April 19, 2019

Archives for October 18, 2013

The 2013 Colorado Lawyer Satisfaction And Salary Survey — Part 6: Lawyers as Entrepreneurs? Getting Started With the X Factor.

rhodes(Click here for Law Week Colorado’s summary of the Survey.)

The Survey results tell us that lawyer unhappiness isn’t about working too many hours or weekends, or that we can’t take personal time off or work at home when we want to, and it’s especially not about the paycheck. Then what’s making the Survey respondents so unhappy?

It’s that general sense of malaise we label “stress” – that condition of our work lives that 94% of respondents said comes with the territory. Chronic and unrelenting  stress is the Old Normal; it’s what’s been slowly sucking the life out of us. In the New Normal, stress like that isn’t a given we need to put up with, it’s a signal that there’s something rotten in Denmark.

In her Law Week Colorado article on the Survey (“Could a Shift in Messaging Be the Answer?”), Sarah Clark, Counsel to Chief Justice Michael Bender, issued this challenge:  “Perhaps if we focused a little less on being anxious about how much we’re working, we could focus a little more on how to find meaning and gain purpose out of the nature of our work.” Maybe our occupation is inherently stressful, she says, but we could help ourselves by trying to “see things a little more as they really are.”

Suggesting that we’d benefit from new perspective in turn suggests that our stress might be self-generated – at least in part. How would we know? We would start by looking inside. Happiness is an inside job, and if stress is making us unhappy, it could be that our Old Normal outlook is the problem.

Gaining new perspective puts us on the path toward finding and sustaining soul satisfaction, which is the X Factor of career entrepreneurialism. Ultimately, the X Factor is less about the work we do than it is about how we’re creating our work lives. That’s why our quest for the X Factor begins with self-awareness.

“Self-awareness is the gentle motivator for change,” a friend of mine used to say. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” Socrates said. Yeah right, nice idea, but who’s got time for that? Take time for “Know thyself”? Sorry, I’m pretty sure I’ve got something going on that night.

Who’s got time for that? You do, if you want to become a New Normal lawyer. Self-awareness is your first entrepreneurial  power move. Make that commitment, and your unexamined life will get examined, big time.

The quest for the X Factor isn’t woo-woo, it’s the hard discipline of learning to think and believe and behave differently. It’s not just for the enlightened few, and it’s definitely not for the disinterested or faint-hearted. And until recently, it’s not something they taught us in law school. Believe it or not, that’s changing nowadays, but in the meantime the lawyers who accept this challenge are mostly blazing a new trail. That can be tough, but the lawyers who master this internal practice are also going to be the ones who master their law practice. They’ll be the X Factor lawyers, creating the New Normal.

That’s not for everyone, but it might be for you.

Kevin Rhodes is a lawyer in private practice who coaches and mentors other lawyers to love their work and their lives. He leads workshops for a variety of audiences, including the CBA’s Solo and Small Firm Section and the Job Search and Career Transitions Support Group. You can email Kevin at kevin@rhodeslaw.com.

Judges Appointed for Fifth Judicial District Court and Conejos County Court Benches

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced appointments to the benches of the Conejos County Court and the Fifth Judicial District Court.

Susan Broyles was appointed as county court judge in Conejos County, effective immediately. She will replace Hon. Mary Garcia, who resigned earlier this year. Ms. Broyles currently assists pro bono clients with various matters, including collections, torts, business matters, traffic infractions, and more. Prior to that, she taught reading and writing to disadvantaged children at an inner city school for ten years. She also worked as a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Corrections, and was a non-attorney county court judge in Conejos County before receiving her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Paul Dunkelman was appointed as district court judge for the Fifth Judicial District, effective November 30, 2013. His appointment is occasioned by the retirement of Hon. R. Thomas Moorhead. Mr. Dunkelman is currently a partner at Carlson, Carlson & Dunkelman, LLC, where he practices family, criminal, civil, and business law. He is also an adjunct professor at Colorado Mountain College and a prosecuting attorney for the Town of Leadville. Previously, he clerked in the Second Judicial District for Hon. Lynne Hufnagel and Hon. Paul Markson, Jr. He received his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Colorado Supreme Court: Court of Appeals Erred by Requiring Doctrine of Chances Analysis as Part of Spoto Test

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Jones on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

CRE 404(b)—Doctrine of Chances—Spoto Analysis.

The Supreme Court held that trial courts have no obligation to determine that evidence of other acts offered under CRE 404(b) and CRS § 16-10-301 satisfies the doctrine of chances to also satisfy the second and third prongs of the four-part admissibility test articulated in People v. Spoto, 795 P.2d 1314, 1318 (Colo. 1990). Although the doctrine of chances provides one theory pursuant to which other acts evidence may satisfy these two components of the Spoto analysis, trial courts have discretion to assess the relevance of other acts evidence under Spoto apart from the doctrine of chances. The court of appeals therefore erred when it held that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting other acts evidence without conducting a doctrine of chances analysis.

Summary and full case available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 10/16/13

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and seven unpublished opinions.

Cano-Manzanero v. Holder

OneSource Commercial Prop. v. City & County of Denver

United States v. Benford

Wilson v. Colvin

United States v. Ortiz-Quezada

United States v. Howard

Silver v. Vassel

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