July 16, 2019

Archives for May 23, 2013

Legal Community Donates More Than $54,000 in Food and Cash for Annual Drive

ROTB2-2Members of the legal community donated food and dollars totaling $54,145 to hunger relief organization Metro CareRing through the Denver Bar Association’s 14th Annual Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive, collecting 3,000 pounds more food than in the previous year.

Forty-eight law firms participated in the drive, collecting 10,093 pounds of food and $31,940 in cash donations. This year’s top donating firms are Berenbaum Weinshienk PC, the Castle Law Group, Faegre Baker Daniels, Katz, Look & Onorato PC, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Orten Cavanagh & Holmes LLC. The food drive was sponsored by the Denver Bar Association’s Community Action Network and ran April 15 to 26.

ROTB1-1“We’re thrilled that the legal community has stepped up this year to provide even more food to Metro CareRing,” said CAN Committee Chair Kris Reed, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. “Summer months can hard on families because school is out and kids are home for most meals. We’re pleased the Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive can help close the hunger gap in the metro area.”

Metro CareRing operates one of the largest food pantries in Denver. The food and money donated will translate to approximately 15,600 people provided with a five-day supply of food, according to Metro CareRing.

The Community Action Network Committee offers DBA members year-round opportunities to connect with the community and provide valuable legal, social and civic assistance to those in need.

Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act and Other Bills Signed by Governor

Governor John Hickenlooper has signed over 260 bills into law this legislative session. Most recently, he signed the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, a bill regarding expunging juvenile delinquency records, a bill to promote conservation related to water use determinations, and several other bills.

The governor signed 12 bills on Friday, May 17, 2013, and Saturday, May 18, 2013. Four of the bills signed on the 17th and 18th are summarized here.

Governor Hickenlooper also signed one bill on May 22, 2013. This bill was SB 13-213 – Concerning the Financing of Public Schools and Creating the “Public School Finance Act,” by Sens. Mike Johnston and Rollie Heath and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill is contingent on the passage of an as-yet unspecified statewide ballot measure increasing state revenue for K-12 education. It changes the way that students are counted for school funding, and also changes the formula for which districts receive funding. It also allows new funding per pupil, which amount will change depending on the revenue generated by the ballot measure. The bill provides supplemental funding to at-risk and charter schools. The funding laid out in the bill would require about $1.12 billion in state tax revenue from the ballot measure.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/22/13

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and six unpublished opinions.

United States v. Petersen

Crawford v. Addison

Rodriguez v. Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Staker v. Jubber

Kleynburg v. Holder

United States v. Hernandez-Mejia

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

May is Elder Law Month – a Message for Solo and Small Firm Types to Do Basic Succession Planning for Their Law Practices

CashmanBy Barbara Cashman

In 2013, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has a calendar brimming full of Elder Law Month activities in several states. Our bar’s “signature event” for seniors is Senior Law Day and this year’s program is scheduled for July 27, 2013, once again at the Denver Merchandise Mart. So if folks are feeling left out in Colorado, I urge my fellow solo and small firm attorney types to . . . make it a durable Power of Attorney day!?

Say what Barb? Sure, You’re another year older and another year wiser – but have you made any efforts to put your house in order? I presented a CLE in February called “Death of a Solo, Death of a Practice” and it was well-attended. I distributed my forms to several people as a result of the program, but I suspect there are others who are inclined to get started but need a nudge.  So ask yourself:

  • Are you planning on retiring someday or are you committed to die with your boots on?
  • To stretch that expression: what happens if your boots fall off before you die?
  • Who’s got your back in the event of disaster?
  • How will your clients’ interests (and derivatively yours) be protected in the event of incapacity or disability?
  • Do you intend to leave a big mess from your failure to plan for the inevitable or are you just willing to let that happen?

If I’m sounding cheeky, well it’s because I do like to find humor in end of life scenarios. Thankfully, I’m not alone.

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.
—Hafiz (14th century Persian-born mystic and poet)

Our death-denying culture takes these things far too seriously! Death is part of life, and for many of us who enjoy the benefits of longevity, disability – in the guise of short-term or long-term incapacity – is one of the byproducts of longevity. It’s time to face the music and recognize that every day is precious and a gift, and that we don’t know or have control over how many more days we will have. Here’s another line about our fear of mortality:

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

So if you would like to observe (no, I’m not going to use the term “celebrate”) Elder Law Month by making a plan for your law practice’s survival or for its demise, I can help. Get in touch with me and I can suggest some useful forms. The best place to get started however, is to identify a trusted colleague with whom you can share – perhaps mutually, that’s the best scenario – duties as each other assisting attorney (click here to read the recent Legal Connection article on succession planning by Amy Symons and Julie Davis). Bottom line is that you need to have documents in place. You can read posts from the current series on solo attorney succession planning on the CBA’s SOLOinCOLO blog.

Questions? You can reach me at barb@DenverElderLaw.org.

Barbara Cashman is a solo practitioner in Denver, focusing on elder law, estate law, and mediation. She is active in the Trust & Estate and Elder Law sections of the CBA and is the incoming chair of the Solo/Small Firm section. She contributes to the SOLOinCOLO blog and blogs weekly on her law firm blog.  She can be contacted at barb@DenverElderLaw.org.

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.

Judge Janice B. Davidson to Retire from Colorado Court of Appeals

Davidson,JaniceChief Judge Janice B. Davidson of the Colorado Court of Appeals will be retiring, effective October 1, 2013. Judge Davidson has been on the Court of Appeals bench since 1988, and has been Chief Judge since 2003.

Judge Davidson received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1969, and was an appellate attorney for the New York Legal Aid Society from 1969 to 1971. She then moved to Colorado, and was a Colorado State Public Defender from 1971 to 1973. She continued in public interest law by working, and worked with the Attorney General’s office for nine years prior to her appointment to the Denver County Court bench in 1985. She is the managing editor for CBA-CLE’s Colorado Appellate Handbook, and is a frequent presenter at CLE programs.

The Supreme Court nominating commission will meet on August 13 and 14, 2013, to interview applicants and select nominees for appointment by the governor. Eligible applicants must have been licensed to practice law in Colorado for the past five years and must be qualified electors in the State of Colorado.

Applications are due to Chief Justice Michael Bender, ex officio chair of the nominating commission, no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2013. Applications must be submitted electronically. Additional information regarding the application process may be found here, and contact information for the members of the nominating commission is available on the State Judicial website.

Changes to Colorado Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure Issued by Supreme Court

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court announced changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule Change 2013(05) amends Rules 17 and 24 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule Change 2013(06) creates a new Rule 255 of the Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the Attorney Mentoring Program.

The changes to the Crim. P. rules are minor; a statute is updated in Rule 17, and Rule 24 specifies that there must be at least one alternate juror for cases charging Class 1, 2, or 3 felonies or cases implicating C.R.S. § 24-4.1-302(1) if requested by the defendant or the prosecution.

The addition of C.R.C.P. 255 recognizes the new Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP), designed to help foster development of new lawyers or lawyers transitioning from civil service to private practice. The rule change details the goals of the program, discusses the services provided by CAMP, outlines responsibilities and necessary qualifications of the CAMP director, and discusses powers and duties of the CAMP director. As reported by Legal Connection, John T. Baker will be the first CAMP director.

For a complete list of the Supreme Court rule changes, and for more information about Rule Change 2013(05) and 2013(06), click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 5/23/13

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued 10 published opinions and 40 unpublished opinions.

People v. Hopkins

People v. Wilson

People v. Jenkins

In re Petition of R.C.

Miller v. City & County of Denver

People v. Bernard, Jr.

Fidelity National Title Company v. First American Title Insurance Company

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Samora

Oasis Legal Finance Group LLC v. Suthers

Hudak v. Medical Lien Management, Inc.

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.

Tenth Circuit: Prima Facie Case of Copyright Infringement Shown

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Enterprise Management Limited v. Warrick on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

In 1987, Mary Lippitt created and registered a diagram aimed to encapsulate and communicate the results of her research on the failures of complex organizational change initiatives. Sometime around 1996, Lippitt revised the diagram, and updated it slightly. Warrick, who teaches in the organizational development field, admitted receiving Lippitt’s diagram from a student. He incorporated and used a similar diagram in his course materials and in his consulting business. Although Warrick did not initially know Lippitt was the diagram’s creator, he later discovered this fact and began to credit her work at the bottom of his diagram.

Lippit sued Warrick for copyright infringement.  Warrick moved for summary judgment. As pertinent to this appeal, Warrick argued: (1) Lippitt could not prove she held a valid copyright on the diagram because she could not produce the diagram from the materials accompanying her 1987 registration to show its similarity to Warrick’s diagram. (2) Lippitt’s diagram was not copyrightable; and (3) Warrick’s diagram did not infringe on any protected expression in Lippitt’s diagram. After hearing arguments, the court granted Warrick’s motion. Lippit appealed.

On appeal, Lippitt contended she demonstrated a prima facie case of copyright infringement. The Tenth Circuit agreed.

There are two elements to a copyright infringement claim; a plaintiff must show both ownership of a valid copyright, and copying of protectable constituent elements of the work. La Resolana Architects, PA v. Reno, Inc., 555 F.3d 1171, 1177-78 (10th Cir. 2009). In construing the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, Lippitt, the Tenth Circuit found she demonstrated a prima facie case of both elements.

First, because there are many ways to express the ideas depicted in Lippitt’s diagram, the expression does not “merge” with the underlying ideas and were therefore eligible for copyright protection. Second, the Court saw protectable creative insight in Lippitt’s arrangement and choice of expression. Further, the parties’ arguments about the evidence of copying are perplexing because the parties seem to agree on the salient point: Warrick admitted he copied Lippitt’s diagram.