CBA LITIGATION COUNCIL
MARCH 4, 2006 MEETING MINUTES
LOCATION: CBA offices, Denver, CO
COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:
Chair: Peter Black
Vice- Chair: Alden Hill
Via Telephone: Jon Sands
CBA Personnel: Mike Valdez (via telephone); Greg Martin
1. CALL TO ORDER: 9:08 AM
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The February 4, 2006 Meeting Minutes were approved by unanimous vote.
3. FINANCIAL REPORT. Handout attached to the minutes. Updated financial report reflects $15,000 grant to CLE for Litigation Boot Camp and $10,000 grant to mock trial competition.
4. COMMITTEE AND SUB-COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee report: Peter Goldstein reported that the greatest amount of time had been spent on the proposed rule change regarding service of process. He also stated that there had been a number of complaints regarding C.R.C.P. 121 § 1-26(6), which requires service of all documents on opposing counsel via e-filing, which costs $4.55 per service, compared to thirty-nine cents for mailing, or nothing for fax service. The question was raised whether LexisNexis shares any of that service fee with the court system; Greg Martin will follow up with the Lexis Nexis representative at their meeting March 6th. A motion was made and seconded to recommend that the Supreme Court Rules Committee change the language of Rule 121 § 1-26(6) to make e-service on other attorneys permissive rather than mandatory. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
B. Board of Governors. No report. Next meeting of the BOG is May 13th at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
C. Legislative Policy Liaison. House Bill 1305 died in committee on a 6-5 vote.
D. CLE Sub-Committee. No report by Gary Abrams. Greg Martin had spoke with Gary and informed the Council that the Litigation Boot Camp tuition discount for Section Members is the largest discount we have ever had. Prices for the seminar are as low as Gary could get them. Greg also was informed by Gary that CLE has never refunded any monies to Sections which underwrite CLE programs. The Council will re-visit with Gary at the April meeting concerning whether there is a need for Council members to contribute written materials; who will be taking over the Litigation Boot Camp program following Liz Giordano’s departure; how to handle the introduction of speakers at each session and incorporate a plug for joining the Litigation Section (interested Council Members should contact Greg Martin, who will prepare talking points), marketing of the program, demographics of those who have signed up, etc.
E. Professionalism Sub-Committee. Greg Martin met with John Baker of Metropolitan Conciliation Panel regarding doing vignettes of ethical quandaries. Greg will follow up with the sub-committee regarding the feasibility of Baker’s suggestions.
F. Securities Sub-Section. No report.
G. Appellate Practice Sub-Committee. No report.
H. Section Newsletter. A copy of the draft Litigation Section newsletter prepared by Kim Schutt was circulated before the meeting and is attached to the minutes. A suggestion was made for Kim to add that the Litigation Boot Camp program had been underwritten by the Litigation Section to make it affordable.
5. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE. Mike Valdez briefly discussed HB 1028 (the bill that will provide funding for the three additional COA judges and four County court judges). The bill has gotten through very quickly and should be passed in the near future.
Mike discussed SB 182, which had its genesis with a Joint Budget Committee staffer. The bill, which the LPC voted to support, is a five-year plan which allows the courts to keep filing fees and other user costs and put them in a Judicial Stabilization Fund, rather than having the monies go to the General Fund where they are treated as tax revenue subject to the 6% cap under TABOR. All other governmental entities which collect pay-as-you-go funds generally are allowed to keep such monies; thus the bill would simply bring the Judiciary in line with other governmental entities. The bill appears to have a good chance of passage, and would free up $24.4 million for the Judiciary.
Mike also discussed the potential ballot initiative to establish term limits for appellate judges. He discussed differing procedural issues and challenges that are presented with the current proposal, including the potential for a challenge to the proposed title of the initiative.
The Council discussed a request from the LPC that the Litigation Council designate several of its members to participate in a discussion regarding whether the Certificate of Review statute is in need of revision. Greg Martin and Michael Valdez will send an email to the Council requesting volunteers, with a goal of having a couple of perspectives from each side and 1-2 neutrals.
6. OLD BUSINESS.
A. Gary Abram’s input re Litigator’s Bootcamp. Gary Abrams was not present; see discussion under Section 4(D), above.
B. John Gleason’s presentation and requests. See Section 4(E), above. 40th Anniversary of merit system – no Council action needed yet.
C. Chief Judge Davidson’s presentation. No follow-up at this time.
D. Suggestions for future speakers: Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey (last spoke to the Council June 2005); Chief Judge Lewis Babcock (the last Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court to address the Council was Sherman Finesilver). Michael Valdez will check on a representative from the State Judicial Performance Committee. Also suggested was Jerry Maroney, State Court Administrator.
E. Litigator’s Handbook and Letter to Judges. Mike Chapman is working on a draft letter to all judges; a second letter will come from State Judicial. Greg Martin will check on the number of hits on the Litigator Handbook web page.
F. Amicus brief status: the Supreme Court granted cert on the Batson challenge due to gender; the CBA’s Amicus Committee is looking at it and will submit their recommendation to the CBA’s Executive Council.
8. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Kim Schutt proposed that the Council to go to a Rockies game after one of the next meetings, since it has been awhile since the Council got together on a social basis.
B. Peter Black reported that Jerry Tompkins had attended the ABA Board of Governor’s meeting, at which there was a major presentation on the domestic spying issue. The ABA issued a resolution that the domestic spying program was clearly outside the law.
C. Any other new business. None.
9. ADJOURNED at 10:40 AM -- Next Meeting – April 1, 2006.
/s/ Lorraine Parker
for Michael Chapman, Secretary