April 20, 2019

Archives for May 2015

Elizabeth L. Harris Appointed to Colorado Court of Appeals

On Friday, May 29, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of Elizabeth L. Harris to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Ms. Harris will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. James S. Casebolt, effective July 1, 2015.

Ms. Harris is currently a solo practitioner in Denver. Her practice consists primarily of appellate work, criminal defense, and civil litigation. Prior to starting her solo practice, Ms. Harris was at Jacobs Chase (now Husch Blackwell) from 2003 to 2012. She also previously worked at the Office of the Federal Public Defender and clerked for Hon. John Porfilio of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was admitted to practice in Colorado in 1998.

 

Bills Regarding Military Employment Services, Voting Rights, Disabled Veteran License Plates, and More Signed

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed six bills into law. To date, the governor has signed 258 bills into law. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1030 – Concerning the Establishment of an Employment Services for Veterans Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lois Landgraf and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill creates the Employment Services for Veterans Pilot Program, including veterans services related to job retention, employment mediation, mentoring, and career counseling.
  • HB 15-1181 – Concerning the Exemption from the State Income Tax of Active Duty Military Income Earned by a Resident Individual in the Armed Forces of the United States, by Rep. Jon Keyser and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill allows an armed forces member on active duty whose residence is in Colorado to receive a tax deduction from state taxable income.
  • HB 15-1026 – Concerning the Issuance of Military License Plates with an Identifying Figure Notifying the Public that the Holder May Use Reserved Parking for People with Disabilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Kit Roupe and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill allows the Department of Revenue to create disabled veteran license plates.
  • HB 15-1327 – Concerning Limitations on Proxy Marriages, by Reps. Joann Ginal & Kit Roupe and Sens. Leroy Garcia & John Cooke. The bill limits proxy marriage in Colorado to military personnel and military contractors.
  • HB 15-1045 – Concerning the Amount a Veteran Must Pay to Enter State Parks, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill requires state parks to grant free admission to active duty military personnel and military veterans during the month of August.
  • HB 15-1130 – Concerning Voting by Active Military and Overseas Voters in Municipal Elections, and, in Connection Therewith, Extending Certain Deadlines that Govern the Conduct of Municipal Elections to Ensure that Such Voters have the Same Ability to Vote in Such Elections as they do in Federal, State, and County Elections, by Reps. Dan Nordberg & Su Ryden and Sens. Leroy Garcia & Owen Hill. The bill aligns municipal election code with federal military voting acts to ensure U.S. citizens living abroad can vote.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Lynnette Wenner Appointed to 11th Judicial District Court Bench

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Lynnette Wenner to the district court bench in the Eleventh Judicial District. Ms. Wenner will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Charles Barton, effective July 1, 2015.

Ms. Wenner is currently a partner at Gillick & Wenner, P.C., where she practices family law, including custody disputes, child support, maintenance determinations, and grandparent visitation rights. She received her undergraduate degree from Dowling College and her law degree from Stetson University College of Law. She is admitted to practice in Florida and Colorado.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 5/28/2015

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and 39 unpublished opinions.

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, 5/28/2015

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

United States v. Lake

United States v. Rey

United States v. Ortiz

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

The Future of Law (Part 20): Some Final Meta-Thoughts

rhodesThe “meta” of something is its higher abstraction, the bigger picture behind the smaller ones. In scholarship, a meta-analysis is an analysis of all the analyses of a topic. Each separate analysis collects and analyzes data. The meta-analysis analyzes all the analyses.

Now that we’ve looked at various individual current trends and projected them into a vision of the future of law, what’s the meta of them? What’s the big picture?

Our futurist approach has been mostly based on trend analysis: seeing what already is, then guessing where it’s going, meanwhile keeping in mind that we are not passive recipients of the future, but powerful agents of its creation.

If we want to be, that is. If we make the effort.

Some of us want to be, and will. People in this group will engage with the dynamics of change deliberately, consciously, intentionally, mindfully — taking action to shape current trends into the future they want.

Some of us don’t want to be, and won’t. This group will be the change resistors, daring those responsible for disruptive innovation to prove that the trends represent change for the better as the resistors judge it to be.

The first group will feel the energy of personal and cultural transformation moving through themselves and their lives. The second group will wonder what ever happened to the world they once knew. Together, both groups will create what Thomas Kuhn called the state of incommensurability between old and new legal paradigms.

Regardless of our response, the future is ours, whether we choose to advance or resist it.

All this will happen on countless individual stages, but what’s the big show that will play out on the biggest stage? What’s the meta of the future of law?

The answer lies in the nature of the law itself. The law is itself a meta-reality — one of those gigantic, archetypal organizing principles of human life. The law enfolds and expresses our humanity, creates cultural and societal and national context. Those who live and work in the law are unavoidably its guardians and tutors, stewards and caretakers. They will create the law’s future, one way or another.

When we create the law, we shape and guide our humanity.

When we do that, we create our world.

And most of all, we create ourselves.

The law: our humanity, our world, ourselves. There’s a lot at stake here. May we craft the future with care.

A collection of Kevin Rhodes’ Legal Connection blog posts for the past three years is now available in print from Amazon. Also available from Amazon as a Kindle, and as an ebook from Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Scribd.

Colorado Supreme Court: Double Jeopardy Law Does Not Apply to Noncapital Sentencing Proceedings

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Porter on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Double Jeopardy—Noncapital Sentencing Proceedings—Habitual Criminal Statute.

This case addressed whether the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Colorado Constitution applies to noncapital sentencing proceedings. The Supreme Court overruled its prior holding in People v. Quintana, 634 P.2d 413 (Colo. 1981), based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Monge v. California, 524 U.S. 721 (1998), and its progeny. The Court held that Colorado double jeopardy law does not apply to noncapital sentencing proceedings. Accordingly, double jeopardy does not bar trial of defendant’s habitual counts in this case. The court of appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for reinstatement of defendant’s habitual counts.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Debt Services Company Cannot Avoid DMSA Regulation by Associating with Attorneys

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Coffman v. Williamson on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Uniform Debt-Management Services Act—Legal Services Exemption—CRS § 12-14.5-202(10).

The Supreme Court examined the legal services exemption in the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act (UDMSA) to determine whether the original version of the exemption applies to Morgan Drexen, Inc., a company of non-lawyers. The Court also analyzed whether the amended version of the exemption violates the separation of powers doctrine in the Colorado Constitution and the Commerce Clause and Privileges and Immunities Clause in the U.S. Constitution because certain out-of-state attorneys may be subject to regulation under the UDMSA.

The Court held that the trial court erred by concluding that Morgan Drexen’s services fall within the scope of the legal services exemption in the original UDMSA, CRS § 12-14.5-202(10)(A). The original exemption encompasses non-lawyer assistants; however, Morgan Drexen’s activity here does not fall within the scope of that exemption because it performs substantive debt-management services without meaningful instruction and supervision by an attorney. The Court also held that the amended UDMSA does not violate the separation of powers doctrine in Article III of the Colorado Constitution or the Commerce and Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Court reversed the trial court’s order and remanded that case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/27/2015

Bills Regarding Endangered Species Preservation, Career Training, and More Signed

On Friday, May 22, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law, and on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed four bills into law. To date, he has signed 252 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Friday and Tuesday are summarized here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

  • HB 15-1321 – Concerning Measures to Support Rural School Districts, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Brittany Pettersen & Jim Wilson and Sens. Kevin Grantham & Kerry Donovan. The bill provides administrative flexibility for funding for small rural school districts.
  • HB 15-1277 – Concerning Measures to Effectuate the Conservation of Native Species in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Appropriations from the Species Conservation Trust Fund for Purposes Recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill transfers funds for the purpose of conserving native species that are threatened or endangered.
  • SB 15-199 – Concerning the Continuation of the Funding for the Habitat Partnership Program in the Division of Parks and Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill continues a program that transfers moneys from big game licenses to the Habitat Partnership Cash Fund.
  • SB 15-226 – Concerning the Education Requirements Necessary to Qualify for a License to Take Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill allows the Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish alternatives to a mandatory hunter education course.
  • HB 15-1315 – Concerning Support for County Veterans Service Officers, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill eliminates a requirement that counties match DMVA funding for county veterans service officers.
  • HB 15-1307 – Concerning a Modification in the Definition of the Term “Qualified Commercial Structure” as the Term is Used in the “Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act”, by Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill changes the definition of a qualified commercial structure for purposes of the historic preservation tax credit.
  • HB 15-1275 – Concerning Measures to Support Enrollment in Career and Technical Education Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sens. Rollie Heath & Vicki Marble. The bill clarifies that career and technical course work related to apprenticeship and internship programs may be used for concurrent enrollment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

  • HB 15-1170 – Concerning Measures to Raise the Level of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness that Colorado Students Demonstrate upon Graduation from High School, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Owen Hill & Rollie Heath. The bill adds a requirement of consideration of college enrollment to statistical performance indicator data.
  • HB 15-1180 – Concerning the Creation of a State Sales and Use Tax Refund for Tangible Personal Property that is Used in Colorado for Research and Development by a Qualified Medical Technology or Clean Technology Taxpayer, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Rollie Heath & Chris Holbert. The bill creates a sales and use tax refund for equipment used in clean technology and medical device firms with 35 or fewer employees.
  • HB 15-1230 – Concerning the Creation of the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Pete Lee & Mike Foote and Sens. Rollie Heath & John Cooke. The bill creates the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program to reimburse employers with high-level internships and apprenticeships in innovative industries.
  • HB 15-1276 – Concerning the Creation of a Matching Grant Program to Facilitate Recruitment for Skilled Worker Training Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Angela Williams and Sens. John Cooke & Rollie Heath. The bill creates the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Grant Program to offer grants for training skills that are needed in the workplace and to provide a certificate upon completion.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 5/26/2015

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued four published opinions.

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Medical Lien Management, Inc.

Reno v. Marks

People v. Porter

Coffman v. Williamson

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: Assignment Ineffective Where Personal Injury Suit As Yet Undetermined

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Allstate Insurance Co. v. Medical Lien Management, Inc. on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Purported Assignment of Future Contract Rights—Purported Assignment of Future Personal Injury Proceeds.

Allstate Insurance Co. (Allstate) petitioned for review of the court of appeals’ judgment reversing the dismissal of a breach of assignment claim brought by Medical Lien Management, Inc. (MLM). Notwithstanding allegations of the complaint to the contrary, the district court effectively construed MLM’s Lien and Security Agreement with a motor vehicle accident victim, upon which the complaint was premised, as failing to assign the victim’s right to the proceeds of his personal injury lawsuit against Allstate’s insured. By contrast, the court of appeals found a valid assignment to MLM of all rights to the future proceeds from the victim’s personal injury claim in an amount equal to the costs of medical services paid for by MLM, as well as a sufficient allegation in the complaint of an enforceable obligation by Allstate to pay the assigned sums to MLM. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the court of appeals erred in finding the purported assignment in this case—an as-yet indeterminable portion of proceeds of an unresolved personal injury claim—to be effective against Allstate.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.