May 23, 2019

Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion 2016-01 Released

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, the Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board issued C.J.E.A.B. Opinion 2016-01. This opinion addresses whether it is appropriate for a judge sitting on a nonprofit board to personally write or call donors to thank them for their contributions. The requesting judge asked the Advisory Board to consider if such communication would be considered fundraising in violation of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct.

The Advisory Board considered applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct and determined that, in cases where the judge is not soliciting further donations, implicitly or explicitly, it is acceptable for the judge to personally thank donors for their contributions in her role as board member of the nonprofit organization.

The Colorado Judicial Ethics Advisory Board is a committee of the Colorado Supreme Court consisting of judges and non-judges who provide ethical advice to judicial officers who request an opinion on prospective conduct. There are seven committee members: four judges, one lawyer, one non-lawyer citizen, and one law professor. Any Colorado judicial officer may request an opinion. Requests may be submitted to any member of the Advisory Board or to Christine Markman, staff attorney to the Colorado Supreme Court. Requests may be submitted on the Advisory Board’s form, JDF 2.

The full text of C.J.E.A.B. 2016-01 is available here. All of the C.J.E.A.B. opinions are available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plaintiffs Without Special Relationship to Seller or Damage to Legal Interest Have No Legal Standing to Sue

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Anderson v. Suthers on Thursday, November 7, 2013.

Standing—General Public—Charitable Trust.

Plaintiffs, who are former directors or volunteers of the Colorado Health Foundation (seller), appealed the trial court’s judgment dismissing the action as moot. The Court of Appeals affirmed, but on different ground than those relied on by the trial court.

Plaintiffs challenged the Office of the Colorado State Attorney General’s (OAG) approval of a transaction between seller and HealthONE of Denver, Inc. (purchaser), by which the seller sold to the purchaser its interest in HealthONE Health Care System. Plaintiffs claimed they had standing to represent the public as beneficiary of the seller because of their “close and lengthy association with the [seller].” They also claimed they had a “direct interest in the activities of the hospitals and a special interest in the proper administration of the hospitals in accordance with [the seller’s] charitable purposes.” These relationships, however, do not endow the plaintiffs with standing to sue the seller or the OAG over the transaction. Because plaintiffs do not have a special interest in the seller distinct from that of the general public and have not alleged an injury to their legally protected interests, they do not have standing.

Summary and full case available here.