August 19, 2019

Archives for March 15, 2013

Are Lawyers Unhappy? (Part 5)

rhodesEditor’s note: This is Part 5 of a series. For Part 1, click here; forPart 2, click here; for Part 3, click here; and for Part 4, click here.

You’re not happy with the course of your life in the law. Do you cope, or do you change?

There’s a certain connotation to the word “coping” that gives it a sour taste, and you may have seen the recent bit on Yahoo! about common coping strategies that don’t actually work, but coping has its uses. It can give us some short-term relief, and can set the stage for learning new thoughts, behaviors, and other life skills that help in the longer term.

Coping is less of a reach than change. We don’t have to launch out on the journey of a thousand miles, we can just start taking small steps. We can learn to notice how we’re reacting to things we don’t like, and learn new adaptive behaviors. In the short term, a less-than-happy situation becomes more bearable, and meanwhile we’re creating a platform for longer-term transformation.

After a while, though, coping can outlive its usefulness. I came across a great quote recently (unfortunately unattributed) that helps us know when we’ve reached that point: “Being realistic is just socially acceptable pessimism.” When coping becomes a guise for depression and defeatism in the name of being “realistic” about our lives, then it’s no longer working for us. Instead, it’s become a way of trying to dull the pain of a situation that will just keep eating away at our insides no matter how much we try to learn to grin and bear it.

At that point, coping turns into rationalizing, which is our way of trying to foist cheap substitute goods on ourselves. We don’t accept them because we want to; we do it because we don’t believe we can actually have what we really want.

So what do we do if we’ve reached this point? Often, we simply resign our souls over to the slow process of living lives of quiet desperation. Better if we can find a way to take the strong medicine and ask the hard questions, like the one Douglas Litowitz framed in the last chapter of his book The Destruction of Young Lawyers: if you’re unhappy in the profession, are you going to commit to reforming it, or are you going to walk away from it? Strong medicine indeed.

In my observation, most of us know when we get to that point, but the real challenge is admitting it. Plus, we don’t know those kinds of things in our heads, we know them in our hearts, and we’re rarely practiced in listening to the latter.

Fortunately, we can learn, but if we’ve reached that point, no amount of coping will teach us how.

To be continued…

Kevin Rhodes is on a mission to help lawyers be happy. No kidding. In his writing, workshops, coaching, and consulting, he helps individuals and organizations to make transformative changes. He leads workshops on change for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. Check out his website at

Job Salary and Satisfaction Survey Now Online – SURVEY ENDED MAY 7, 2013

Jackson-Salary-BLOCK02Colorado Bar Association CLE and Law Week Colorado have partnered with several other metro-area legal groups to present the 2013 Legal Salary and Satisfaction Survey. All Colorado legal professionals are encouraged to take the survey, which should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

The survey is creatively designed to change the line of questioning based on answers to previous questions. All attorneys are queried about continuing education and job satisfaction.

Click here to take the survey. (Note: Survey ended May 7, 2013)

The survey does not ask for any personally identifying information. The results will be made available this summer at an event co-sponsored by CBA-CLE.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/14/13

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and 44 unpublished opinions on Thursday, March 14, 2013.


People v. Chase

People v. Bryant

People v. Apodaca-Zambori

People v. Pollard

Krol v. CF&I Steel

People v. Sheth

Engeman Enterprises, LLC v. Tolin Mechanical Systems Co.

CTS Investments, LLC v. Garfield County Board of Equalization

Byerly v. Bank of Colorado

The summaries for these cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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

SB 13-174: Continuing the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council

On Monday, February 11, 2013, Sen. Gail Schwartz introduced SB 13-174 – Concerning the Continuation of the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In 2010, the general assembly created the Colorado food systems advisory council (council) to foster a healthy food supply available to all Colorado residents while enhancing the state’s agricultural and natural resources, encouraging economic growth, expanding the viability of agriculture, and improving the health of Colorado’s communities and residents by making recommendations to the general assembly. The council is scheduled to repeal July 1, 2013. The bill continues the council indefinitely. The bill also adds two members to the committee and ensures diversity among the existing members. On Feb. 21, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the Senate; it has been assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee in the House.

Since this summary, the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee referred the bill, unamended, to the Appropriations Committee.

SB 13-173: Continuing the Division of Gaming

On Friday, February 8, 2013, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 13-173 – Concerning the Continuation of the Division of Gaming, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations in the 2012 Sunset Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill implements the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ review of the division of gaming (division) within the department of revenue by:

  • Continuing the division for nine years, until 2022;
  • Amending certain definitions to make it clear that electronic versions of games and gaming equipment are permitted;
  • Creating a new type of license to be issued to suppliers of equipment used remotely or directly in connection with gaming, including equipment used to monitor, collect, or report gaming transactions data or to calculate adjusted gross proceeds and gaming taxes, and defining terms related to the new type of license;
  • Redefining “vintage slot machine” to exclude slot machines introduced on the market before 1984 but fitted with component parts manufactured in 1984 or thereafter;
  • Requiring the Colorado limited gaming control commission (commission) to promulgate rules concerning the conditions under which the division may authorize a retail gaming license applicant to own or possess slot machines;
  • Permitting the commission to promulgate rules regarding procedures for depositing and accounting for tips or gratuities;
  • Clarifying that the statute concerning possession of slot machines includes retailers among the persons who may legally possess slot machines; and
  • Making conforming amendments.
  • The bill also makes technical changes to portions of the “Colorado Limited Gaming Act,” including:

  • Removing from the considerations the commission is required to take into account in setting the gaming tax on adjusted gross proceeds of gaming the consideration of other “for-profit” forms of gambling in Colorado;
  • Allowing a licensee to offer a new game or technology without the commission’s prior approval if offering the game or technology in compliance with the commission’s rules regarding field trials of new games or technology;
  • Authorizing the commission to promulgate rules concerning the redemption of chips to replace the requirement that a licensee issue a check to a patron redeeming surrendered chips in any amount over $25; and
  • Updating the provision concerning limited gaming events sponsored by charitable organizations to reflect the vote at local elections held in the cities of Central, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek in November 2008 to expand the hours of operation for limited gaming.
  • The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee.

    SB 13-171: Sunset Review of Licensing of Money Transmitters

    On Friday, February 8, 2013, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 13-171 – Concerning the Continuation of the Licensing of Money Transmitters, and, in Connection Therewith, Continuing the Authority of the Banking Board and the State Bank Commissioner over Money Transmitters. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

    The bill implements the recommendations of the sunset review and report on the licensing of money transmitters by the banking board and the state bank commissioner by:

  • Extending the repeal date of the licensing of money transmitters until Sept. 1, 2024;
  • Specifying that the board may investigate any person believed to be engaging in money transmission without a license;
  • Extending the amount of time money transmitters have to notify the board of any increase in the number of locations at which they conduct business from 10 days to the next regularly scheduled periodic report;
  • Adopting some language from the “Uniform Money Services Act;”
  • Requiring securities that are used in lieu of a surety bond to be rated in one of the highest grades as defined by a nationally recognized organization that rates securities;
  • Requiring money transmitters to notify, and obtain written approval from, the commissioner to exchange securities used in lieu of a surety bond;
  • Requiring applicants to pay for prelicense on-site investigations;
  • Expanding the deadline to post a surety bond and pay the licensing fee from 90 days after approval of the application to 6 months after approval; and
  • Directing the board to hold a hearing after denial of a license application only if the applicant requests it.
  • On March 6, the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee approved the bill and sent if to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

    Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Second and Third Readings.