came together after Streitman, who is a civics and world history teacher, found she had a number of students who expressed interest in becoming attorneys. After doing some research, she thought mock trial would be a great way to give those students an experience that would offer insight into what being an attorney is like.

Sanders said she has enjoyed being a part of the team.

“If I do decide to pursue law when I get older, it’s just cool to say, I did this when I was younger,” she said. “I have background knowledge of what [being a lawyer is] going to be like.”

It’s also been an outlet for those who don’t necessarily want to be lawyers. For Demetrius Parker, who is serving as a witness, it allowed him to work on his acting skills – something he wasn’t doing before because DCIS largely puts on musicals, he said, adding that he can’t sing.

Denver Center for International Studies student Demetrius Parker testifies while attorney coach Joe Peters presides over their mock trial practice in advance of the Denver mock trial tournament.

Though Streitman said there has been a bit of a learning curve with skills such as entering evidence and making objections, she added that “it’s exciting once [the students] get those things and they realize it.”

Most of their team is composed of ninth grade civics students. The team includes students Ethan Elliot, Vincent Gallegos, Elsa Lantz, Jade Mather, Parker, Andre Polar, Breanna Quintana, Sanders, Haley Schwenger, Liliana Weimer, and Leila Ziane.

Denver Center for International Studies student Vincent Gallegos serves as a defense attorney, questioning a witness while practicing for the Denver mock trial tournament on Monday.

In addition to the team from DCIS, students from CEC Middle College of Denver, Colorado Academy, Denver School of Science & Technology, Fleming High School, George Washington High School, and La Academia will compete.

Whether they will advance to the state tournament depends on how they argue the case in front of a panel of Denver-area lawyers and judges. Two Denver teams will go on to compete in the state tournament in Boulder County on March 9 and 10. Denver is one of eight regional tournaments taking place in the next two weeks.

Peters, who participated in mock trial in law school, said he thinks the team will learn a lot at the tournament, and that it will be personally and academically rewarding.

Sanders said she is still very interested in pursuing a career in the law.

“I like it because you get to fight for people’s rights and are serving them justice,” she said.

The mock trial tournament, sponsored by the Denver Bar Association, will take place at the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St. The first round begins Friday, February 10, at noon, and the second round starts at 2:30 p.m. Rounds will continue on Saturday, February 11, starting at 8 a.m., and the final round will start at 12:15 p.m.

Sanders is optimistic about how they’ll do in the tournament.

“I know we’ll do well because we’re trying really hard,” she said.

Sara Crocker is a communications specialist with the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. She is also the editor of the Denver Bar Association’s member publication, The Docket.

The Docket eFile brings features from your favorite Denver Bar Association publication to you digitally. When you see the logo, you’re reading an article from The Docket. You’ll also still be able to read the full issue online at denbar.org/docket.

HB 12-1059: One Year Exemption from Licensure Requirements for Military Spouses

On January 11, 2012, Rep. Marsha Looper introduced HB 12-1059 – Concerning the Authority of a Person Credentialed in Another State Whose Residence is Determined by Military Orders to Practice an Occupation Regulated by Colorado Law. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill authorizes military spouses to practice in a regulated profession or occupation other than real estate for one year if the spouse is licensed, registered, or certified to practice in another state; there is no other reason to deny the license; and the person consents to be governed by Colorado law. If applying for authority to continue to practice in Colorado, the applicant must notify the agency that the person is practicing in Colorado and include the contact information for the applicant’s employer. If the agency denies the application, the agency notifies the employer. The director of the division of registrations may promulgate rules to implement the bill.

The bill also directs agencies to exempt regulated persons who are on active duty for more than 120 days from the requirement to pay certification fees and complete continuing education that became due during the period of active duty, with the exemption continuing for 6 months after the period of active duty. An agency may accept continuing medical education, training, or service from the armed services in satisfaction of Colorado continuing education requirements.

A service member or spouse who is an emergency medical service provider certified or licensed in another state is exempt from certification in Colorado. The term “emergency medical technician” is changed to “emergency medical service provider” to align with the trend in other states.

On January 31, the Economic and Business Development Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Appropriations Committee.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

HB 12-1057: Increased Protections for Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Holders

On January 11, 2012, Rep. Claire Levy and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson introduced HB 12-1057 – Concerning Additional Protections for Purchasers of Homeowner’s Insurance Policies in Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill requires the insurance commissioner to adopt rules on the following related to the sale of homeowner’s insurance in Colorado:

  • Criteria and requirements for estimates of replacement value of insured property; and
  • An educational requirement for insurance producers related to homeowner’s insurance, including estimating replacement value.

The bill also puts into place the following with respect to homeowner’s insurance policies in this state:

  • Minimum requirements for additional living expense coverage for a period of time of no less than 24 months after a loss requiring additional living arrangements;
  • Requirements that insurers make available to policyholders copies of homeowner’s insurance policies, including declaration pages, within 48 hours after a loss or a request;
  • Standards for paying contents loss claims in the event of total loss;
  • Additional arbitration requirements for disputes between insured homeowners and insurers relating to policy coverage;
  • A requirement to provide summary disclosure forms to homeowner’s insurance policyholders at least annually; and
  • Potential disciplinary action by the commissioner against insurance producers that fail to:
    • Accurately describe to an insured the relationship of the producer to an insurer as the representative of the insurer and not a representative of, or advocate for, the insured policyholder; or
    • Accurately represent the adequacy of policy limits in a homeowner’s insurance policy to cover total loss of the property.

Assigned to the Local Government State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committees.

Since this summary, the bill was postponed indefinitely by the Local Government Committee.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

HB 12-1053: Numerous Changes to the Colorado Victims’ Rights Act

On January 11, 2012, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Angela Giron introduced HB 12-1053 – Concerning the Victims’ Rights Act. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The ball makes numerous changes to the statutes that implement the state’s constitutional Victim’s Rights Act. The bill adds the following crimes to those that are included in the victims’ rights statute: Trafficking in adults, trafficking in children, first degree burglary, retaliation against a judge, and retaliation against a juror. The definition of victim is expanded to include a grandchild.

The bill requires those responsible for criminal justice records to use reasonable efforts to redact social security numbers of victims and witnesses from criminal justice records. In addition, a victim or a witness has the right to have his or her address redacted and the right to be informed about protection services such as the witness protection program and the address confidentiality program.

Under current law, a victim must be notified by mail and telephone of all critical stages of a criminal proceeding. Electronic communication is added as a communication option.

The bill clarifies that a victim has the right to know when the defendant is released from county jail.

The bill clarifies the public records about which a victim has a right to be informed, including a victim impact statement.

Under current law, a victim has the qualified right to be present at the trial of the defendant. The bill changes the standard for when the victim is not allowed to be present so that a court may prohibit a victim from being present if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the victim’s presence would violate the defendant’s right to a fair trial.

The bill gives a victim the right to know if a subpoena is requested for records of the victim and to be heard before the ruling is made on the subpoena. A victim also has the right to be informed when the offender is transferred to a nonresidential setting or is terminated from a community corrections program.

If a victim is unable to attend a critical stage of the criminal justice process at which the victim has a right to be heard, the victim may request that the court make reasonable arrangements for the victim to provide input beyond a victim impact statement.

The bill adds post conviction DNA testing for purposes of establishing innocence to the definition of “critical stages” of the criminal proceeding about which a victim must be notified.

The bill clarifies when a victim must be notified of sentence modification matters, including probation modifications or a modification of a protection order.

A victim who turns 18 years of age may request that he or she become a point of contact for victim notification, but the victim’s designee may continue to receive notification as well, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

A victim of a crime that was committed before 1993 whose offender is still serving a sentence for the crime may request notification of future critical stages.

A victim will be permitted to provide a victim impact statement when the offender is referred to community corrections, and the victim has the right to provide a written statement. For transition cases, the victim has a right to make an oral statement to the community corrections board. On January 31, the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and referred it to the full House for 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed its Third Reading with amendments.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

HB 12-1052: Collection of Data from Certain Health Care Professionals and Those Eligible for the Health Care Service Corps

On January 11, 2012, Rep. Ken Summers and Sen. Betty Boyd introduced HB 12-1052 – Concerning the Collection of Health Care Work Force Data from Health Care Professionals. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill requires the director of the division of registrations in the department of regulatory agencies to implement a system to collect health care work force data from health care professionals who are eligible for the Colorado health service corps, from practical and professional nurses, and from pharmacists. The bill requires a voluntary advisory group designated by the director of the primary care office to recommend the structure of the data elements to be collected regarding specific information about each health care professional and his or her practice. The director is authorized to accept and expend any gifts, grants, or donations that may be available from any private or public sources for the implementation of the data collection system. On January 24 the Health and Environment committee approved the bill and referred it to the Economic and Business Development Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was referred to the Finance Committee, and then, unamended, to the Appropriations Committee.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

HB 12-1048: Relieving CBI from Duty to Perform Criminal Background Checks for Firearm Transfers

On January 11, 2012, Rep. Mark Waller introduced HB 12-1048 – Concerning Relieving the Colorado Bureau of Investigation of its Statutory Duties As a Point of Contact for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in Cases of Firearm Transfers. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Current federal law requires a licensed transferor of firearms to complete a background check of a prospective transferee through the national instant criminal background check system before transferring a firearm to him or her. Current state law requires the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to perform such background checks as a point of contact for the federal bureau of investigation. The bill eliminates this requirement of the CBI and makes conforming amendments as necessary. Assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Week of February 5, 2012 (No Published Opinions)

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and twenty-five unpublished opinions for the week of February 5, 2012.

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

Bankruptcy Court: Chapter 11 Postpetition Earnings Included in the Estate Revert to Debtor upon Conversion to Chapter 7

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado issued its opinion in In re Evans on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.

Debtor, the former president of two closely-held corporations, filed an individual Chapter 11 petition and later converted his case to Chapter 7. After conversion, the Chapter 7 Trustee sought to include in the Chapter 7 estate distributions Debtor received from the corporations postpetition, but pre-conversion. The Court concluded that Debtor had adequately demonstrated at trial that the distributions constituted “earnings” excluded from the estate under § 541(a)(6). The Chapter 7 Trustee, who bore the ultimate burden of persuasion, failed to demonstrate that any portion of the distributions were attributable to the “enterprise value” of the corporations’ assets rather than the Debtor’s services. The Court further concluded that, although an individual Chapter 11 debtor’s postpetition earnings are included in the estate under § 1115(a), those postpetition earnings revert to the Debtor upon conversion to Chapter 7 pursuant to § 348(f). The Court acknowledged that, by its terms, § 348(f) applies only to conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. Nevertheless, the Court concluded that the primary policy behind § 348(f)–to avoid penalizing debtors who first attempt a repayment plan–applied equally in cases which convert from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.

Other published Bankruptcy Court opinions can be found here. Unpublished opinions can be found here.

Bankruptcy Court: Unemployment Compensation Must Be Included in Calculation of Current Monthly Income and Projected Disposable Income; Not a Benefit under Social Security Act

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado issued its opinion in In re Gentry on Monday, December 19, 2011.

11 U.S.C. §101(10A)(B)

This case presented the question of whether debtors must include unemployment compensation in their calculation of current monthly income (“CMI”) on Form 22C, and in their calculation of projected disposable income (“PDI”) in their Chapter 13 plan. Debtors argued that the unemployment compensation is a “benefit received under the Social Security Act” and thus excluded from the calculation of CMI by 11 U.S.C. § 101(10A)(B). In determining an issue of first impression in this district, the Court analyzed the relationship between the Social Security Act and unemployment compensation, and concluded that it is not a benefit received under the Social Security Act. As a result, the Court denied confirmation due to Debtors’ failure to include the income in the plan and required an amended Form 22C and plan.

Other published Bankruptcy Court opinions can be found here. Unpublished opinions can be found here.

Janet Raasch: Competitive Intelligence – An Essential Component of Better Law Firm Decision-Making (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: This is the second section of a two-part article. Click here to read Part 1.

Competitive intelligence profiles

When preparing to meet with a potential client, lawyers often ask marketers or librarians to prepare a profile of the client.  “All too often,” said McDavid, “this is done just a few hours before the scheduled meeting – and we need to scramble.

“Even with very little lead time, you would be surprised at how much information you can turn up by simply visiting and mining the potential client’s website,” said McDavid.  “You should also search company or firm pages on social media sites.”

When you have a little more lead time to prepare – like for a proposal or the resulting beauty contest – then you can delve more deeply into client background.  Good sources for public companies include SEC filings.  Good sources for private companies include Dun and Bradstreet reports.

A good profile addresses some or all (depending on your time and research skills) of these categories:

  • Quick facts
  • Company overview
  • Business segments
  • Products/services
  • Business partners
  • Board of Directors
  • Key executives
  • Key developments
  • Representative clients
  • Legal issues and litigation
  • Locations
  • Case studies
  • Patent information
  • Marketing strategy
  • Competitors
  • Sources
  • News articles

Armed with this type of information, your lawyers and law firm are well-prepared to make good decisions about how to approach a potential client (or anyone else), and how to make a good impression once the contact takes place.

Competitive intelligence on people

Sometimes you need information about an individual rather than a company.  This person could be a client, a prospective client, a competitor, opposing counsel, a potential hire or a potential merger partner.  When you know something about the person you are meeting with, you can plan appropriately.

Sometimes, you need other kinds of information about people.  For example, you might need to track down a former employee or a potential witness.  “When such a person has gone ‘off the grid’ electronically, you might not have much to go on,” said Goater.  “This is where creativity comes into play.

“In one such case, a former executive had been gone from a company for five years,” said Goater.  “He had a common name, which made the search even more difficult.  Someone recalled him saying that he wanted to take over his family’s farm.  By using the farm subsidy database and narrowing the search by general geographic area and the man’s age, we were able to locate him for our client.”

Another reason to search for people is to acquire their contact information for use in a marketing database.  Good sources of contact information include telephone directories, professional directories and professional licensing agencies (if you know a person’s profession).  Online sources include a search on Yahoo! People.

Many of the commercial and general resources mentioned in the “companies” research section in this article work just as well for people.

“We often use a site called Jigsaw, owned by Salesforce” said Goater.  “It is a business-to-business contract database populated by marketers and salespeople around the country.  By contributing their contacts, users gain access to the database.  It includes 30 million contacts.  It is an especially good source for the contact information of individuals below the usual c-level executives that show up in most directories.”

If you know a person’s location, you can search local and regional media for mentions of their names and activities.  Social media – like Martindale Hubbell, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube — are also good resources.  So are blog searches.  Social media include contact information, but they also broaden your research with less formal “chat” about people, their activities and the companies they work for.

“In gathering information about people,” said Goater, “you want to use a wide variety of sources – and you want to be very careful to validate any information you find before you act on it.  There is a lot of faulty information out there.  There are also privacy concerns.”

Today, information about companies and individuals is widely available. In fact, you could easily drown in all the data.  The trick is to focus your search in light of your business goals.  With this information in hand, you are well-positioned to make good decisions about the future of your law firm – and its work.

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter, and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of keyword-rich content for the web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/8/12

On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and three unpublished opinions.

Unpublished

United States v. Apodaca-Garcia

Kirby v. King

Loggins, Sr. v. Hannigan

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