May 21, 2019

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.

Jacqueline St. Joan to Speak on “My Sisters Made of Light”

Jacqueline St. Joan has worn many hats in the Colorado legal community: practicing attorney, judge, and law professor. During a legal career dedicated to domestic violence law reform, her numerous contributions have included being the first presiding judge in the Denver Protective Orders Court and cofounding Project Safeguard. Most recently, Ms. St. Joan has turned her talents to writing, culminating with her first novel, My Sisters Made of Light. The book was an immediate success, gaining recognition as a finalist for the Colorado Book Awards in the Literary Fiction category and as a book of the month by the American Association of University Women. My Sisters Made of Light is a fictional chronicle of social, political, and religious life in Pakistan. In a review of the book, the reviewer wrote:

Traversing the diversity of Pakistan’s distinct cultures and classes, My Sisters Made of Light successfully weaves past and present, foreign and familiar, and personal and political to create a compelling account of the devastating suffering and extraordinary heroism that exists in ordinary lives. In addition to vividly illustrating the risks and successes of human rights activism in Pakistan, My Sisters Made of Light depicts the heart-wrenching complexities that rest at the core of familial allegiances and alienation.

You can also find more information at Mysistersmadeoflight.com and jacquelinestjoan.com. As part of the Literary Lawyers series, Ms. St. Joan will discuss her book at the CBA-CLE offices on November 26, 2012. Her presentation will tackle such complex issues as Shariah courts, honor crimes, and Pakistan’s legal system. Join her live or via the live webcast.

CLE Program: My Sisters Made of Light with Jacqueline St. Joan (A Literary Lawyers Program)

This CLE presentation will take place on Monday, November 26, at 12:00 p.m. Participants may attend live in our classroom or watch the live webcast.

If you can’t make the live program or webcast, the program will also be available as a homestudy in two formats: MP3 audio download or Video On-Demand.

Book Review — “Losing Twice: Harms of Indifference in the Supreme Court”

Losing Twice: Harms of Indifference in the Supreme Court
by Emily M. Calhoun

In Losing Twice, University of Colorado Law School Professor Emily Calhoun argues that the way judicial opinions are written can cause losing stakeholders to suffer additional, unnecessary harms. Given the topic, the book will be of interest to judges and others who write judicial opinions; however Professor Calhoun’s intended audience is “ordinary citizens.”

Calhoun’s thesis is non-ideological. Debates about originalism, minimalism, and activism are refreshingly absent from her book. Instead, Losing Twice focuses on people—most narrowly the non-prevailing parties in Supreme Court constitutional-rights disputes, and broadly, an array of stakeholders affected negatively by court decisions. These stakeholders come to the court in good faith, with much at stake, making the judicial choice to rule against them “essentially [a] tragic choice.”

Judicial opinions can be written in a way that honors losing stakeholders’ status as citizens or that demeans them; that acknowledges their continuing role in constitutional democracy or that shuts them out; or that respectfully articulates their views on an issue or that trivializes those views. For Calhoun, properly honoring losing parties and positions in judicial opinions is more than just a nice thing for judges to do. Opinions that demean losing litigants, that ignore them (willfully or inadvertently), or that hide behind hyper-technical rationality or “the doctrine made me do it” rhetoric create real harms, not only to the immediate parties but also to judicial legitimacy and democracy.

Calhoun offers the judicial opinions for two abortion cases, Roe v. Wade and Gonzales v. Carhart, as examples of opinions causing harm. Although the outcome in the first case is viewed as a pro-choice victory and the outcome in the second a pro-life one, Calhoun argues that both opinions show an indifference to the constitutional stature and autonomy of women.

Held up as an example of a well-written opinion is retired Denver Judge Jeffrey Bayless’s opinion in Romer v. Evans. According to Calhoun, Judge Bayless carefully laid out the arguments of each side and made a “special effort to address all citizen stakeholders,” not just those identified in the parties’ briefs. Judge Bayless also acknowledged the difficulty and impermanence of his decision and “put himself and his judgments about the legitimacy of the decision at the mercy of his audience.”

Calhoun’s claims are not beyond critique. Given how seldom lawyers—let alone “ordinary citizens”—actually read judicial opinions (something Calhoun seems to acknowledge in her discussion of Roe), the composition of opinions may have little effect on our public knowledge of their meaning, or on how their language is paraphrased and summarized by the media or by other instant and historical intermediaries. Nevertheless, judges, lawyers, and armchair Supreme Court enthusiasts will find Losing Twice to be a thought-provoking read that sheds new light on famous constitutional law decisions and that may inform their own written expression.

Derek Kiernan-Johnson is a legal writing professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He teaches legal writing, appellate advocacy, and judicial-opinion writing — (303) 492-5863, derek.kiernan-johnson@colorado.edu.Reproduced by permission. ©2011 Colorado Bar Association, 40 The Colorado Lawyer 114 (August 2011). All rights reserved.

CLE Program: Losing Twice – Harms of Indifference in the Supreme Court with Emily Calhoun

This CLE presentation took place on Monday, October 1. The program will be available as a homestudy in two formats: video on-demand and mp3 download.

No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility with Attorney General John Suthers

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has never shied away from tackling the tough issues surrounding the powerful role of public prosecutors in the United States. In 2008, he published a book, No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility, that drew on his personal experiences as a local, state, and federal prosecutor, with insights on how to make the system better for everyone involved. The book also explored some of the more controversial calls for reform, including drug legalization. Written in straightforward terms, it provides a fascinating look at the intricacies of crime and punishment.

On May 22, 2012, Suthers will speak at a special 1-hour Literary Lawyers CLE presentation on the issues in his book and thoughts on recent cases and experiences. He will not only speak to the immense and unique power that prosecutors have, but the effects on the victims, perpetrators, and the public. In addition, prosecution ethics will be discussed, including zealous prosecution and the effects of advancing technology.

Public scrutiny has also increasingly come into play for prosecutors, as high-profile cases like the Hayman fire are played out in the press and public arena. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Attorney General Suthers’ insights first hand. All attendees will also receive a copy of his book.

CLE Program: No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility with John Suthers (Literary Lawyers Series)

This CLE presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 22. Participants may attend live in our classroom or watch the live webcast.