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TCL > September 1999 Issue > Colorado Bar Association 1998-1999 Annual Report

The Colorado Lawyer
September 1999
Vol. 28, No. 9 [Page  47]

© 1999 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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Features

Colorado Bar Association 1998-1999 Annual Report

OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COUNCIL


Bennett S. Aisenberg, Denver
PRESIDENT

H. Barton Mendenhall, Rocky Ford
PRESIDENT-ELECT

Rebecca Koppes Conway, Greeley
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Christopher A. Miranda, Denver
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

  Aaron R. Clay, Delta
Marilyn J. David, Estes Park
Clifton B. Kruse, Jr., Colorado Springs
Dennis B. Polk, Golden
VICE PRESIDENTS

Charles C. Turner
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Greg Martin
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

  John S. Holt, Aurora
TREASURER

Patricia H. Brown, Denver
Timothy L. Fasing, Englewood
Leslie A. Fields, Denver
David W. Furgason, Denver
Diane L. Mauriello, Vail
Ellen Haskins Trujillo, Walsenburg
Lynn S. Jordan, Denver
Edward L. Zorn, Fort Morgan
COUNCIL MEMBERS

REPORT FROM THE 1998-99 PRESIDENT


I’ve asked the CBA executive committee for funds to send me to President-stepping-down school. I’m just not ready to return to obscurity. It was so easy to get used to being catered to all the time by bar staff and all the local bar leaders (are you still reading? Do you believe this??). Seriously, the best part of the last two years was getting to be with members from all over the state. Before I started my year as president, we sent out a questionnaire asking members what they thought of their local bars and of the Colorado Bar. You won’t be surprised to know that none of our members had any problems with telling us what they thought. Fortunately, most members are happy with the direction in which we’re going.

I’ll come out of retirement long enough to summarize the 102nd year of the Colorado Bar Association. If you want more details, I’ve written columns in The Colorado Lawyer about some of these subjects and tried to cover them in my Bar visits across the state.

Term Limits: The Board of Governors voted to appropriate $20,000 to fight various initiatives that were being proposed regarding term limits for judges. These proposals not only limited a judge’s tenure, but also included such items as Senate confirmation, non-lawyers as judges, the right to defame a judge outside of the courtroom, and various other matters. So far, we have been successful in defeating each of these initiatives in the Supreme Court, based on a violation of the "single subject" rule. In the event an initiative does get on the ballot in the year 2000, the CBA is committed to opposing it by convincing the electorate that term limits for judges are not appropriate.

Funding to Fight Domestic Violence: Through some fortuitous events, we were successful in convincing the legislature to appropriate $250,000 on July 1, 1999, for fighting domestic violence. This will grow to $400,000 on July 1, 2000. It has been a long and hard struggle, and more work needs to be done. However, it is a promising start. We are partnering with The Denver Post in our effort to educate the public about family violence, and they, in turn, are partnering with Channel 9. Both have begun doing stories about all aspects of family violence and will continue to do so during the coming year.

Mandatory Pro Bono: A subcommittee of the Judicial Advisory Council proposed making a recommendation to the Supreme Court regarding mandatory pro bono and mandatory reporting. We were able to convince the Judicial Advisory Council to delay its recommendation until the Bar had an opportunity for input. We held seminars throughout the state, and many local bars took polls and held meetings. At a Board of Governor’s meeting, we voted to ask the Council not to recommend either mandatory pro bono or mandatory reporting. The Judicial Advisory Council rejected the concept of mandatory pro bono, but did recommend mandatory reporting. The Supreme Court later rejected both. At the request of the Board of Governors, a task force has been appointed to address the continuing and increasing need for legal services.

Admission to the Colorado Bar: In the past, we have asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review the Colorado rule regarding admission on motion. In 1998, Colorado admitted 428 attorneys on motion, almost double that of any other state. Only the District of Columbia surpasses Colorado in terms of attorneys being admitted on motion. As a result of our efforts, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey has appointed Justice Nancy Rice to chair a subcommittee to study the present Colorado rule.

Rules 16 and 26: The CBA Litigation Council has joined with the courts, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association to formulate a survey that has been sent to many members of the Bar inviting comments on Rule 16 and Rule 26. The results of this survey will be presented to the appropriate Supreme Court Committee for consideration.

Same Sex Subcommittee: At the request of the Gay and Lesbian Bar, a subcommittee was appointed to look into the laws that affect committed relationships. This subcommittee has been holding meetings and intends to come up with recommendations for our consideration.

Professionalism and Civility: We haven’t found the magic bullet, but I believe we have made some strides in making the legal system more user and lawyer friendly. Let’s keep up the good work.

Thanks again for the opportunity to have served the CBA this past year. I look forward to seeing all of you at the Bar convention in September in Vail.

—Ben Aisenberg


REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Category Killers. Before I get to that, let me relate at least one observation I have about the state of the profession. I like to flip through old annual reports of the CBA, transcripts of meetings, etc., to see what was on the minds of our colleagues in the early part of the century. What were the controversial issues of the day? What engendered lots of heat? Not surprisingly, it was "professionalism and civility"—specifically the lack thereof, too many lawyers, declining quality of the new guys, costs of litigation, etc. It really does seem like Groundhog Day—doomed to live over and over the same issues year in and year out. It is helpful, I think, to realize that these are systemic issues, and while not necessarily solvable, our continuing concern is healthy for the profession.

Last year I wrote about major changes in the future for the private practice of law. I am no sage—these were predicted by many others besides me at the time—but look what the ABA is countenancing: formal approval of non-lawyer owned multi-disciplinary practices. By the time you read this, the ABA will have either approved the report, rejected it, or shipped it off someplace for further study. You can count on one of them happening. What you also can be assured of is that the march by the Anderson Consultings of the world is not waiting for some ABA approval of what they are already doing in many parts of the commercial world. You don’t think this will affect your practices? Don’t be too sure this is only an issue to Wall Street law firms.

Is it so far-fetched to think you may hear this in the future?: "Attention Wal-Mart shoppers. Now over on aisle thirteen, right next to dishware and small appliances, is Wal-Mart’s in-house lawyer offering this week’s special—for $39.95, a simple will with contingent trust. No waiting, completely confidential and quality assured." Will the "big box category killers," known thusly in the commercial trade, be coming to your community? The areas of wills and trusts, workers’ compensation, probate, and family law seem as vulnerable as the small hardware and appliance stores of your hometowns. Some law practitioners, especially in smaller towns, are already "partnering" with insurance brokers, financial planners, and accountants to offer one-stop shopping for individuals and small businesses.

The only way to stay ahead of these events is, first, to know about them, and second, using the bar association’s networks and information, to craft ways to respond. We hope that is what you look to us for. We have the networks and the information. We are constantly trying to be your primary resource through our website, local bar presentations, and continuing legal education programs. Let us know how else we can help. Rather than be victims of category killers, both at the mergers and acquisitions level and the simple will level, we need to adapt to survive.

—Charles "Chuck" Turner, Executive Director


GOVERNANCE HIGHLIGHTS


The Board of Governors, composed of 149 representatives from local bar associations, CBA sections, Colorado’s courts, and specialty and minority bars, met three times last year to debate, decide, and report on a number of issues affecting the association and the profession. In brief, this is what they did:

  • Approved the revised "Guidelines for Utilization of Legal Assistants."
  • Supported proposed amendments to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure relating to the unbundling of legal services as proposed by the Availability of Legal Services Committee.
  • Adopted a resolution supporting the continuation of the judicial performance commissions and funding for those commissions.
  • Passed a resolution opposing mandatory pro bono service and mandatory pro bono reporting but affirmed the CBA’s support of providing pro bono legal services. Authorized the appointment of a task force to work with the Supreme Court’s Judicial Advisory Council in evaluating Rules 6.1 and 6.2 and to make recommendations on how to address the issue of meeting the legal needs of Colorado’s indigent.
  • Approved the 1999-2000 budget, which included funding for the expansion of the CBA’s website.
  • Granted seats on the Board of Governors to the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association and Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
  • Approved the voluntary "Standards of Conduct for Mediators."

LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHTS


While "business as usual" adjusted to the impact of term limits at the General Assembly, some very exciting news developed late in the legislation session. All of the efforts of the CBA, its membership, and the coalition that had been assembled to obtain state-supported funding for legal services for victims of family or domestic abuse had finally paid off. The Colorado legislature appropriated funds for legal services for victims of family violence. On June 2, Governor Bill Owens signed House Bill 1115, Concerning Domestic Violence, sponsored by Representative Bill Kaufman and Senators Dottie Wham and Ed Perlmutter.

This new law does a couple of things:

  • It extends the voluntary contribution tax check-off for the Colorado Domestic Abuse Program for seven more years. And, for the first time, the Colorado Domestic Abuse Program Fund will have the support of a general fund appropriation in the amount of $250,000 starting July 1, 1999. (The fund is scheduled to receive an additional $150,000 on July 1, 2000.) Money in this fund is to be distributed to statewide programs, which provide counseling for persons who are victims of domestic abuse and their dependents and for persons who cause domestic abuse; for programs that maintain advocacy programs that assist victims in obtaining services and information; and those programs that run educational programs designed for both community at large and specialized groups such as medical personnel and law enforcement officials.
  • Here is the good news for legal services: The new law establishes the "Family Violence Justice Fund." Money from this fund is to be distributed to qualifying organizations that provide legal advice, representation, and advocacy for and on behalf of indigent clients who are victims of family violence. Such representation may include representation in any restraining order proceeding; action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity of marriage; paternity action; child custody action; proceeding to establish or enforce child support; administrative hearings; or any other judicial actions in which family violence is an issue or in which legal representation is necessary to protect the interests of a victim of family violence. The initial appropriation of $250,000 takes effect on July 1, 1999, and will grow to $400,000 on July 1, 2000.

Here is the history: Following budget cuts at the federal level, the Colorado Bar Association led the charge to convince the legislature to fund legal services programs with a state general fund appropriation. Over the previous three years, attempts to secure funding failed, but our educational efforts continued. Ironically, this year we decided to hold off on sponsoring a bill, and a unique opportunity surfaced in the form of H.B. 99-1115, Concerning Domestic Violence. The bill title allowed our legislative supporters to attach the legal services amendment to the bill. In a year when term limits dramatically changed the face of the legislature and a new governor resides on the first floor of the capitol, a breakthrough in the battle against family violence was achieved.

PUBLIC RELATIONS/COMMUNICATIONS


When the phone rings in the Communications Department and the caller is a reporter, that call becomes our top priority. If they need information, we try to find it. Most often, the reporter needs to talk to an attorney—to get a "quote," to understand a law, or to get legal background information.

We get calls from reporters all over the state (and sometimes, from across the country). We have tried to make certain that Colorado reporters have a neon green Roladex card that says "Lots of Lawyers." We figure they will file the card under "L" and call us when they need help.

A few weeks back, a reporter at a small paper called and asked for help getting phone numbers for two lawyers. As I reached for my legal directory, I heard him laugh and say: "Oh, yeah, I guess I could look in the phone book." He could, and that would work. But we are happy he is in the habit of calling us.

Our goal has always been to get as much correct information about the legal system in the media as we can. Of course, we would like to see only good news. But if there has to be bad news, at least we would like for it to be right and in the proper perspective.

To that end, we put on seminars for lawyers/judges and reporters/editors. Sometimes they are even in the same room together.

So that attorneys can know what reporters are looking for and feel more comfortable with the process, we produce regular "Working With the Media" seminars (one CLE credit) at the bar association offices. When invited, we go to local bar associations with this program. And at the annual CBA convention, we put on a seminar with a working news professional both days (this year it will be Frank Scandale, metro editor with The Denver Post).

Last year, we traveled to seven communities in Colorado with the Colorado Press Association, holding meetings with attorneys, reporters, law enforcement personnel, probation officers, etc. Sometimes the discussions were awkward and a little heated, but all had the effect of letting people get to know each other. This year, we will be teaming with State Judicial to put on more workshops that get journalists, attorneys, and judges together for a breakfast discussion.

We are in the planning stages of organizing two half-day classes for reporters, in cooperation with State Judicial and the Denver courts. Because of turnover in the two Denver papers, many reporters are faced with covering a legal system they are not familiar with. It seems like almost every story has a legal angle. We will have these first seminars in Denver (where we hope to have the biggest effect) and plan more for around the state.

Please think of the Communications Department anytime you are about to talk to the press (we can do a run through), anytime you need a speaker, anytime you are having difficulties with your local media, or when judges in your area are criticized. We are happy to brainstorm about ways to get your local bar better publicity or to help plan a marketing strategy or think through a crisis.

Department staff members included Diane Hartman, Jen Williams, and Karen Bries.

Hope to see you at the convention in Vail.

PUBLIC AND LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT


The Department of Public and Legal Services serves as liaison for the twenty-seven local bar associations around the state, specialty/minority bars, legal services, and pro bono projects. Several new projects have been developed due to the crisis in legal services funding. The Department is assisting with changes being made at pro bono offices in Sterling and Cortez. We staff the CBA Pro Bono Taskforce and the Statewide Legal Services Committee, and serve on the Colorado Supreme Court Judicial Advisory Council Subcommittee on Legal Services and Pro Bono. We publish the "Directory of Legal Services and Pro Bono Offices in Colorado."

The annual Pro Bono Coordinators meeting was held in conjunction with the 1998 CBA Annual Convention, as was the annual Local Bar Leader’s Institute.

We visit pro bono offices to offer training and technical assistance.

The Department sends monthly informational mailings to local bars, maintains bar leadership rosters, sends leadership materials to new bar leaders, and schedules annual CBA Presidential Visits with local bar associations. The Department also sends notices of state district court judicial vacancies to members of the local bar where that vacancy occurs.

Lend-A-Lawyer

Lend-A-Lawyer, Inc. provides legal assistance to the indigent by placing volunteer attorneys in legal services or local bar pro bono programs around the state. The communities now being served by the program are Boulder, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Montrose, and Denver through Metro Volunteer Lawyers and Project Safeguard.

Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor Program

The CBA Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor program is aimed at alleviating the civil pro se litigation docket in federal district court by pairing less experienced attorneys with mentor attorneys who provide their expertise and guidance. Cases come to the program from the federal district court, which has determined that the case cannot be dealt with. In June, the Faculty of Federal Court Advocates began administering the program.

CBA LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT/RISK MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT


Computer Software Training

The department continues software training in the Bar’s own CBA/LEXIS Technology Center, offering classes at a discount to CBA members. Also available are classes about the latest software, such as Windows, Word Perfect, Word, Time
slips, Time Matters, Hot Docs and more.

LEXIS-NEXIS

The CBA offers members access and training for the LEXIS-NEXIS legal research system. Whether you are a sole practitioner, law firm member, or attorney in the government or business sector, you can save countless hours of research time. You can also receive unlimited searching and printing capabilities through this program at an affordable monthly rate. Free training classes are scheduled about every six weeks.

Michie Law on Disc Program

The CBA offers members special prices on Colorado case and statutory law on CD-ROM. For a low cost, you may add to your on-line searching capabilities or research only on CD-ROM.

CBA Website: www.cobar.org

The Diversity in the Legal Profession committee added job listings to their website: www.cobar.org/comms/diversity/index. htm. The listings include in-state as well as out-of-state opportunities. To post a listing, simply fill out and submit the online form.

All CBA members now have access to the fully-searchable Formal Ethics Opinions by the Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association: www.cobar.org/comms/ethics/index.htm.

We’ve added two new list servers for CBA members: www. cobar.org/listservs.htm. If you are interested in becoming a judge or magistrate in Denver, you can join the Judicial Vacancies list server. If you join this list server, you will receive notices of the vacancies as soon as possible. The Law Office Technology list server is sponsored by the CBA Law Office Technology Committee. It addresses issues related to the use of technology in the law office.

The Colorado Lawyer website now includes full-text, searchable articles from July 1997 to present: www.cobar.org/tcl/index. htm.

We continue to offer our "E-Slips" project, where CBA staff posts the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions on the website and list server hours after they are announced.

More CBA Websites

To make searching and surfing easier for you, the Law Practice Management Department made individual home pages for CBA sections and committees, although you can still access the same websites through the CBA home page. Eventually, we hope to have all of our sections and committees online.

The list of those who have home pages includes:

Young Lawyers Division, www.cobar.org/cbayld/index.htm

Local Bar Associations

Weld County Bar Association, www.cobar.org/locbar/weld/index.htm

Arapahoe County Bar Association, www.cobar.org/locbar/acba/index.htm

Sections

Agricultural and Rural Law Section, www.cobar.org/sections/aglaw/index.htm

Business Law Section, www.cobar-buslaw.org/

Environmental Law Section, www.cobar.org/sections/envirolaw/index.htm

Health Law Section, www.cobar.org/sections/healthlaw/index.htm

Real Estate Law Section, www.cobar.org/sections/realest/index.htm

Taxation Law Section, www.cobar.org/sections/taxlaw/index.htm

Trust & Estate Section, www.cobar.org/sections/trustlaw/index.htm


In 1999 the CBA backed legislation that provides state funding for legal services for victims of "family abuse."



Committees

Court Reform, www.cobar.org/comms/crtreform/index.htm

Diversity in the Legal Profession, www.cobar.org/comms/diversity/index.htm

Ethics, www.cobar.org/comms/ethics/index.htm

Lawyer’s Professional Liability, www.cobar.org/comms/profliab/index.htm

Forum Committees

Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum Committee, www.cobar.org/focomms/adr/index.htm

Disability Law Forum Committee, www.cobar.org/focomms/dislaw/index.htm

Elder Law Forum Committee, www.cobar.org/focomms/elderlaw/index.htm

Technology

The Technology Survey continues to be a great resource for members choosing computer software. In a joint project with the Mile High Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, the CBA conducted a technology survey of law firms, ranging in size from one to 220 lawyers. Topics covered time and billing, spreadsheets, word processing, case management, conflicts, Internet, etc. The survey proved invaluable when helping members research what types of software firms use and whether the firms are satisfied with their current software.

Publications

To further meet the needs of our members, the Department of Law Practice Management offers a variety of materials, including top-selling books and videos from the American Bar Association on a variety of law practice management topics. These publications are available to CBA members at special rates.

Presentations

We have been busy bringing CLE-accredited presentations to local bar associations, Inns of Court, and other legal groups around the state. Titles included: "Using the Internet for Legal Research," "The Mechanics of Building a Web Page," "Low-Cost Audio and Video Conferencing," "Alternative Billing," "Ethics of Office Sharing," "Trust Account Management," "How to Hire and Keep Good Staff," and "Getting and Keeping Good Clients."

Convention

The LPM Department sponsored its annual program on the Internet. Topics included research sites for lawyers, search engines, e-mail encryption, and more information about this new worldwide research tool.

Lending Library

The lending library will finally become a reality. Members in all areas of the state will be able to borrow books on topics as widespread as alternative billing methods, opening your own practice, the Internet, compensation plans, marketing, and other educational topics.

Law Practice Management Hotline

As a service to its members, two separate entities with the same name provide information to members on a variety of issues. The CBA Department of Law Practice Management and the Law Practice Management Committee provide information about legal-specific computer software and technology, legal staff employment, human resource issues, office equipment, file retention, and others. A call to the hotline, (303) 824-5320 in Denver, will answer many of your law practice management needs.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The Law Practice Management Department has many publications, including American Bar Association publications, about risk management. Members can buy these booklets and pamphlets at a discount. The newsletter Whoops! is produced quarterly by the CBA Lawyer’s Professional Liability Committee and mailed to CBA members.

For groups, Risk Management presentations may be in order. The CBA offers live programs on malpractice prevention. Presenters are drawn from a speaker’s bureau, whose members are lawyers with legal malpractice expertise. These presentations are CLE accredited, and some even fill ethics requirements.

PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT


Law Education Committee

The committee coordinated the annual statewide high school mock trial competition (see "Mock Trials," below, for details). The Law Education Committee brochure, "Being A Lawyer In Colorado," continues to be available from the bar office for use by attorneys in support of career days and other high school presentations. A new publication, So, You’re 18 Now . . . A Survival Guide for Young Adults, concerning the rights and responsibilities of eighteen-year-olds, will be available for distribution to local bar associations and high schools in the fall. The Law in Colorado, an addendum to the Street Law practical law curriculum series, is in the process of being republished and will be available for the start of the 1999/2000 school year. Lastly, the committee supported the development and modeling of a new pro se divorce clinic. The clinic, piloted in the District Courthouse in Denver and in Douglas counties, is presented to potential pro se litigants over the lunch hour and is sponsored and supported by the local District Court Self-Help Center.

Mock Trials

More than seventy teams registered for regional mock trial tournaments conducted by the El Paso County, Denver, Arapahoe, First Judicial District, Adams/Boulder/Weld Counties, Larimer County, and Ninth Judicial District Bar Associations. This year marked the fourteenth anniversary of the annual competition. Eighteen teams advanced to the state finals in Englewood (Arapahoe County Justice Center) in March. Justice Nancy Rice presided over the championship round between Regis Jesuit High School (Arapahoe County) and Glenwood Springs High School. Regis emerged victorious and advanced to the National High School Mock Trial Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Regis won all four preliminary trial rounds at the national tournament and competed against Georgia for the national title. Although Georgia won, the Regis team, supported by five attorney members of the Denver Bar Association, performed in an exceptionally outstanding manner.

Public Legal Information Clinics

The Law Education Committee continues the process of partnering with local bar associations in the Denver metro area to start lunch-hour Pro Se Divorce Clinics in local courthouses. The program is also in partnership with local district court self-help centers.

MEMBERSHIP SERVICES


Efforts of the CBA Membership Services Committee brought new products and services to our members this year, as well as a new name for these programs. All companies that offer services to members are now called CBA Member Advantage Providers. Rocky Mountain Fleet Associates ("RMFA"), an automobile fleet management company, came aboard in April. They offer (for a fee) new car purchasing and leasing assistance, and with their volume purchasing power, RMFA can get our members a much better deal than if they were to go to the dealers themselves. The committee also approved the addition of two new providers of disability income insurance, The Guardian and Hofgard & Co., giving members a choice of programs so that they may find one that best suits their needs. The committee was also busy with revising several of the CBA membership category definitions to better fit the needs of our members.

All CBA members are invited to send their comments and suggestions regarding membership benefits and services to the CBA Membership Services Department, or e-mail them to membership@cobar.org.

Convention ’98

The 1998 convention, held in Keystone, offered a variety of high-quality educational sessions and social functions for the nearly 500 members in attendance. The featured luncheon speakers were NBC News Correspondent Dan Abrams and Clay Jefferson, whose portrayal of Thomas Jefferson left the audience spell-bound. The Sunday morning program featured Miller’s Court on "Jury Trials: A Constitutional Relic or are They Fundamental to our Democracy?" The panel, moderated by Harvard Professor Arthur Miller, included justices from the Colorado and Arizona Supreme Courts, several trial court judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, a trial consultant, a juror, and members of the press. Other CLE programs offered during the convention included "Pro Bono and You: Mandatory? Voluntary?" "Using Technology for Fun and Profit," "Critical Skills for the Advisor and the Advocate," and "Success Strategies for Women Attorneys." The Award of Merit was presented to U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard P. Matsch; Randall C. Lococo received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award; Manuel A. Ramos was presented with the Jacob V. Schaetzel Award; the Pro Bono Coordinator of the Year Award went to Susanne Corning; and the newly created W. A. Masters Award went to W. A. Masters, Robert Glenn White, and Theodore T. Davis.

The Colorado Lawyer

The Colorado Lawyer comprises overview articles on broad areas of substantive law, features on special law-related programs and projects, twenty-four specialty law columns, and nine departments, the latter two published on a rotating basis. During the 1998-1999 year, three years of full-text articles (1997-1999) were made available on the CBA website, as well as eight years of the article index (1992-1999). All of this material is fully searchable to CBA members.

One highlight of the publishing year was the October 1998 theme issue on "Internet for Lawyers." The issue featured a series of articles on matters of interest to attorneys relating to technology in the practice of law, such as computer usage policy for the law firm and building a law firm website. Other interesting content published during the 1998-1999 fiscal year included several articles on Y2K, the new Attorney Regulation System, and the issue of mandatory pro bono. In the May 1999 issue, photographs of the 1999 high school mock trial teams were published for the first time. Finally, as in past years, formal ethics opinions released by the CBA Ethics Committee and special court rules were published as part of a continuing effort to inform attorneys of standards and changes in the process of practicing law.


Our official birthday is September 9, and we were 100 years old in 1997.


Readers are reminded that they may choose to receive the journal with summaries of the appellate opinions, rather than the full text. To make a change to this smaller version of the journal, call or fax the CBA Membership Department or fill out the form printed on the page following the table of contents in each issue of the journal.

The Colorado Lawyer Board of Editors welcomes suggestions and comments from readers of the journal. Please check the page following the table of contents for a list of board members and their phone numbers.

FAMILY VIOLENCE PROGRAM


In September 1996, then president of the Colorado Bar Association, Miles Cortez, convened a task force, charging it with the responsibility of recommending to the Board of Governors how the CBA’s "resources and incomparable public spirit can be most productively applied" to stem the epidemic of family violence. After eight months of study, the Task Force presented a proposal to the Board of Governors recommending the creation of a family violence program. The objectives of the program are to provide education to attorneys, assistance to lawyers who are victims and perpetrators, and increased access to the legal system for victims of family violence; to monitor legislation; to work to improve how cases involving family violence are handled by the system; and to implement pilot studies in the area of law and family violence. The Board of Governors enthusiastically committed three to five years to the program in May 1997.

In 1998-1999, the Family Violence Program’s efforts focused on the education of attorneys and the building of collaborative relationships. Through the dedication and commitment of the members of the steering and project committees, much has been accomplished. The highlights include:

  • The Denver Post joined as our media partner in preventing family violence. In July, The Denver Post began a year-long series of articles on this topic.
  • The October 1999 issue of The Colorado Lawyer will be a symposium issue on family violence, with articles from legal and medical scholars from around the nation.
  • Miles Cortez is currently working on a video that discusses ethical issues in family violence cases. This video will be available by fall 1999.
  • The Family Violence project committees produced material and orchestrated presentations to educate attorneys, including a presentation to the Family Law Section, articles for publication in local bar association newsletters, and lists of resource material on the CBA’s Web page. One interesting series interviews a perpetrator and a victim. Another article addresses workplace violence.
  • Through the efforts of Mary Phillips, the Family Violence Program is piloting a law office violence policy in five law firms throughout the state. Once feedback is received from these firms, the sample policy and supporting material will be revised and made ready for distribution.
  • The Family Violence Program co-hosted a successful luncheon for legislators, focusing on family violence issues. Forty-five legislators and interns attended.

The Family Violence Program continues to develop relationships in the legal community and the community at large. Rick Weinberg, representative from the Colorado Municipal Judges Association, sits as our representative on the Colorado Supreme Court’s Domestic Violence Committee. Kathleen Schoen, the program director, works closely with the Colorado Judicial Institute, the Family Violence Prevention Initiative, Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and other organizations addressing family violence.

Opportunities continue to grow. Although members of the Family Violence Program are proud of their accomplishments, they realize that there is a long way to go.

CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION IN COLORADO, INC. (CLECI)


CLECI, the non-profit educational branch of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, sponsored nearly sixty live seminars and more than 115 video replays around Colorado, serving more than half of the entire legal community. Publications in the CLE library continue to be supplemented and revised to keep your legal resources up-to-date. Additionally, the list of new publications continues to expand. Last year new titles included The Colorado Courtroom Handbook for Civil Trials, The Employment Law Handbook, The Colorado Professional Liability Handbook, The 1998 Edition of Colorado Real Estate Practice, The 1998 Survey of Colorado Probate, Guardianship and Conservatorship Practices, and a 1998 Supplement to the Green Book. New publications for next year include Construction Law, 1999 Edition of the Discovery Handbook, 1999 Edition of Public Trustee Foreclosure in Colorado, 1999 Edition of the Ethics Handbook, and The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Handbook. CLECI also is developing an enhanced presence on the Web. CLECI distance education via the Web is in the plans for the upcoming year, as is a searchable CLE database.

SECTIONS & COMMITTEES


For the 1998-99 year, the Agricultural and Rural Law Section again focused its efforts on presenting its Eighth Annual Western Agricultural and Rural Law Roundup. The Roundup, held every year in Gunnison in June, featured two days of speakers, panel discussions, and registrant interaction on current issues in agriculture and rural law. The Roundup gathers not only lawyers in the field, but also industry professionals, farmers, and ranchers who come together to discuss current issues.

The Ag Law Section continued its cooperative efforts with other sections and co-produced a day-long session at the 1998 Colorado Bar Association Convention with the Trust & Estate Section and the Taxation Law Section. The topics featured were estate planning for retirement benefits and the family-owned business exclusion.

The Availability of Legal Services Committee continues to promote the CBA’s stated goal of having all attorneys devote time to meeting the legal needs of those unable to pay for the services of a lawyer. To do that, it has developed programs to both assist the profession to identify those in need of legal assistance and to encourage those attorneys who do not participate in pro bono work to become involved. Those programs are directed at encouraging individual attorneys and law firms to join in this important work. The committee also works with other committees, local bar associations, and government and corporate attorneys to coordinate programs and stimulate participation.

The Constuction Law Forum Committee continued its educational and social activities in 1998 and 1999. The committee held bimonthly meetings with a variety of programs, including a "hard hat" visit to the Ocean Journey project while it was still under construction. The committee held an after-hours educational/social meeting at Fairfield & Woods, with a program on the new AIA contract forms and a social gathering. We had a joint meeting with the Real Estate Section, at which Nancy McCallin, the economist for the Colorado Legislative Council, spoke and answered questions regarding Colorado’s economy as it relates to construction and real estate.

The committee sponsored a program at the bar convention in September 1998. The speakers were Tom Lemmer and Joe Kellogg, who discussed and answered questions regarding a major construction claim involving the Hoover Dam Visitors Center. The committee, under the primary leadership of Bob Benson, continued its work on the publication of the Handbook on Colorado Construction Law.

The Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee ("DILP") is a joint committee of the CBA/DBA. The committee tries to "identify, isolate, recommend, promote and implement actions to remedy the problems preventing the goal of full diversity in the legal profession." The committee meets at noon on the first Tuesday of every month.

Each year, the DILP Committee hosts a reception and sponsors a CLE program at the Colorado Bar Association Convention.

The DILP Committee developed a website, linked to the CBA home page. The website gives employers the opportunity to target their employment positions and gives job seekers a central site for employment announcements. This website is averaging more than 450 hits per week.

Elder Law Forum Committee members were active in the expansion of the Medicaid program to include more couples who wish to live at home as an alternative to nursing home care. Committee members also advocated for repeal of restrictive Medicaid rules on annuities and to preserve the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, Inc. intact without changes that would negatively impact the elderly.

At each committee meeting, informative speakers discussed topics such as long-term care services, guardianship services, what to do when a person dies, and trusts that work and don’t work with Medicaid. Committee members also addressed ways to deliver free information to the public via informational meetings and a planned Senior Law Day for 2000. The committee will assist in the presentation of a seminar on the financial and physical abuse of the elderly at the annual CBA convention in September.

The CBA Ethics Committee is comprised of eighty-five lawyers from around the state representing various areas and sizes of private practice, as well as trial and appellate judges, law professors, government attorneys, and corporate counsel. Continuing its tradition of helping members of the bar better comply with the Colorado Rules of Professional Responsibility, the Ethics Committee responded to more than 1,000 inquiries to its ethics telephone "hotline," answered fifteen private letters of inquiry, and issued four formal ethics opinions and updated two others.

The Colorado Lawyer published abstracts of several of the letter responses, as well as formal opinions on the propriety of compensating a non-expert witness in a civil action (replacing an earlier opinion on lay witness fees), surrender of papers to the client on termination of the representation, temporary lawyers, and referral fees and networking organizations. The committee also updated opinions on release and settlement of legal malpractice claims and withdrawal of grievance complaints in light of the grievance mediation procedure established by the Colorado Supreme Court in amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure.

The committee added to its ethics page at the CBA website all of its formal ethics opinions, which now are available to all CBA members.

In an effort to bring legal ethics to life for CBA members in their own communities, the Ethics Committee formed a Local Bar Liaison Subcommittee, which sent members to many of the local and specialty bar associations around the state. There, they delivered ethics presentations based on videotaped scenes from the show L.A. Law. Amid laughter and comments of, "Not in my courtroom" from judges present, were a number of significant and real-life ethical situations and problems. In addition, letters and information on the ethics services offered by the committee, as well as legal ethics research sources, were sent to all new 1998 and 1999 members of the Colorado Bar Association.

At the invitation of the Colorado Supreme Court, the committee also provided significant input, including extensive written comments and testimony at a public hearing, to proposed changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Professional Conduct regarding "unbundling" of legal services. The final version of those rules changes became effective July 1, 1999.

Members of the committee also assisted the CBA in responding to local media requests for information on legal ethical issues, such as those implicated in last fall’s pick-up basketball game between Woody Harrelson and the visiting federal judge who was hearing a motion in Harrelson’s father’s criminal case (the judge later recused himself).


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The committee ended its year in July with a keynote address by Justice Alex Martinez at its annual Western Slope meeting in Snowmass.

In addition to its traditional activities, the Health Law Section launched some new initiatives. The Section’s Council and Committee Chairs continued meeting on a bimonthly basis. Luncheon educational programs included discussion of the Colorado Code of Ethics for Health Care and its implications for lawyers, the origin of and current issues related to the peer review process, and the annual state legislative update covering developments relevant to the health care field. As in past years, the Section also cosponsored a seminar in December with the Colorado chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Featured topics of interest to counsel for health care professionals and institutions included intermediate tax sanctions and regulations, the Medicaid Fraud Unit approach to investigation of regulatory violations, an antitrust update focusing on implementation of the "messenger model," and considerations concerning conflicts of interest on governing boards.

The Section’s convention program aimed to interest attorneys practicing in the criminal defense and general business fields as well as Section members. Topics included an overview of current anti-kickback and "Stark laws," the representation of health care professionals and institutions in a federal criminal investigation, and a discussion of key legal issues in a variety of health care contracts. For the second year in a row, the Section’s Bar Mart presentation was well received. In addition to reprints of the Section’s regular column in The Colorado Lawyer and copies of its quarterly newsletter, the presentation featured complimentary chair massages designed to contribute to the health of convention attendees through stress reduction. Having been assured by numerous massage recipients that this portion of the presentation achieved its intended result, by unanimous agreement the Council plans to make this a Bar Mart tradition.

The Council was pleased to follow through on last year’s plans for sponsoring a full-day educational program in coordination with Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc. The program, scheduled for late July, will focus on the state and federal reporting obligations of health care providers and institutions. Practical and ethical considerations will be reviewed by three panels comprised of individuals representing regulatory agencies as well as the legal and medical fields.

Plans for the coming year focus on reorganization of the Section’s committee structure and further development of the Section’s website as a resource and "real time" communication tool for Section members. Members should watch the Section’s fall newsletter and website for announcement of the annual educational program "brain storming" luncheon. The Council encourages any interested Section member to attend this meeting to assist in developing the coming year’s educational agenda. Ideas for topics and speakers for "brown bag" programs and more extended educational programs are welcome. In addition, contributions of articles of any length from members and others are always appreciated.

The International Law Committee had a series of ten excellent programs presented by local lawyers and government officials, including: "Advising Clients Who Are Doing Business Abroad: Spotting and Avoiding Some Common Pitfalls in an International Legal Practice," Craig R. Maginness; "Alternative Dispute Resolution Under the North American Free Trade Agreement," L. Richard Freese, Jr.; "Negotiating International Joint Ventures," Elisa Fuller and Bill Wedum; "Administrative Law Development in Mexico, Particularly as Related to the Energy Industry," William F. Garner, Jr.; "U.S.-Korea Commercial Relationships," Jay JuneKun Choi; "Pinochet and International Human Rights Litigation," Curtis A. Bradley; and "Current Issues with U.S. Customs in Denver," Alan Nye and Elizabeth Stevens; "Representing the Foreign Investor in Central Asia," Lisa Bain and Stephen Bain; "The New Legal Framework for International Business Transactions: What it Means for Lawyers Assisting Clients with IBTs," Judith L. Roberts; and "Leasing and Managing Real Property and Theatres Abroad: Responsibilities of Corporate and Local Counsel," Gerald M. Grewe.

The committee continued to pursue efforts to establish a certification program authorizing foreign law consultants to practice the law of the country where they are licensed in Colorado. A number of states have authorized such foreign law consultant activity. The American Bar Association regards creation of a structure for such activity as an important step for establishing the legal infrastructure needed for increased global business and other transactions.

The committee also joined with the Denver Rotary World Community Service Committee and the University of Denver by agreeing to contribute $750 to an educational exchange planned for a Russian law student.

The Interprofessional Committee, in addition to its routine work of resolving disputes between professionals, took on the following projects:

1. In a joint venture with the Denver Medical Society, the committee presented a medical/legal forum on June 23, entitled "Physician Accountablity and The Patient From Hell." The purpose of the program was to demonstrate and discuss the varying and sometimes competing pressures on physicians in private practice today. By identifying these pressures and discussing the origins, physicians and attorneys will be better equipped to manage these pressures.

2. The committee initiated a speaker’s bureau for presentation of the Interprofessional Code to local bar associations throughout the state.

3. The committee began drafting an education module for workshops for health care professionals. The goal of these efforts is to raise awareness among health care professionals of the practical implications for them of their clients involvement in the legal process.

4. Scheduled a program to be presented at the CBA annual convention, "Care and Feeding of the Expert Witness and Other Interprofessional Relationships."

The Joint Management Committee ("JMC"), comprised of leaders of both the CBA and DBA, was established to allow both associations to participate in policy, staffing, and infrastructure decisions for the joint associations. The JMC has reviewed and determined general levels of salary increases for bar employees, insurance coverage, pension benefits, how to deal with computer issues and Y2K problems. The JMC also provides significant input to both DBA and CBA budgets for the coming fiscal year. The JMC constantly tracks and analyzes the associations’ performance against past and future long-range fiscal plans and dues cycles.

The Judiciary Section deals with proposed and pending legislation, the independence of the judiciary, increasing judicial pay, improving pro bono services, and many other important issues. The section planned the Legal Jeopardy program again this past year for the CBA Convention in Keystone. On October 22, 1998, the section sponsored a presentation at the Jefferson County Courthouse in honor of the late Judge Linda Palmieri, who was on the Executive Council of the Judiciary Section. The section purchased a memorial bench for the courthouse, which was presented by former Chief Justice Anthony Vollack before an enthusiastic audience of Judge Palmieri’s relatives, friends, and admirers. The bench is located on the second floor of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The Juvenile Law Forum Committee hosted a speaker at the CBA convention in Keystone. Since the convention, the few meetings that have been held have not been well attended and no other action is planned at this time. The committee officers resigned at the end of their term, June 1999, and those positions remain unfilled at this time.

The Litigation Section developed a survey on C.R.C.P. 16 and 26 and gathered responses to determine the impact of these Rules on the legal community. Member opinions helped develop a better understanding of the effectiveness of these rules.

The Patent, Trademark and Copyright Section met in January to hear attorney Bill Raman of Austin, Texas. Raman represented Tour 18 in a case where Pebble Beach Company challenged Tour 18’s creation and operation of two golf courses made up exclusively of golf holes copied from well-known golf courses, including golf holes from the Pebble Beach golf course.

The Real Estate Section sponsored a Habitat for Humanity project in October. Section volunteers helped build a house for a family in west Denver. In addition, the section recently made a $1,000 grant to the statewide Habitat for Humanity organization to help fund the construction of homes in partnership with qualified low income families.

The section awarded a plaque and $500 in December to attorneys James M. Mulligan and J. Chris Kinsman, authors of an article entitled "RESPA Class Action Litigation Concerning Yield Spread Premiums." The article appeared in The Colorado Lawyer and was judged the best of the prior publishing year.

For many years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Committee has existed under various names. However, its claim to fame in the early 1990s was the establishment of the Colorado Lawyers Health Program. After that time, as a result of many meetings, it was decided that the formal committee should serve as the "educational arm" now that there is a formal referral program. The committee has tried to maintain that position by giving talks to local bar associations and the law schools, and by interfacing with other committees, such as the Domestic Violence Task Force.


CLECI sponsored more than 76 seminars attracting more than 8,500 practitioners.


A committee of the Tax Section prepared two substantial and informative "IRS brochures" in which the committee answered common and important questions taxpayers have when confronted with an IRS audit, or when the IRS comes to collect taxes owed. The brochures have been put on the section’s homepage and are available to the public. They also were published in two installments of The Colorado Lawyer—December 1998 and January 1999. Although the brochures are aimed at the public, many attorneys have called to say they are useful and educational. The brochures will be updated regularly.

The Tax Section’s most recent project is the formation of a pro bono Tax Court Petitioner representation program. A formal written program was prepared and provided to the Tax Court and the IRS District Counsel. The program was launched in June during June Tax Court Calendar Call. The role of the program attorneys is to attend Calendar Call and meet with pro se petitioners who would otherwise not have the benefit of counsel as they face the trial of their cases. Virtually all pro se petitioners who had unresolved cases asked to speak with attorneys. As a result of the committee’s coordination with the DU Tax Advocacy Clinic, the attorneys were prepared to refer meritorious cases to the clinic so the petitioner could obtain ongoing representation before the court.

The Trust and Estate Section has finished another successful and productive year.

The Statutory Revisions Committee has proposed legislation that will, if enacted, make technical amendments to the Colorado wills statute and clarify the application of the harmless error doctrine as it applies to wills in Colorado. Legislation proposed or approved by the committee during 1997-98 and 1998-99 fiscal years was signed into law at the conclusion of the 1999 legislative session. The new statutes include: (1) establishment of a presumption of ownership of tangible personal property by spouses; (2) establishment of a right of guardian or conservator to commence a divorce action on behalf of an incapacitated person; and (3) enactment of the Uniform Custodial Trust Act.

The Statutory Revisions Committee also continues to review other uniform acts, including: (1) the Revised Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act; (2) the Revised Uniform Principal and Income Act; (3) the Uniform Trust Act; and (4) a uniform revision to the claims statute. Finally, the committee is working on a major revision to and simplification of the "deadman’s statute" in Colorado.

The Community and Civic Affairs Committee rewrote several brochures covering a multitude of topics related to trust and estate law and helped produce the annual Senior Law Day program.

Updates to the Estate Planning Handbook and the Green Book were published by CLECI, and the Estate Planning Forms Committee continues work on new forms and updates to existing forms for the Colorado Estate Planning Forms Book ("Orange Book"), due to be published in late 1999 or early 2000.

The section sponsored seminars on the basics of estate administration and on community property and joint trusts. The section’s estate planning retreat, held this year at Snowmass, was a great success. The section cosponsored, in conjunction with the Taxation and Agricultural and Rural Law Sections, a CBA convention program covering estate planning for retirement benefits, the family-owned business exclusion, and drafting and understanding distribution and allocation provisions in partnerships and LLC operating agreements.

The section continued to cosponsor luncheon programs during the year, featuring topics of interest to estate planning attorneys.

The section’s newsletter, Council Notes, continues to provide members with useful information, as do the section’s website and regular, scholarly articles published in The Colorado Lawyer.

The CBA Young Lawyers Division ("YLD") headed to Winter Park on the Ski Train for the second year. In the spring, the YLD held a gigantic garage sale to benefit the Legal Aid Foundation, which provides legal services to low-income persons. More than $3,000 was raised to provide legal services to the poor.

YLD members attended an Affiliate Outreach Program at Copper Mountain in April, held mock interviews at CU School of Law, sponsored a happy hour at DU College of Law, and coordinated a Christmas in January in Colorado Springs for underprivileged children. The YLD continued the doctor/lawyer program and provided a flood relief hotline for victims of the floods in the La Junta area.

LOCAL BAR ASSOCIATIONS


A major focus of the past year for the Arapahoe County Bar Association ("ACBA") was the ongoing debate regarding mandatory pro bono. The ACBA hosted a debate on that topic, conducted an opinion poll, and kept its members informed as our profession examined the issue of keeping the judicial system accessible to all. In addition, the ACBA continued its tradition of supporting numerous public education and public service projects, and members volunteered many hours assisting with the Colorado Supreme Court public education project, the Metro Volunteer Lawyers Family Law Court program, and Channel 4’s Ask-A-Lawyer evenings. Other ACBA-sponsored programs included a candidates’ forum in October and numerous CLE programs.

On the lighter side, members gathered for many entertaining programs, including the CU-CSU football game, a holiday party, and the annual Robert B. Lee Memorial Golf Tournament. A major highlight of the 1998-99 program year was the trip to Washington, D.C., where members enjoyed CLE programs, special seating at the U.S. Supreme Court, and several VIP tours of Washington attractions.

The ACBA is working toward keeping the Association and its members attuned to the opportunities presented through technological advances. In conjunction with the CBA, the ACBA is working to create and enhance its website. Broadcast faxing and e-mail were instituted as new means of communicating with members this year.

The Aurora Bar Association held its annual Golf Trek in August.

This year, the Boulder County Bar Association ("BCBA") began a newsletter column, "Learned Hand." This column was started by President Bob Cooper to assist with questions arising from the membership regarding professional conduct for lawyers and judges in the 20th Judicial District. The BCBA Professionalism Committee answered the questions and submitted them to the newsletter each month.

The BCBA also took an active part in community projects. A week in September was designated Community Food Share Week for the bar. Each day during that week, volunteer members went out to fields to garden and work in their warehouse. It was very successful, and, this September, the BCBA will again volunteer for a week to help the organization. The BCBA for the past two years has volunteered to help Habitat for Humanity build houses for low-income Boulder residents. For the coming year, the bar is focusing on expanding and rejuvenating its Public Legal Education programs, especially Lawyer in the Classroom. The Legal Information Clinic is now being run by volunteer law students at CU School of Law. This clinic is held each Tuesday night at the Legal Aid and Defender office at the law school. Law students sit in on the half-hour consultations with the volunteer attorneys and learn how to handle different cases with low-income clients.

The Denver Bar Association ("DBA") held its Ninth Annual Wine Tasting to benefit Legal Aid in December, the Barristers Benefit Ball in May, and the Annual Party at the Colorado History Museum in June. In October, the Seniors Committee roasted member Bill Ris. The Young Lawyers Division was active all year, with brown bag luncheons, Christmas in January, Law on the Mall during Law Week, and Law Explorers.

The DBA seniors celebrated their "50-Year Honorees" with a separate banquet this year. Several attendees came in from out of state for the event. The Denver mock trial team from Regis High School won the Colorado State Mock Trial Competition and placed second at the National Mock Trial Competition. The Colorado Press Association hosted a bar/press panel in Denver at the Denver Press Club.

The DBA held the Henry Hall Golf Tournament in June at The Ranch. The Denver Warm Welcome Court Child Care Center, next to the City & County Building, opened in May after seven years of hard work from DBA members.

The DBA held a Voice Workshop for members this year on how to project while public speaking. Other programs included a Retirement Planning Seminar, Working with the Media Workshops, and Public Speaking Workshops. A judicial list server was set up to notify interested members immediately when there was a judicial vacancy and how to apply.

The DBA has eighteen committees working on various projects, including the summer intern program, the senior golf tournament, the bench/bar retreat, The Docket, alternative dispute resolution, community concerns, and the DBA annual awards.

The El Paso County Bar Association ("EPCBA") gave the CBA Professionalism Award to David C. Mize. The bar association also held its tenth annual "Night at the Ballpark," a benefit for Pikes Peak/Arkansas River Legal Aid on August 14.

Law Week 1999 was a busy and successful one for EPCBA members, with a Law Day luncheon with Clay Jenkinson as Thomas Jefferson, attended by more than 300 people; a poster and essay contest for students that garnered about 700 entries; and attorneys volunteered time at the Citadel Mall to offer free legal advice to community members. The EPCBA also sponsored a viewing of The Paper Chase and a free Elder Law Symposium, where a panel of attorneys discussed such issues as power of attorney, estate planning, and advance directives.

The First Judicial District Bar Association ("First J.D.") got off the ground in 1998-99 with its newest program, Legal Assistance for the Elderly Program ("LAP"). LAP involves a group of lawyers who have agreed to handle a wide variety of cases for the elderly at a reduced fee, including provision of thirty minutes of free consultation. The First J.D. has a part-time staff attorney who fields all calls and provides whatever assistance he or she can, while referring out the rest to the lawyers in the program. From July 1, 1998, through December 21, 1998, 167 seniors had contacted the LAP.

The First J.D. contributed to the Columbine Healing Fund with a general donation, as well as donations in the names of family members of two bar members who were devastated by the tragedy.

The First J.D. hosted a luncheon debate on the issue of mandatory pro bono. The debate was well attended and actively argued on both sides.

The bar association continues its monthly CLE luncheons, the Adopt-A-Street program, and the annual awards banquet, which this year was preceded by a group trip to see the Rockies play. The First J.D. also hosted a banquet honoring retiring judges and welcoming new judges.

The Larimer County Bar Association held a golf tournament this year to benefit Colorado Rural Legal Services.

This year, the Ninth Judicial District Bar Association ("Ninth J.D.") had an exciting Law Day event, at which the Colorado Court of Appeals sat at a local high school and heard oral arguments on two criminal cases. Students from various local high schools attended, and members of the Ninth J.D. helped coordinate the event by writing a synopsis for each case and meeting with local teachers and students to explain and discuss the case. The Ninth J.D. also sponsored a reception for the Court of Appeals judges after the event.

The Pueblo County Bar Association ("PCBA") received two grants from COLTAF and the Colorado Bar Foundation to assist in pro bono and educational efforts during 1998-99. One project, in cooperation with the Student Services Department of Pueblo Community College, resulted in six televised "Ask A Lawyer" episodes on Channel 18 in Pueblo. This collaborative effort also led to the development of a website that provides legal information for downloading. Another project involved the duplication and distribution of restraining order and dissolution of marriage packets with instructions to needy, pro se litigants who wanted to file their own dissolution actions.


The Colorado Bar Association membership includes approximately 13,700 attorney members.


Other community activities this past year were a Christmas food basket distribution, a workshop at the YMCA for battered spouses, and a lawyer referral system. Law Week in May included a televised roundtable discussion on the Constitution and visits by PCBA members to local high schools for discussions on constitutional issues.

The Seventh Judicial District Bar Association ("Seventh J.D.") is proud of the new Montrose County Justice Center, which opened in October. The center has four courtrooms and two jury rooms, as well as facilities not available in the old courthouse, such as attorney-client rooms, waiting areas, public telephones, and a vending area. An underground tunnel connects the main complex to the Sheriff’s Department for transporting prisoners from the jail. A secure elevator takes prisoners from floor to floor, and holding cells are adjacent to the courthouse. The grand opening of the center was held in December.

The Southwestern Colorado Bar Association hosted a CBA and Colorado Press Association panel in Durango this year. Participants were members of the local press, law enforcement personnel, judges, and the district attorney’s office.

This year, the Weld County Bar Association got online. Check out its site at: www.cobar.org/locbar/weld/index.htm.

FINANCIALS AND ADMINISTRATIVE


The 1998-99 fiscal year was another good year for the CBA. Revenue from dues was up for the year. Non-dues revenue was down because of the return to the mountain location for the convention. The convention did have a better bottom line, returning more to the CBA than the year before. Total expenses decreased for the year. Administrative and overhead expenses were held to small increases over the previous year and came in under budget. Thanks to the staff for all their efforts to hold down expenses while providing more service to our members. Our surplus of income over expenses allows us to continue to build cash reserves ahead of schedule and insures our members a strong and responsive association.

We have continued to expand our website and have increased our staff so we can provide even more information to our members on the website. We have purchased some new equipment for our mailroom and have upgraded the computers in the LEXIS training center. The CBA Budget and Planning Committee revised some of its procedures and reduced the number of meetings from twelve to five between October and April.

Colorado Bar Association Balance Sheet As of June 30, 1999

ASSETS 1999* 1998 1997
 
Cash & Cash Equivalents $3,017,873 $2,401,985 $2,063,633
Accounts Receivable $93,931 $79,957 $61,560
Prpd. Exp. & Misc. Assets $41,387 $43,551 $46,655
DBA Intercompany $0 $0 $0
Net Property & Equipment $109,001 $130,508 $155,428
Funds Retirement Benefit $56,385 $56,012 $55,349
Deposits $5,456 $5,456 $5,456
Other $0 $0 $0
 
Total Assets $3,324,033 $2,717,469 $2,388,081
 
LIABILITIES AND MEMBERSHIP EQUITY
 
Liabilities
-Accounts Payable $70,075 $46,449 $47,992
-Dues Payable to Local Bars $206,126 $163,735 $149,108
-Accrued Compensation $34,551 $30,281 $25,698
-Sales & Income Taxes $5,700 $0 $0
-Prepaid Membership Dues $592,894 $450,534 $464,384
-DBA Intercompany $93,683 $51,741 $55,496
-Accrued Retirement $45,004 $46,417 $47,822
-Other Deferred Income $33,052 $39,962 $42,058
-Other $0 $0 $0
 
Total Liabilities $1,081,085 $829,119 $832,558
 
Membership Equity
-Restricted for Sections $144,255 $160,079 $136,098
-Restricted for Special Projects $96,118 $70,265 $111,515
-Unappropriated $2,002,575 $1,658,006 $1,307,910
 
Total Membership Equity $2,242,948 $1,888,350 $1,555,523
 
Total Liabilities & Membership Equity $3,324,033 $2,717,469 $2,388,081

*1999 figures are unaudited.

REVENUES 1999* 1998 1997
 
Dues $1,494,885 $1,455,005 $1,442,252
The Colorado Lawyer $264,548 $248,129 $245,111
Member Programs $341,475 $403,916 $388,849
Misc. Income $200,679 $261,248 $151,941
 
Total Revenues $2,301,587 $2,368,298 $2,228,153
 
EXPENSES 1999* 1998 1997
 
Programs, Committees and Departments $652,427 $659,026 $590,481
The Colorado Lawyer $498,004 $480,688 $553,172
General and Administrative $662,827 $607,630 $602,888
Governance and Meetings $144,006 $268,430 $164,357
 
Total Expenses $1,957,264 $2,015,774 $1,910,898
 
Surplus (deficit) $344,323 $352,524 $317,255

*1999 figures are unaudited.

1999 REVENUES   1999 EXPENSES
Miscellaneous Income 9%   Governance and Meetings 7%
Dues 65%   Programs, Committees and Departments 33%
Member Programs 15%   The Colorado Lawyer 25%
The Colorado Lawyer 11%   General and Administrative 35%


© 1999 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=1999.


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