July 18, 2019

Archives for April 12, 2013

Ginny Lee Named Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year

Pro Bono Paralegal_Lee, GinnyGinny Lee has been named the Colorado Bar Association and the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association’s 2013 Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year.

Lee has worked as a nurse paralegal, focusing on medical malpractice, with Kennedy Childs for 16 years.

Since 2004, she has volunteered more than 1,500 hours as a CASA volunteer, or Court Appointed Special Advocate, in Jefferson and Gilpin counties.  As a CASA volunteer, Lee appears in court and speaks on behalf of child victims in abuse and neglect cases. Lee is known for her willingness to travel and always make herself available to the children she advocates for.

“I’m honored to be recognized as the Pro Bono Paralegal of the Year,” Lee said. “Entering a courtroom as a child can be scary or confusing. As a CASA volunteer, I’m glad that I can use what I know professionally to explain to them what’s going on, and I can be there for them as a support system — in or out of court.”

Additionally, Lee assists CASA with recruiting new volunteers.

“Ginny is a model volunteer for our organization, and the children we serve are the true beneficiaries of her hard work and dedication,” said CASA of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties Executive Director Leah Varnell. “Her motivation is to improve the lives of others, inspire hope for the future and speak for child victims who cannot speak for themselves.”

In 2010, Lee was named a 7Everyday Hero by 7News for her dedicated advocacy for abused and neglected children. She is an active member of the Colorado Association of Legal Support Staff and the Mile High Association of Legal Support Staff.

Lee will be honored on two occasions: on Monday, April 8, at the Colorado Supreme Court Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, and on Thursday, May 2, at the Paralegal Day Reception at the Warwick Hotel.

The Paralegal of the Year Award honors the paralegal whose efforts best exhibit a commitment to pro bono activities, serving the indigent with legal assistance in times of need. In recognition of her award a $1,000 donation will be made to a pro bono organization of Lee’s choice in her name. The award was started by the Rocky Mountain Paralegal Association in 2002.

SB 13-250: Amending the Provisions for Sentencing of Persons Convicted of Certain Drug Crimes

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced SB 13-250 – Concerning Changes to Sentencing of Persons Convicted of Drug Crimes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill creates a sentencing option for offenders convicted of certain drug felonies that allows the court to vacate the felony conviction and enter a misdemeanor conviction in its place if the offender successfully completes a community-based sentence.

For level 4 drug felonies, the bill creates an exhaustion of remedies requirement prior to the court sentencing the defendant to prison.

If an offender who is convicted of a level 4 drug felony is terminated from a community corrections sentence, the court shall hold a resentencing hearing or make written findings regarding the sentence.

The bill creates new felony and misdemeanor drug sentencing grids.

The bill amends the drug sentencing article short title and legislative declaration.

The bill assigns each of the drug crimes a new drug penalty based on the new felony and misdemeanor drug sentencing grids.

The bill prohibits a plea agreement that requires the defendant to waive his or her right to petition to have the conviction record sealed.

When a defendant is sentenced to probation for a drug misdemeanor, the court may impose residential drug treatment as a condition of probation.

The bill amends the intensive supervision probation program to allow defendants convicted of a misdemeanor to participate if they are assessed as higher risk.

The bill adds all drug felonies to the habitual sentencing schemes.

The bill makes conforming amendments.

The bill authorizes the statewide organization representing district attorneys the ability to receive, manage, and expend state funds in the manner prescribed by the general assembly on behalf of the district attorneys who are members of the organization.

Under current law, drug offenders convicted after July 1, 2011, have the opportunity to have their conviction sealed. The bill conforms those provisions to the new drug offense classifications.

The bill requires the division of criminal justice in the department of public safety to collect data on drug cases and issue a report by Dec. 31, 2016.

The bill was introduced on April 1 and it is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

SB 13-249: Establishing New Procedures for Independent Medical Examiners’ Reports in Workers’ Compensation Cases

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced SB 13-249 – Concerning Procedures Regarding Independent Medical Examiners’ Reports in Workers’ Compensation Cases. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill requires the division of workers’ compensation (division) in the department of labor and employment to review an independent medical examiner’s (IME) report within five days after its receipt and either issue a notice to all parties in the case that it has received the report or to notify the IME and all parties that there are deficiencies in the report. If the IME’s report is deficient, the IME has 20 days to remedy the defects and resubmit the report. If the IME does not timely respond to the notice of deficiencies, the division shall issue a notice that it has received the IME’s report and the insurer or self-insured employer shall file an admission of liability or request a hearing to contest the findings in the IME’s report within 20 days.

On April 3, the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Senate 2nd Reading Consent Calendar.

Since this summary, the bill passed Second Reading in the Senate with amendments, passed Third Reading in the Senate, and was introduced in the House. It is assigned to the Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee.

SB 13-248: Allowing the Attorney General or a District Attorney to Enforce Subpoenas Against Out-of-State Persons for Cases Involving Consumer Protection Violations

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sen. Irene Aguilar introduced SB 13-248 – Concerning the Authority of the Attorney General or a District Attorney to Enforce Subpoenas for Consumer Protection Violations Against Persons Located Outside Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

For the purposes of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act,” the “Refund Anticipation Loans Act,” the “Colorado Rental Purchase Agreement Act,” the “Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” and the “Colorado Credit Services Organization Act,” the bill states that the power of the attorney general or a district attorney to issue subpoenas includes the right to issue a subpoena to any person, whether in this state or elsewhere, who has engaged in or is engaging in violations of these acts.

For the purposes of the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act,” if the records of a person who has been issued a subpoena are located outside this state, the person shall either:

  • Make them available to the attorney general or district attorney at a convenient location within this state; or
  • Pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the attorney general or district attorney, or his or her designee, to examine the records at the place where they are maintained.

The attorney general or district attorney may designate representatives, including comparable officials of the state in which the records are located, to inspect the records on behalf of the attorney general or district attorney. The bill was introduced on April 1 and is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was referred, unamended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole for Second Reading.

SB 13-241: Establishing a Program in the Department of Agriculture for the Regulation of Industrial Hemp

On Monday, April 1, 2013, Sen. Gail Schwartz introduced SB 13-241 – Concerning the Creation of a Program in the Department of Agriculture to Regulate Industrial Hemp Production. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill repeals the industrial hemp remediation pilot program in the Department of Public Health and Environment, enacted by House Bill 12-1099, and replaces the pilot program with a program in the Department of Agriculture (department) that requires a person seeking to engage in industrial hemp cultivation for commercial purposes or to grow industrial hemp for research and development purposes to register with the department. The bill renames the Industrial Hemp Remediation Pilot Program Committee, established pursuant to House Bill 12-1099, as the Industrial Hemp Committee, specifies the qualifications and terms of office of members serving on the committee, and tasks the committee with assisting the department and the commissioner of agriculture (commissioner) in the development of the registration program.

The commissioner is authorized to collect fees from registration applicants to cover the costs of the program. Each registrant authorized to cultivate industrial hemp for commercial purposes must submit reports to the department certifying that the crop it plants complies with the delta-9 THC limits, as well as documenting that the registrant has a purchase agreement with an in-state industrial hemp processor.

The commissioner is to develop rules requiring registrants to submit crop samplings for testing and verification of delta-9 THC levels and establishing a process for waiving delta-9 THC limits.

Upon finding that a registrant violated the requirements of the program, the commissioner may impose a civil penalty on the registrant or deny, revoke, or suspend the registration.

The registration program repeals upon the enactment of federal legislation establishing a federal regulatory system for industrial hemp and the economic and financial viability of the industrial hemp industry, as determined by the commissioner in consultation with the industrial hemp committee.

The bill was introduced on April 1 and is assigned to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was referred, amended, to the Appropriations Committee.

SB 13-239: Prohibiting Certain Conflicts of Interest in the Provision of Probation or Case Management Oversight Services

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Sen. Jessie Ulibarri introduced SB 13-239 – Concerning Avoiding Potential Conflicts of Interest in the Provision of Services to a Person on Probation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill clarifies that an entity that provides probation or case management oversight services to a defendant cannot also provide offender treatment, chemical dependency education and treatment, or domestic violence or mental health services to the same defendant or hold a financial interest in an entity that provides such education or treatment services to the same defendant. A private probation provider is prohibited from directing a probationer it supervises to a particular treatment provider.

If a person reasonably believes that a private probation provider violated either of these prohibitions, the person may file a complaint with the provider’s licensing authority. If the licensing authority finds a violation, it shall:

  • Issue a warning for a first violation;
  • Suspend the license for a second violation; and
  • Permanently revoke the license for a third violation.

The bill requires a court that sentences a defendant to probation to notify the defendant of these prohibitions and the remedy for a violation. The bill was introduced on March 26 and is assigned to the Judiciary Committee.