December 18, 2018

Archives for September 19, 2018

Juan G. Villaseñor Appointed to 8th Judicial District Court; Alexandra O. Robak Appointed to Fremont County Court

On Thursday, September 13, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointments of Juan G. Villaseñor to the 8th Judicial District Court and Alexandra O. Robak to the Fremont County Court. Villaseñor will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Devin Odell, effective October 6, 2018. Robak will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Norman Cooling, effective January 8, 2019.

Villaseñor is currently Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he has been since 2008. He represents federal agencies and employees in criminal and civil cases in his role as AUSA. Villaseñor has also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney, an Assistant Attorney General with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, a First Amendment Fellowship Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, and a Law Clerk to the Honorable William J. Haynes in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Villaseñor received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College and his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Robak is currently a Deputy State Public Defender in the Salida Regional Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. She has been with the Public Defender’s Office since 2013. She represents indigent clients accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

For more information about these appointments, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Warrantless Search Justified Under Exigent Circumstances Exception

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Pappan on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Searches and Seizures—Emergencies and Exigent Circumstances—Plain View Doctrine.

In this interlocutory appeal, the supreme court considered whether the trial court erred in suppressing two laser-sight rifles seized from defendant’s residence during a warrantless search conducted after defendant and two other occupants exited the residence. The court held that the warrantless search was justified under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement. More specifically, the court concluded that (1) the officers had an objectively reasonable basis to believe there was an immediate need to protect their lives or safety by clearing the residence for other occupants, and (2) the manner and scope of the search was reasonable because it was protective in nature and narrowly tailored to neutralize the threat confronting the officers. The court further held that the seizure of the laser-sight rifles was justified by the plain view doctrine. Accordingly, the decision of the trial court was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Remedy for Trial Court’s Disclosure Error to Remand and Allow Defendant Opportunity to Demonstrate Prejudice

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Zoll v. People on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Disclosure—In Camera Review—Critical Stage.

The supreme court held that when an appellate court determines that the trial court erred in failing to disclose certain documents from a file reviewed in camera, the proper remedy is to remand the case to the trial court with instructions to provide the improperly withheld documents to the parties and to afford the defendant an opportunity to demonstrate that there is a reasonable probability that, had the documents been disclosed before trial, the result of the proceeding would have been different. The court also held that, even if the court of appeals erred in determining that replaying a small portion of a recording in the courtroom during deliberations was not a critical stage of the proceeding that required defendant’s presence, any error in failing to secure defendant’s attendance was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/18/2018

On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and six unpublished opinions.

Castillo Reyes v. Sessions

Yerton v. Bryant

United States v. Norwood

Ersland v. Bear

United States v. Beaver

United States v. Lamas

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