August 14, 2018

Archives for February 6, 2013

John T. Baker Named Director of New Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program

BakerJohnOn Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that attorney John T. Baker was named the director of the new Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP) in the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. The CAMP program is designed to increase training of new lawyers and provide them more support in order to further one of the main goals of the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession.

Mr. Baker is currently a sole practitioner in Denver, concentrating his practice on complex litigation and public interest law. Prior to that, he worked at Bragg & Baker, a plaintiff’s personal injury firm, where he specialized in products liability. Mr. Baker is active with the Denver and Colorado bar associations, and he was president of the DBA in 2008-2009. He also teaches frequently on the topics of professionalism and litigation.

As the director of CAMP, Mr. Baker will partner new lawyers in their first three years of practice with experienced attorneys in order to foster pride in the profession, excellence in the courts, and strong relationships between the bench and bar and the public. Mr. Baker will begin as director on February 25, 2013.

New Self-Help Centers Open for Pro Se Litigants in Sixth and Twenty-Second Judicial Districts

On Tuesday, February 5, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the opening of self-help centers for pro se litigants in the Sixth and Twenty-Second Judicial Districts. The centers are in Durango and Cortez and are available for civil litigants.

The centers are part of the Judicial Branch’s program to address the need to provide legal services to people who cannot afford attorneys but have too many assets to qualify for legal aid. The centers are intended to ease the strain on court personnel who must spend time assisting pro se litigants.

Office hours for the Durango center are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Hours for the Cortez center are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on the self- help centers, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Home Rule Municipality Cannot Promulgate Laws that Conflict with State Law on Matters of Statewide Concern

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Webb v. City of Black Hawk on Monday, February 4, 2013.

Legality of Banning Bicycles on City Streets—Home-Rule Municipality—Local Government Law—Traffic Regulations—CRS § 42-4-109(11)—Matter of State and Local Concern—Preemption.

In this appeal from the Gilpin County District Court, petitioners Jamie Webb, Jeffrey Hermanson, and Michaleen Jeronimus challenged the legality of the City of Black Hawk’s ordinance banning bicycles on certain city streets. Petitioners, a group of bicyclists, were cited and fined for riding their bikes on Gregory Street in Black Hawk, the only street providing access through town from the state highway to Central City. The bicyclists argued that Black Hawk, as a home-rule municipality, lacked the authority to prohibit bicycles on local streets absent a suitable alternative bicycle route as provided by state statute. Both the trial and district courts ruled in favor of Black Hawk, finding that the city had the authority to ban bicycles through both its home-rule and police powers.

The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Black Hawk’s ordinance banning bicycles is a matter of mixed state and local concern, and conflicts with and is preempted by state law. As a home-rule municipality, Black Hawk may enact traffic regulations that cover the same subject matter as the model traffic code, but it may not promulgate regulations that conflict with state statute. Black Hawk’s ordinance banning bicycles on city streets is in conflict with CRS § 42-4-109(11), which requires any municipal bike prohibition to have an available alternate path within 450 feet. Because Black Hawk’s ordinance conflicts with a specific statutory provision in a matter of mixed state and local concern, it is preempted.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Out-of-State Counsel Should be Disqualified from Representing Plaintiff Pro Hac Vice when Attorney at Out-of-State Firm Consulted with Defendant

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Liebnow v. Boston Enterprises, Inc. on Monday, February 4, 2013.

Pro Hac Vice Admission—Colo. RPC 1.7 and 1.10—Confidential Client Information.

The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order disqualifying plaintiff’s motion for pro hac vice admission of out-of-state counsel, where defense counsel previously had consulted out-of-state counsel at the same firm on the same case. The Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that (1) the consultation between defense counsel and out-of-state counsel concerned confidential information, which created a conflict under Colo. RPC 1.7(a)(2); and (2) the conflict was not waivable under Colo. RPC 1.7(b) because allowing the consulted attorney to represent plaintiff would undermine the fairness of the trial. The Court further held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in imputing the conflict to the rest of the firm under Colo. RPC 1.10 and disqualifying the firm.

Summary and full case available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/4/13

On Monday, February 4, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and eleven unpublished opinions.

Scott v. Rubio

United States v. Copeland

Robles v. Amarr Garage Doors

Horton v. Martin

United States v. Zendejas

Robles v. State Farm Insurance

Espinoza v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections

Miller v. Province

Braun v. St. Pius X Parish

United States v. Dudley

Mack v. Falk

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

HB 13-1041: Setting Parameters for Transmission of Records Under the Colorado Open Records Act

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Sen. John Kefalas introduced HB 13-1041 – Concerning Procedures Governing the Transmission of Public Records that are Copied in Response to a Request for Inspection of Such Records Under the “Colorado Open Records Act.”  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Upon request by a person seeking a copy of any public record for which a right to inspection exists under the “Colorado Open Records Act” (CORA), the records custodian must transmit a copy of the record by U.S. mail or by any other practicable means of delivery. No fees related to transmission may be charged to the record requester for transmitting public records via electronic mail.

The custodian shall notify the record requester that a copy of the record is available but will only be sent to the requester once the custodian receives payment for postage if the copy is transmitted by United States mail, or payment for the cost of delivery if the copy is transmitted other than by United States mail, and payment for any other supplies used in the mailing, delivery, or transmission of the record and for all other costs associated with producing the record. Upon receiving such payment, the custodian shall send the record to the requester as soon as practicable but no more than three business days after receipt of such payment.

On Feb. 1, the House amended and approved the bill on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the House.

HB 13-1040: Changing the Way in Which PERA Benefits are Calculated

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Rep. Kevin Priola introduced HB 13-1040 – Concerning an Increase in the Number of Years Used to Calculate the Highest Average Salary of a Member of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association for the Purpose of Determining the Amount of the Member’s Retirement Benefit. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Current law averages the three highest annual salaries of a member of the public employees’ retirement association (PERA) when calculating that member’s retirement benefit amount. The bill increases the number of highest annual salaries used from three to seven for anyone who was not a member, inactive member, or retiree of PERA as of Dec. 31, 2013. The bill is assigned to the Finance and Appropriations Committees.

HB 13-1038: Facilitating Voting by Youth Offenders Who Will Turn 18 While in Custody of Youth Corrections

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Rep. Paul Rosenthal introduced HB 13-1038 – Concerning the Voting Rights of Individuals in the Custody of the Division of Youth Corrections within the Department of Human Services This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In the case of any individual confined to a juvenile facility and in the custody of the division of youth corrections (division) in the department of human services who is 18 years of age or older on the date of the next election, the bill requires the administrator of the facility in which the individual is confined to facilitate the registration for voting purposes of, and voting by, the individual. In connection with this requirement, the bill requires the administrator to provide the individual information regarding his or her voting rights and how the individual may register to vote and cast a mail or mail-in ballot, provide the individual with voter information materials upon the request of the individual, and ensure that any mail or mail-in ballot cast by the individual is timely delivered to the designated election official.

To facilitate the provision of identification documents required to enable such individuals to register to vote and to cast a ballot, the bill requires the administrator to collaborate with the secretary of state to compile a list of documents and forms of identification that are in the possession of the division or that individuals in the custody of the division are likely to have in their possession that would constitute an acceptable form of identification permitting such individuals to register to vote, cast a ballot at a polling place, or cast a mail ballot. The bill further requires the administrator and the secretary of state to post the list of documents and forms of identification in a prominent place on the public web sites maintained by the department of human services and the secretary, respectively. The bill also requires the secretary to provide notice to the county clerk and recorders as well as other designated election officials that these documents and other forms of identification constitute an acceptable form of identification permitting such individuals to exercise their voting rights as specified in the bill.

The bill exempts an administrator from any legal restriction on the number of mail or mail-in ballots an eligible elector may deliver in person to the designated election official. On Jan. 23, the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee for consideration of the Fiscal Impact to the state.

HB 13-1036: Modifying Law Pertaining to Local Improvement Districts

On January 9, 2013, Rep. Jonathan Singer introduced HB 13-1036 – Concerning the Authority of a Local Improvement District.  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill modifies certain provisions of the law governing county and city and county local improvement districts (districts) to make the provisions consistent with the law governing improvement districts. The bill allows a district in which a sales tax is levied to include noncontiguous areas.

The bill allows a district to use sales tax revenues for the organization, promotion, marketing, and management of public events. It further specifies procedures for a property owner to petition for inclusion in or exclusion from a district. On Jan. 23, the Local Government Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee to deal with the fiscal impact to the state.

HB 13-1035: Increasing the Number of Judges in the Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Gail Schwartz introduced HB 13-1035 – Concerning an Increase in the Number of Judges in Certain Judicial Districts.  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill increases the number of judges in the 5th judicial district from five to six and in the 9th judicial district from four to five. On Feb. 1, the Appropriations Committee amended the bill and sent it to the floor of the House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed Second Reading in the House with amendments.