July 14, 2019

Excerpt: Trial Preparation in Domestic Cases

Last week, CBA-CLE held its popular Family Law Basic Skills program. The full-day event is held once every two years, and highlights all the practical, foundational skills every attorney needs to build a successful family law practice. This year, an extensive array of topics were covered, including:

  • Client Intake
  • Jurisdiction
  • Protective Orders
  • Custody/Parenting Time
  • Disclosures/Discovery
  • Mediation
  • Child Support/Maintenance
  • Separation Agreements
  • Taxation
  • Trial Preparation

The Trial Preparation section was presented by Diane M. Carlton, Esq., who provided an overview of the process for domestic case preparation, including the issues to expect and checklists to be aware of when proceeding to trial. CBA-CLE and Legal Connection are now sharing this section of the program with readers, below.

Did you miss the class? It’s available as a homestudy in three formats: video on-demandaudio CD, and mp3 download. The full set of course materials are also available or may be downloaded. Additionally, video replays will be held on Thursday, March 10, 2011.

Family Law Basic Skills: Trial Preparation

Ethics and Professional Responsibility: A Look at Developments in 2010

In February, CBA-CLE reviewed a year in Colorado ethics in its Annual Survey Series: Ethics & Professional Responsibility program. In 2010, Colorado courts addressed many issues regarding attorneys’ professional responsibility, including:

  • Prosecutors’ post-trial duty to produce exculpatory evidence
  • The unauthorized practice of law
  • The abuse of process, fiduciary duties, and trust accounts
  • Contingent fees and fee arrangements
  • The advocate-witness rule

Alec Rothrock, Esq. provided an overview of the changes, which CBA-CLE and Legal Connection are now sharing with readers, below.

  • Adopted Rules in 2010:
    • Colo. RPC 3.8(g) (2010) (prosecutors’ post-trial duty to produce exculpatory evidence)
    • Code of Judicial Conduct
  • Significant Cases in 2010:
    • Berra v. Springer & Steinberg, No. 08CA2503, ___ P.3d ___, 2010 WL 3259883 (Colo. App. Aug. 19, 2010) (Dailey, J.) (trial judge did not abuse discretion in finding that 30% contingent fee of $353,250.07 for recovery of $1,177,500.22 as principal and interest due on 1998 judgment was unreasonable, where expert testified that 30% contingent fee to recover judgment was “out of the norm”; recovery of judgment was “a simple civil procedure matter”; and recovery of judgment was not due to lawyers’ efforts but due to judgment debtor’s sudden fatal illness, which caused him to sell real property subject to judgment lien) (events occurring subsequent to entry into contingent fee agreement may be considered in determining reasonableness of contingent fee).
    • Holt Group, L.L.C. v. Kellum Enterprises, No. 09CA0650, ___ P.3d ____, 2010 WL 3035728 (Colo. App. Aug. 5, 2010) (Dailey, J.) (unpublished) (involving enforceability of prevailing party clause in fee agreement; reversing fee award of $210,364 to law firm as prevailing party in fee dispute, where law firm recovered $27,849 of $244,371 sought, on top of payment of $518,941).
    • A.L.L. v. People, 226 P.3d 1054 (Colo. March 1, 2010) (Martinez, J.) (court-appointed counsel for a client with a right to appeal may not file Anders briefs; in D&N cases must file petition for appeal even if claims are without merit, and if filed in accordance with C.A.R. 3.4(g)(3) is not wholly frivolous; and may not withdraw based on potential violation of Colo. RPC 3.1).
    • Kirzhner v. Silverstein, Civil Action No. 09-cv-02858- CMA-BNB, 2010 WL 2998792 (D. Colo. July 28, 2010) (Boland, M.J.) (denying motion to disqualify opposing counsel based on advocate-witness rule, Colo. RPC 3.7, where movant failed to show that opposing counsel was only source of information regarding negotiation of contract at issue in litigation).
    • People v. Adams, 243 P.3d 256 (Colo. Nov. 30, 2010) (nonlawyer who accepted assignments of claims from subcontractors and prosecuted them against bankrupt contractors engaged in unauthorized practice of law where assignments were ineffective because they did not relinquish the assignor’s entire interest) (dissent: assignments were complete on their face, assignor simply agreed to reassign claim if subcontractor changed his mind; also, effect of ineffective assignment should not necessarily be UPL but perhaps simply inability to prosecute claim).
    • Attorney Discipline Cases on Appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court:
      • People v. Foster, No. 08PDJ090 (Colo. PDJ March 25, 2010) (protracted pro se post-decree litigation)
      • People v. Maynard, No. 09PDJ028 (Colo. PDJ May 27, 2010) (in effort to collect attorney fees following withdrawal from case, threats to sue witnesses subpoenaed to attorney fee hearing, attempts to halt global settlement and attempts to settle with opposing parties to cut out former clients and deprive them of share of fees).
      • People v. Preston, No. 10PDJ021 (Colo. PDJ Nov. 12, 2010) (fax-filing papers in non-emergency situations, contrary to court’s administrative order, and failing to pay fax filing charges)
  • CBA Formal Ethics Opinion 122:
    • The Applicability of Colo. RPC 7.2 to Internet-Based Lawyer Marketing Program (Oct. 16, 2010) (Colo. RPC 7.2(b) prohibits a lawyer from “giv[ing] anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services,” including payments to a for-profit referral service, but not including payments for the reasonable cost of advertising such as in an on-line directory; for example, prohibited referral services include internet listings that recommend or tout the lawyer based on nothing more than payment of an additional fee; in contrast, permissible on-line directories may state that it is a form of advertising and that it does not recommend any lawyer).
Did you miss this class? It is available as a homestudy in two formats: video on-demand and mp3 download.

Resource: New Statutory-Compliant Living Will Template Available

This year, Colorado’s living will statute was amended for the first time in 21 years. Who better to learn about the changes and their implications than from the chief of the joint task force charged with the law’s amendment?

We were pleased to have trusts and estate expert Michael Kirtland (pictured) join us at the CBA-CLE offices, where he shared a comprehensive analysis of the update to the Colorado Medical Treatment Decisions Act.

Among the handouts that Kirtland distributed was a template of a living will form that complies with the statutory changes (below). Click here to download the document in Microsoft Word, or take a look below. If you require a WordPerfect version, please leave a comment below or contact our office.

If you’re interested in Kirtland’s entire presentation, it is available on video on-demand and as an mp3 download.

Advance Directive for Medical / Surgical Treatment (Living Will) – Colorado