September 8, 2006
Juvenile Law Section Meeting Minutes
September 8, 2006
JUVENILE LAW SECTION GENERAL MEETING:
Present (per Sign-In Sheet): Sue Thibault, Toni Gray, Barb Shaklee, Laura Eibsen, Linda Weinerman, Sarah Ehrlich, Julie Caputo, Barbara Johnson-Stern, Julie Gefke, Carrie Ann Lucan, Kristin Petri, Dianne Peterson, Kip Barrash, Phil James, Bonnie Saltzman, Amy Naes, Thomas Foley, Leslie Pagett, and Amy Markwell.
No on 40 Campaign. Dana Collier Smith, Assistant Executive Director of the CBA, gave a presentation on the Vote No 40 Campaign. She announced that the CBA had just voted to contribute $500,000 to the campaign and that the campaign’s budget is about 1.25 million dollars. The campaign needs $800,000 to run television commercials for three weeks. The campaign has some paid staff members who receive pretty minimal salaries. The campaign is also spending the money on yard signs, bumper stickers, press kits, and travel expenses.
Dana passed out two flyers describing why Amendment 40 is a bad idea and should be defeated in the general election. Dana was asking for our support, both individually and as a CBA section. She offered to send a representative to speak at book club meetings, Rotary Club meetings, etc. Just call Dana at 303-824-5318 or email her at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
She noted that it will take a broad-based coalition, not just the legal community, to defeat Amendment 40. Dana pointed out that we need to reach the average voter in the general public who might not understand why Amendment 40 is such a bad idea.
Dana asked the JLS to make a contribution to the Vote No 40 Campaign. She indicated that two of the larger sections of the CBA recently contributed $10,000 each to the campaign, along with paying the tax on the contribution (at a tax rate of 35%). She was asking the JLS for a contribution of $1,112.50, which would represent a $750 contribution, plus tax.
Phil James moved that the JLS contribute $750 plus the applicable tax on political contributions to the Vote No 40 campaign. Toni Gray seconded the motion. The floor was then opened for discussion.
Various section members noted that this is a very, very important issue. It was pointed out that the JLS will have other expenses coming up, namely funding the Nov. 9 cocktail party at the new C.U. Law School Building in Boulder. Melissa Nicoletti, CBA Director of Sections/Committees, provided section members with a hand-out depicting the current and projected revenue available for use by the JLS. Some suggested that it would be better for JLS members to make individual, direct contributions to the Vote No 40 campaign. Another alternative offered, though not in the form of a motion, was for the JLS to make a contribution equaling 10% of $5,014.76 (the JLS’s beginning balance) plus the tax penalty, which would come close to $750.
Melissa noted that the CBA is a 501(c)(6) organization, with a lobbyist, and is active in the legislative process. When the question was raised whether making a contribution to the Vote No 40 campaign would turn the CBA into a political organization, it was noted that the CBA made a contribution to the campaign for C & D last year and that the only one who can really fight this fight is the CBA. The judges themselves cannot go out and fight.
One member had some concerns about the issue from a philosophical viewpoint. Others also talked about the somewhat incestuous relationship between the bar and judges. After all, only attorneys can be appointed judges. It was noted that the CBA is being "slammed" on the blogs over its support for the Vote No 40 campaign.
Bonnie Saltzman offered a friendly amendment to the original motion to the effect that the JLS contribute a total of $750 (including the tax penalty) to the Vote No 40 campaign. Tom Foley seconded the motion. A vote was then taken. Five members voted in favor of the friendly amendment to the original motion and eight voted against the amendment. The friendly amendment failed.
A vote was then taken on the original motion (JLS contribution of $750 plus the tax penalty). Eleven members voted in favor of the motion and three voted against the motion. The motion carried.
It was suggested that members who are concerned about the fiscal health of the section after this contribution is made and expenses for the cocktail party are paid could contribute money towards the cocktail party. It was also noted that Doris Waters is working on lining up sponsors for the cocktail party to offset the cost of libations, etc.
Youth at Risk Task Force. Dianne Peterson spoke about the CBA’s new Youth at Risk Task Force. She is the Chair of the task force and was seeking a volunteer to serve as the JLS’s liaison/link to the Youth at Risk Task Force. Bonnie Saltzman graciously volunteered to be our liaison.
Dianne gave a brief history of how the task force came into existence. The current ABA president hails from Colorado and Colorado brought this issue to the ABA’s Board of Governors. The Board passed a resolution which resulted in the formation of the task force, which has met just once so far. Dianne anticipated that the task force will be meeting monthly at the CBA offices and thought a lot of the task force’s business will be done by email.
The goals of the task force are to get folks in the local bar associations to understand the issue and then do something about it. The task force will be moving forward along two parallel tracks to: (1) compile referral lists of local resources for bar members (e.g., programs affiliated with schools, probation, and the community); and (2) create a bar-sponsored program where lawyers can volunteer to provide legal assistance to youth at risk (e.g., assist with litigation, truancy issues, aging out issues, lease agreements, filing taxes, etc.). Dianne asked JLS members to contact her if they have information about services available in their respective communities/judicial districts. Her email address is
CLE on Immigration Issues. Kristin Petri, an attorney with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, gave an excellent CLE presentation titled, "Immigration Issues in Juvenile Courts: An Overview of Relief Available to Undocumented Children. She can be reached by email at
Needs Assessment for Respondent Parents’ Counsel. Sue urged everyone to take the time to complete the needs assessment survey sent out by The National Center for State Courts, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the National Association of Counsel for Children. Responses are due September 15, 2006. Bill DeLisio, Court Improvement Coordinator with the State Court Administrator’s Office, indicated that they were not getting enough feedback from stakeholders in the dependency and neglect system.
Proposed Guidelines for Respondent Parents’ Counsel. Sue also urged everyone to look over the proposed guidelines for respondent parents’ counsel that have been prepared by the Colorado Supreme Court’s Respondent Parents’ Counsel Task Force. Toni Gray, a member of the Task Force, advised people to get their comments in ASAP since the Task Force subcommittee responsible for presenting a final draft of the guidelines must meet prior to the October 20 full Task Force meeting.
Miscellaneous. Sue announced some upcoming events, including the October NACC conference for which Sue has brochures if anyone is interested in attending. She also had brochures for the Colorado Divorce - Best Interest of Children CLE in November.
Sue queried whether we should hold another meeting to discuss the RPC proposed guidelines prior to the November 9 cocktail party, but the members present felt it was unnecessary.