CBA LITIGATION COUNCIL
March 3, 2007 MEETING MINUTES
LOCATION: CBA offices, Denver, CO
COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:
Chair: Peter Black
Vice Chair: Alden HIll
Sandra Wick Mulvany
Via Telephone: Mike Chapman (Secretary); Kim Schutt
OTHERS PRESENT: Michael Valdez; Greg Martin; Brock Wood (CBA – CLE)
1. CALL TO ORDER: 9:00 AM
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The January 7, 2007 Meeting Minutes were revised to correct the spelling error of Rebecca Kourlis’ name. After revision, the minutes were approved by unanimous vote after motion.
3. FINANCIAL REPORT. Greg Martin presented the attached financial report. There is approximately $71,000.00 remaining in the budget after deducting the $10,000 amount to the Mock Trial Program.
4. COMMITTEE AND SUB-COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Supreme Court Rules Committee. Peter Goldstein reported that the SCRC has been working through problems created by changes relating to the prior 7-day deadlines being changed to 11 days. There are several problems in the County Court rules.
B. Professional Committee. Robert Anderson provided an update on the status of this committees’ work with the CBA Professionalism Committee. Scriptwriters will soon be completing scripts for the differing vignettes and filming is planned to begin in late March or in April. A total of ten vignettes are planned, four of which being litigation related and includes the following topics: discovery issues, trial practice, client control (the “care and feeding of clients”), and mentoring.
There has been substantial work on the budgets for the vignettes, and the donation by Holland & Hart of its video facilities, etc. has substantially reduced projected costs. As it stands, approximately $20,000 is needed to complete the project.
Greg Martin commented that the work by the Litigation Section jump-started the efforts of the CBA Professional Committee to get this project completed. When completed, the vignettes are geared to attorneys with to 0-5 years of experience and designed to be used with a moderator that will lead viewers in a discussion and a question and answer period following the vignette. John Gleason’s office has committed to sending someone in his office to differing areas of the state to serve as the moderator for the vignette discussions, all at no charge.
Greg asked the Council to consider contributing the sum of $5,000 to the CBA to fund the project, with the understanding that the videos will be owned by the CBA and made available to its members. Peter Goldstein made the following motion, which was motion was seconded:
MOTION: TO APPROVE PAYMENT OF $5,000.00 FROM THE LITIGATION SECTION BUDGET TO THE CBA AS CONTRIBUTION TO THE EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH PRODUCTION OF THE PROFESSIONALISM VIGNETTES.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
The Council thanked Robert Anderson, Jon Sans and Greg Martin for their efforts in moving this project along.
C. Securities Sub-Section. No report.
D. Appellate Practice Committee. Robert Anderson reported that regular meetings have been held, but there is nothing of substance to report to the Council. Still no word on E-filing in the Appellate courts.
E. Section Newsletter. Kim Schutt reported that it time to send another newsletter. After discussion, the Council asked Kim to include news about the Mock Trial competition that is concluding today, and the approximate 100 state-wide teams that participated this year.
6. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE. Michael Valdez reported on the following bills/issues:
A. HB 1054 – a proposal to add 63 Colorado judges over a three-year period: 49 district court judges, 8 county judges, and 6 court of appeal judges. While initially having bi-partisan support, and after moving through the House quickly, the bill may be in jeopardy because of partisan politics. Apparently, there is no disagreement whether the additional judges are needed, but because of the need for a 2/3-majority vote to pass this legislation, rather than a simple majority, party politics have come into play. Mike will keep us informed.
B. The issue of a new State judicial complex in Denver remains an “on again off again” issue involving relocation of the COLORADO HISTORY museum.
C. SB 118 – a proposal for increasing filing fees to create a fund for counties to obtain funds to assist in providing security for the courts and judges. This bill is anticipated to pass.
D. SB 142 and HB 1227 - These two identical bills involving judicial performance evaluations did not make it out of committee this year. Michael and Greg discussed the fact that the current judicial evaluation legislation has a sunset provision and will die next year unless extended.
As discussed in the January 2007 meeting, there are differing opinions as to how and the extent to which the current judicial evaluation legislation should be revised. Rebecca Kourlis’s article represents one viewpoint and the CBA is forming a task force to initiate discussions on the issue and to be prepared by September 2007 to address legislation that may be proposed at that time. Alden Hill expressed an interest to assist or serve on the CBA Task Force.
7. OLD BUSINESS
A. CRCP Rule 26 Disclosures Requirement Survey. Greg Martin provided copies of the survey results to everyone this past week. There were a total of 181 responses, which seemed low, and there was a consensus that the results indicate that this is not a pressing issue for Litigation Section members. Peter Goldstein will take the results to the Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee and Greg will present the results to Jerry Marroney.
B. Preemptory Challenges Practices. Peter Goldstein reported that the Supreme Court Rules Committee felt that the manner in which one judge requires preemptory challenges be exercised is not a concern requiring a rule change. This issue will be addressed to Jerry Marroney and to Justice Mullarkey at a later date, and Greg will check to see if Jon Sans has had further discussion with Mr. Marroney on this issue.
C. Litigator’s Handbook. Jerry Marroney was able to get 5 or 6 additional judges to update their on-line materials. There remain judges with no information on-line and their wll be additional follow-up, but there are also a few of the more long-term judges that flatly refuse to provide the requested information.
D. Revisions to Dead Man Statute. No report as Lorraine Parker was not in attendance.
E. Speakers for Future Meetings. Greg and Michael reported having invitations out to differing persons, including Rebecca Kourlis. Justice Mullarkey will be invited to attend the June 2, 2007 meeting.
F. Mock Trials Update. Finals being held today. General discussion by members regarding the benefits of this program, and how the program educates the public about the legal system.
G. Funding for the Professionalism vignettes. This item was addressed earlier in the meeting.
H. CLE Update (Brock Wood – new CLE program attorney). Greg Martin introduced Brock Wood, a new program attorney with CLE. Brock provided everyone with a short presentation of his background and informed the Council of upcoming CLE programs. Brock also explained that the Bootcamp series is planned to be on a two-year cycle, with a “pre-Trial” series being held one year followed by a “Trial” series. In addition, the Bootcamp series will no longer be targeted to “new” attorneys based on the fact that attorneys with all levels of experience have attended past participation.
Brock asked all members to share their ideas for new CLE programs and to contact him with their comments and concerns.
8. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Colorado Judicial Coordinating Committee. The Council was asked to comment on the need for a new rule to address conflicts between State and Federal proceedings. There was general discussion of the problems associated with an attorney being faced with competing trial settings in Federal and State courts and there was a consensus that, while recognizing that the problem exists, the best way to address the problem is communication between the State and Federal judges involved and not a new rule. Mike Valdez will draft a letter to respond to the request for comment and present the draft to Peter Black for review and signature.
B. E-Filing issues: The Council will likely soon be asked to look at, or provide comments to, complaints by attorneys regarding mandatory e-filing. There was a general discussion of the issues and the fact that e-filing is here to stay.
9. ADJOURNED. 11:00 AM -- Next Meeting – April 7, 2007 at CBA offices, 9:00 AM. Upcoming meetings May 5 and June 2.
/s/ Michael Chapman
for Michael Chapman, Secretary