April 22, 2019

Archives for March 28, 2014

Probate Litigation Depositions – Not Your Grandmother’s Deposition

Probate Litigation ImageProbate litigation depositions can be many things – tense, perhaps emotionally draining for the deponent and the parties. But as David R. Struthers of Godfrey | Johnson PC illustrates, learning about probate depositions can be entertaining as well.

His tongue-in-cheek materials discuss the prudence of determining in each case whether it is desirable to “open the door of discovery,” despite the endless enjoyment every lawyer derives from conducting depositions. Amidst the humor are practical tips, such as applying to the probate court to use the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure in order to engage in discovery and requesting permission to videotape the deposition. Struthers is truly a splendid wordsmith who excels at cleverly crafting instructional materials disguised as humor. But his true talent is with the guitar.

In the video clip below, Struthers explains the difficulty in removing a troublesome client who returns to Spencer Crona’s door every single day.

Click here to view online.

CLE Homestudy: Probate Litigation Depositions – Not Your Grandmother’s PI Depo

This CLE presentation took place on March 4, 2014. Click the links below to order the homestudy — MP3 audio downloadVideo OnDemand

Bills Regarding Mineral Estates, Parent-Child Relationships, Property Valuation, and More Signed by Governor

On Tuesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 27, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper signed 31 more bills into law. Some of these are summarized here.

  • SB 14-009 – Concerning a Disclosure of Possible Separate Ownership of the Mineral Estate in the Sale of Real Property, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Dominick Moreno. The bill requires the disclosure of possible separate ownership of mineral estates in the sale of real property.
  • SB 14-062 – Concerning Reinstatement of the Parent-Child Legal Relationship, by Sens. Lucia Guzman & Ellen Roberts and Reps. Mike Foote & Bob Gardner. The bill allows parents whose parental rights have been terminated to have those rights reinstated in certain circumstances.
  • SB 14-080 – Concerning the Elimination of the List of Certain Additional Qualifications that Apply to Property Valuation Appeal Arbitrators, by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Rhonda Fields. The bill simplifies qualifications for arbitrators in property valuation appeals by mandating only that the arbitrator be experienced in property taxation and hold a Colorado real estate appraiser license.
  • 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, by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and Reps. Bob Gardner and Paul Rosenthal. The bill allows bank to use consumer credit information during or before employment for employment purposes.
  • HB 14-1060 – Concerning the Authority of a Municipality to Compensate Members of a Municipal Planning Commission, by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. Gail Schwartz. The bill allows municipalities to compensate members of planning commissions.
  • HB 14-1079 – Concerning an Increase in the Monetary Amount Allowed for the Limited Offering Registration Procedure Under the “Colorado Securities Act,” by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. The bill increases the limited offering cap for small public offerings from $1 million to $5 million per year.
  • HB 14-1082 – Concerning a Requirement for Written Notice of Cancellation of Individual Life Insurance Policies, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Written Notice Prior to the Lapse of Individual Life Insurance Policies, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill clarifies that life insurance policies can only be cancelled for reasons specified by statute, and written notice must be sent to the last known address of the insured prior to cancellation.
  • HB 14-1125 – Concerning the Circumstances Under which a Unit Owners’ Association May Disclose Contact Information for Members and Residents Under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act,” by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush and Sen. David Balmer. The bill allows owners’ associations to publish contact information for consenting members.
  • HB 14-1171 – Concerning Rules on Forensic Medical Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases, by Rep. Frank McNulty and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill eliminates the need for further rule-making regarding sexual assault examination consent forms.
  • HB 14-1183 – Concerning the Reinstatement of the Authority for Active Military Personnel to Practice Professionally, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. Matt Jones. The bill exempts active military personnel from automatic expiration of professional licenses.
  • HB 14-1223 – Concerning the Reclassification of Dolores County for the Purpose of Statutory Provisions Fixing the Salaries of County Officers, by Rep. Don Coram and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill reclassifies Dolores County as a Category V county.

To date, the governor has signed 113 bills into law. Click here for a list of the governor’s 2014 legislative decisions.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/27/2014

On Thursday, March 27, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and 33 unpublished opinions.

People v. Firm

People v. Cook

People v. Trammell

People v. Cardenas

People v. Becker

Ryan Ranch Community Association, Inc. v. Kelley

Estate of Bleck v. Martinez

Jehly v. Brown

Marin Metropolitan District v. Landmark Towers Association, Inc.

Summaries of 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: Unpublished Opinions, 3/26/2014

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and five unpublished opinions.

Davis v. Kutak Rock

Lately v. Colvin

Willess v. United States

Mann v. Turner Brothers

The Wackenhut Corporation v. Hansen

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

SB 14-159: Extending Deadline for Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to Develop Standardized Rules for Use in Processing Medical Claims

On March 17, 2014, Sen. Irene Aguilar introduced SB 14-159 – Concerning Implementation of Standardized Rules for Use in Processing Medical Claims, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Under current law, the medical clean claims task force in the department of health care policy and financing (department) is tasked with developing a standardized set of payment rules and claim edits for use by payers in processing medical claims for which coverage is undisputed. Carriers in the state are required to use the standardized payment rules and claim edits developed by the task force by January 1, 2014, for commercial health plans, and by January 1, 2015, for domestic, nonprofit health plans.

Since the clean claims task force is still developing the standardized set of payment rules and claim edits, the bill delays implementation until January 1, 2017, and requires all carriers to implement and use the standardized payment rules and claim edits by that date when processing medical claims under health plans issued in this state, other than those plans governed by federal law superseding state authority. The clean claims task force is to develop the complete set by December 31, 2014, and submit a report to the executive director of the department and to specified committees of the general assembly concerning the complete set.

The task force is to make the complete set of payment rules and claim edits available for public review and comment throughout 2015 and to modify the complete set as necessary based on public feedback. By January 31, 2016, the clean claims task force is to submit a final report to the executive director of the department and to specified committees of the general assembly and, throughout 2016, is to provide assistance to users preparing to implement the standardized payment rules and claim edits by January 1, 2017.

Additionally, the bill requires the executive director of the department to work with the United States department of health and human services to facilitate the use of the standardized payment rules and claim edits adopted in Colorado as the model for use nationally.

$128,188 is appropriated from the general fund to the task force for use in the 2014–15 fiscal year in developing and assisting with implementation of the standardized payment rules and claim edits.

The bill repeals the medical clean claims task force on December 31, 2016.

The bill is assigned to the Health & Human Services Committee.

SB 14-158: Revising Certain Statutes Governing the Conduct of Recall Elections

On March 17, 2014, Sen. Pat Steadman introduced SB 14-158 – Concerning the Harmonization of Statutory Recall Election Provisions with the Recall Rrovisions in the State Constitution to Reflect the Manner in which Contemporary Elections are Conducted, and, in Connection Therewith, Aligning Circulator Regulation and Petition Requirements with Initiative and Referendum Circulator and Petition Requirements. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill makes various changes to the laws governing conduct of recall elections (recall laws). The bill contains a nonstatutory legislative declaration. The bill defines terms used in statutory and constitutional recall election provisions. The bill prohibits a designated election official from suspending or avoiding the requirement that recall elections be conducted by mail ballot.

The bill:

  • Harmonizes the affidavit contents that recall petition circulators must execute with the affidavits that ballot initiative or petition circulators must execute;
  • Clarifies when the designated election official must certify a recall question to the ballot and call the election; and
  • Reorganizes for chronological clarity the provision setting forth the opportunity to resubmit signed petitions or circulator affidavits.

The bill applies the laws pertaining to initiative and referendum petitions and circulators to recall elections.

The bill conforms to the state constitution the statutory time within which a recall election date must be set by a designated election official and extends the election date in the case of protest and adjudication.

The bill:

  • Requires a designated election official to develop and submit to the secretary of state a mail ballot plan for a recall election;
  • Specifies the times during which the office of the designated election official functions as a voter service and polling center and mail ballots must be sent; and
  • Sets forth the number of voter service and polling centers required for each recall election.

The bill harmonizes with the state constitution the deadline by which a successor candidate must file his or her nomination petition and specifies the times within which such petitions must be verified and the recall election ballot certified.

The bill eliminates the statutory “prior participation requirement”, i.e. the condition that an elector cast a vote on the question of recall in order to have his or her vote for a successor candidate counted.

The bill:

  • Allows an elector who is registered in the political subdivision of a recalled elected official to file a protest alleging that a winning successor candidate is not qualified to assume the recalled officer’s office; and
  • Requires a vacancy election if the court finds that the successor candidate is not qualified.

The bill specifies that, in case of conflict between the recall laws and other provisions of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992”, the former controls.

The bill removes an obsolete reference to recall elections that appears under provisions governing petitions for candidacy in other types of elections. Previously, the statutes governing petitions for recall and petitions for candidacy were combined under a single statutory part. House Bill 95-1241 bifurcated the petition laws but neglected to amend this particular provision.

The bill applies the laws regarding recall of elected municipal officers to the recall of local government officers.

The bill makes conforming amendments.

The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

Since this summary, the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee amended the bill and referred it to the Senate Committee of the Whole for 2nd Reading.

SB 14-157: Requiring the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to Commission a Report Regarding the Value of U.S. Military Activities in Colorado

On March 17, 2014, Sen. Morgan Carroll introduced SB 14-157 – Concerning the Commission of a Report by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs that Examines the Comprehensive Value of United States Military Activities Centered in Colorado. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The department of military and veterans affairs (department) is required, not later than August 1, 2014, to solicit proposals through a request for proposals from prospective contractors interested in preparing a comprehensive written report (report) assessing the overall strengths and advantages of the state of Colorado in meeting the strategic objectives of the department of defense (DoD).

The bill requires the selected contractor to consolidate its analysis into a report supported by independently derived and verified information to be used as a tool for demonstrating to policymakers how military mission and defense industry retention and expansion and defense spending and investment in Colorado best serves DoD from the standpoint of both national security and cost effectiveness. The bill specifies the matters the report is required to analyze.

The bill sets forth minimum qualifications for the contractor to include in the request for proposals and also specifies minimum qualifications the contractor must possess.

Not later than October 1, 2014, the department is required to accept a proposal submitted by a particular contractor and award to the contractor whose proposal it accepts a fully executed contract to prepare the report.

In completing the report, the bill permits the contractor whose proposal is selected to enter into a contract with one or more individuals or entities as necessary to fulfill any portion of the work required under the contract.

The bill obligates the contractor to complete the report not later than April 15, 2015. The bill exempts the department from the state procurement code in issuing a request for proposals, selecting a contractor, executing the contract, or performing its other duties under the bill.

The bill directs the department, in consultation with the office of economic development, to prepare the request for proposals, select the contractor, and perform all other duties delegated to the department under the bill.

The bill creates in the state treasury the comprehensive report on the value of United States military activities fund. The bill specifies the source of moneys that will comprise the fund.

The bill is assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee.

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