|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 27, No. 9 [Page 31]
© 1998 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.
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Colorado Bar Association 1997-1998 Annual Report
OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Rebecca Koppes Conway
Christopher A. Miranda
Aaron R. Clay
Marilyn J. David
Clifton B. Kruse, Jr.
Dennis B. Polk
Charles C. Turner
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
John S. Holt
Patricia H. Brown
Timothy L. Fasing
Leslie A. Fields
David W. Furgason
Diane L. Herman
Ellen Haskins Trujillo
Dante L. Zarlengo
Edward L. Zorn
REPORT FROM THE 1997-98 PRESIDENT
We started the second 100 years of the Colorado Bar Association with a great celebration by holding the annual convention in Denver. Although not as well attended as we had hoped, the event was a great tribute to an organization that has served its membership and society so well for the last 100 years.
During the year, we spent time as an organization extolling the virtues of technology. It was timely since a vigorous debate about the grievance and disciplinary process ensued when the Supreme Court announced proposed modifications in the disciplinary process. We posted the recommendations on the association homepage as well as in The Colorado Lawyer for consideration by our members. The Board of Governors rigorously debated the recommendations and commented. After healthy interchange with Justice Bender and Justice Kourlis, and much discussion and consideration by the association and its members, the process has been altered and went into effect this July.
The virtues of technology required policy decisions about our homepage and how our association would exercise control over publication on the homepage. Tom Seawell, chair of the Internet Task Force, along with a hearty group of computer experts and membership gurus, debated, considered and ruminated over policies and practicalities. This evolved into the Internet Task Force Report which was adopted after debate and discussion at the Board of Governors.
Once again, the Colorado Bar Association made a commitment to help fund legal services through request for appropriations from the Colorado legislature. The request did not make it through House Appropriations, but it didn't dampen our resolve to continue the request.
Legal services funding will continue to be an issue. The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding IOLTA in Texas, a counterpart to our COLTAF, that the funds in the accounts are of "value" and thus, subject to the question of ownership by clients has raised much concern about this as a continued source of funding. In addition, at the federal level we continue to face opposition to funding.
A full-time person was hired to coordinate the bar association efforts to fight family violence. Since this is a problem that not only impacts our attorneys in their personal and professional lives, but uses a significant amount of court resources, we were pleased to hear after the first year that a significant amount of work has been done.
At the beginning of my tenure, I appointed a special task force on Judicial Independence with a special emphasis on opposing term limits for judges. This was in response to two groups who were attempting to put an initiative on judicial term limits on the 1998 general election ballot.
Ben Aisenberg, my successor, agreed to chair the Task Force. Members of the Executive Council, the Political Education Committee, and other interested souls were added to the Task Force. The Board of Governors voted to oppose term limits on judicial officers and authorized the spending of bar association funds not to exceed $20,000 to fight judicial term limits.
We challenged one measure on the single subject requirement of the state constitution. Ben Aisenberg served as plaintiff in this successful challenge. The other proposal has a ballot title but does not appear to be active at this time.
The state has shown its love for term limits for executive and legislative branch members. If a term limit initiative or referendum makes its way to the ballot, the educational campaign would be enormous and expensive. The current system for selecting and retaining judges may not be perfect, but the proposals for term limits do not improve the system.
As we start the next century, our organization is strong both by virtue of its members and its finances. We must remain vigilant in our efforts to educate the public and improve the justice system. We must remain committed to this effort individually and collectively. Our legacy has been great and we have the potential to become even greater as a profession and an organization.
Please review the reports from the hardworking sections and committees as well as the financial report of our organization in this annual report for details on what has been accomplished this past year. I thank those who have participated so willingly and invite everyone to the service of our profession in the years to come.
Once again, my thanks for the opportunity to serve as your president. It has meant much more to me than I could ever express.
— Rebecca Koppes Conway
REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Are you already as bored with all the "millennium" talk as I am? I thought so. Besides, it really won't be here until January 1, 2001 (not 2000), despite what the boomers hoping to make a buck off of it say. In any event, as Yogi said, " the future ain't what it used to be."
At the recent ABA meeting in Toronto, there was a session entitled "The Ends of the Legal Profession." I couldn't attend, but I'm getting the tapes to see if something useful came out of it that might apply to our profession here in Colorado. The panel was billed as focusing "on a profession in the midst of massive change, with such change resolutely generated from outside." Some of the possible topics included: "What is the ethos of the profession when the motivation of those who come into it clashes so much with the reality of practice?"; "The consumer-driven legal profession—what will it look like?" and "Will technology drive how we practice law?"
Pretty dicey issues, but haven't we been down this road before? I've glanced over annual reports from twenty, thirty, and fifty years ago and the refrain then was similar—things are not what they used to be, and big changes are on the horizon. Well, you make the call. Do you ever remember non-lawyer "legal services" organizations advising and preparing forms for people to go to court? How about big eight accounting firms "consulting" with clients on legal issues traditionally handled by the big firms? How about lawyers sitting at desks in East Paduca drafting estate planning documents for clients in Arizona? If you saw these changes coming several years ago, you're more presentient than the rest of us.
What shall we do? As a start, let's fall back on the tired old expression that forewarned is forearmed. As an association, one of our primary purposes is to keep our members up to speed on what is happening in the marketplace. So, when we can break through the clutter of your personal and professional lives—always a challenge—we need to tell you what's going on in the world outside your office so you can react and plan accordingly.
We think our homepage on the web (if you are lost at this point, get immediate help) serves that function very well. One point of pride is that the Colorado Bar Association was the first with a web site among all the state bar associations. That race is over, but we need to continue to run. We hope we provide information and a forum to assist you in your practice of law. Also in making a buck. We recognize that without that little sideline, there are no frills like pro bono, service on a non-profit board and coaching Little League.
Let us know how else we can help. It is ridiculously easy to communicate with us these days. We're just a click away. If you need click training, call or write and we can assist. That's our job and we're eager to be of service.
— Charles "Chuck" Turner, Executive Director
The Board of Governors, composed of 148 representatives from local bar associations, our 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:
—Reaffirmed the position that the CBA should not form a Political Action Committee but should explore ways to increase our effectiveness in the legislature.
—Passed a resolution urging the removal of legal barriers so counties and municipalities could, if they so chose, establish needle exchange programs.
—Adopted a resolution directed at both the White House and the U.S. Senate to fill vacancies on the federal bench as expeditiously as possible.
—Approved "in concept" the Supreme Court's plan to revise the lawyer regulation system.
—Approved the ADR Committee's Manual for the use of ADR in Employment Disputes.
—Passed and forwarded on to the Supreme Court proposed revisions in both content and scope to the new-lawyer professionalism course.
—Tabled a resolution from the Pueblo Bar Association calling for a moratorium on the imposition of the death penalty.
—Opposed two proposed ballot amendments calling for term limits for judges. Allocated up to $20,000 to challenge the ballot titles.
—Authorized the transfer, on a year-to-year basis, of the proceeds the CBA now receives from the credit card affinity program to the Legal Aid Foundation and COLTAF to assist in legal services to the poor and local bar pro bono programs.
—Approved the comprehensive Internet Task Force Report, which sets up guidelines for the CBA's web page and internet resource activities.
—Recommended to the Supreme Court that they consider granting mandatory CLE credit for "mentoring" of pro bono cases.
—Approved the continuation of annual conventions for the immediate future.
|In a year that will be best known for the first real impact of term limits, the CBA was once again involved on many fronts at the state house. Under normal circumstances, a November general election lurking around the corner is enough to create big fireworks; however, the 1998 session was exacerbated by legislators' reaction to term limits. A sort of "political musical chairs" dominated much of the activity. The "termed out" members of both houses set sights for other elected positions (Governor, Lt. Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, House to Senate and vice versa, and a surprise vacancy for U.S. Representative). Only a few members of either house that were leaving because of term limits decided to go quietly back to private life.
CBA Legislative Liaison Michael Valdez (left) with Rep. Bill Kaufman and Sen. Ed Perlmutter
With all the political uncertainty around, the CBA managed to help pass two important bills. They are:
SB 102 - Concerning Business Entities.
The new act, which took effect on July 1, 1998, is designed to provide technical consistency among the various statutes governing business organizations in Colorado. Generally, technical rules that govern business entities (Nonprofit Associations, Cooperatives, LLCs, Nonprofit Corporations, and the new Corporations and Associations Act) are clarified. This act started off as a much bigger project than it finished; but the Business Law and Taxation Sections promise to return to the fray in 1999. As introduced, the bill contemplated changes to reporting requirements for the various business entities but time and logistical factors pushed the idea back to 1999.
HB 1183 - Concerning Child Custody. The Family Law section took an idea from a bill, reworked it some, and made its progressive concept fit into the current family law statutory scheme. The focal point of the bill is to remove the terms and concepts of "custody" from law and replace it with an allocation of two of parental responsibilities: decision making and parenting time. The new law, which will go into effect on February 1, 1999, changes substantive law and contains many statutory "fixes" for the new language.
Though the legislature did manage to deal with over 620 bills, one important piece of business did not get finished. Having failed to pass a bill to solve the revenue surplus "crisis" under the TABOR amendment, the governor was forced call the legislature back into special session. The legislature met in August for three days to deal with what is a luxury of a problem—what to do with too much money.
One of the major goals of the Communications Department is to help reporters get access to accurate information about the legal system. Even with all the legal shows on TV, there's still a mystique and lots of misinformation about basic principles.
One exciting program is a monthly bar/press breakfast, where we invite about sixteen journalists and attorneys and judges to get together at the Denver Press Club to talk informally about various topics. Often we begin by discussing a certain high-profile case and then generalize to some of the problems perceived by either group. We invite different people each time, often those involved in the cases we're discussing.
Scene at a recent bar/press breakfast
|For the first time this year, we formed a partnership with the Colorado Press Association and are conducting seven workshops across the state. We began in Denver, then went to Sterling, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs, Burlington, and will be in Durango in the fall. We begin with a panel of representatives from the police, sheriff and district attorney's office. The CBA's Law Practice Management Department puts on a live Internet session to educate about finding legal resources. The third session is a panel of judges. Attending the sessions are reporters, editors, publishers, journalism faculty and deans, journalism students, board members, and the director of the Colorado Press Association. This has been a unique way to get journalists and those in the legal community to sit down and talk about issues.|
The department continues to offer seminars monthly on "Working with the Media" (one CLE) and "Public Speaking Orientation," especially for those who will be talking to civic groups.
We have been emphasizing getting judges out into the community talking with civic and community groups to let the public know them, and understand the importance of the independence of the judiciary.
Last year, the Communications Department added a staff person; she spends 70 percent of her time on public relations issues and 30 percent of her time working on legislative matters.
PUBLIC AND LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT
The Department of Public and Legal Services continues to support pro bono projects and local bar associations in the state. Several new projects are being undertaken due to the crisis in legal services funding. The Department is assisting with changes being made at pro bono offices in Fort Morgan and Pueblo. The Four Corners Bar in Cortez is opening a new pro bono office. We assist with the publication of the "Directory of Legal Services and Pro Bono Offices in Colorado." We visit pro bono offices to offer training and technical assistance.
The Department sends a monthly informational mailing to local bars and, in preparation for the Local Bar Leader's Institute, has sent leadership materials to new bar presidents. The Department also sends notices of judicial vacancies to individual local bar members.
In the past year, the department has assisted with the development and presentation of the fall Pro Bono Conference in cooperation with the Availability of Legal Services Committee.
Among the Department's largest projects are Lend-A-Lawyer and the Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor Program.
Lend-A-Lawyer, Inc., established in June 1990 during Christopher Brauchli's presidential term, provides legal assistance to the indigent in less populated areas of the state. Originally, the program reached out to law firms, requesting that they donate a firm associates' time to the program for a four- to six-month period.
Today, Lend-A-Lawyer, Inc. provides legal services to hundreds of indigent clients annually. Lend-A-Lawyer volunteers are offered a $750 per month living stipend. Volunteers are not permitted to practice law outside of the program. Lend-A-Lawyer volunteers continue to be placed in Colorado Rural Legal Service (CRLS) offices and local bar pro bono programs around the state. The communities now being served by the program are Alamosa, Boulder, Durango, Fort Morgan, Greeley, Grand Junction, La Junta, Montrose, Metro Volunteer Lawyers, and Project Safeguard.
The Lend-A-Lawyer, Inc. program is self-supporting. Lend-A-Lawyers accept court appointments in the communities where appointments are available, and court fees are paid directly to Lend-A-Lawyer, Inc. Funding is also supplied by stipend reimbursement from CRLS. The program recently developed the "Adopt-A-Community" program in which large law firms are asked to contribute the stipend reimbursement of a volunteer Lend-A-Lawyer and a small administrative fee to support a community for one or two six-month terms. Holland & Hart is the first firm to participate in the "Adopt-A-Community" program. They have adopted the community of Montrose, Colorado for a six-month term.
The Colorado Bar Association
membership is 13,007 attorney
Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor Program
Former Colorado Bar Association President Phil Figa and Chief Judge Richard Matsch developed the CBA's Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor program in 1995. It is aimed at alleviating the civil pro se litigation docket in federal district courts as mandated by congress in the Civil Justice Reform Act.
This innovative pilot program pairs inexperienced lawyers (mentees) with senior mentor attorneys who have volunteered to provide their expertise and guidance. Cases that come to the program have first been screened by one or more judges of the federal district court who have determined that the case cannot be dealt with summarily or that there is a factual dispute which requires a trial.
Volunteers from the Faculty of Federal Court Advocates group place these cases with volunteer mentors and mentees. The CBA provides administrative support to the program and Ray Mickelwright of the firm Wolf Slatkin is the acting Executive Director for the Federal Court Pro Bono Mentor program.
LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
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, WordPerfect, Word, Timeslips, Hot Docs, and more.
The CBA offers members access and training for the LEXIS-NEXIS legal research system. Whether you're a sole practitioner, law firm member, or an 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 Web Site: http://www.cobar.org
Thanks to the newly formed Internet Task Force, both CBA and Internet Task Force members came up with guidelines for the outstanding CBA presence on the Internet. You may have noticed the daily Oklahoma City bombing trial updates posted to the CBA's Young Lawyer's Division homepage. These updates generated "hits" world wide. We continue to offer our "E-Slips" project, where CBA staff posts the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions on the Web site hours after they are announced.
We've enhanced our Web site with a section for CBA "Members Only": (http://www.cobar.org/moinfo/index.htm). In this section, members can search the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions from October 1996 to the present.
If you care to delve into the Internet a little more, try joining a listserv. Like a regular magazine, a listserv has subscribers. Instead of getting the magazine and its information in the mail box, the electronic information goes straight to your e-mail address. One listserv to try is called Opinions (http://www.iex.net/iex-cgi/lwgate/opinions), where you can receive the case captions and summaries of the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions delivered via e-mail. While most listservs let you type or "post" your own comments which are then delivered to all subscribers on the listserv the Opinions listserv does not allow subscribers to "post." One listserv that will allow you to post a message is sponsored by the CBA and DBA Young Lawyers Divisions (http://www.iex.net/iex-cgi/lwgate/cba_dba_yld) for all members. They hope this tool will be useful as a resource for attorneys to network and mentor each other.
Also, the Members Only area includes full-text, searchable articles from The Colorado Lawyer.
As for CBA members who have purchased a copy of the Colorado Ethics Handbook (1997 4th Edition), the Formal Ethics opinions are available online and are searchable from the Ethics Committee's Web site, (http://www.cobar.org/comms/ethics/index.htm).
More CBA Web Sites
To make searching and surfing easier for you, the Law Practice Management Department made individual homepages for CBA sections and committees, although you can still access the same Web sites through the CBA homepage. Eventually, we hope to have all of our sections and committees online.
The list of those who have homepages includes:
Young Lawyers Division
Agricultural and Rural Law Section
Business Law Section
Environmental Law Section
Health Law Section
Real Estate Law Section
Taxation Law Section
Trust & Estate Section
Diversity in the Legal Profession
Lawyer's Professional Liability
CLECI sponsored more than
60 seminars attracting more
than 8,000 practitioners.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum Committee
Disability Law Forum Committee
Elder Law Forum Committee
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 if the firms are satisfied with their current software.
We have been busy bringing CLE-accredited presentations to local bar associations, Inns of Court, and other legal groups around the state. Titles included: "Intro to the Internet," "Search Engines," "Getting the Most From Your Browser," "Using the Internet to Market Your Law Practice," "Web Page Design," "The Mechanics of Building a Web Page," "Low-Cost Audio and Video Conferencing," "Alternative Billing," and "Gender Differences in Speech."
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.
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 more 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, will answer many of your law practice management needs.
CBA Legislative Hotline
As a service to members, the CBA Legislative Relations Department provides a short newsletter during the legislative session with updates on bills the CBA is lobbying on and tracking. The newsletter is posted on the homepage.
Risk Management became a part of the Law Practice Management family. To help out, 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 in-house newsletter, Whoops!, is produced quarterly by the CBA Lawyer's Professional Liability Committee.
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
The Public Legal Education Department continued to inform members and students about the complexities of law. As for student participation, mock trial registrations were up almost 40 percent over previous years, with over seventy teams registering for the 1997 competition. As a result, one new regional competition (in Grand Junction and hosted by the Mesa County Bar Association) was added as a state qualifier tournament. Growth occurred in most areas of the state from Silverton (a high school of just over fifty students) where three teams registered, to Fruita Monument, Northglenn, Adams City, Boulder Prep, South, Golden and Clear Creek High Schools which were new schools in mock trial competition.
The department also assisted in preparing publications for students and high school graduates. It helped the CBA Law Education Committee publish a new booklet about the rights and responsibilities of 18 year olds, re-publication of our Colorado Street Law addendum, The Law in Colorado, and the development of three new clinics (Parenting Time, Estate Administration and Estate Planning). The Committee constantly acquires additional law-related educational materials to allow the office to serve as a resource to educators throughout Colorado. Mock trial materials are available for virtually any grade level through high school. In addition, materials on hate speech and intolerance are also available. Clinical program models are available for presentation throughout Colorado.
|The 1997 convention, celebrating the CBA's 100th anniversary, was held in Denver for the first time since 1900. A big birthday bash was held on Saturday night of the convention at the Denver Zoo, with 600 people attending and dancing to the tunes of the Nacho Men. Luncheon speakers were trial attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi, Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, and Clarence Darrow as portrayed by Laurence Luckinbill. Over 650 lawyers attended CLE programs such as "A Day on the Internet," "Powerful Communication: From the Courtroom to the Board Room," and "How to Fly Solo Without Crashing." The Award of Merit was presented to Justice Edward E. Pringle; Christopher "Buck" Dominick received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award; Russell H. Granger was presented with the Jacob V. Schaetzel Award; Robert F. Hill received the Donald W. Hoagland Award; the Pro Bono Coordinator of the Year Award went to Elizabeth Lynch; Harry O. Lawson received the Chester Alter Award; and Kathy Covell was presented with the Ken Covell Ethics Memorial Award, a plaque that will hang at the CBA office.
Magistrate Bruce Pringle (left) with Eddie Pringle, 1997 CBA Award of Merit Winner
The Colorado Lawyer
The Colorado Lawyer content comprises overview articles on broad areas of substantive law, features on special programs and projects, twenty-four specialty columns, and eight departments, the latter two published on a rotating basis. During the 1997-98 fiscal year, "The Ethics Column" replaced the "Legal Malpractice Forum"; the "Administrative Law Column" and the "Local Government Column" joined to become "Government and Administrative Law News"; and "From the Bankruptcy Bar" was put back under the umbrella of the "Business Law Newsletter."
One highlight of the publishing year was the October 1997 theme issue on alternative dispute resolution. In April 1998, we began a series of four-color covers, which allows us to showcase even more of the beautiful Colorado scenes photographed by our members. In the past year, we continued the series of proposed guidelines for Colorado paralegals and published CBA Formal Ethics Opinions as they were announced.
The most exciting development for The Colorado Lawyer in the 1997-98 year was the decision to begin putting articles on the CBA website. After much hard work by CBA Webmaster Mel Reveles, many of the articles from the June 1998 issue were made available only to CBA members on a gated portion of the website. Portions of subsequent issues will be posted there as they are published, and many articles from back issues will be posted as time permits. Colorado Court of Appeals and Supreme Court opinions have been available through the CBA website; new in the past year are Court of Appeals head notes. A six-year, searchable index of all materials published in The Colorado Lawyer also is contained on the website.
Membership Facts 'n' Figures
Overall membership in the CBA increased 2.6 percent for the 1997-98 year. In comparison, the Supreme Court reports 14,186 active attorneys in Colorado, a slight decrease (less than 1 percent) from the previous year. Of that total number of attorneys, 79 percent are CBA members. We thank all members for their continued support.
We are pleased to see that improved marketing efforts and consistent communication with DU and CU Law Schools resulted in heightened student awareness of the benefits of bar membership. CBA student membership increased 42 percent, due in part to the help of CBA student "ambassadors" on both the DU and CU campuses. The percentage of new admittees (new attorneys taking the bar exam) joining the bar in May 1998 rose a hefty 71 percent over last year, an outgrowth of a combination of student recruitment and improved outreach efforts.
The CBA Membership Services Committee conducted an informal focus group in the Denver area to discuss member benefits. These "town hall-type" gatherings of randomly selected members will continue in the next year in an effort to assess current member benefits and the need for new ones. If members have suggestions or comments, please contact the CBA Membership Services department.
FAMILY VIOLENCE PROGRAM
Upon recommendation of a task force established by then CBA President Miles Cortez, the Board of Governors authorized the creation of a Family Violence Program on May 16, 1997. Kathleen Schoen, an attorney with twelve years' experience in family violence issues, was hired as the program director at the end of July 1997.
A multi-disciplinary Advisory Council established subcommittees to work on specific objectives of the Program, including: education of lawyers and law students, appropriate support for lawyers who are victims and perpetrators, legislation, messaging campaign and community coordination, access to the legal system for victims of family violence, projects intended to make the justice system more responsive to the issue of family violence, and fund raising.
During the 1997-1998 fiscal year, some of the projects tackled included:
- Presentations to attorneys;
- Recommendations to Colorado Supreme Court to include family violence in its list of sanctionable offenses and appropriate referrals under the revised Attorney Regulation Program;
- Materials (safety plan pamphlet, representing victims of family violence brochure, information packets on family violence);
- Web site with information for attorneys and general public;
- Law office protocol structure;
- Messaging strategy in conjunction with Colorado Medical Society, Mile High United Way, and other community resources;
- Joint legislative lunch with Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, and Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, attracting thirty legislators;
- Solicitation of information about successful legal service programs.
The Family Violence Program continues to evolve as the Advisory Council and staff forge ahead to help attorneys deal with the impact of family violence in their professional and private lives.
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 over 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; Wrongful Death Handbook, The New Non-Profit Corporation Act, Elder Law, and the new Ethics Handbook. New publications for next year include Employment Law, Construction Law, and The Colorado Courtroom Handbook. CLE is also developing its presence on the World Wide Web and hopes to be ready to offer CLE distance education via the Web in the upcoming year.
SECTIONS & COMMITTEES
In June 1998, the Agricultural and Rural Law Section hosted the Seventh Annual Western Agricultural and Rural Law Roundup in Gunnison. Excellent speakers from the legal and agribusiness community meant the program was well received by all registrants. The Ag Law Section also continued publishing a periodic newsletter for section members. The newsletter focuses on statutory, regulatory, and case law developments impacting agribusiness. The section also held luncheon presentations throughout the year.
The Business Law Section stayed busy this year with all of the various subcommittees. The Securities subcommittee held monthly topical luncheons.
The Criminal Law Section's ("CLS") annual presentation to the Colorado Bar featured trial attorney and law school professor Michael Tigar (Oklahoma City Bombing Trial). Tigar also conducted a convention workshop, "The Litigator as a Story Teller." CLS seminars were conducted throughout the year. Seminar topics included Evidence (with the Litigation Section) and Criminal Law. The sessions were well received, with vigorous debate surrounding workshop issues such as: Search and Seizure, Domestic Violence, DUI/DMV, Technology & Evidence in the Courtroom and Professionalism and Ethics for Criminal Lawyers. Communication with the Bar was maintained with publication of a CLS newsletter in The Colorado Lawyer.
The CLS successfully opposed legislation which had the potential to politicize the Office of the Public Defender and the Alternative Defense Counsel. The effort involved intensive legislative lobbying including CLS members testifying before legislative committees. Other legislative endeavors focused on modification of a legislative proposal which would have eliminated preliminary hearings. CLS input resulted in a modified bill which will require preliminary hearings for certain classes of criminal charges. CLS has established credibility with the legislature, but we must tread carefully in this arena to ensure that credibility is sustained.
Have you seen our website?
Check it out at www.cobar.org!
The Environmental Law Section held monthly topical meetings.
The Family Law Section held monthly topical luncheons, started a grants committee which awarded grants, held a CLE and symposium, and sponsored House Bill 1183 on child custody, which was signed by the Governor.
In addition to the Health Law Section's bimonthly council meetings, the Section held a number of educational activities for its members and other interested people, including brown bag luncheons on topics as diverse as Medicaid fraud, impaired physicians and legislative and regulatory developments, along with the Section's convention program in August, which provided views of the past and future of health care and health law, as did the Section's innovative presentation at Bar Mart, which featured straight jackets, electroshock therapy devices and other paraphernalia from the history of medicine. As in past years, the Section also cosponsored a seminar in December with the Healthcare Financial Management Association, featuring topics of interest to counsel for health care professionals and their facilities and institutions. In addition, the Section continued its monitoring of Colorado legislative and regulatory developments in the health care field, along with the publishing its newsletter and column in The Colorado Lawyer. Plans were made for future educational sessions, including full-day programs, in coordination with CLECI, along with enhancing the Section's presence on the Internet.
Much of the work of the Judiciary Section dealt with proposed and pending legislation. Over the past five years, the Section's executive council has worked to stem the efforts to restructure the way judges are nominated, appointed and retained in office. Among the resolutions opposed were: require Senate confirmation of appointments to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court; make all judgeships elected offices, as in political elections, and impose term limits; and turn all the positions on the judicial nominating commissions into politically elected offices. The section planned the Legal Jeopardy Program again this year for the CBA Convention. Most recently, the Judiciary Section purchased a bench for the Jefferson County Courthouse and a plaque for the CBA offices in honor of Judge Linda Palmieri, who was on the council and passed away this year.
The Litigation Section had a program at the convention and a symposium through CLE on "Working on Rule 16 Discovery Abuse."
The Mineral Law Section presented ten monthly luncheons featuring speakers on topics of current interest. In September, the Section sponsored a well-attended program at the CBA Annual Convention. The program included panel discussion on two significant issues: the impacts of electric industry deregulation on coal and natural gas producers, and the delineation of state and local jurisdiction to regulate oil and gas development. In the spring, the Section held its thirteenth annual Natural Resources Law Student Writing Competition for students from the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Colorado School of Law. More recently, the Section has resurrected the Mineral Law Section Newsletter, which had been dormant for several years.
The Patent and Trademark Section held monthly meetings, put out a newsletter and put on a program at the convention.
The Real Estate Section did a Habitat for Humanity service project this year.
The Solo/Small Firm Section had its first seminar for sole practitioners in the state. It was a two-day affair with 13 credits (2 ethics) for $89. It increased membership and awareness of the section, and the section hopes to make this an annual event. Every year the section has an outreach program; this year's was in Glenwood Springs. The section is concentrating on providing networking opportunities for sole practitioners with a view toward having sole practitioners and small firm members act as one big firm in terms of networking and use everyone's specialties and expertise.
The Taxation Section had CLE programs, a program at the convention, and monthly meetings.
The Trust and Estate Section had a very productive year. The Statutory Revisions Committee proposed legislation that was approved by the Board of Governors and should be introduced in the 1999 legislative session, including (1) presumptions with respect to ownership of tangible personal property between spouses; (2) presumptions keeping the community property nature of assets brought to Colorado and re-titled in joint tenancy or in a revocable trust; and (3) adoption of a procedure for a guardian of an incapacitated person to commence a divorce action.
The Revisions Committee continued their work reviewing various uniform acts affecting trusts and estates. The Judicial Liaison Committee produced their compilation of probate procedures in Colorado's various counties, to be published by CLE in Colorado, Inc. Updates to the Estate Planning Handbook ("Orange Book Text"), and The Green Book were published by CLECI, and the Orange Book forms committee continued work on various forms to be added to The Orange Book, as well as updates to existing forms. Seminars co-sponsored by the Tax Section on the 1997 tax act, basic estate planning, and the Estate Planning Retreat in Vail. The Section also sponsored a convention program that featured a presentation by the manager of the Estate Tax Division of the IRS in Colorado, and a discussion of advance medical directives. In addition to the seminars, the Section co-sponsored various luncheons throughout the year on topics of interest to estate planners. The Community and Civic Affairs Committee published the 1997 update of The Colorado Senior Law Handbook. The Section's newsletter, Council Notes, continued to provide members with the useful information, including the Technology Committee's compilation of websites, and the articles in The Colorado Lawyer in the Section's Forum were very informative. Finally, the Section continued its support of a listserv for members and the Section's web page.
The Workers' Compensation Section sponsored two full-day seminars in conjunction with CLE; prepared a standard medical release for use in litigated cases; participated in various task forces and focus groups at the Division of Workers Compensation and Division of Administrative Hearings; sponsored the annual section dinner and luncheon for practitioners and judges; updated an attorney referral list for unrepresented claimants; obtained a seat on the Board of Governors for the section; and monitored legislation in the area of workers' comp.
Our official birthday is September 9,
and we were 100 years old in 1997.
The Young Lawyers Division was busy this year. YLD helped with the Fort Collins Flood Relief with a toll-free telephone line and gave approximately seventy-five people free legal advice. YLD organized over sixty local attorneys to assist victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing by creating a daily diary of the trials of defendants Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and posting the diary on the Web page. "Christmas in January" was a big success in Colorado Springs. YLD helped over 60 children by distributing surplus clothes and toys donated by retailers to children from low-income families and foster homes in January. YLD stayed active with the Attorney-Medical Substance Abuse Education Program, where they present programs to high school students on the legal and medical ramifications of substance abuse. In the Suspension Alternative Program, YLD presented programs on the legal and medical consequences of substance abuse to students who have been caught using controlled substances on school grounds. The SCOPE Project connects new attorneys with more experienced attorneys in specific areas of practice. The social events for young lawyers included a Ski Train to Winter Park, Rockies games, socials, and a reception for new CU and DU law grads at Marlowe's. YLD also put out a newsletter with the DBA/YLD this year for all young lawyers in the CBA.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum Committee started an ad hoc transactional law ADR group that is putting on a program at the convention. It will be aimed at helping transactional lawyers to get ADR made part of their transaction. An employment industry group subcommittee produced an employment manual that explains ADR in employment context. An industry focus group on healthcare is looking at ADR positions for the healthcare industry. We revitalized the Colorado Pledge, a pledge started several years ago by several Colorado businesses who agreed to use ADR prior to seeking solutions in court. We have started the process of regenerating and getting the businesses involved with the Colorado Pledge more committed and more involved with the ADR Forum Committee and joint education efforts.
The Construction Law Forum Committee held quarterly meetings with topical CLEs. The Forum Committee put out a quarterly newsletter and put on a program at the convention.
During the year, the Government Counsel Forum Committee met for lunch monthly at the Denver Buffalo Company to hear a speaker on a topic of interest to attorneys who work with governments at all levels. We heard the following speakers: Lori Potter on "Four U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Government Counsel"; George Monsson, "Morgan County's Emergency Management of the Recent Flooding"; Linda Donnelly, "Disciplinary Concerns for Government Counsel"; Jeff Withers, "What the Division of Local Government Can Do for You"; Rolf Asphaung, "Governmental Immunity Issues Affecting Transit Entities"; David Broadwell, "Issues Before the Legislature and Other Topics of Interest to Government Counsel"; Mary Roudebush, "Government Retirement Plans"; and Doug Brown, "The Role of Legislative Legal Services and its Attorney-Client Relationship with the Colorado General Assembly."
The Disability Forum Committee worked federally and locally, watching legislation for the American Disability Association.
The International Law Forum Committee's activities for the year include lectures at the Denver Athletic Club on topics such as: "The Impact of the Internet on International Property Law" given by Jane Levine; "International Mining Transactions – Due Diligence and Political Risks" by Mark A. Kling; "French or Foe? Some French Legal Pointers for American Lawyers" by Christelle Bousquet; "Customs and Trade Law for the General Practitioner" by Richard C. Katz; "Discovery in International Litigation" by Mark L. Driver; "Immigration Implications of the NAFTA" by Fernando Dubovy; "Recent Trends in US-International Taxation" by John R. Wilson; "An Overview of Technical Assistance Consulting for Foreign Countries—Challenges and Benefits" by David A. Weinstein; "Collection Issues in International Commercial Litigation" by David B. Wilson; "Hybrid Entity Planning–New Tax Opportunities" by Fuad S. Saba; and "Recent Tax Law Changes Affecting Non-U.S. Citizens, Foreign Trusts, and International Clients" by Leigh-Alexandra Basha at the September CBA Convention in Keystone.
Over the last year, the Juvenile Law Forum Committee has been involved with monitoring the progress of Title 19 and other related legislation, and program planning for the CBA convention. In addition, one member organized several lunch hour CLEs and a larger program to take place in Colorado Springs.
The Labor Law Forum Committee put on monthly meetings and presentations on hot topics such as: "The Pros and Cons of Arbitrating Employment Law Cases," "Townsend v. Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall," "Trade Secrets," "Same Sex Sexual Harassment After Oncal," "The Family Medical Leave Act, Between a Rock and a Hard Place," "Mediation and Arbitration of Employment Law Claims," "Tower Corp. v. Khatib" and "Current Developments in Colorado Employment Law." At the CBA Convention, the Committee presented "Employment Discrimination Class Actions" with Cyrus Mehri of Washington D.C. Mehri was co-lead counsel for the plaintiff class in the well-publicized Texaco class action race discrimination litigation, which resulted in a settlement requiring the payment of $172,000,000 by Texaco to the class.
In 1998, the CBA backed legislation
that will change the language
people use when they divorce and
how parental responsibilities
Making sure everyone has a chance at legal aid is The Availability of Legal Services Committee's job. Last year, the Committee conducted a survey reviewing the Denver Bar Association's Match Program for those who do not qualify for legal aid, but have some need. It also reviewed and commented on the Judicial Advisory Council's recommendation for pro bono work. Last fall, the Committee sponsored a conference concerning pro bono issues with topics like "Litigation on a Shoestring," "Planet Medicaid: Health Coverage for the Poor," and "Debate on Mandatory Pro Bono."
The CBA Awards Committee awarded Judge Richard Matsch the Award of Merit and selected William E. Doyle, Minoru Yasui, Norma L. Comstock, Moses Hallett and Richard M. Davis to be in The Colorado Lawyer as "Five of the Greatest."
The Bill of Rights Committee has been working hard to keep members informed of Bill of Rights information. Last spring, it hosted a program about Federalism with speakers Dr. Michael Greve and Rep. Diana DeGette. Topics addressed included questions such as can the government use its power to regulate the states and can the states use the 10th Amendment to limit the power of the federal government. The Committee also reviewed resolutions dealing with Bill of Rights issues for the CBA. It incorporated Bill of Rights issues into monthly topical meetings. For the past few months, the Committee has been gearing up for its seminar about civil liberties in Cyberspace at the 1998 CBA convention.
The Colorado Bar Association celebrated its 100th birthday in style thanks to The Centennial Committee. The Committee initiated and supported the special centennial edition of The Colorado Lawyer (June 1997), which told the histories of the CBA, the courts, and many local and specialty bar associations. Along with the 100-year theme, a traveling display of CBA history visited several court houses. Mostly consisting of newspaper clippings and photos, the display is still going strong around the front range. The Committee started an "Oral History" column in The Colorado Lawyer, which is still being published.
Billboard on Colfax Ave. that greeted 1997 CBA Convention attendees
|The Convention Committee planned the 99th Annual Colorado Bar Association Convention "100 Years of the Colorado Bar Association," which took place August 7-10, 1997, in Denver. An action-packed weekend ensued, with daytime seminars addressing topics such as "The Impact of Welfare Reform," "The Exciting New World of Business Entity Law" and "How Domestic Violence Impacts Your Legal Practice and What You Need to Know." Evening activities included seeing the Colorado Rockies and Broadway's Beauty and the Beast. On Saturday evening, the Colorado Bar Association held its 100th birthday party at the Denver Zoo. Members and staff danced the night away to music of the Nacho Men As for the convention's foreseeable future and after much analyzing, the Committee, the Executive Council, and the Board of Governors decided to continue having annual conventions.|
The Court Reform Committee set sail on a publication that would be a flagship for court reform. It compiled a first-of-its-kind nationwide bibliography of court reform recommendations, studies, and reports. Beyond listing the reforms, the Committee analyzed a number of these studies and determined which reforms were more effective than others. First, the bibliography provides an instrument that recognizes past reform efforts and will then let lawyers determine better reforms for the future.
If there's ever a question about legal ethics, The Ethics Committee is where to go. Last year the Committee continued to provide members with ethical information and advice by fielding hundreds of calls and written inquiries. To make information even more accessible to bar members, the Committee established a Web site containing abstracts of letter opinions and indexes to previously published formal opinions and articles on ethics issues.
It also issued new formal opinions regarding the "unbundling" of legal services and the use or misuse of subpoenas in both civil and criminal litigation. In addition, it provided input to the Colorado Supreme Court, relating to proposed changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure, which would permit limited representation of litigants, i.e., "ghost written" pleadings. Also, the Committee met with the Grievance Committee and gave input regarding proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.
A highlight at the end of the year included Justice Gregory Hobbs speaking at the Ethics Committee's meeting in Snowmass.
The Grievance Committee serves as a vehicle for input, and last year, it was a success. The Committee proposed that the Supreme Court should have its own policy grievance mediation Committee. The Supreme Court accepted.
The Committee had another success through its subcommittee for pro bono low fees. This subcommittee started a service for lawyers who receive complaints, so they may receive pro bono advice or representation. Last year, they handled about sixty cases.
More than an asset to lawyers, The CBA/DBA Interprofessional Committee increased its physician membership by sending the Interprofessional Code to doctors this year. In their continuing effort to resolve problems between lawyers and professionals who work with lawyers as expert witnesses, the Committee's message reached physicians. The Committee handled about seventy disputes this year, which was an increase from fifty last year.
The Law Education Committee coordinated the annual statewide mock trial competition. The Law Education Committee's brochure, "Being A Lawyer In Colorado," is available from the bar office for use by attorneys who support career days and other high school presentations. There are two publications for young adults. The first, a booklet covering the "Rights and Responsibilities of 18-Year-Olds," will be finalized this 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 1998/99 school year. Another accomplishment for the Committee is the support for development and modeling of three new clinics—Parenting Time, Estate Administration, and Estate Planning.
For the first time, the Law Practice Management Committee is a combined committee of both DBA and CBA. As a result, they attempt to reach a broader base of members both locally and throughout the state. One major achievement is the free roundtable discussions about many topics.
Another accomplishment is the new edition of the Lawyer's Kit. It underwent a major edit (the fourth since its inception). Those who purchase the Kit say it is a terrific source of information.
The Committee sponsored seminars for law students and new attorneys to provide tips on office management and ethics issues.
The always helpful Lawyer's Professional Liability Committee kept members informed about issues like messy malpractice and ever-important ethics. They published the Whoops! quarterly newsletter, dealing with malpractice avoidance issues. By the way, previous issues of Whoops! are archived on CBA's Web site at http://www.cobar.org. Past topics included information about retaining liens, workers' compensation and family law.
The Committee provided more helpful information at the malpractice prevention clinics with topics like client relations and ethical issues. The information these clinics provided reached big-city members in Denver and Colorado Springs and far-out members in Grand Junction and Fort Collins.
They also monitored and maintained their good relationship with Westport Insurance Group, the CBA-sponsored insurer for malpractice.
The Legal Assistant Committee has been actively updating the Legal Assistant Guidelines.
The Legal Fee Arbitration Committee experienced an increase in the number of legal fee disputes submitted to it for resolution by binding arbitration. It appears that an increasing number of attorneys and law firms are now including clauses in their fee agreements requiring submission of fee disputes to the Committee or to its sister committee of the Denver Bar Association. The Committee urges members of the bar from outside the Front Range, particularly the Western Slope and Southern Colorado, to consider becoming Committee members because there has been a significant increase in fee dispute arbitrations from those areas.
The activities of the Membership Services Committee are generally those of the Membership Services Department. See the discussion under "Membership Services," above.
The Minorities in the Profession Committee allows CBA members to take an active role in helping the minority bar associations promote minority enrollment in law schools, passage of the bar exam, access to hiring and retention in private law firms, and appointments to judicial positions as well as to committees and commissions. They changed their name to Diversity in the Legal Profession and have been working with law firms who signed the Pledge to Diversity to help them increase the number of minorities in firms. They participated in a summer clerks reception sponsored by the Denver-area Legal Recruiters Association. They had a program at the convention and have started a Web page.
The Women and the Law Committee continued to work on the report card to analyze how women are represented within the leadership of the bar. They had focus groups talking about women and compared salaries in large firms.
LOCAL BAR ASSOCIATIONS
The Arapahoe County Bar Association sponsored a variety of activities for its members last year under president Diane Carlton. The year began with a benefit for Sungate in honor of retiring District Attorney Bob Gallagher. Members attended three free CLE programs during the year. They also enjoyed themselves at the Quidam circus, an Avalanche game and at a spring CLE trip to Las Vegas. There were dinner meetings with judges, young lawyer get-togethers, and a Law Day program for local high school students.
A highlight of the 1997-98 Aurora Bar Association is the annual lawyers on the mall for Law Week.
At the Boulder County Bar Association, Christine Hylbert, formerly of the CBA staff, became executive director, filling a position that had been vacant for three months. They resumed publication of the monthly newsletter and began regular blast faxes to the nearly 1,100 members. They updated the Web page (http://www.boulderbar.org.) The budget was brought back into balance and they completed a long-range plan.
The Continental Divide Bar Association held a ski day in March.
The Delta County Bar Association is alive and well on the Western Slope, and still boasts of having one of the highest percentage of members actively participating in the pro bono program in the state. In September, they held their annual Bar Assocation dinner with CBA President Rebecca Koppes Conway at John Wendt's home in Cedaredge. John always provides a wonderful dinner, and this annual dinner meeting is the highlight of the year.
They also held several luncheon meetings, with Baird Brown speaking on Medicaid issues, and the local judges speaking on topics of concern for the judiciary. In May, most members participated in the Law Day Program as speakers for schools and service organizations, as well as sponsoring a Call-A-Lawyer program. The Bar Association also provided funds for the Domestic Violence Task Force, which sponsored a domestic violence symposium for local teenagers in Delta.
|The Denver Bar Association started a Lunch 'n' Learn program this year, in which attorneys go out to Denver businesses for an hour-long, brown bag talk to employees on general topics such as wills and estate planning or family law. The 1997-98 DBA president, Tom de Marino, implemented a monthly ice cream social and lite lunch. Free legal advice was offered to the public at various events during the year, including Law on the Mall during Law Week, the Capitol Hill People's Fair in June, and the weekly LawLine 9, a call-in show at the studios of KUSA-TV. Other major events were the annual Bench-Bar Retreat, the Barristers Benefit Ball (which raised $108,000 for Metro Volunteer Lawyers), and monthly Bar Press Breakfasts at the Denver Press Club.
Free legal information from the DBA at Capitol Hill People's Fair
The Douglas/Elbert Bar Association got a new courthouse in Douglas County and are busy moving in and getting settled.
|The El Paso County Bar Association ("EPCBA") had an incredible Law Week. The Bar Association showed "12 Angry Men" with a discussion following. There were poster and essay contests and a Law Day luncheon. Judge John Porfilio of the Tenth Circuit was the special Law Day speaker.
Other special events for the EPCBA in the past year were the Ninth Annual "Night at the Ballpark," which raised several thousand dollars for Pikes Peak/Arkansas River Legal Aid; the Annual Meeting in September; a winetasting benefit in October, sponsored by the New Lawyers Section to benefit Legal Aid; the annual Christmas Party; and local CLE programs throughout the year.
Swearing in new admittees in El Paso County
The Four Corners Bar Association is in the process of creating a pro bono project, with Joseph W. Olt as the volunteer attorney coordinator. They are training Sheila Sparks to be the non-attorney coordinator.
In association with the Law Day Program, Heart of the Rockies Bar Association sponsored Call-A-Lawyer Night in conjunction with a local radio station. Lawyers were interviewed on-air and answered confidential calls while the station played music. The bar continued having lunch meetings every other month rotating between Salida, Buena Vista, and Fairplay and co-hosting the CBA presidential visits with the Freemont/Custer Bar Association.
In November 1997, Larimer County voted to construct a new justice center in Fort Collins and an annex in Loveland. The Larimer County Bar Association has participated and continues to participate in the design of the new facilities, which are expected to be completed in 2000. The bar sponsored several CLE programs for its members, including one with Justice Michael Bender speaking on the new proposed rules for attorney discipline. The annual fall term day included four hours of CLE on various topics for its members in September 1997. The annual ethics seminar was held in April 1998 and provided six credits to those members attending. The Young Lawyers Section of the Larimer County Bar continues to be extremely active. They organized a Law Day luncheon featuring a speech by Justice Rebecca Kourlis in May and a Call-A-Lawyer night. The bar association continues to grow and currently has around 400 members.
Chatting at Mesa County presidential visit
|The Mesa County Bar Association helped out the pro bono project with a fundraiser art show and auction.
The Ninth Judicial District Bar Association had a big Law Day project and brought lawyers into the schools.
The San Luis Valley Bar Association did several CLE presentations, including "Use of the Internet" with District Judge John Kuenhold and "Change in Grievance Procedures" with Linda Donnelly. The bar participated in a fundraiser for the local food bank. Attorneys subjected themselves to a volleyball match against the sheriff's office and middle school teachers. Surprisingly, the attorneys won, had fun, and raised money for the food bank.
The Southwest Colorado Bar Association had a busy year with an increase in CLE presentations, many made by staff of the Colorado Bar Association on such topics as Working With the Media with Diane Hartman; presentations on technology, Internet, and office management issues with Mel Reveles and Reba Nance; and the annual legislative update by Michael Valdez. The SWCBA also continued its tradition of a day-long CLE seminar called "Law in the Trenches," with local attorneys presenting topics in their area of practice.
The SWCBA decided to hold its Call-A-Lawyer night more frequently, moving from an annual to a quarterly event. The SWCBA also established a Community Donations Committee whose Committee members annually solicit requests for donations to local community groups and make recommendations to the SWCBA about where to allocate the budgeted funds, as well as choosing an area high school senior to receive a college scholarship from the bar association. The bar also continues to provide financial assistance to the local domestic violence legal project.
Law Day activities were numerous, and participation by the schools and attorneys was heartening. The activities included a poster contest in area high school art classes, with all entries being displayed at the courthouse during Law Week, as well as numerous high school classroom presentations and courthouse tours facilitated by local bar members.
The SWCBA also initiated a networking opportunity for attorneys, called the After Hours Social, which is hosted quarterly by various attorneys at their offices to provide members a chance to socialize in a relaxed setting and to encourage collegiality among the local bar.
The 13th Judicial District Bar Association is in the process of changing the pro bono office. The bar association made a resolution that the members pay $150 one-time-only to restart the pro bono office. They pledged to each give twenty hours of their time to pro bono cases.
The Weld County Bar Association honored member Rebecca Koppes Conway as the president of the Colorado Bar Association by hosting a reception for her at the 1997 Colorado Bar Convention. It provided substantial services to its members by providing CLE credits through its monthly membership meetings programs, subsiding and planning the future of the Weld County Law Library, and resolving attorney-client issues through its Conciliation Committee. It provided service to the community by fielding two high school teams to participate in the CBA Mock Trial Competition, reinstituting the monthly Call-A-Lawyer Program, and maintaining a Weld County Bar voice-mail phone line, at (970) 392-1469. It reinforced its commitment to providing legal services on a pro bono and reduced fee basis by funding Weld Legal Services, having among the highest participation providing pro bono services in the state, both in the number of its members and the number of hours per lawyer, and participating in the MATCH Program. The Weld County Bar is reaching out to the rest of the state by founding an Inn of Court with the Larimer County Bar, joining the Metropolitan Legal Referral Service, and developing the Weld Bar website.
Colorado Mock Trials
Colorado Championships: Over 70 teams registered for regional mock trial tournaments conducted by the El Paso County, Denver, Arapahoe, 1st Judicial District, Adams/Boulder/ Weld Counties, Mesa County, and 9th Judicial District Bar Associations. Ninety-ninety-eight was the thirteenth anniversary of the annual competition, and eighteen teams advanced to the state finals in Golden in March. Justice Alex Martinez presided over the championship round between Regis Jesuit High School (Arapahoe County) and Doherty High School (Colorado Springs). For the fourth time in 12 years and the second year in a row, the Colorado Springs team (Doherty High School) emerged victorious. Doherty High School advanced to the National High School Mock Trial Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Early indications for the 1999 competition are that even more teams will register, including new teams from Ft. Collins, Loveland, Avon, and Eagle.
Mock Trial winners Doherty High School of Colorado Springs
Public Legal Information Clinics
The Committee partnered with the Governor's Office, CBA Family Law Section, DBA Public Legal Education Committee and Colorado Women's Bar Association to create a Parenting Time clinic. A model for the clinic will be available to local bar associations to present in their communities. In addition, clinics on Estate Planning and Estate Administration were piloted.
FINANCIALS AND ADMINISTRATIVE
The 1997-98 fiscal year turned out to be another good year for the Colorado Bar Association. Dues revenue and non-dues revenue were both up. Expenses increased due to expansion of existing programs and the addition of the Domestic Violence program. 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.
The new phone system was installed in October and has increased access with more lines and direct dial numbers for all staff. E-mail for external use has all been added this past year and makes communication faster and easier. We have continued to expand our Website and everyone on the staff has direct Internet access. Many offices have been updated with more ergonomic chairs and computer tables to promote staff efficiency. We have purchased some new equipment for our mailroom and will be upgrading the computers in the LEXIS training center. Your Budget and Planning Committee met 12 times last year between October and April to finalize the budget for the 1998-99 fiscal year.
Colorado Bar Association Balance Sheet as of June 30, 1998
|Cash & Cash Equivalents
|Prpd Exp. & Misc. Assets
|Net Property & Equipment
|Funds Retirement Benefit
LIABILITIES AND MEMBERSHIP EQUITY$464,384
|-Dues Payable to Local Bars
|-Sales & Income Taxes
|-Prepaid Membership Dues
|-Other Deferred Income
|-Restricted for Sections
|-Restricted for Special Projects
|Total Membership Equity
|Total Liabilities & Membership Equity
|The Colorado Lawyer
|Programs, Committees and Departments
|The Colorado Lawyer
|General and Administrative
|Governance and Meetings
*1998 figures are unaudited.
**Surplus will likely be less because of year-end expenses not yet recorded.
© 1998 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=1998.