April 17, 2019

Archives for May 27, 2015

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