May 20, 2019

Archives for November 15, 2012

Change Without Judgment — Wanting What We Want (Part 3)

[If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, go back and do it. They’re short, and you’ll be glad you did.]

Most of us are afraid to want what we want. What’s that about?

Maybe we’ve had a history of too many disappointments. Or maybe we’re holding onto some leftover childhood lectures and lessons:  don’t be selfish, who do you think you are, you’re not better than the rest of us, and so on.

If we hold an internal belief that says we can’t really have what we really want, then we aren’t going to have it. We’ll self-sabotage to make sure we don’t. The judgmental bully inside of us wins every time, until we learn to face it down and quit handing over our lunch money.

That’s not easy. It feels like we’re in for it if we do that. Our internal judges are powerful; they invoke strong emotions – fears of punishment for breaking the rules that stop us in our tracks. Really; we’re grown adults, and we feel that way.

How about we don’t? We can start by being aware. If you’ve got that “I can’t have what I want” thing going on inside of you, you might want to take 10 minutes to do a little exercise:  ask yourself if you feel that way, and then write about where that belief came from. It’s good to shed light on our internal ghosts – it makes them disappear.

Psychologists call that internal judgmental voice our Superego. It’s the voice inside (and sometimes outside, too) that tells us to get back in line, quit whining and wait our turn (which never comes). It’s good to quit whining, no doubt, but if we want to make big changes we need to break some rules, step out of line and take our turn instead of waiting for it.

We do that by making ourselves and what we want more important than the tattletale “I’m telling Mom, and you’re going to get it!” voice that says we can’t.

You might try on a new thought instead:  What if what you want is a unique expression of who you are, at your deepest core? What if getting what you want is a realization of your essence as a human being? I know that sounds high-fallutin’, especially if you’re used to being dominated by your Superego, but just give it try.

If nothing else, it’ll make you feel better, and that counts for a lot.

To be continued…

Five years ago, Kevin Rhodes left a successful 20+ years career in private practice to pursue a creative dream. He recently gave himself the title “Change Guru” to describe his work helping individuals and organizations to make transformative changes. He leads lead workshops on that topic for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. To learn more, see http://kevin-rhodes.com/.

Tenth Circuit: Preadoptive Parents May Possess Liberty Interest in Familial Association

The Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Elwell v. Byers on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

The Elwells had been foster parents to T.S. since he was three months old and were in the process of adopting him. After receiving a report that Ms. Elwell had emotionally abused a second foster child, the state department of Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS) decided to remove that child and terminate the Elwell’s foster care license. Officials then removed T.S. from the Elwell’s home with no prior notice.

A state court found that SRS should have notified the Elwells prior to the removal but did not consider returning T.S. to the Elwells until he had spent a year in another placement. After the state court refused to order the return of T.S. because of the disruption it would cause him, the Elwells filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against two SRS employees. The employees claimed qualified immunity and the district court granted summary judgment on a substantive due process claim, but denied it on a procedural due process claim.

Kansas law required 30 days notice before a foster child such as T.S. could be removed from his placement and provided for a court hearing at the foster parents’ request. The Tenth Circuit held that because this law mandated procedures, not outcomes, it did not convey a protected liberty interest to the Elwells.

The court did, however, find the Elwells had a protected liberty interest in familial association with T.S. based on the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. While typical foster parents do not possess such an interest, the fact that T.S. had been cared for nearly his entire life by the Elwells and that they were close to adopting him made them closer to being adoptive parents than foster parents. The court also found the Elwell’s constitutional rights were violated by T.S.’s removal without advance notice. Because no other Tenth Circuit or Supreme Court case had held that preadoptive parents have a liberty interest, the right was not clearly established, so qualified immunity applied. The court reversed the district court’s denial of summary judgment for the defendants.

Wheels of Justice Raised Over $310,000 to Benefit Children’s Hospital

The Wheels of Justice cycling team was the lead fundraising team at the 2012 Courage Classic bike ride to benefit Children’s Hospital Colorado. This was the third straight year that the Wheels of Justice team was the top fundraiser. Over the past seven years, the team has raised over $1.6 million for the benefit of Children’s Hospital Colorado.

“Because of the Wheels of Justice and their commitment to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders we are able to expand our Program and to serve more children and families,” said Dr. Hunger, the Chief of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders with Children’s Hospital Colorado.

To celebrate their success, the Wheels of Justice team toured the Children’s Hospital facility on Thursday, November 8, 2012. They also heard from a Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders patient family and doctor, gave thanks to their amazing sponsors and recognized this year’s team MVPs. “This is a great way for team riders to really see the incredible work done at Children’s Hospital Colorado and lets them connect with the patients and families who are directly impacted by their fundraising dollars,” said Wheels of Justice Co-captain Heather Purcell Leja.

To learn more about the Wheels of Justice cycling team, visit their website.

Changes to Local Rules for 10th Circuit Effective January 1, 2013

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published new local rules that will take effect on January 1, 2013. The court reviews its rules annually to identify places where language can be updated for clarity and to reflect technical advances and requirements. Several such changes were made for 2013.

In addition to clarifications and technology-related changes, certain requirements regarding attaching materials to docketing statements have been eliminated, and a new streamlined form was developed. Several other rules have been changed as well; a summary of the changes is available here.

For a PDF of the redline of the new rules, click here. For the clean version, click here. The new form is attached to the new rules. There is no change to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Jacqueline St. Joan to Speak on “My Sisters Made of Light”

Jacqueline St. Joan has worn many hats in the Colorado legal community: practicing attorney, judge, and law professor. During a legal career dedicated to domestic violence law reform, her numerous contributions have included being the first presiding judge in the Denver Protective Orders Court and cofounding Project Safeguard. Most recently, Ms. St. Joan has turned her talents to writing, culminating with her first novel, My Sisters Made of Light. The book was an immediate success, gaining recognition as a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards in the Literary Fiction category and as a book of the month by the American Association of University Women. My Sisters Made of Light is a fictional chronicle of social, political, and religious life in Pakistan. In a review of the book, the reviewer wrote:

Traversing the diversity of Pakistan’s distinct cultures and classes, My Sisters Made of Light successfully weaves past and present, foreign and familiar, and personal and political to create a compelling account of the devastating suffering and extraordinary heroism that exists in ordinary lives. In addition to vividly illustrating the risks and successes of human rights activism in Pakistan, My Sisters Made of Light depicts the heart-wrenching complexities that rest at the core of familial allegiances and alienation.

You can also find more information at Mysistersmadeoflight.com and jacquelinestjoan.com. As part of the Literary Lawyers series, Ms. St. Joan will discuss her book at the CBA-CLE offices on November 26, 2012. Her presentation will tackle such complex issues as Shariah courts, honor crimes, and Pakistan’s legal system. Join her live or via the live webcast.

CLE Program: My Sisters Made of Light with Jacqueline St. Joan (A Literary Lawyers Program)

This CLE presentation will take place on Monday, November 26, at 12:00 p.m. Participants may attend live in our classroom or watch the live webcast.

If you can’t make the live program or webcast, the program will also be available as a homestudy in two formats: MP3 audio download or Video On-Demand.

Tenth Circuit: Tribal Exhaustion Rule Applies to 25 U.S.C. § 1303 Habeas Petitions

The Tenth Circuit issued its opinion in Valenzuela v. Silversmith on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

Alvin Valenzuela, an enrolled member of the Tohono O’odham Nation (the Nation) accepted a plea agreement in which he waived his right to appeal his conviction and sentences. He later filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1303 seeking relief from tribal court convictions and his sentence. Section 1303 is part of the Indian Civil Rights Act. While Valenzuela’s petition was pending in federal district court, he completed his sentence and was released from prison. The district court concluded that Valenzuela’s claims were moot because of his release. Alternatively, it concluded that Valenzuela had failed to exhaust his tribal remedies before seeking habeas relief in federal court. Based on these alternative grounds, the district court dismissed Mr. Valenzuela’s § 1303 petition.

The Tenth Circuit chose to decide the appeal on the threshold, nonmerits issue of his failure to exhaust tribal remedies, rather than on the grounds of mootness. This allowed the court to avoid deciding whether it had subject matter jurisdiction and “difficult issues such as whether tribal court convictions are entitled to a presumption of collateral consequences and whether federal courts have authority under 25 U.S.C. § 1303 to vacate tribal court convictions.”

Valenzuela argued that § 1303 does not require exhaustion in the tribal courts. The court disagreed. While § 1303 does not explicitly state exhaustion is required, the tribal exhaustion rule applies to § 1303 petitions. The rule “provides that, absent exceptional circumstances, federal courts typically should abstain from hearing cases that challenge tribal court [authority] until tribal court remedies, including tribal appellate review, are exhausted.”

The court also found that because Valenzuela’s appeal waiver did not expressly waive his right to collaterally attack his conviction in tribal court, he had failed to exhaust his tribal court remedies by not filing a habeas petition in that court. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal and remanded for that court to dismiss it without prejudice.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 11/14/12

The Honorable M. Jon Kolomitz to Retire from Sixteenth Judicial District Court Bench

The Sixteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on Monday, December 10, 2012 to interview and select nominees for appointment by Governor Hickenlooper to the bench of the district court in the Sixteenth Judicial District. The Sixteenth Judicial District comprises Bent, Otero, and Crowley counties. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable M. Jon Kolomitz.

Judge M. Jon Kolomitz was appointed to the District Court bench on February 1, 1985. He became Chief Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District in July 1988. As the Chief Judge, Judge Kolomitz performs administrative duties overseeing court administration within the District. These administrative duties are in addition to his primary duties as a trial judge. As a District Judge, Judge Kolomitz hears felony criminal, domestic relations (including Dependency and Neglect cases), probate, mental health and civil cases.

Eligible applicants to fill the vacancy must be qualified electors of the Sixteenth Judicial District, and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available from the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Brian Boatright, and also from the office of the district administrator and the State Judicial website. Applications must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. on November 27, 2012.

Further information about the vacancy is available here from the Colorado State Judicial Branch.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 11/15/12

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published and 41 unpublished opinions on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

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