August 19, 2019

Archives for March 26, 2015

e-Legislative Report: March 24, 2015

legislationCBA Legislative Policy Committee

For readers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions on requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

The following bill was discussed as the only action item taken up at the meeting on Friday, March 20. Other bills of interest from that agenda are tracked and updated below.

HB 15-1272—Timely Filed Claims Not Barred By Laches
Sponsors: Rep. Daneya Esgar (D) & Sen. Chris Holbert (R)
The LPC voted to oppose this bill because Laches is an important equitable defense. Colorado has a long history with the Doctrine of Laches and this bill upsets that balance. We understand the specific nature of the concern addressed in the bill, but the approach to a solution was overbroad. Therefore we voted to oppose HB 1272.

SB 15-069—Repeal Job Protection Civil Rights Enforcement Act
Sponsors: Sen. Laura Woods (R) & Rep. Kevin Priola (R)
The Legislative Policy Committee voted to oppose this bill to maintain a consistent position with the CBA’s position on previous legislation (HB13-1136 which the CBA supported). SB 69 would have reversed the effect of that bill.

HB 15-1292—Resentence Juveniles Life Sentence No Parole
Sponsors: Rep. Daniel Kagan (D)
The LPC voted to support the Juvenile Law Section’s recommendation to support this bill. There was a great deal of discussion. The bill allows for Juveniles who were previously convicted to petition for resentencing. The bill takes into consideration many factors for both victims and offenders.

Bills that the LPC is monitoring, watching or working on can be found at this link on Priority Bill Track.

At the Capitol—Week of March 16

This past week was a slower week for Bar priority bills. A number of bills we are watching and working on have not been scheduled for hearings or debate. We are constantly watching to ensure we are represented and up to date on bills the LPC has taken action on, and expect that this section will be more full after the “Long bill” (the state budget) is passed over the next two weeks.

HB 15-1142—Public Trustee Conduct Electronic Foreclosure Sale
We successfully amended this bill per the Real Estate Sections requirements, working in conjunction with the Denver Public Trustee and Representative McCann.

SB 15-077—Parents Bill of Rights
This bill was Postponed Indefinitely by the House Committee on Public Health Care and Human Services.

New Bills of Interest

The pace of new bill introductions is now slowing down, but there are a few new bills introduced still introduced through the remainder of the session. We will highlight some of the bills we have identified for tracking or monitoring here:

SB 15-200—Private Student Loan Disclosure Requirements
Sponsors: Sen. Andrew Kerr (D) & Sen. Nancy Todd (D)

The bill prohibits a private educational lender, as defined in the bill, from offering gifts to a covered educational institution, as defined in the bill, including public and private institutions of higher education, in exchange for any advantage or consideration related to loan activities or from engaging in revenue sharing. Further, the bill prohibits persons employed at covered educational institutions from receiving anything of value from private educational lenders. The bill makes it unlawful for a private educational lender to impose a fee or penalty on a borrower for early repayment or prepayment of a private education loan and requires a lender to disclose any agreements made with a card issuer or creditor for purposes of marketing a credit card. The bill requires private educational lenders to disclose information to a potential borrower or borrower both at the time of application for a private education loan and at the time of consummation of the loan.

The required disclosures are described in the bill and include, among other disclosures, the interest rate for the loan and adjustments to the rate, potential finance charges and penalties, payment options, an estimate of the total amount for repayment at the interest rate, the possibility of qualifying for federal loans, the terms and conditions of the loan, and that the borrower may cancel the loan, without penalty, within three business days after the date on which the loan is consummated.

SB 15-210—Title Insurance Commission
Sponsors: Sen. Laura Woods (R) & Rep. Jennifer Arndt (D)

The bill creates the title insurance commission (commission). The bill establishes the powers, duties, and functions of the commission and provides for the appointment of the members of the commission. With the exception of rate regulation and licensing, which will continue to be done by the insurance commissioner, the commission participates in the regulation of the title insurance business in Colorado by concurring in rules of the insurance commissioner, proposing rules for approval by the insurance commissioner, and reviewing and concurring in disciplinary actions related to the regulation of the title insurance business. The commission is scheduled to sunset Sept. 1, 2025, subject to continuation after a sunset review as provided by law.

Hon. Charles M. Barton to Retire from 11th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Charles M. Barton, effective July 1, 2015. Judge Barton was appointed to the Eleventh Judicial District Court bench in January 2003, where he presides over a criminal, civil, domestic relations, and juvenile docket. Prior to his appointment, Barton served as a deputy district attorney in both the Tenth and Eleventh Judicial Districts. He received his law degree from Northern Kentucky University and his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Eleventh Judicial District (Chaffee, Custer, Park, and Fremont counties) and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website and also from the ex officio chair of the Eleventh Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Gregory Hobbs. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on April 27, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another must do so lo later than 4 p.m. on April 20, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/26/2015

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued five published opinions and 42 unpublished opinions.

People v. Griego

People v. Theus-Roberts

People v. Martinez

People v. Corrales-Castro

Moss v. Board of County Commissioners for Boulder County

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.

Minor Change to Colo. R. Crim. P. 44 Announced

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court announced Rule Change 2015(03), which amended Rule 44 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure. The change affects subsection (a) of the rule, and the only change was to update a cross-reference from C.R.C.P. 226 to C.R.C.P. 205.7. For a redline of the rule change, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/26/2015

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Smith v. Jones

Alejandre-Gallegos v. Holder

J.D. Kirk, LLC v. Cimarex Energy Co.

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

The Future of Law (Part 11): Commoditizing the Law

rhodes“A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”
Abraham Lincoln

Who’d have thought we’d see the day when Honest Abe would steer us wrong?

The other day at the gym one of the TVs ran an ad for LegalZoom’s business startup services. They’ll set up your business entity, protect your IP, handle contracts, take care of your estate planning, and generally make it possible for the smiling business owner on their website to declare, “I’m making money doing what I love” — which presumably doesn’t include visiting a lawyer.

Welcome to the commoditization of legal services, where lawyers’ time and advice aren’t what’s for sale. We’re not just talking about legal kiosks at Walmart; commoditization is happening on the high end of legal services, too. Click here for a more thorough look.

  • It’s easy to predict we’ll see much more of this.

Commoditization shifts the focus of legal consultation from the one to the many: lawyers don’t advise individual clients based on that client’s circumstances; instead, they presort legal information that is relevant most of the time and package it into immediately useable form. In his book The Future of Law, law futurist Richard Susskind calls this new kind of lawyer an “engineer of legal information”:

What, then, might the lawyer’s role be as an engineer of legal information? The main task . . . will be that of analyst—it will be for the lawyers, with their unparalleled knowledge of the legal system, to interpret and repackage the formal sources of law (legislation and case law) and articulate it in structured format suitable for implementation as part of a legal information service.

As legal service becomes a form of information service, and lawyers package their knowledge and experience as information services designed for direct consultation by non-lawyers, the work product of individual lawyers will no longer be devoted only to one case and to one client. Instead, the legal information will be reusable and for that purpose cast in a form well suited to repeated consultation.

The impact of commoditization on the law will be as follows:

  • The marketplace consensus of what is relevant for the many, as embedded in systems-based legal products, will increasingly be regarded as the law itself.

Susskind describes this new kind of law as follows:

[Commoditization] has extremely profound implications for the law. It is possible, for example, that the information which will be accessible on the global highway will guide our social, domestic, and working lives more directly than the primary sources (legislation and case law) themselves. In a sense, this legal guidance itself may come to be regarded as the law itself and not just a representation of it. This may indeed become the prime illustration of what the legal sociologist Eugen Ehrlich, earlier this century, called the “living law” — the law which actually reflects and conditions behaviour in society.

Historical notions of the attorney-client relationship recoil at commoditization, but it is all bad? Maybe not. Susskind describes one key benefit: greater access to legal advice:

The number of [users of commoditized legal information] will be vastly greater than the number of conventional clients of today; and the frequency with which these legal information services will be consulted will greatly outstrip the frequency of consultations with lawyers today. The difference will lie in the emergence and realization of the latent legal market, as innumerable situations in domestic and business life are enlightened by the law when this would or could not have happened in the past. (Emphasis in original.)

More on legal commoditization next time.

A collection of Kevin Rhodes’ Legal Connection blog posts for the past three years is now available in print from Amazon (also available for the Kindle). A promotional free download is also available from Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Scribd.

Hon. Thomas B. McNamara Appointed to Bankruptcy Bench for U.S. District Court

On Monday, March 23, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit appointed Thomas B. McNamara to the bankruptcy bench in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. McNamara was appointed to replace Hon. A. Bruce Campbell, who retired.

Prior to his appointment, McNamara was a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, where he litigated international cases and advised clients on regulatory matters and compliance with foreign law. He received his law degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota.

Judge McNamara will take over all of Judge Campbell’s active cases. For more information about the appointment, click here.


Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/25/2015

On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Chytka v. Wright Tree Service, Inc.

United States v. Ocegueda

Lewis v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States v. Sanchez-Fragoso

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