August 21, 2019

Archives for May 28, 2014

Creative Solutions in the Legal Profession

“Creativity is the soul of the scholar.” -Nnamde Azikiwe, First President of Nigeria

The practice of law is filled with complex problems, and clients frequently ask their attorneys to present creative solutions. Likewise, new attorneys are often tasked with finding creative solutions by senior attorneys. Creativity can be liberating, but it can also be risky—how far is too far to stray from the tried and true path?

Creative filings can lead to sanctions designed to prevent frivolous proceedings. Frivolous proceedings can lead to disciplinary proceedings for violations of Colo. RPC 3.1, which states that a lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding unless there is a basis in law or fact for doing so that is not frivolous. So how can a lawyer develop his or her creativity without violating any rules?

CLE is hosting a panel discussion on June 4, 2014, between Byeongsook Seo, a litigation attorney; Jonathan H. Steeler, a transactional attorney; and Hon. Jim S. Miller, a judge. These three panelists have very different backgrounds, but all three exercise creativity in their practices. They will present several scenarios in order to develop creative case strategies from their unique perspectives.

Creativity can open doors for new attorneys and experienced attorneys alike. Join us on June 4 for this interesting panel discussion about the benefits of creativity and the bounds of duty. Click the links below or call (303) 860-0608 to register.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” -Steve Jobs

CLE Program: Creative Solutions in the Legal Practice

This CLE presentation will take place on June 4, 2014. Click here to register for the live program and click here to register for the webcast. You can also register by phone at (303) 860-0608.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here — MP3 audio downloadVideo OnDemand

Todd Vriesman Appointed to District Court in First Judicial District

Todd_VriesmanOn Friday, May 23, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced the appointment of Todd Vriesman to the district court bench in the First Judicial District. His appointment is effective July 1, 2014, upon the retirement of Hon. Jack W. Berryhill.

Vriesman is currently Of Counsel with Montgomery, Kolodny, Amatuzio & Dusbabek, LLP. He practices in the areas of insurance coverage and commercial, real estate, banking, construction, and employment litigation. He litigates claims involving large insurance losses, banking and corporate disputes, representing client interests in bankruptcy, and more. Vriesman received his J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 1981, and clerked for Hon. Alfred A. Arraj after law school. He also practiced for several years as the founder of a boutique law firm, and was at Kirkland & Ellis prior to joining Montgomory, Kolodny, Amatuzio & Dusbabek. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Colorado, Nebraska, and Arizona; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 9th and 10th Circuits; and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 5/27/2014

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued five published opinions.

Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association

Finney v. People

People v. McIntyre

Robinson v. Legro

People v. Begay

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.


Colorado Supreme Court: Ordinance Comports with Due Process Where it Bears Reasonable Relationship to Legitimate Government Interest

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

Homeowners Association—Municipal Corporations—Police Power and Regulations—Constitutional Law—Due Process.

The Supreme Court considered whether a municipality may constitutionally exercise its police powers to undertake a road improvement project that eliminates parking on the municipality’s rights-of-way near a condominium. An ordinance comports with due process where it bears a reasonable relationship to a legitimate government interest. This inquiry turns on the reasonableness of the relationship between the ordinance and the government objectives to be achieved—not the burden on the complaining party or the availability of less burdensome alternatives. The Court held that the ordinances in this case were a reasonable exercise of the municipality’s police power because they were reasonably related to the municipality’s objectives of improving traffic safety, improving water drainage, and remedying a missing portion of a recreational bike path. Accordingly, the Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and remanded the case to the court of appeals for further proceedings.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: No Due Process Requirement for Crim. P. 11 Advisement When Defendant Statutorily Waives Right to Advisement

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Finney v. People on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

Criminal Law—Sentencing and Punishment—Alternative Dispositions—Pre-Sentence Penalty Advisements at Revocation Hearings.

CRS § 16-11-206 requires a court to advise a probationer, at or before a hearing on a revocation complaint, of the possible penalties he or she may face. Here, the Supreme Court considered whether, to satisfy due process, Crim.P. 11(b) independently requires such an advisement. The record demonstrates that defendant waived his statutory right to a penalty advisement under CRS § 16-11-206. The Court concluded that, even if defendant had not waived his statutory right to an advisement, the requirement of CRS § 16-11-206 was met here because defendant was advised on several occasions of the potential penalties he faced. The Court further held that CRS § 16-11-206 does not incorporate Crim.P. 11(b) or otherwise embody a constitutional right to be advised of the possible penalties when a defendant admits to a violation of a deferred judgment agreement. Thus, where, as here, a defendant waives his or her statutory right under CRS § 16-11-206 to a penalty advisement at a revocation hearing, neither Crim.P. 11(b) nor constitutional due process independently requires such an advisement. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the court of appeals’ decision upholding the trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Timely Files Motion to Dismiss Even on Day of Trial if Filed Prior to Any Hearing

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Desantiago on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Speedy Trial—CRS 18-1-405(5)—Motion to Dismiss—Timeliness.

At his arraignment in this case on November 4, 2010, defendant entered a not-guilty plea, and the court set a trial date of April 6, 2011. Because defendant was in federal custody and his presence could not be secured by the prosecution through a writ to federal authorities, defendant did not appear in court for a hearing in this case until July 14, 2011. A new trial date was set for September 7, 2011. Though a motions hearing was held on August 5, 2011, defendant did not then move to dismiss based on the speedy trial statute. However, on August 26, 2011, before the September 7 trial setting, defendant moved to dismiss the charges against him, asserting violation of his statutory speedy trial right, which was denied by the court as untimely filed.

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court should have granted his motion to dismiss for violation of his statutory right to speedy trial. Under Colorado’s speedy trial statute, if a defendant has not been brought to trial within six months from the date of entry of a plea of not guilty, charges against him or her must be dismissed with prejudice. Under the plain meaning of CRS § 18-1-405(5), a defendant timely files a motion to dismiss even if it is filed on the day of trial, as long as it is filed before any hearing on any pretrial motion that is set for hearing on that date. Therefore, defendant’s motion to dismiss was timely filed. However, the trial court’s findings were insufficient to determine whether dismissal of the case was warranted on speedy trial grounds with regard to whether the prosecution made diligent efforts to secure defendant’s presence. Accordingly, the case was remanded to the trial court for the limited purpose of having the court make findings of fact and conclusions of law on that issue.

Summary and full case available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/27/2014

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and five unpublished opinions.

United States v. Paz-Castillo

Burton v. United States

United States v. Stinnett

United States v. Grealish

Plustwik v. Voss of Norway ASA

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