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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
March 24, 2014

2014 CO 20. No. 13SA60. In re People v. Kanwal.
Rules of Procedure Regarding Attorney Discipline and Disability Proceedings—CRCP 251.12.

The People petitioned for relief pursuant to CRCP 251.1(d) and CAR 21 from an order of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge (PDJ) dismissing for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a claim of attorney misconduct. The PDJ concluded that the People were not authorized to plead, and the Hearing Board lacked jurisdiction to consider, any claim for the filing of which the Attorney Regulation Committee had not given specific approval. Because it was undisputed that the Committee had not specifically approved the filing of a claim for the violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the PDJ dismissed Claim III in the People’s complaint alleging a violation of that rule.

The Supreme Court made the rule absolute and remanded the matter with instructions to reinstate Claim III, because it was undisputed that the conduct giving rise to the grounds alleged in this claim was conduct specifically addressed in the report of investigation presented to the Committee, as a result of which it authorized proceedings for public discipline. Because the Rules of Procedure Regarding Attorney Discipline and Disability Proceedings contemplate merely the Committee’s authorization for the initiation of formal proceedings before a tribunal capable of administering public discipline, rather than mandating the Committee’s approval of the specific claims to be filed, including the identification of precise rule violations, the PDJ misinterpreted the controlling rules.

2014 CO 21. No. 11SC715. People v. Sandoval-Candelaria.
Crim.P. 32(b)—Speedy Sentencing.

In this appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether a six-month and seven-day sentencing delay was “unreasonable” under Crim.P. 32(b) and unconstitutional under the speedy trial clauses of the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions. The Court held that the sentencing delay was not unreasonable under Crim.P. 32(b), because the trial court imposed the delay for a legally justifiable reason—namely, to further the General Assembly’s intent to require trial courts to sentence recidivist offenders, like defendant, within an aggravated range. The Court rejected defendant’s constitutional claim because the sentencing delay was not presumptively prejudicial.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions