November 20, 2018

Archives for June 27, 2018

Judge Nancy Lichtenstein to Retire from Colorado Court of Appeals

On Monday, June 25, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the upcoming retirement of Hon. Nancy Lichtenstein from the Colorado Court of Appeals, effective January 8, 2019.

Judge Lichtenstein was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2008. Prior to her appointment, she was a Deputy State Public Defender in both the appellate and trial divisions. Before her service as a public defender, she was in private practice. Judge Lichtenstein was also a guest lecturer at both the University of Colorado and University of Denver law schools, where she lectured on appellate advocacy. She volunteers for East High School’s “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” competition, and is an author for West’s Colorado Criminal Practice and Procedure series. She received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the State of Colorado and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, Chief Justice-delegate Nathan B. Coats. Application forms must be received no later than 4 p.m. on July 20, 2018; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than July 13, 2018.

For more information on the vacancy and application process, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 6/25/2018

On Monday, June 25, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued four published opinions.

In re Rains

Castillo v. People

Coors Brewing Co. v. City of Golden

In the Matter of James C. Wollrab

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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: Trial Court Erred in Instructing Jury on Initial Aggressor Exception to Self-Defense With No Supporting Evidence

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Castillo v. People on Monday, June 25, 2018.

Self-Defense—Initial Aggressor—Jury Instructions.

Defendant fired a gun at several people in a parking lot. He asserted that he did this in self-defense. Over defendant’s objection, the trial court instructed the jury on two exceptions to the affirmative defense of self-defense: initial aggressor and provocation. The jury convicted defendant of several criminal charges. The supreme court concluded the division of the court of appeals erred when it determined that the trial court correctly instructed the jury on the initial aggressor exception to self-defense. The court further concluded the error was not harmless in light of the prosecution’s repeated references to the initial aggressor exception during closing argument. Accordingly, defendant is entitled to a new trial. The court of appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Trial Court Erred in Granting New Trial for Reasons Not Enumerated in C.R.C.P. 59(d)

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Rains on Monday, June 25, 2018.

C.R.C.P. 59(d)—Proper Grounds for New Trial.

In this case, the supreme court considered whether the trial court abused its discretion when it granted plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial after a jury found that defendants, two pilots, were not negligent during a near collision that resulted in one plane crashing and killing all five passengers on board. The court concluded that the trial court’s stated reasons did not meet the grounds enumerated in C.R.C.P. 59(d) and that a trial court may not grant a new trial for reasons other than those enumerated in C.R.C.P. 59(d). Thus, the trial court abused its discretion in granting a new trial. The court made its rule to show cause absolute and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/26/2018

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued four published opinions and seven unpublished opinions.

United States v. Younger

United States v. Marquez

United States v. Ezeah

McElhaney v. Bear

United States v. DeWilliams

Gutierrez Torres v. Sessions

Peavy v. Labor Source

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/25/2018

On Monday, June 25, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

United States v. Cruz-Artiaga

United States v. Bagby

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