June 18, 2019

Archives for February 19, 2014

Online Marketing for Solo Practitioners and Small Law Firms

When you hear the words “online marketing,” what is your reaction? According to Martha Cusick Eddy, director of Catapult Growth Partners, some reactions she elicits with those words include “hype” and “I hate it.” Ms. Eddy and Phil Nugent, founder and managing director of NCG Strategic Marketing, recently spoke at CLE for the monthly Solo/Small Firm section luncheon, and stressed that although the phrase “online marketing” may evoke a visceral reaction, marketing is not hype.

In the clip below, Ms. Eddy explains that marketing is an opportunity to show potential clients why they should choose you to represent them by providing value-based marketing.

This snippet illustrates that online marketing can be a great tool for practitioners to attract and identify ideal clients. The program also discussed the reality of the business of law in today’s technological world, creating an online marketing strategy, the importance of search engine optimization, aspects of social networking, and more. To order the full video, click the links below.

CLE Homestudy: Online Marketing for Solo Practitioners and Small Law Firms

This CLE presentation took place on February 10, 2014. Click here to order the Video On Demand and watch the entire presentation online, or click here for the MP3 Audio Download homestudy.

Note: This program was not submitted for CLE credit.

Colorado Supreme Court: Fellow Officer Rule Allows Officer to Order Blood Draw on Suspected DUI Driver

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Grassi v. People on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

Fellow Officer Rule—Probable Cause—CRS § 42-4-1301.1.

In this suppression matter, the Supreme Court considered whether the police possessed probable cause pursuant to the fellow officer rule to draw blood from an unconscious driver following a motor vehicle accident, even though the officer who actually ordered the blood draws lacked independent probable cause. The Court held that the fellow officer rule imputes information that the police possesses to an individual officer who effects a search or arrest if (1) that officer acts pursuant to a coordinated investigation, and (2) the police possesses the information at the time of the search or arrest. Because the record here reflects that the police as a whole, pursuant to a coordinated investigation, possessed probable cause to believe that defendant had committed an alcohol-related offense at the time of the blood draws, the fellow officer rule imputed that probable cause to the officer who ordered the blood draws. Therefore, no Fourth Amendment violation occurred. The Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary and full case available here.

SB 14-117: Continuing Regulation of Real Estate Appraisers by Board of Real Estate Appraisers

On Monday, January 27, 2014, Sen. Cheri Jahn introduced SB 14-117 – Concerning the Reauthorization of the Regulation of Real Estate Appraisers by the Board of Real Estate Appraisers Through a Recreation and Reenactment of the Relevant Statutes Incorporating No Substantive Amendments Other than Those Approved During the First Regular Session of the 69th General Assembly. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Under Senate Bill 13-154, the general assembly purported to continue the board of real estate appraisers and its functions in regulating real estate appraisers through Sept. 1, 2022. However, due to an oversight, the July 1, 2013, repeal date in the statute that creates the board was not changed to reflect the legislative intent to extend the life of the board, and accordingly, the regulation of real estate appraisers repealed on July 1, 2013.

The bill corrects this oversight by changing the July 1, 2013, repeal date to Sept. 1, 2022, and reauthorizing the regulation of real estate appraisers by the board of real estate appraisers in the department of regulatory agencies.

On Feb. 21, the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee approved the bill and moved it to the Finance Committee.

SB 14-116: Narrowing the Acceptable Range of Valid Signatures on Statewide Initiatives

On Monday, January 27, 2014, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced SB 14-116 – Concerning the Range of Initiative Petition Signatures that Requires the Secretary of State to do a Line-by-Line Verification. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

For a statewide initiative to appear on the ballot, at least 5 percent of the registered electors in the state must sign the initiative petition. After gathering signatures, the initiative proponents submit the initiative petition to the secretary of state for verification. The secretary of state then verifies the petition through random sampling. If the random sampling establishes that a petition has less than 90 percent of the total required to be on the ballot, it is deemed insufficient. If it has more than 110 percent, it is deemed sufficient. But if the random sampling establishes that the number of valid signatures is more than 90 percent but less than 110 percent of the required total, the secretary of state examines and verifies each petition signature filed (line-by-line verification).

The bill reduces the range that prompts the line-by-line verification to 95 to 105 percent of the required total and makes corresponding changes to the percentage needed to be deemed sufficient or insufficient by random sampling alone.

The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee; the bill is on the committee calendar for Monday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m.

SB 14-103: Phasing Out Low-Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures

On Friday, January 24, 2014, Sen. Lucia Guzman introduced SB 14-103 – Concerning the Phase-Out of the Sale of Certain Low-Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill defines a “watersense-listed plumbing fixture” as one that has been:

  • Tested by an accredited third-party certifying body or laboratory in accordance with the federal environmental protection agency’s WaterSense program;
  • Certified by such body or laboratory as meeting the performance and efficiency requirements of the program; and
  • Authorized by the program to use its label.

Current law requires water-efficient indoor plumbing fixtures in only three contexts:

  • Builders of new single-family detached residences must offer the buyers toilets, faucets, and showerheads that meet the current standards of the WaterSense program;
  • Tank-type water closets and flushometer toilets in new state buildings must meet certain standards that are either less stringent than or as stringent as the current WaterSense standards; and
  • New construction and renovation of residential structures and office, commercial, or industrial buildings must meet standards that are less stringent than the current WaterSense standards.

The bill prohibits the sale of lavatory faucets, shower heads, flushing urinals, tank-type toilets, and tank-type water closets on and after Sept. 1, 2016, unless they are a watersense-listed plumbing. The bill amends or repeals conflicting portions of current law.

On Feb. 13, the Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee amended the bill and sent it to the full Senate for review on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Second Reading, with amendments.

SB 14-102: Allowing Financial Institutions to Use Consumer Credit Information for Employment Purposes

On Friday, January 24, 2014, Sen. Jessie Ulibarri introduced SB 14-102 – Concerning the Addition of Employment Positions Held at Financial Institutions to the Circumstances Under Which an Employer May Use Consumer Credit Information for Employment Purposes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Under current law, an employer may use consumer credit information for employment purposes if the information is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job. “ubstantially related to the employee’s current or potential job” is defined in statute to mean when the position “[c]onstitutes executive or management personnel or officers or employees who constitute professional staff to executive and management personnel”.

Current law also governs circumstances under which an employer may require a credit report, including when the information is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job, when the employer is a bank or financial institution, or when the report is required by law.

To ensure that a bank or financial institution authorized to require a credit report may then use the credit report, the bill allows bank or financial institution employers to use consumer credit information for employment purposes by amending the definition of “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job” to include positions held at banks or financial institutions.

The bill was approved by the full Senate on Friday, Feb. 10, on a 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused vote. The bill is assigned to the House Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Committee.

SB 14-098: Clarifying Statutory Language Regarding Crimes Against At-Risk Elders

On Friday, January 24, 2014, Sen. Rachel Zenzinger introduced SB 14-098 – Concerning Clarifications to Statutory Language on Crimes Against At-Risk Elders. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

As amended, the bill adds language that allows for “other thing of value” to the current definition of exploitation of at-risk elders, which currently includes “money, assets, or property”. Language is added to the definition of “abuse” to include “exploitation”. Language confining the action to someone “who exercises authority over an at-risk elder” is removed from the definition of “undue influence”.

Instead of referencing the crime of theft, the bill establishes a new crime of criminal exploitation of an at-risk elder. Reporting requirements related to the mistreatment, neglect, or exploitation of at-risk elders is modified so that the reports no longer have to be forwarded to the district attorney’s office, but rather to a local law enforcement agency or county department of social services.

The bill was amended in the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor on 2nd Reading; the bill passed out of the Senate on Friday, Feb. 10 on a 34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused vote. The bill is assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/18/2014

On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

Garrett v. Principal Life Insurance Co.

Garrett v. Principal Life Insurance Co.

Morrison v. Addison

Thomas v. Chester

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

In Memoriam: Denver Probate Judge Field C. Benton

Former Denver Probate Judge Field C. Benton passed away last week at the age of 87. Judge Benton received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Colorado, and he was admitted to practice in Colorado in 1951. Judge Benton’s true calling was the law, and he served as a lawyer, judge, and senior judge for over 40 years. Additionally, he served in both the U.S. Army and the Navy. He was passionate about fly fishing and enjoyed spending time outdoors.

A memorial service for Judge Benton will be held on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St. in Denver. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Denver Dumb Friends League, Brookdale Hospice, or a charity of your choice.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 2/18/14

On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued one published opinion.

Grassi v. People

The summary for this case is 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 14-1153: Requiring Defendants in All Civil Actions to Pay Attorney Fees if Action Dismissed Prior to Trial

On January 17, 2014, Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced HB 14-1153 – Concerning Attorney Fees when Action is Dismissed Prior to Trial. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In any tort action filed as a result of death or injury to person or property, current law requires a court to award a defendant attorney fees if the case is dismissed on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12 (b) of the Colorado rules of civil procedure. The bill extends the requirement to pay attorney fees to all civil actions. The CBA LPC voted to oppose the bill. The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee; the bill is scheduled for committee review on Tuesday, Feb. 18 “Upon Adjournment.”

HB 14-1130: Adding Requirements for Disbursement of Moneys Paid for Fees and Costs in Foreclosure

On January 16, 2014, Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri introduced HB 14-1130 – Concerning the Disposition of Moneys Charged to Borrowers for Costs to be Paid in Connection with Foreclosure. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Current law is silent on when and how fees for court filings, published notices, and other costs of foreclosure are to be calculated and paid and, if overpaid, refunded. The bill specifies that all costs and fees charged to a borrower must be accurately accounted for and that any overpayments based on prepayments or estimates must be promptly refunded to the borrower.

The bill was amended in the Local Government Committee and on the House floor on 2nd Reading; the bill passed out of the House on Friday, February 11 on a 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused vote. The bill is assigned to the Senate Local Government Committee.