July 22, 2019

Archives for May 9, 2013

February 2013 Bar Exam Results Released this Morning

The Colorado Supreme Court posted the results of the February 2013 bar exam this morning. Congratulations to the 275 people who passed the bar! Welcome to Colorado’s legal community.

Of the 275 people who passed February’s bar exam, 36 were from University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and 12 were from CU Law School. There was a 65 percent pass rate from University of Denver and a 57 percent pass rate from CU.

There were 23 people who took the February bar from “national” schools (Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Duke, Michigan, Chicago, California  Berkeley, Virginia, and Texas). The pass rate for students from “national” schools  was 100 percent. The pass rate for all others was 68 percent, or 204 out of 301.

We at CBA-CLE wish all of you the best of luck on the beginnings of your careers. We hope to meet you in our classroom soon. (Don’t forget: if you haven’t stopped by already, you are required to take our Practicing with Professionalism course. This is a mandatory program and is a condition of admission to the Colorado Bar. Click here to find a class.)

The Impact of Colorado’s Civil Unions Act on Estate Planning

EmilyBloedelBy Emily L. Bloedel

In the past twenty years, Colorado has gone from being dubbed the “hate state” for its discrimination against same-sex individuals (See Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)) to allowing civil unions. Beginning at midnight on May 1, 2013, same-sex couples will be able to enter into civil unions. A number of legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are granted to spouses under the law apply to parties to a civil union.

These changes include: the ability to inherit real or personal property from a party in a civil union under the probate code; priority for appointment as a conservator, guardian, or personal representative; survivor benefits; the ability to file a complaint about the care or treatment of a party in a civil union in a nursing home; rights related to declarations concerning the administration, withholding, or withdrawing of medical treatment, proxy decision-makers and surrogate decision-makers, CPR directives, or directives concerning medical orders for scope of treatment forms with respect to a party to a civil union; rights concerning the disposition of last remains of a party to a civil union; and the right to make decisions regarding anatomical gifts (C.R.S. 14-15-101 et seq).

The impact that the new Act will have on estate planning is not yet clear. The previous norm in Colorado for same-sex couples, designated beneficiary agreements, may no longer be necessary for an individual in a same-sex relationship to dispose of his or her property as desired and allow for his or her partner to make important medical decisions. The Act makes it clear that, for the most part, a “party to a civil union has the benefits, protections, and responsibilities under law as are granted to spouses” (C.R.S. 14-15-106 (1)).

The legislature has made it clear that for estate planning purposes, if a partner in a valid civil union dies intestate, his or her partner can now inherit via the intestacy statute. Although the full extent of the benefits to same-sex couples remains to be seen, the best way for any partner to a civil union to ensure the desired disposition of his or her property, or that the proper person handles decision-making when the partner is no longer able, remains, like any marriage, in informing loved ones of his or her wishes and creating valid estate planning documents.

Emily Bloedel joined Felser, P.C. in October 2012 as an associate attorney and can be reached on LinkedIn. She received her bachelor’s degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Colorado and graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2012. She is licensed in Colorado. While in law school, Emily was a traveling oralist on the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot team and served on the board of editors of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. She also mediated small claims and FED cases through the Mediation-Arbitration Clinic. She enjoys playing the koto (a traditional Japanese instrument), reading, and traveling. She is a contributor to the DBA Young Lawyers blog, where this post originally appeared.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 5/9/13

On Thursday, May 9, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and 30 unpublished opinions.

People v. Perez

People v. Sterns

People v. Luna, Jr.

People v. Doyle

People v. Zubiate

Cox v. People

Meza v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

Town of Milliken v. Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas On-Shore LP

People in the Interest of T.E.R.

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.

HB 13-1325: Establishing THC Blood Levels for Purposes of DUI Law

On May 2, 2013, Rep. Rhonda Fields introduced HB 13-1325 – Concerning Penalties for Persons who Drive While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In any DUI prosecution, if at the time of driving or within a reasonable time thereafter, the driver’s blood contains five nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter in whole blood, as shown by analysis of the defendant’s blood, such fact gives rise to a permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of one or more drugs.

Under current law, in any prosecution for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, if at the time of the commission of the alleged offense, or within a reasonable time thereafter, as shown by analysis of the defendant’s blood or breath, there was 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or if there was at such time 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, it is presumed that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol. The bill removes this presumption and states instead that such fact gives rise to a permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.

The bill removes instances of the term “habitual user” from the traffic code.

The bill was introduced on May 2 and approved, with amendments, by the Judiciary Committee on that same day. On May 3, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill and sent it to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading. 2nd Reading is scheduled for Monday, May 6.

Since this summary, the bill made it through Second Reading unamended and passed Third Reading in the Senate.

Tenth Circuit: Judgment Against Individual for Participation in Telemarketing Scheme Affirmed

The Tenth Circuit published its opinion in Federal Trade Commission v. Chapman on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

This consumer protection action was brought by the Federal Trade Commission and four states against several individual and corporate defendants who marketed and sold to consumers grant-related goods and services with false representations that the consumers were guaranteed or likely to receive grants. After the claims against the other defendants were settled or adjudicated, the district court held a bench trial on the remaining claim against Meggie Chapman. Following the trial, the court found that Ms. Chapman violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule by providing substantial assistance to the telemarketing defendants while knowing or consciously avoiding knowing of their deceptive telemarketing practices. The court ordered a permanent injunction and $1,682,950 in monetary damages against Ms. Chapman. The court also denied Ms. Chapman’s post-judgment motion to alter or amend the judgment or, alternatively, for remittitur. Ms. Chapman appealed.

It is undisputed the Kansas defendants violated § 310.3(a)(2) by misrepresenting material aspects of the grant-related goods or services they sold. Thus, the only disputed issues are (a) whether Ms. Chapman provided substantial assistance to the Kansas defendants and (b) whether Ms. Chapman knew or consciously avoided knowing of their misrepresentations.

Regardless of the standard of review, the Tenth Circuit concluded Ms. Chapman played an integral part in the Kansas defendants’ telemarketing scheme. The Court found no error in the district court’s determination that Ms. Chapman provided substantial assistance to the Kansas defendants. Additionally, the Tenth Circuit concluded that district court’s finding that Ms. Chapman knew or consciously avoided knowing of the Kansas defendants’ misrepresentations was supported by the record and was not clearly erroneous.

Ms. Chapman argued in the alternative that the district court erred in denying her post-judgment motion to alter or amend the judgment or for remittitur. She argued that if she knew or consciously avoided knowing of the Kansas defendants’ misrepresentations, this did not occur until some time during the course of their business relationship, and thus the damages award should not have included the entire amount she billed to the Kansas defendants from the start of their relationship.

In denying the post-judgment motion, the district court first noted that a motion to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59(e) may only be granted under certain limited circumstances, such as when there is a need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Similarly, remittitur is only appropriate if the award is so excessive that it shocks the judicial conscience and raises an irresistible inference that passion, prejudice, corruption, or other improper cause invaded the trial. The Tenth Circuit was not persuaded the district court abused its discretion by denying Ms. Chapman’s postjudgment motion to reduce the amount of damages. Accordingly, under this deferential standard of review, the Court AFFIRMED the district court’s denial of post-judgment relief.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/7/13

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and seven unpublished opinions.

Olivio v. Crawford Chevrolet

United States v. Seybels

United States v. Osby

Jensen v. Utah Court of Appeals

United States v. Patterson

United States v. Lagunas

Roberts v. America’s Wholesale Lender

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