December 18, 2018

Colorado Gives: Help Provide Justice for All through Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

It’s Colorado Gives Day today, and you can make a big difference for some of the least fortunate and most vulnerable members of our community by supporting Legal Aid. Donate here to help ensure that low-income Coloradans are not left to face serious civil legal problems alone.

Contributions to the Legal Aid Foundation help support Colorado Legal Services (CLS), which provides free legal services to over 10,000 Coloradans every year, giving priority to the poor, elderly and disabled in greatest economic and social need. Unfortunately, for every client served by CLS, at least one income-eligible client is turned away because of inadequate resources.  CLS has only 50 lawyers statewide to serve nearly 800,000 income-eligible Coloradans.  By comparison, there are nearly 500 public defenders in the state to serve the indigent in serious criminal matters.

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 individuals and 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 quick and easy, and all donations made today will receive a proportional “boost” from a $1 Million Incentive Fund.  Please join lawyers from around the state today in helping Colorado move closer to fulfilling the promise of “justice for all.”

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

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 this week in honor of Colorado Gives Day—Tuesday, December 5, 2017. These charities, and many, many others, greatly appreciate your donations of time and money.

MVL-50-Year-Logo (png) SmallerMetro 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. Click here to donate and/or submit an online application to volunteer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The CBA-CLE offices will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, and will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Our website is always open, though — visit http://cle.cobar.org to register for programs, order homestudies, or purchase books.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving!

The Colorado Lawyer Self-Assessment Program

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jonathan White of the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. You can find out more about the lawyer self-assessment survey on the OARC website

By Jonathan P. White, Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Colorado has launched its new lawyer self-assessment program designed to help lawyers better serve clients and simplify their professional lives. This program arises out of a multi-year initiative of a subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee. Over 50 practicing lawyers have participated in the subcommittee. They have drawn from their professional experience to identify practices that promote client service, that lead to more efficient office management, and that allow lawyers to assess their practice’s ethical infrastructure. The subcommittee’s goal is to help lawyers assess their practice and identify points of excellence and areas for improvement.

There are ten individual areas of self-assessment:

  1. Developing a competent practice;
  2. Communicating in an effective, timely, professional manner and maintaining relations;
  3. Ensuring that confidentiality requirements are met;
  4. Avoiding conflicts of interest;
  5. Maintaining appropriate file and records management systems;
  6. Managing the law firm/legal entity and staff appropriately;
  7. Charging appropriate fees and making appropriate disbursements;
  8. Ensuring that reliable trust account practices are in use;
  9. Working to improve the administration of justice and access to legal services; and
  10. Wellness and inclusivity.

Ultimately, these self-assessments should help attorneys avoid grievances and alleviate some of the stress associated with practice, especially for solo and small firm practitioners and those new to practice. The self-assessments are voluntary and confidential. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel does not receive any personally-attributable answers. The assessments offer links to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and to a variety of educational resources ranging from template forms to advisory opinions to articles on current professionalism issues.

Lawyers can now view and complete the self-assessments through the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel’s website: https://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/AboutUs/LawyerSelfAssessmentProgram.asp. Lawyers can choose to take all ten self-assessments through an online survey platform accessible at the top of the previously-referenced webpage. This online platform may be used on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device. As an alternative, lawyers may also download the print/PDF survey through the same webpage. After completing either the online self-assessment or the print/PDF version, lawyers may claim up to three general credit hours and three ethics credit hours of continuing legal education. A CLE affidavit is available on the self-assessment program webpage, as well as through the online survey itself.

Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center on October 20

On Friday, October 20, 2017, the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center will host a celebratory gala in honor of its 35th anniversary. The Legacy Gala will feature a presentation by former Denver Broncos running back Reggie Rivers. There will also be an awards ceremony, a live auction, and a silent auction, in addition to dinner and cocktails. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Legacy Gala, and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center is accepting donations for the silent auction as well. To register for the event or to learn more about sponsorship, click here.

Lawyers Run for Kids on October 1, 2017

Run for a good cause! The 2017 Hot Chocolate 5K/15K will take place on October 1, 2017. You can support the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center while you run — the Children’s Law Center arranged with Hot Chocolate to invite you, your business, and its clients to run in a fun and chocolate-filled race against other businesses in the Denver metro area. Join Lawyers Run for Kids with employees or clients to race against other businesses for bragging rights, all while making a difference in a child’s life.

The Children’s Law Center Lawyers Run for Kids lets you:

  • Create teams with your colleagues and build office camaraderie (we encourage professionals in all work
    sectors and industries to participate!)
  • Invite your clients to join you for a fun, relationship-building event
  • Race against other businesses for fabulous prizes – there’s more than one way to win!
  • Run with your friends and make a tax-deductible donation through your sponsorship to help the kids we serve!

Perks for you:

  • Every runner will receive a Lawyers Run for Kids tech t-shirt, with all teams business logos on back of shirt
  • Hot Chocolate Swag including a soft, tech-fabric pullover, goodie bag, chocolate medal and finish line hot chocolate fondue and dippers
  • Children’s Law Center prizes for fastest (and slowest) male, female and coed teams as well as an elite prize for the firm with the most teams
  • Prominent recognition via: Law week Colorado post-race color ad, Children’s Law Center social media platforms, website, & quarterly newsletter
  • Special rates for government employees, non-profit employees, and CLC Junior Board members!

Registration information is available here. Register individuals and teams by September 13 in order to have your logo printed on the Lawyers Run for Kids shirt. Click here to register, and use coupon code MTQJYBFMQP to have your registration completed by the Children’s Law Center.

Attorney Volunteers Needed for Hurricane Harvey Victims

The Colorado Bar Association extends its heartfelt sympathy and support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. In light of the severity of the situation, the Texas Supreme Court has issued an order allowing attorneys licensed and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction to practice in Texas for six months so that they can volunteer their services to assist victims of this natural disaster. According to the ABA Journal, lawyers will be needed for disaster appeals with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to help people secure temporary housing, to get money for home repairs, and to deal with insurance claims. Click here for more information and to volunteer.

Out-of-state lawyers without practice-area expertise or the time to handle cases may consider donating money to area legal services groups, particularly Lone Star Legal Aid. Lone Star Legal Aid suffered a double blow from the hurricane when their flood-damaged Houston office exploded. Currently, their Angleton/Clute, Beaumont, Bryan, Conroe, and Galveston offices also remain closed. The Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is holding a donation drive for Lone Star Legal Aid from now through next Friday. Click here to donate to Lone Star Legal Aid through the CBA-YLD donation drive.

Other legal aid organizations providing help through the area are also accepting donations, including Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

The CBA thanks those Colorado attorneys who are willing and able to help.

Happy Fourth of July from CBA-CLE!

Happy Fourth of July from CBA-CLE! The CBA-CLE offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in honor of Independence Day.

Most people learned in elementary school that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, but did you know there’s more to the story? The Declaration of Independence was first drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, and, after some revisions, the Continental Congress approved the draft on July 2, 1776. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776—John Hancock and Charles Thompson. Most of the rest of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence signed on August 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was not actually submitted to Britain until November 1776.

Independence Day was not celebrated until many years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Political strife after the War of 1812 helped promote the country’s celebrations related to the Declaration of Independence, printed copies of which all bore the date July 4, 1776. When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, the day became even more widely celebrated. Finally, in 1870, Congress passed a bill to recognize several national holidays, including Independence Day and Christmas. In 1941, Congress voted to grant a paid holiday to government workers on July 4. Today, most people celebrate the Fourth of July by decorating with American flags, cooking out, and watching fireworks.

Regardless of how you celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Comment Period Open for Reappointment of Federal Bankruptcy Judge Michael E. Romero

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that Federal Bankruptcy Judge Michael E. Romero’s 14-year term of office will expire on December 21, 2017. The court is considering whether to reappoint Judge Romero for a new 14-year term of office. Under a new appointment, Judge Romero would continue to exercise jurisdiction as a bankruptcy judge under Titles 11 and 28 of the United States Code.

Comments about Judge Romero’s reappointment are now being accepted by the Tenth Circuit. All comments will be kept confidential. Comments should be mailed to

David Tighe
Circuit Executive
Byron White United States Courthouse
1823 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80257

and must be received no later than July 21, 2017. For more information about the reappointment, click here.

In Memoriam: John Campbell

We at CBA-CLE were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of John Campbell, a managing editor, author, and frequent presenter for CBA-CLE on elder law topics.

John practiced estate planning and elder law at the Law Offices of John J. Campbell, PC, in Denver, where he offered services in the areas of elder law, estate planning, probate law, guardianships, and conservatorships, Social Security, SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare setaside trusts, and disability trusts, and he offers special consultations in settlement of personal injury and workers’ compensation claims involving public benefits.

John was active in the Trust & Estate and Elder Law sections of the Colorado Bar Association, and was past-chair of the Elder Law Section. He was also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, was certified in elder law by the National Elder Law Association, and was a member of the Arapahoe County Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals.

John was the managing editor of Elder Law in Colorado and an author for the Colorado Senior Law Handbook. He was also was a frequent speaker for CBA-CLE, presenting annually at the Elder Law Retreat and Elder Law Basics seminars.

We wish to offer our deepest condolences to John’s family in this time of sorrow.

Run, Walk, Roll — Support Disability Law Colorado at This Year’s Colfax Marathon

Doing good has never been so fun! Support Disability Law Colorado by running, walking, or rolling in the Colfax Marathon. There is a race for everyone — there is a family 5K on Saturday, May 20, 2017 (dogs are welcome!), and on Sunday there is a 10 miler, half-marathon, full marathon, and corporate marathon relay.

The marathon relay is a great way to connect with your coworkers while getting out in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. You even get a medal at the finish! Just find five people for your team and register at www.runcolfax.org. Make sure to select Disability Law Colorado as your charity partner.

If running doesn’t sound so fun, you can still support Disability Law Colorado by making a tax-deductible donation. Contact Julie Busby at (303) 862-3505 for more details.

Application Period Open for Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel Contracts

The 2017 Application Form for The Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel is now open. To be awarded a new contract for the term of July 1, 2017, please submit this online, electronic form no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 31, 2017All applicants, including associate attorneys, are required to submit a substantive application as part of the evaluation process of the ORPC. To learn more about the application process and requirements, please refer to the Contract Renewal and Application Webinar.  Password for webinar:  ORPCApp$17  Link:  https://vimeo.com/205612668

Getting Started
To access the online ORPC Application Form, click the following link:  https://fs7.formsite.com/ORPCColorado/form33/index.html

For your review and reference only, a complete, printable version of the application is available here: https://fs7.formsite.com/ORPCColorado/form33/print

You must submit the online application, no paper application will be accepted.

You must have a Colorado Attorney Registration Number to apply.

Log In and Save Your Progress
Before beginning this form, you will be prompted to create a user login and password. These can be used to save and retrieve your work. Save your progress at any time by clicking “Save Partial Work” on the bottom of each page. Each time you advance to the next page, your work is automatically saved. To resume partially-completed work, click the link above to log in again. After logging in, click “Open Saved Form” to resume working. Be sure to advance to the last page of the form and click “Submit” before the deadline identified above.

Required Attachments to Prepare in Advance
You will be required to upload at least one electronic document to the online form (link above).  The required documents are listed below.  ORPC recommends that you begin collecting and preparing your document(s) with plenty of time before the March 31st deadline, and save each document on your computer, in PDF format.  You’ll be required to upload your document(s) when prompted on the online form—you may not e-mail or mail documents separately.  You can save your form and return to it later if you’re waiting on a required document.

  • One redacted legal writing sample – preferably a substantive D&N motion.  If you are interested in appeals please provide an appellate brief as your writing sample.
  • Your resume, indicating your legal and other relevant experience.

References
You will be prompted to submit the names and email addresses of two professional references and the names and contact information for all associates and staff.

Please notify your references that ORPC may be contacting them.

ORPC Budget
The ORPC has a pending budget request to pay all attorneys hourly regardless of their jurisdiction.  If this budget request is approved, attorneys in the following judicial districts will be paid hourly starting July 1, 2017:  2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th.

Questions?
Please contact Sara Settle at 303-731-8773 or ssettle@coloradoorpc.org with any questions about the instructions here or how to use the online form.