June 26, 2019

Archives for December 16, 2015

Top Ten Family Law Programs and Homestudies

As the compliance period ends for many Colorado attorneys, we are featuring top homestudies and programs in several practice areas. Today’s focus is on family law — click here for the Top Ten Ethics Programs and Homestudies, and stay tuned for Top Ten lists in other practice areas.

10. Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Law Institute — Dignity to All Persons. Although not strictly a family law program, this informative Institute discussed several issues of interest to family law practitioners, including Colorado’s litigation path to same-sex marriage, a discussion of polyamory, a point-counterpoint panel discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and more. Eleven general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

9. Civil Unions — Legal Consequences for Family Law and Trust & Estate Practitioners. In May 2013, the Colorado Civil Unions Act became effective, allowing civil unions for same sex couples. This program discussed the changes to Title 14 and Title 19, C.R.S., and predicted consequences from the enactment of the Civil Unions Act. Three general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

8. 33rd Annual National CLE Conference — Family Law. This annual conference in gorgeous Vail will highlight several important topics, including custody and placement issues for special needs children, tax aspects of divorce, and complex personalities in family law matters. Twenty-one general credits, including 3.6 ethics credits; only available as live program.

7. The Difficult Client: Annual Advanced Family Law Institute 2014. Most lawyers are prepared to address difficult legal issues, but what about difficult clients? Narcissistic, angry, defiant, and criminal clients cross all demographic backgrounds, but none are easy to represent. Family law practitioners encounter many difficult clients, and this program aims to provide practitioners with tools to deal with them. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

6. Trials and Tribulations: Preparing for Permanent Orders in Family Law — Family Law Fall Update 2014. This program details trends in family law, including an interactive ethics program on Rule 45 subpoenas, the most common grievances, emerging trends in Colorado family law, a judges’ panel on effective trial strategies and preparation, and more. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

5. Family Law Basic Skills. An ideal program for practitioners just entering family law, this event provides a comprehensive toolkit of skills for family law attorneys. Hear about ethics, jurisdiction, Rule 16.2, bankruptcy, collaborative law, criminal law issues in family law, low income issues, childhood development, juvenile issues, child support and maintenance, separation agreements, and more. Seventeen general credits, including 1.8 ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and here for the 2013 program.

4. Civility, Cultural Competence, and Challenging Issues — Family Law Fall Update 2015. Faculty members at this program discuss civility in the practice of law and how to bring it back. Cultural competence refers to an ability to work with people of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Challenging issues include everything from domestic violence to military divorce to LGBT issues. In addition to these topics, the program discusses case law updates and rule changes. Eight general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

3. Family Law Spring Update 2015. Stay up to date with recent changes in family law practice, including legislative and case law updates, imputation of passive and earned income, premarital and marital agreements, LGBT issues, out-of-court legal services, complex financial issues, and more. Eight general credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 program and click here for the 2013 program.

2. So You Want to Be A Super Lawyer: Best Practices for Family Law Attorneys In and Out of the Courtroom — Annual Advanced Family Law Conference 2015. Regardless of inclusion in a “Super Lawyers”-type publication, every attorney wants to be the best lawyer they can be. This program provides tools to help family law attorneys excel, including tips for organizing all the pieces of a case, how to address thorny evidence issues, getting the best bang for your buck at mediation, view from the bench, balancing client interests with the best interests of the child, and more. Nine general credits, including one ethics credit; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand.

1. Annual Family Law Institute. Every summer, Colorado’s family law practitioners gather in the mountains to learn about the latest family law issues — and also enjoy fun events like Hawaiian Shirt Day, a wine tasting event, hiking, and more. Topics covered at the 2015 Institute included marijuana and parenting time, parenting plans for infants, sex addiction and divorce, spoliation, real estate transfers in family law, a judges’ panel on maintenance, and more. Twenty-seven general credits, including four ethics credits; available as CD homestudy, MP3 audio homestudy, or Video OnDemand. NOTE: This program is repeated annually. Click here for the 2014 Institute and click here for the 2013 Institute.

Tenth Circuit: As-Applied Challenge to Special Condition Allowed Despite Failure to Object to Condition’s Imposition

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. LeCompte on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

In 2003, Paul LeCompte pleaded guilty in New Mexico state court to five counts of criminal sexual penetration due to a relationship he had with a 14-year-old girl when he was 29 years old. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was required to register as a sex offender. In 2010, he traveled from New Mexico to Nevada and failed to update his registration. He pleaded guilty, and at sentencing the district court judge imposed several conditions of supervised release, including a prohibition against associating with minors except in the presence of an approved responsible adult.

In 2014, LeCompte’s probation officer visited him at his grandparents’ home and saw LeCompte sitting on the porch with his grandparents, his then-girlfriend (now fiancee), and the girlfriend’s 3-year-old granddaughter. This presented a technical violation of his probation condition. After a polygraph test revealed that LeCompte may have had more contact with minors, an officer petitioned to revoke LeCompte’s supervised release. LeCompte moved to dismiss the petition, challenging the prohibition as applied. The district court held a hearing and denied LeCompte’s motion to dismiss, rejecting LeCompte’s as-applied challenge. He was sentenced to six months in prison and five years’ supervised release, subject to six sex offender special conditions. LeCompte appealed the denial of his motion to dismiss and challenged the procedural and substantive reasonableness of the six sex offender special conditions.

The Tenth Circuit evaluated LeCompte’s as-applied challenge, finding that the district court dismissed the challenge because LeCompte had not appealed when the special condition was imposed. The Tenth Circuit found that LeCompte need not have appealed the imposition of the special condition to raise an as-applied challenge. The Tenth Circuit found that because the condition could be imposed in a way as to violate a defendant’s rights, failure to appeal was not a procedural bar to an as-applied challenge. The Tenth Circuit noted that when a court imposes a condition of release, a defendant may not be able to anticipate that particular conduct will be prohibited, so allowing as-applied challenges accounts for unanticipated consequences. Turning to the district court’s denial of LeCompte’s motion to dismiss, the Tenth Circuit found that the district court failed to make findings connecting the condition of release to the charged conduct, and failed to consider LeCompte’s relevant characteristics in denying his as-applied challenge.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of the motion to dismiss and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.