August 25, 2019

Post-Decree Clinics Continue to Serve Families

Editor’s Note: Pro Bono Week is this week, October 24-28, 2011. The Denver Bar Association has put together several days of events and parties for Pro Bono week, to recognize and celebrate the commitment to pro bono client services. Click here for more information.

More than 10 years after launching its first post-decree clinic with Faegre & Benson, Metro Volunteer Lawyers continues to serve clients whose legal problems arise after permanent orders have been entered in divorce and custody cases.

The first post-decree clinic began in 2000 as a collaborative effort between MVL and Faegre & Benson. It was the first post-decree family law clinic of its kind offered anywhere. Not only did Faegre & Benson make available its staff and attorneys to provide legal services to these clients, they also created and implemented a program to train and supervise attorneys participating in the post-decree clinic.

Over time, the post-decree clinic program has expanded. In an effort to address growing community needs, Faegre & Benson reached out to recruit and collaborate with other well-respected firms, starting with  Holland & Hart for additional clinics in Denver. Later, they worked with The Harris Law Firm to conduct clinics in Adams and Arapahoe counties for a year in order to expand, at least temporarily, the reach of those  who could be served by MVL.

Today, MVL and our partner firms—Faegre & Benson, Holland & Hart, and Johnson Sauer Legal Group—conduct post-decree clinics each month at the Denver and Jefferson County District Courts. Volunteers prepare relevant motions, pleadings, and proposed orders for people who are representing themselves in ongoing litigation. The attorneys simply advise the clients regarding the limited scope of representation and indicate on each document they produce for the clients, per Rule 11, that they have assisted with the preparation of those documents.

To keep volunteers active and interested, Faegre & Benson also hosts and coordinates an annual post-decree training CLE for all post-decree clinic volunteers to better educate the attorneys who provide the post-decree legal services. They also host a volunteer appreciation holiday party each year and feature MVL. The continued success and growth of the post-decree clinics is a true testament to the continued leadership and commitment that the firms that sponsor the post-decree clinics make to MVL to support and provide pro bono legal services.

We at MVL cannot thank our partners and supporters enough for their continued support of MVL, and look forward to our continued partnership and success in the future.

Dianne Van Voorhees is the executive director of Metro Volunteer Lawyers.

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Celebrate Pro Bono with a Week of Events from the DBA

Pro Bono Week is October 24-28, 2011. To recognize and celebrate the commitment to pro bono client services, the Denver Bar Association has put together several days of events and parties. We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 24:

Collections Clinic

From Noon to 2:00 pm, Alison Daniels and Jennifer Levin will present a basic training for attorneys who are interested in teaching the pro se clinic and/or want a general understanding of the collection process.

To be held at the CBA-CLE Offices, 3rd floor—Available Live and Webcast. 2 General CLE credits.

$49 for members and $69 for non-members, or complimentary when you sign up for a clinic! Register online for the webcast or live version of this program. You also may e-mail lunches@cobar.org, or call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727 and be sure to state if you are registering for the live or webcast.

 

Pro Bono Week Kick-Off Party

5:30–8:00 pm

From 5:30 to 8:00 pm, come celebrate and help kick off Pro Bono Week! The event will feature special guest speakers and Ignite presentations on pro bono. Interested in giving an Ignite presentation or would like more information? Contact hclark@cobar.org. Light appetizers, drinks and door prizes will be provided.

This free event will be held at Kutak Rock, 1801 California St. Suite 3100, in Denver.

RSVP online or to lunches@cobar.org or call (303) 860-1115, ext. 727.

Tuesday, October 25:

Small Claims Clinic Training

From noon to 2:00 pm, Kip Barrash will present a basic training for attorneys who are interested in teaching the small claims clinic or want a general understanding of the small claims process. Tips include gathering information; forms (where to get them, how to complete them); filing (how; where); defending your position (what to do and what not to do); and court procedure.

To be held at the CBA-CLE Offices, 3rd floor—Available Live and Webcast.

$49 for members and $69 for non-members, or complimentary when you sign up for a clinic! Register online for the webcast or live version of this program. You also may e-mail lunches@cobar.org, or call (303) 824-5350 and be sure to state if you are registering for the live or webcast.

Wednesday, October 26:

Metro Volunteer Lawyers Family Law Training

Sponsored by Faegre & Benson LLP

From 1 to 5:00 pm, this will be a training session for attorneys volunteering with Metro Volunteer Lawyers on family law matters, or those interested in volunteering. Agenda topics will include the anatomy of a family law case, evidence in family law matters, working with family law clients, professionalism, and procedural considerations. Afternoon snacks and refreshments will be provided at no cost to attendees. RSVP to Melissa Fri at MFri@faegre.com no later than Friday, Oct. 21.

This free event will be held at Faegre and Benson, 3200 Wells Fargo Center, 1700 Lincoln St., in Denver. 4 CLE credits applied for.

Supreme Court Amends Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Regarding Judge Advocates and Attorney Discipline, and Adds New Rules Regarding Law after Disasters, Legal Aid Clinic Externs, and a Lawyer Assistance Program

The Colorado Supreme Court has made several amendments and additions to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court has amended the rules regarding temporary admission to the state bar for judge advocates in the military as well as the grounds for discipline for attorney misconduct. Also, the Court has approved the addition of three new rules regarding the provision of legal services following a major disaster, legal aid clinics and externs, and establishing a Lawyer Assistance Program.

CRCP 201.3(3), Rules Governing Admission to the Bar – Classification of Applicants, was amended to read as follows (new language appears in bold):

A full-time commissioned officer and judge advocate of the military services of the United States stationed in this state may be temporarily admitted to the Bar of Colorado, upon request of his or her commanding officer. Such admission shall be solely for the purpose of practice and court appearance in his or her capacity as a judge advocate and shall continue only as long as he or she is serving as a judge advocate in Colorado, except that the attorney shall also be allowed to act as a pro bono/emeritus attorney as described in C.R.C.P. 223(1) below without further application or fee.

CRCP 224, Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of a Major Disaster, was added to the Rules. The rule outlines the procedures for the temporary practice of law by otherwise unauthorized attorneys in Colorado following a major emergency disaster in Colorado or another jurisdiction. The complete rule can be read here.

CRCP 226.5, Legal Aid Dispensaries and Law School Externs, was added to the Rules. The rule outlines the authorization process for law students who work for legal aid clinics to give legal advice to clients and appear before courts on their behalf. The complete rule can be read here.

CRCP 251.5(b), Grounds for Discipline, was amended to read as follows (revised language appears in bold):

Any criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; provided that conviction thereof in a criminal proceeding shall not be a prerequisite to the institution of disciplinary proceedings, and provided further that acquittal in a criminal proceeding shall not necessarily bar disciplinary action;

This language replaces the following, which has been removed from the revised rule:

Any act or omission which violates the criminal laws of this state or any other state, or of the United States

CRCP 254, Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program, establishes an independent program to assist attorneys and judges who are impaired, begin or continue recovery, and protect the interests of clients and the public. The COLAP services will include assistance to members of the legal profession who suffer from physical or mental disabilities resulting from disease, disorder, trauma, or age and that impair their ability to practice, educating members of the bar about such issues to raise awareness, planning interventions, and providing aftercare services. The complete rule can be read here.

Click here to read the full release, Rule Change 2011(10), regarding all changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.

Jefferson County Combined Court in First Judicial District to Offer Free Collection Clinics

The Jefferson County Combined Court will begin offering free Collection Clinics on the first Tuesday of the month, starting on August 2, 2011.

The clinics will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in Courtroom 1A.

An attorney will be teaching attendees about the following areas of interest regarding the collection of judgments:

  • Use of interrogatories to find assets
  • Transcripts of Judgment
  • Garnishments – preparation, serving, answers, default, and traverse
  • Exemptions – what they are and how to claim an exemption

Click here for more information from the First Judicial District.

Instructors Needed for Popular Small Claims and Collections Pro se Clinics

These popular clinics are offered once a month in Denver. Volunteer attorneys simply offer instruction to attendees on how to file their own small claims cases in court, and how to collect on their judgments. Tips include gathering information, forms (where to get them and how to complete them), filing (how and where), defending one’s position (do’s and don’ts), and court procedures.

These free informational clinics welcome general questions but will not provide direct legal advice nor will they directly assist in completing forms.

For more information or to volunteer for either of the clinics, email Meghan Bush.

Both Clinics are held at the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock Street, Room 164, from 11 am to 1 pm. The Small Claims Clinic meets the third Tuesday of every month and the Collections Clinic meets the third Thursday of every month.