April 24, 2019

A Letter From the Editor: So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

It has been my great pleasure to compile and edit CBA CLE Legal Connection for the past several years. I enjoyed creating a compendium of case law updates, judicial vacancy and appointment announcements, legislative decisions, rule change information, and thought-provoking opinion pieces, and providing them to you, dear readers, in an easy-to-read daily newsletter. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to write and edit Legal Connection for you.

If you have not yet discovered Community, head on over to the CBA website to check it out. Community is a hybrid listserv/social media platform where CBA members can discuss topics of interest to Colorado attorneys.

Thank you again for allowing me to write for you all these years. It has been a greatly rewarding experience.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

In 2010, CBA-CLE decided to launch a blog as a way to communicate important developments in the law and legal profession to Colorado attorneys. CBA CLE Legal Connection apprised attorneys of judicial vacancies and appointments, case law updates, rule changes, and more. CBA CLE Legal Connection also brought forth thoughtful opinion pieces on legal issues and law practice management issues.

Through the years, Legal Connection has bloomed and developed into a daily newsletter for Colorado attorneys. But now, it is time to let go.

The Colorado Bar Association recently launched Community, a platform where members can interact in a hybrid social media/listserv format. We believe that Community and its related blog platform is the best way to continue updating Colorado attorneys on legal and law practice issues. As of April 1, 2019, CBA CLE Legal Connection will no longer be utilized. CBA members should instead look to Community for legal updates.

These last nine years have been wonderful. We appreciate all of our readers and hope that you’ll find Community as useful as CBA CLE Legal Connection has been.

The Roaring 20s Barrister’s Ball is the Bee’s Knees!

By Jeremy Ramp and Steve Cook

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Who doesn’t like a large party? It’s that time of year—so dust off your best party clothes, your dancing shoes, and brush up on your Charleston as we roar back to the Roaring 20’s for the Barristers’ Benefit Ball. Please join us on April 12th at 6:00 p.m. for an evening of conversation, cocktails, dinner and dancing with 400 to 500 of your closest friends! We are pleased to announce the new venue this year is Mile High Station at 2027 West Colfax Ave. in Denver. With the Roarin’ 20’s theme, you know it’ll be the bee’s knees.

This year’s program is all about encouraging our attorneys and friends to attend, have fun, celebrate our community’s success in volunteerism,and raise money for Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL).

MVL’s mission is “to bridge the gap in access to justice by coordinating the provision of pro bono legal services by volunteer lawyers within the Denver Metro Area to people who could not otherwise afford legal services for their civil legal issues.” MVL is the DBA’s flagship program, in partnership with the First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties), Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, and Douglas/Elbert Bar Associations. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind program with metro-wide support that serves as a model and inspiration for other programs around the country. MVL holds the Family Law Court Program, post-decree clinics, the Denver Indian Center Legal Clinic, and power of attorney clinics throughout the Metro Area. It provides free legal counsel to clients in cases in domestic/family law, landlord/tenant, adoption, guardianship/conservatorship, bankruptcy, and social security. For the past 50-plus years, MVL has served thousands of our vulnerable community members in need. In doing so, MVL provides a platform for lawyers to fulfill our professional responsibilities under Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and to put into action the oath we took when we had the privilege of becoming Colorado lawyers.

The Barristers Benefit Ball is the annual fundraiser for MVL. Your participation in this event is crucial to MVL’s mission and making all of the wonderful work possible. Please contact Amy Sreenen, ASreenen@cobar.org, to purchase a table, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities for this great event. We rely on YOU and your support to make this event a success.

All are welcome, whether your attorney registration number is 53 or 53,000, or anywhere in between. Reminders will be sent out up to the event, but we encourage all of you to sign up early and make the pledge to come and join us for a great evening. YOU can make it a roaring success!

This article began with a quote from The Great Gatsby and ends with one too, reflecting on the fact that we are incredibly fortunate to be part of this profession, this bar, and this community:

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Nominations are Now Being Accepted for CBA and DBA Awards

Do you know an outstanding lawyer who has greatly contributed to the Colorado legal community? Nominate her or him for a CBA or DBA award!

Nominations are now being accepted for the CBA Award of Merit, which is awarded annually to a current member for outstanding service or contributions to the association, the legal profession, the administration of justice or the community. Eligible persons are those who are members in good standing of the CBA. Nominees should have an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, and a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others, whether within the legal profession or elsewhere. Nominations are due January 31, 2019. Make a nomination here. A list of past recipients can be found here.

The DBA Awards Committee needs your nominations for the DBA awards. Nominate an attorney by submitting a statement of why the nominee deserves the honor. The committee will consider the following criteria: involvement with the DBA; involvement with the CBA; community contributions outside the bar associations and legal career/accomplishments. The statement need not be a complete essay; just provide a few salient points and the committee will follow up with the nominator and nominee for complete details.

The 2019 award submission deadline is January 31, 2019. Make a nomination here: https://denbar.org/About/DBA-Award-Nominations

Award of Merit

Recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the DBA and legal profession, or rendered in the interest of the improvement of the administration of justice. Criteria: lawyer, judge or law professor who is a regular member of the DBA and whose distinguished career exemplifies the purpose of the Award of Merit. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Judicial Excellence

Honors a DBA member of the judiciary for extraordinary service or exceptional contributions to the improvement of the judicial system. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Young Lawyer of the Year

Recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the DBA, legal profession and community. Criteria: a Denver lawyer who is a member of the DBA and is younger than age 37 or has been in practice less than three years. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Volunteer Lawyer of the Year

Presented to a DBA member who has performed extraordinary voluntary legal or community service. Criteria: lawyer, member of DBA, who has volunteered with distinction for various pro bono projects. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Education in the Legal System

Honors teachers, programs, and/or schools that exhibit outstanding dedication to teaching students about civics, the American legal system, and the Rule of Law. The DBA will provide a monetary gift to either the honoree teacher’s school, the program being honored, or the school being honored, in an amount and allocation to be determined by the DBA Board of Trustees. The gift will be used for educational purposes in the above described areas. Criteria: A teacher in a Denver school, a program conducted in a Denver school (whether or not sponsored by the school), and/or a Denver school educating students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Click here for a list of previous winners.

Outstanding Programs/Projects

Acknowledges those programs or projects that uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service or promoting charitable causes. Recognizes exceptional collaboration between members of the bar. Criteria: A program or project affiliated with the DBA. Click here for a list of previous winners.

We’re Moving!

CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE are moving to 1290 Broadway! During the next few days, the CBA and CBA-CLE websites and phones will be down as we move our servers to the new location. We expect them to be restored by Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Until then, we thank you for your patience in this exciting time.

Happy Holidays from CBA-CLE

The CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE offices will be closed Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25 in honor of the holidays. You can still order books, register for classes, and order homestudies online at http://cle.cobar.org.

Come visit our new location in the new year! The CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE offices will be moving to 1290 Broadway.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season!

CBA has Launched a New Online Attorney Directory

COBAR has updated its online attorney directory, formerly known as Find A Lawyer, to LicensedLawyer with upgraded search technology to further enhance the ability to connect members with prospective clients.

Similar to Find A Lawyer, which consistently ranked as one of the most visited sections of the COBAR website, Licensed Lawyer allows prospective clients to search for and connect with local attorneys, but the new site has more robust search technology, added categories and criteria, the ability to link social profiles, and is mobile friendly.

When users select the Guided Search feature, Licensed Lawyer prompts them with specific questions related to their legal needs, and enhanced search criteria, such as payment options and firm size. This ability for the user to get specific with their legal needs will better match them to attorneys who can best serve them, reducing mismatched connections and wasted effort for both users who are seeking representation and attorneys who have to field calls that aren’t relevant to their practice. Users can contact attorneys directly from their profile by sending an email, following a link to the practice’s website or calling them directly.  

Attorneys will also be able to easily get an Activity Report on their profile dashboard from the past 30 days to see how many times their name comes up in full, geographical and practices searches, as well as how many times their profile has been viewed. 

All attorneys’ Find A Lawyer profile were migrated to the new Licensed Lawyer website, but all members are asked to update their profiles for the best results. Updating bio and contact information, adding practice categories, and completing new fields will improve attorneys’ compatibility and visibility on executed searches. 

Licensed Lawyer is available to all Colorado and Denver Bar Association members as part of their member benefits.

1.        Go to the CBA website and click on LICENSED LAWYER on the left-hand side in the blue bar

2.       Log in with your CBA username and password

3.       Click UPDATE PROFILE WIZARD

Contact membership@cobar.org with any questions!

Colorado Gives: Metro Volunteer Lawyers Provides Representation to Low-income Coloradans

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 4, 2018. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) is a program of the Denver Bar Association and is co-sponsored by the Adams/Broomfield, Arapahoe, Douglas/Elbert, and First Judicial District Bar Associations. MVL is committed to bridging the gap of access to justice by providing pro bono legal services to people who could not otherwise afford legal assistance.

MVL offers pro bono opportunities to attorneys, especially in the areas of estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships, family law, and consumer law. By volunteering with MVL, attorneys can receive valuable experience while assisting Colorado’s most vulnerable populations with their legal needs. Under C.R.C.P. 260.8, Colorado attorneys providing uncompensated pro bono legal representation may apply for 1 general CLE credit for every 5 billable-equivalent hours of representation, up to a maximum of 9 credits in each 3 year compliance period.

Give your expertise, as well as supporting MVL with a cash donation. Checks may be made out to Denver Bar Foundation. For more information or to donate, contact Tammy Ely via email or by calling (303) 824-5376. You can also submit an online application to volunteer.

Colorado Gives: Legal Aid Foundation Promotes Justice for All

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 4, 2018. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

Civil Legal Aid helps low-income Coloradans solve serious legal problems that threaten their most basic needs. You can make a difference for some of the least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our community by making a Colorado Gives Day donation to the Legal Aid Foundation here.

Contributions to the Legal Aid Foundation support Colorado Legal Services (CLS), which is the only agency in the state that provides free legal services to over 10,000 Coloradans every year, giving priority to the poor, elderly and disabled in the greatest economic and social need. Unfortunately, for every person served by CLS, at least one income-eligible person is turned away because of inadequate resources.

As lawyers, we know first-hand the value and necessity of quality legal representation when faced with a potentially life-changing legal problem.  This is especially true of low-income families, whose basic survival may depend on being able to stay in their home, protect themselves from abuse or exploitation, or secure food and necessary health care.

Making a Colorado Gives Day donation is a quick and easy, and all donations receive a proportional “boost” from a $1 Million Incentive Fund.  Please join lawyers from around the state today to move Colorado closer to fulfilling the American promise of justice for all.

To learn more about the Legal Aid Foundation, please visit www.legalaidfoundation.org.

Colorado Gives: Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Compassionately Transforms the Lives of Children who Experience Abuse, Neglect or Trauma

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 4, 2018. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

For more than thirty-six years, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center has improved the lives of more than 25,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and youth through compassionate legal advocacy, clinical services, education, and public policy reform.  Using a team of lawyers and social workers, the Children’s Law Center advocates for children in the courtroom, in the community, and at the Capitol.

The Children’s Law Center works to improve the child welfare and foster systems through policy advocacy, working to make children a political priority at the local, state, and national levels. The Children’s Law Center has made great progress in this area. Most recently, they launched Colorado’s first Baby Court in Pueblo – a specialty court providing wraparound services for children ages 0-3 and families involved in Dependency and Neglect cases. They also created the first Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Program, promoted a 2013 Senate Bill to reduce the number of child abuse fatalities in the state, promoted a 2013 House Bill to streamline the process to report child abuse, and much more.

Here’s how their programs improve kids’ lives:

  • They help children with special education needs thrive in their appropriate school settings.
  • They help children heal and thrive with caregivers when parents are unable to care for their basic needs and wellbeing.
  • Their attorneys and social workers represent children who have experienced domestic violence.
  • They help young adults, most of whom have experienced foster care, obtain basic documentation such as social security cards and birth certificates.
  • Current and former foster youth in their Project Foster Power program advocate to improve the child welfare and foster care systems through policy advocacy.
  • Their Trauma-informed Bloom Yoga program helps kids process and heal from their trauma.

The Children’s Law Center relies heavily on donations to continue providing compassionate legal advocacy to children who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma. Their annual operating expenses total over one million dollars per year. Please make a gift to the Children’s Law Center on Colorado Gives Day by clicking here or any day by filling out the form on this webpage.

Colorado Gives: Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network Promotes a Humane Immigration System

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 4, 2018. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN, pronounced “remain”) is a nonprofit legal services organization that believes justice for immigrants means justice for all. RMIAN provides life-changing legal services to vulnerable immigrant children in Colorado, and to adults in immigration detention. Without this assistance from RMIAN’s attorneys, RMIAN’s child clients and individuals in detention would be forced to face immigration court hearings entirely on their own, an injustice by any standard. A national study, headed by a federal judge, found that immigrants with lawyers are five times more likely to win their cases than those without. For many, a loss in immigration court means deportation and a forced return to the persecution, abuse, or other violence from which they fled. For many others, it signifies a permanent and heartbreaking separation from spouses, partners, children, siblings, and other loved ones.  RMIAN’s programs are dedicated to ensuring legal representation, due process, and support.

RMIAN’s Detention Program has a daily presence at the immigration detention center in Aurora, Colorado, where over 900 individuals are detained on civil immigration charges every day. RMIAN’s attorneys provide know-your-rights presentations before detained individuals have to go before the immigration judge for the first time, assist with applications and case preparation, refer cases to pro bono attorneys, represent clients, and provide social service support for the most vulnerable detainees. Recent RMIAN cases involving clients in detention include a man from Somalia granted asylum on the basis of his political opinion; a longtime lawful permanent resident granted a second chance by the immigration judge to stay with his family in Colorado; a young man from Honduras granted asylum based on the persecution he would face because of his sexual orientation; and numerous clients who won bond reductions with RMIAN’s representation. In 2015, RMIAN’s Detention Program provided 209 know-your-rights presentations to over 1,700 individuals in detention, conducted over 800 individual intakes, held 33 workshops for over 100 individuals fighting their cases on their own, and provided intensive individual assistance to over 500 detainees. In addition, RMIAN’s staff attorneys and volunteer attorneys represented 59 clients in their complete immigration court cases.

RMIAN’s Children’s Program provides immigration legal services to children through Colorado. Recent clients include a young man who was granted a T visa based on being a victim of human trafficking; several children who won Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a result of being abused, abandoned, or neglected; several young crime victims and their family members who were granted U Visas; and numerous youth who were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In the past several years, RMIAN’s Children’s Program has seen an exponential increase in its representation of unaccompanied children who fled horrors in their home countries and who are now seeking asylum and other immigration relief before the Denver Immigration Court. In 2015, RMIAN’s Children’s Program directly represented 288 children, conducted 658 intakes and consultations, and referred 205 cases to pro bono attorneys. By providing free legal services to immigrant children, as well as outreach efforts to community partners, RMIAN educates children and their families on the rights and protections to which they are entitled under federal immigration law and works to ensure that Colorado’s communities are safe.

In addition to direct legal services, RMIAN provides community education and training about immigration law, particularly as it relates to individuals in immigration detention and immigrant children. In 2015, RMIAN gave 66 presentations to 2,210 community members.

Please consider making a donation to RMIAN today to help us fulfill our values statement, “We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all.” Donations may be mailed directly to RMIAN at 3489 West 72nd Avenue, Suite 211, Westminster, CO 80030, or via RMIAN’s website at www.rmian.org. RMIAN is participating in Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.

Colorado Gives: Disability Law Colorado Empowers Individuals and Recognizes the Inherent Value of All People

Colorado Gives: CBA CLE Legal Connection will be focusing on several Colorado legal charities in the next few days to prepare for Colorado Gives Day, December 4, 2018. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

Disability Law Colorado (formerly known as The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People) was created in 1976 out of the dream of a small group of parents who came together to secure equal rights for their children with developmental disabilities who were living in state institutions. These parents wanted a better life for their children and believed that all people with disabilities deserved the right to live full and rewarding lives. Disability Law Colorado’s early successes included requiring school districts to pay for children’s education in public schools, allowing children with severe disabilities to attend school for the first time. Disability Law Colorado also succeeded in preventing sterilization of people with developmental disabilities and preventing workplace discrimination against people with disabilities.

In 1977, the governor designated Disability Law Colorado to be Colorado’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for people with developmental disabilities. Today, Disability Law Colorado is recognized as a leader in the National Disability Rights Network made up of Protection and Advocacy programs from all the states and territories.

For Colorado Gives Day, Disability Law Colorado has a $15,000 fundraising goal. By donating through Colorado Gives, your gift will go further thanks to a $1 million dollar incentive fund. Click here to donate.