July 21, 2019

Colorado Eminent Domain Practice: The Essential Guide to Condemnation Law and Practice in Colorado

Colorado Eminent Domain Practice, the essential guide to condemnation law and practice in Colorado, will be updated and released this fall. Authored by Leslie Fields, a nationally renowned eminent domain practitioner who retired from Faegre Baker Daniels after 33 years of practice, the updated treatise includes insights into new and important eminent domain case law. On November 16th Ms. Fields will join with current FaegreBD partners, Jack Sperber, Brandee Caswell, and Sarah Kellner, as well as other eminent domain experts, to teach a course entitled Colorado Eminent Domain Practice: Books in Action. The course will draw from the key concepts and developments highlighted in the updated text.

Among the many cases featured in the updated treatise will be last year’s Colorado Court of Appeals decision in Town of Silverthorne v. Lutz, 370 P.3d 368 (Colo. App. 2016). In Lutz, the court upheld the trial court’s exclusion of evidence that the town had received funds from the Great Outdoors Colorado Program (GOCO) for the recreational trail project necessitating the taking of the Lutz property. Even though a state constitutional provision barred GOCO funds from being used to acquire property by condemnation, the court held that evidence of the special funding was not relevant to the town’s authority to condemn the easements under long established case law. The court further reasoned that a condemnation action is a special statutory proceeding that must be conducted according to statutory procedures, and the parties may not raise issues, such as project funding, which would change the character of a condemnation action. The court also stated that while the constitution prohibits GOCO funds from being used to pay the just compensation for condemned property, it does not preclude the use of the funds for other aspects of the project. Therefore, evidence of GOCO funding was properly excluded.

Finally, the Lutz court also rejected the property owners’ argument that evidence of GOCO funding was admissible to show that the town acted in bad faith in deciding that their property was necessary for construction of the trail project. For more on bad faith necessity challenges, as well as the other issues raised in Lutz, refer to the updated Colorado Eminent Domain Practice by Leslie Fields, and register for Thursday’s program using the links below.

CLE Program: Colorado Eminent Domain Practice

This CLE presentation will occur on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the CLE Large Classroom (1900 Grant St., 3rd Floor) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Register for the live program here and the webcast here. You may also call (303) 860-0608 to register.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here — CD Homestudy • Video OnDemandMP3 Audio

CBA-CLE Welcomes Vincent O’Brien, Our New Executive Director

CBA-CLE is proud to welcome Vincent “Vince” O’Brien as our new Executive Director. Vince hails from Minnesota, where he was Assistant Director and Program Attorney at Minnesota CLE. He has been at Minnesota CLE since 1987. Vince also spent 20 years working as a firefighter and EMT for the Hastings Fire Department in Minnesota, and he is active on his local school board. Prior to his work at Minnesota CLE, Vince was a public defender and in private practice, where he practiced in the areas of probate, estate planning, family law, business planning, and criminal defense.

Vince is a proud husband to Amy, an ER nurse, and father of five children ranging in ages from 24 to 3. He likes to run and work out in his spare time, and he loves great literature. When asked about a favorite sports team, Vince wisely declined to comment (this is Broncos Country, after all), but mentioned that Amy is a Green Bay Packers fan.

CLE was a natural fit for Vince, because he is passionate about life-long learning and all it entails. He has worked two jobs for most of his adult life; he commented that working at CBA-CLE will be the first time he will have a sole professional objective. Vince notes that he loves to work with attorneys and listen to them and think about their needs: “There’s an obscure note in a translation of ‘The Art of War,’ where, in discussing the five elements, a commentating general talks about seeing the tree on the plain before it grows… I have been very fortunate a few times to ‘see the tree’ in my work in CLE.”

Vince plans 33 seminars annually, and notes that one of his favorite and most successful ventures was a series of TED Talk-style programs with the estate planning group. Vince mentioned that he likes all the programs he plans, from the rural agricultural law programs to the large multi-day probate conference. He is looking forward to working with the CBA-CLE members and staff to empower people to do best they can and grow to meet increasingly diversified educational needs.

Before working at Minnesota CLE, Vince was a practicing attorney. When asked about a favorite practice area, Vince said, “Cases where I felt I truly helped people were my favorite—in criminal defense, family law, and Veterans disability appeals.” He related a story where once he used vacation time to try a family law case pro bono. On the first day of trial, the judge called counsel and said that if he were to rule preliminarily on what was in the record, he would rule against Vince’s client. However, after that week of “vacation,” Vince prevailed and his client had a successful outcome.

Education of non-attorneys is also important to Vince—he has been on his local school board in Hastings, Minnesota, for many years, and has been in leadership roles such as the school board chair, vice-chair, treasurer, and secretary. He found that his extensive school board experience helped his continuing legal education work in two ways. First, he took an active role in getting into classrooms and observing how “educational processes, differentiation, and technology, blended with classically wonderful teaching methods and hard work led to evolved learning, data-driven practices, and engaged students.” Vince would like to transfer these teaching models into CLE programming. Second, working on the school board helped him learn to listen respectfully to the different factions and interests to steer vision and focus processes.

CBA-CLE is excited to welcome Vince. His vision for our future is to work together with our great staff and wonderful stakeholders throughout Colorado, to evolve the CLE work as best we can. He is excited to present innovative and important education for attorneys.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go — CLE Says Farewell to Assistant Executive Director Dawn McKnight


It is a sad day at CBA-CLE as we say goodbye to our leader, coworker, and friend — Dawn McKnight. Dawn has devoted over fourteen years to CBA-CLE. She began her tenure in the publications department. However, she left CBA-CLE after a short time to utilize her varied skills on the partnership track in private practice. Her drive and enthusiasm so impressed CBA-CLE Executive Director Gary Abrams that when the position of Publications Director opened up, he wooed her for three months to take over the department. To our relief, she finally relented and accepted the position. We are so glad she did.


As with everything she does, Dawn has tirelessly led the publications department with dedication and integrity. Under her guidance, the publications department went from a two-person department with a handful of books to a full-scale legal publisher with a staff of seven offering about 60 original titles.


In addition to growing the publications department, Dawn became CBA-CLE’s Assistant Executive Director in 2006. She capably assumed the added responsibilities of assisting with the management of a large nonprofit corporation during the economic downturn while handling the challenges of a publications department in an increasingly digital age.


Alas, though, all good things must come to an end. Dawn has accepted a position with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. She has promised to return to us, though, to present at CLE programs. We are going to hold her to it!


Congratulations, Dawn, on your new endeavor. Oh, the places you’ll go — you will continue to do amazing things, although you will be sorely missed at CBA-CLE.


The Colorado Lawyer Book Review: Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in Colorado

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2016 edition of The Colorado Lawyer. Reprinted with permission.

ZLLCAP15Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in Colorado 

by Herrick K. Lidstone, Jr. and Allen Sparkman
687 pp., plus CD-ROM; $109 ($99 for CBA members)
CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2015
1900 Grant St., Ste. 300, Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-0608; www.cle.cobar.org

Reviewed by Keith M. Olivia

Keith M. Olivia is a member of Roberts & Olivia, LLC in Boulder, where he represents businesses and individuals in their transactional matters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Law, where he co-teaches the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic—kmolivia@wrrlaw.com.

Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in Colorado is a practitioner’s guide that is primarily focused on Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs) and Colorado partnerships, including general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability limited partnerships. A typical chapter opens with a discussion of the relevant Colorado LLC law and then compares and contrasts the various Colorado partnership laws. In addition to the primary focus on Colorado unincorporated business entities, the authors frequently compare and contrast the Colorado law with the Delaware law on unincorporated business entities, especially when the Delaware law differs from the Colorado law or the Delaware courts have addressed a matter that has not been addressed by the Colorado courts.

The first chapter provides an interesting historical perspective of the development of partnerships (which date back to ancient times), limited partnerships, and LLCs. The early chapters address choice of entity issues and then walk the reader through forming the entity, drafting the operating or partnership agreement that governs the entity, and dissolving the entity. The chapters that follow focus on the rights and duties of members, managers, and partners; derivative actions filed by members on behalf of an LLC; the transfer of membership and partnership interests and the restrictions imposed on such transfers; creditors’ rights and theories of owner liability for the debts of the entity; the merger or conversion of LLCs and partnerships into other business entities; special uses of unincorporated entities, such as single or special purpose entities, joint ventures, and regulated businesses, including the practice of law; and the “Series LLC,” which provides for the segregation of assets under a single legal entity and is permitted under Delaware law but not yet under Colorado law.

Additional chapters address the applicability of the securities laws, income tax laws, and employment tax laws to LLCs and partnerships. The final chapters address the use of LLCs and partnerships for estate planning purposes, as well as ethical considerations, such as defining “who is the client” and potential conflicts of interest when the attorney represents multiple parties and enters into business transactions with the entity client.

The three appendices to the text are (1) a form operating agreement for a manager-managed, multi-member LLC, (2) a form operating agreement for a manager-managed, single-member LLC, and (3) an LLC formation checklist that summarizes the material points that counsel should consider when forming an LLC. Each of the appendices includes cross-references to where the relevant provisions are addressed in the text and annotations to the underlying law. The accompanying CD-ROM includes Microsoft Word versions of the form documents and a searchable table of authorities and subject matter index for the text.

Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in Colorado is a comprehensive practitioner’s guide that is suitable for seasoned transactional attorneys who routinely form unincorporated business entities and attorneys who occasionally work with discreet issues related to Colorado LLCs and partnerships. The text is compiled into coherent chapters that thoroughly address the Colorado statutes for unincorporated business entities; other substantive areas of the law related to LLCs and partnerships that attorneys routinely address, such as tax law and securities law; and practical uses of limited liability companies and partnerships to address specific client needs, such as estate planning.

Colorado attorneys who work with LLCs and partnerships and who purchase this cost-effective reference tool for their law libraries will quickly recoup the cost. Attorneys will also appreciate the well-developed forms of multi-member and single-member operating agreements and the LLC formation checklist, whether they are used as a starting point for drafting documents for a client or to supplement clauses in practitioners’ existing form documents.

CLE Book: Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships in Colorado

Order this CLE book online here or call (303) 860-0608 to order.

Standard price: $109.00
CBA member price: $99.00

End of an Era: Willis Carpenter Retires from Teaching

carpenterSince 1977, Willis Carpenter’s 10-week course, Colorado Real Estate Practice, has been the go-to class for learning the basics of real estate law in Colorado. He has taught hundreds of students, many of whom have become the “Who’s Who” of Colorado real estate law. Willis recently decided that this year would be his last for teaching the class. We at Colorado CLE are immensely grateful to him for sharing his sharp legal mind and being a mentor in our classroom for so many years. As eloquently stated by Dan Sweetser, current chair of the Colorado Bar Association Real Estate Section, “Without Willis, there would not be a real estate section. All of us have learned from him and are still learning.” Will has also taught at the annual Colorado Real Estate Symposium almost every year since its inception in 1983, and taught at its precursor, the Annual Real Estate Institute, multiple times as well.

IMG_7118Will has had many co-speakers at his Colorado Real Estate Practice class through the years—Naomi Gonzales; Linnea Mitchell Simons, Esq.; Margie (Mary Margaret) Stroock Low, Esq.; Cynthia Hodge Shearer, Esq.; Holly Hoxeng; Blair Lichtenfels, Esq.; and Emma Keyser, Esq. Holly Hoxeng, Willis’s co-speaker for many years, shared a few thoughts about what makes Willis so special: “He is always glad to talk on the phone with another attorney. He says, ‘We are in this together and if talking a problem through will keep another attorney from committing malpractice, that’s what I am here for.’ All he asks is that you pass it on. Mr. Carpenter teaches by example, he doesn’t shy away from telling a story about himself to get the point across. He calls himself a ‘dirt lawyer’ – I guess that would make him the dean of dirt law!” Holly also reminded me of one important point Willis emphasizes in each of his classes: “Don’t forget to attach Exhibit A!”

Carpenter-GuitarI have had the pleasure of working with Will for the past several years as the editor of his treatises, Colorado Real Estate Practice and Colorado Title Insurance Practice. Will’s knowledge of the law is immense, yet his demeanor is understated and humble. He is kind above all. I feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Will. In addition to the two treatises, Will authors the “Easements” chapter in Cathy Krendl’s Colorado Methods of Practice series. He has also written numerous articles for The Colorado Lawyer, the Krendl books, the Denver Law Journal, and Colorado Farmer & Rancher. As Real Estate Section council member Geoffrey Anderson relates, “One of the things that makes Willis Willis is his great humility. Over the years, and especially the last few years, Willis has received many (well deserved) awards. With Willis, there’s no strutting or preening, just a graceful graciousness. He is a true role model.”

Willis has been a fixture in the Colorado real estate bar for many years. He is a member of the Colorado and Denver bar associations, and served as president of the DBA in 1978-1979. He received the annual Award of Merit from both the DBA (1993) and CBA (2004), and he served on the CBA Board of Governors from 1975 to 1980. He chaired the CBA Real Estate Section in 1976-1977, received the Section’s first Deserving Member Award in 1986, and received the Section’s first Hall of Fame award in 2004. He was a member of the Real Estate Section’s Title Standards Committee from 1980 to 2015. He was a Director for CLE in Colorado from 1967 through 1988. He also was the first recipient of the Richard N. Doyle CLE Award of Excellence in 2002, and the 2013 Colorado CLE Annual Real Estate Symposium was renamed the Willis Carpenter Real Estate Symposium in his honor.

Carpenter-symposiumWillis is a native of Colorado. He attended public schools in Hayden and Denver and graduated from East Denver High School. He received an A.B. degree from Princeton University, cum laude, in 1951, and received an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1954. He was also on active and reserve duty with the United States Naval Reserves from 1954 to 1977, where he retired with the rank of Captain. He has been in private practice in Denver since 1954, excluding service in the Navy from 1955 to 1958. His practice focuses on real estate and commercial transactions, farm and ranch sales, conservation easements, and title insurance issues. He is also a licensed title insurance agent; he has been a shareholder of Attorneys Title Guarantee Fund since 1968 and was a vice president and member of its Board of Directors in 1976-1977.

We at CLE are grateful to Willis for his tireless contributions to the bar. We appreciate all he has done for us, and admire his willingness to share his scholarship for so many years. Thank you, Will. We won’t forget to attach Exhibit A.

Congratulations to Justice Hobbs and Judge Davidson, Recipients of the 2015 Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence

On Monday, November 16, 2015, CLE in Colorado hosted its annual Richard N. Doyle CLE Award of Excellence presentation at the Faculty and Author Thank You Reception. This year’s recipients of CLE’s Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence were former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs and former Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson. We at CLE in Colorado appreciate the contributions of all our volunteer faculty and authors. Thank you for graciously donating your time and energy to our programs and publications.

Justice Hobbs retired from the Colorado Supreme Court this past August. He was appointed to the Court in 1996, and authored over 250 majority opinions in his judicial career. He is an avid historian and proponent of water rights in Colorado. He has written and contributed to several books, including the Colorado Water Law Benchbook, two editions of the Public’s Water ResourceLiving the Four Corners: Colorado, Centennial State at the Headwaters, and Into the Grand. He is also a frequent speaker at CLE events, including water law and appellate practice events.

Judge Davidson was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1988, where she served until January 2014. Judge Davidson is now at IAALS, where she is a Senior Advisor to the Honoring Families Initiative. For years, Judge Davidson was the managing editor of the Colorado Appellate Handbook, and she helped form the majority of the book’s content, making it into an extraordinarily helpful litigation resource. Judge Davidson is also a speaker for CLE, most recently appearing at the Appellate Practice Hot Topics seminar.

We are grateful to Justice Hobbs, Judge Davidson, and all our outstanding faculty and authors. We couldn’t do it without you.


Gary Abrams, Executive Director of CLE in Colorado, gave the introductions.


Marc Painter, Chair of the CLE Board of Directors, introduced Justice Gregory Hobbs.


Justice Hobbs accepting his award.


Dawn McKnight, CLE’s Assistant Executive Director and Publications Director, presented the award to Judge Davidson.


Judge Davidson accepting her award.


Attorney Kim Willoughby provided Vanjak Vodka for the reception, and Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada provided Lawyer’s Lager. Thank you both for the libations.


The food and camaraderie were terrific.


No CLE event would be complete without delicious desserts created by the masterful bakers on the CLE staff.

Learn to Negotiate Effectively – Gain the Edge!®

Everyone negotiates. If you are a lawyer – regardless of your practice area – your ability to negotiate effectively may be one of the most critical skills you possess.

Like any skill we possess, our negotiation techniques will grow and develop as we feed them. Our upcoming Gain the Edge!® Negotiation Strategies for Lawyers seminar with Marty Latz will help lawyers hone their skills and become more effective negotiators. The video clip above shows you just one of Marty’s tips for handling negotiations successfully.

As Marty explained to us “There’s basically a right way to negotiate, and there’s a wrong way to negotiate.” While most of us tend to wing it while negotiating, Marty will share decades of proven expert research to help you sharpen your negotiating skills by navigating away from an instinctive or intuitive mindset towards a more strategic method.

This program has something for everyone. “Everybody benefits. Negotiation is truly a life skill,” as Marty says. Whether you are a litigator, family lawyer, or real estate practitioner, negotiations come into your practice. Perhaps you are trying to close a business deal, encountering discovery disputes, trying to solve a taxation issue, or negotiating your office lease. Whatever it is that you do, this program will provide you tips for negotiating in any professional legal environment. By attending, you’ll gain tools to negotiate more successfully with all of the people you encounter: your bosses, co-workers, employees, clients, and other lawyers.

We hope you’ll join us and Marty for Gain the Edge! ® Negotiation Strategies for Lawyers. You can learn more about the topics Marty will cover by viewing the program brochure. As a bonus, each attendee will receive a copy of Marty’s book, Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want. To reserve your spot now, click here to register online or call (303) 860-0608.

Then mark your calendar and come prepared to improve your skills and have fun at the same time. Marty’s other seminar attendees have told him that they “not only find [the information] useful, practical, and interesting but they also really enjoy themselves.”

We hope you’ll enjoy it too!

CLE Program: Gain the Edge! ® Negotiation Strategies for Lawyers

This CLE presentation will take place Friday, October 2, 2015 at the CLE offices. All class attendees will receive a copy of Marty Latz’s book, Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want. Live program only – click here to register.

Editor’s Note: A version of this post originally appeared on the blog of the Legal Education Society of Alberta on July 28, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

Associate’s Mind: Book Review — Writing to Win

keith-lee-birmingham-alabama-attorneyEditor’s Note: This post originally appeared on July 12, 2012, on Keith Lee’s blog, Associate’s Mind. Reprinted with permission.

CLE in Colorado is hosting two half-day programs presented by Writing to Win author Steven Stark; see below for registration information.

Roughly a month ago I received a review copy of Steven Stark’s Writing To Win. It’s taken this long for me to get the review up because A) I’ve been busy and B) I always fully read any book I receive and Writing To Win is long and dense – albiet in the all the best ways possible. Writing To Win now sits next to Ross Guberman’s Point Made as one of my favorite books on legal writing.

In my review of Point Made I stated:

Point Made is not an introductory level book. If you’re not familiar with basic legal writing, you might be better off starting somewhere else. But it might be the best technique oriented legal book I’ve ever read . . . Point Made is a tactical book. Point Made provides granular-level advice that can immediately be implemented in your writing.

Writing To Win is the introductory book I would hand anyone looking to learn about legal writing. If I were to design a legal writing course, it would be the course textbook.

Writing To Win’s strength is in its organization and clarity of purpose. Both of which are what Stark emphasizes again and again as fundamental tenant of strong legal writing. The book is broken into four section:

  1. The Fundamentals of Legal Writing
  2. The Fundamentals of Argument for All Lawyers
  3. Writing in Litigation
  4. Writing in Legal Practice

The first section, The Fundamentals of Legal Writing, begins with a focus on organization. It then moves into the actual construction of text. Like every other good book on legal writing in emphasizes core points:

  • Avoid legal jargon
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it simple
  • Write for the reader, not for yourself

But Stark lays it out in a very effective way. Each topic is broken down, examined, then placed into context of the the larger purposes of legal writing. Each topic also flows directly into the next one while building on top of the previous material. It’s masterfully done – the text is a perfect example of the type of writing Stark is discussing.

The second section, The Fundamentals of Argument for All Lawyers, takes a very different approach to crafting legal arguments than I imagine is taught in most law schools. For example this section:

So any time you compose an argument . . . my advice would be to do enough research first to get a general sens of the law. No matter how complex the matter, this research should never take more than an hour or so. Then put all you research aside ask yourself, if I had to explain to a judge, or another lawyer, or a client why we should win without resorting to any precedent or law, what would I say? In laymen’s terms, why are we right? Then write those reasons down. . .

Outline the argument, research it later.

Which I have found to be an excellent tool in my own writing. It’s just a shame that I had to come to it on my own and was not taught it in law school. I was also pleased to see that Stark gave heavy emphasis to the advertising industry. Like I stated in my post about the writing blogs I follow, I think lawyers could gain a lot my studying the techniques the advertising industry uses to persuade consumers. It’s nice to see it echoed in Writing To Win. 

Also, Stark emphasizes the use of narrative in argument. A well constructed narrative is the difference between a slog of a brief and one that pulls the reader along. Stark quotes Chief Justice John Roberts in this section, which makes the point most succinctly:

Every lawsuit is a story, I don’t care if its about a dry contract interpretation; you’ve got two people who want to accomplish something, and they’re coming together – that’s a story. And you’ve got to tell a good story.

Sorry lawyers, you’ve got to be good authors too. But most of you probably secretly want to do that anyway.

The last two sections, Writing in Litigation and Writing in Legal Practice, provide detailed strategies for tackling a number of styles of legal writing. From affidavits to appeals, from memos to emails, Stark provides concrete methods for making smooth, organized, flowing language that should make the text easier to parse for readers. The sections are littered with tips like study a cookbook or board game to improve your technical writing (taking a complex set of rules and systems and explaining them in a way that anyone can understand). It’s too much to go into here, but it Stark does an excellent job covering the most common writing scenarios lawyers deal with day to day.


Earlier I stated that Writing To Win “is the introductory book I would hand anyone looking to learn about legal writing.” This not because the book is simple or a beginner level book – it’s because it is one of the clearest and most well organized books on legal writing I’ve had the pleasure to read. Any law student or new lawyer looking to brush up on their writing skills would do well to pick up this book. Highly recommended.

Worth noting, the Appendix of the book contains 8 General Rules for Professionalism in Legal Writing. The number one rule?

Never lie under any circumstance. 

Sometimes I think lawyers forget that.

Keith Lee is a lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Associate’s Mind, one of the most popular legal blogs in the US. Associate’s Mind has been linked to by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, ABA Journal, dozens of  blogs and websites, and has been featured as an Editor’s Pick at the Browser. It is frequently featured in the national newsletter, Technolawyer, and many of its articles were syndicated to LexisNexis. Associate’s Mind was selected as one of the “Blawg 100″ by the ABA Journal for 2011. Keith also writes a weekly column for Above The Law.

CLE in Colorado is hosting two half-day programs presented by Writing to Win author Steven D. Stark on October 1, 2015: “Legal Writing in the Smartphone Age” in the morning and “Writing to Win” in the afternoon. All attendees of the afternoon program will receive a copy of Writing to Win. To register, click the links below or call (303) 860-0608.

CLE Programs: Legal Writing in the Smartphone Age AND Writing to Win

These CLE presentations will take place Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the CLE offices. Click here to register for “Legal Writing in the Smartphone Age,” click here to register for “Writing to Win,” and click here to register for both programs. These programs are also available as webcasts.

Search and Seizure Law in Colorado: Update and Overview

Search-SeizureThe Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Since its ratification in 1791, the Fourth Amendment has been examined in myriad fact situations in thousands of cases. Practically every word in the Fourth Amendment has been adjudicated, in cases ranging from the mundane to the insane:

  • Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983): The police received an anonymous letter implicating Susan and Lance Gates in a drug trafficking scheme. Police corroborated details of the anonymous letter and were able to obtain a warrant to search the Gates’ home and car. The search was held to be valid even though the informant was anonymous.
  • People v. Leftwich, 869 P.2d 1260 (Colo. 1994): An anonymous note claimed defendant was an active drug dealer, but the investigating officer was unable to corroborate the details of the purported drug deals. This was held so insufficient to support probable cause that the warrant was not saved by the good faith exception, and all evidence was suppressed.
  • Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165, 173 (1952): Police forcibly entered defendant’s room and saw him put two capsules into his mouth. They were unable to extract the pills and took the defendant to the hospital, where a doctor forced him to vomit. The Supreme Court held the warrantless conduct “shocks the conscience” and offends a “sense of justice.”
  • People v. Thompson, 820 P.2d 1160, 1164 (Colo. App. 1991): Officers doing surveillance for a drug buy saw defendant swallow something as they approached. They got a warrant for an x-ray, which showed a drug-filled balloon. The court ruled that any intrusion from the x-ray was minimal and since police clearly saw defendant swallow an object, the search was reasonable.
  • United States v. Booker, 728 F.3d 535 (6th Cir. 2013): After a valid arrest, defendant was strip-searched at the police station, and officers saw a string sticking out of his anus. Defendant tried to push it in further, and was transported to the hospital where eventually he was sedated, intubated, and paralyzed, and 5 grams of crack cocaine was retrieved from his rectum. The court held that the search, which was initially lawful, went too far without a warrant.
  • Wilson v. Arkansas, 514 U.S. 917 (1995): While executing a search warrant, officers found the door to defendant’s home open and walked in, unannounced. Defendant argued the search was unreasonable because the officers did not knock and announce their presence. The Supreme Court agreed, reversing the trial court’s order to the contrary and ruling that a search warrant executed without a knock and announce may sometimes be unreasonable.
  • People v. King, 292 P.3d 959, 963 (Colo. App. 2011): Officers executed a valid search warrant for a hotel room and found no drugs, but requested that defendant remove his pants and eventually removed drugs from his anus. The court ruled that even a valid search warrant that specifies a search “on a person” does not authorize a strip search.

These are some of the many examples of issues arising from Fourth Amendment cases as highlighted by Attorney H. Morley Swingle, author of CLE in Colorado’s new book, Search and Seizure Law in Colorado. Swingle will discuss these cases and more at his entertaining program, “Search & Seizure Law in Colorado: Update and Overview,” on Friday, September 18, 2015. Click the links below to register or call (303) 860-0608.

CLE Program: Search & Seizure Law in Colorado: Update and Overview

This CLE presentation will take place Friday, September 18, 2015 at the CLE offices. Click here to register for the live program or click here to register for the webcast.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here – CD • Video OnDemand • MP3

Secretary of State Releases First Part of Series of Webinars for Nonprofit Directors

On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced its release of a free eLearning program for directors of nonprofit corporations, entitled “Board Education and Effectiveness.” The first part of this five-part series is called “Fiduciary Duties of Nonprofit Directors,” and is available online through the Secretary of State’s website.

The board effectiveness training program was developed through a series of meetings between the Secretary of State’s office and nonprofit community leaders. The program is designed in hopes of strengthening nonprofits in Colorado through education. The Secretary of State noted that not all nonprofit directors are clear in understanding their roles and responsibilities, so education is a key component to help instill best practices in these directors.

The remaining four segments will be released in the coming months, and the entire course should be available to the public by mid-2014.

Although the Secretary of State programs are designed for the public, Colorado Bar Association CLE offers a comprehensive resource for attorneys who advise nonprofits—A Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Corporations. This book, written by over 20 of Colorado’s top corporate attorneys, covers the legal aspects of forming nonprofit entities in Colorado, the fundamentals of choosing the form of the entity, the requirements of maintaining the entity’s tax-exempt status, and the complex and ever-changing tax laws — federal, state, and local — that impact nonprofit organizations.

CLE Book: A Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Corporations

The 2013 Supplement to A Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Corporations is now available. Click here to purchase the supplement online, or call (303) 860-0608.

Justice Gregory Hobbs Named a Colorado Author’s League Award Finalist

Justice HobbsGregory Hobbs, Colorado Supreme Court justice and author extraordinaire, was nominated for a 2013 Colorado Author’s League award for his book Into the Grand, a beautiful collection of poetry, prose, essays, and photography. We are proud of Justice Hobbs and congratulate him on his nomination.

Always humble, Justice Hobbs noted that he is honored to have been nominated, saying “It’s great to be listed! I’m pleased at the way the book looks. It’s satisfying to be one of CLE’s authors.” Justice Hobbs continued that he loves this beautiful state we live in and wishes that attorneys, who are usually very creative and artistic people, would share their gifts with the wider community more often.

Justice Hobbs is known for his work on the Colorado Supreme Court, but he is also a prolific poet and author. He has published three books through CBA-CLE: Into the GrandPublic’s Water Resource, and Living the Four CornersHe is active in Colorado’s water law community, and was a proud participant in last year’s Water 2012 book club programs.

For more information about Justice Hobbs’ books, click the links below or stop by the CLE offices.

CLE Book: Into the Grand

Justice Hobbs’ collection of poetry, prose, essays, and artwork is now available. Click here to order online or call (303) 860-0608.

To order all three of Justice Hobbs’ books as a discounted bundle — Into the GrandPublic’s Water Resource, and Living the Four Cornersclick here or call (303) 860-0608.

New Year’s Resolution: Get More Clients!

For attorneys who don’t have a marketing staff and want a larger online presence, there are a bewildering number of options and companies that offer advice and services. Three founders of an Internet marketing firm have published a book, How to Turn Clicks Into Clients: The Ultimate Law Firm Guide for Getting More Clients Through the Internet,that offers simple but effective tips for small and solo law firms looking to attract new clients and show up higher in Internet search engines (and do it in an ethical and effective way). The strategies from the authors, Mark Homer, Ed Rush and Jabez LeBret, come from their experience at their firm, where they work primarily with small and solo law firms.

If you’re looking to take a course on the subject, CBA-CLE is hosting one of the authors, Jabez LeBret, for a half-day CLE program on January 18. All three authors presented at a number of bar associations around the country in 2012 and the response from the seminar has been enthusiastic. Solo and small firm attorneys can get practical, hands-on tips during the program that will focus on three areas: How to optimize your website properly; local listing directories — reviews and client confidentiality; and Google Places — what you can and can’t do. Everyone who attends will receive a copy of How to Turn Clicks Into Clients: The Ultimate Law Firm Guide for Getting More Clients Through the Internet.

Mr. LeBret is an experienced speaker, and has delivered more than 900 presentations over the last nine years to organizations including Microsoft, Deloitte, Boeing, and GE. He is considered a leading authority on monetizing Social Media and often speaks at industry conferences on this subject.

There are other excellent books available that teach techniques on how to increase your online presence and you can also search online for information, with a number of blogs available that focus on this topic. The only thing that is certain with the Internet is that things can change quickly. For attorneys who are looking to maintain a strong online presence, we encourage ongoing research and education. Learning from the experts is a good way to stay up-to-date and to protect yourself and your firm.

CLE Program: Turning Clicks Into Clients

This CLE presentation will take place on Friday, January 18, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. Click here to register for the morning’s live program, and click here to register for the afternoon’s live program.

This program will also be offered as a webcast. Click here for the morning’s webcast and click here for the afternoon.