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TCL > November 2004 Issue > COLTAF 2003-2004 Annual Report

The Colorado Lawyer
November 2004
Vol. 33, No. 11 [Page  51]

© 2004 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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Features

COLTAF 2003-2004 Annual Report

To Our Members and Friends:

As I conclude my fifth year on the COLTAF Board and my second year as Board President, I want to thank everyone involved for their support and commitment as we faced difficult challenges. When my term began, interest rates were at an all-time high, and therefore we were able to disburse more money than we ever had before. However, in just a few short years, interest rates have plummeted to record lows and COLTAF has been faced with hard decisions. It has been a roller coaster ride, for sure. Last year we were faced with the prospects of a court ruling that would have had an adverse effect on the program. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of these programs.

This year we maintained the status quo in terms of the economy and the amount of money that COLTAF was able to grant. The economy seems to be picking up in other parts of the country faster than it is in Colorado. We are getting bits of information, indicating that a turn-around is near, but interest rates continued to fall slightly during this period, resulting in less revenue than last year. Since COLTAF’s income is dependent on interest rates, a fraction of a percentage point, which may seem very insignificant, can make a huge difference with these pooled funds. We continue to be optimistic that interest rates will soon start heading up.

Based on the revenue available, the Board voted to fund programs at the same level as last year, knowing that most of them were feeling the effects of the economy as well. We distributed a total of $900,000 to programs that provide civil legal assistance to low-income people statewide. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that COLTAF will not be able to fund programs at the same level in the upcoming year, and this decreased funding will make it difficult for our primary grantees. COLTAF continues to investigate possible amendments to Rule 1.15, which could enhance revenue. Other states have implemented such provisions, and COLTAF will be keeping a close eye on the data collected by these states to determine if Colorado should consider similar measures.

We appreciate the banks that demonstrate their community leadership by continuing to pay higher interest rates and not charging remittance fees to COLTAF, nor service charges or activity charges to account holders. We encourage attorneys to hold their accounts at these Honor Roll banks, or to work with other banks to bring them to this distinguished status. COLTAF funds play a vital role in our communities and we thank all banks that support this endeavor.

I would like to thank our Board members for their service, their leadership and participation on committees, and their commitment to ensuring legal assistance for those less fortunate. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to our dedicated staff, Maryan Sneed, Vicki Capek and Debbie Gallegos who took on increased responsibilities this spring and summer to ensure that COLTAF continued to run smoothly while we search for and hire a new executive director.

I am honored to have served as COLTAF’s Board President and to have worked with all the dedicated people involved. I look forward to another year on the Board, and the leadership of our incoming Board President, David Butler.

Sincerely,

Kirsten M. Kurath, President

 


What is COLTAF?

The Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation (COLTAF) was established in 1982 to help fund organizations that meet one or more of these purposes:

• assist in providing legal services to the disadvantaged;
• improve the delivery of legal services;
• promote knowledge and awareness of the law in the community; and
• improve the administration of justice.

COLTAF receives the interest earned on pooled client trust accounts where the funds are so nominal in amount or are expected to be held for such a short period of time that it is not practical to earn or account for interest on the individual deposits. All client funds in a lawyer’s possession must be held in interest-bearing accounts for the benefit of the client or COLTAF.

COLTAF is authorized by the Colorado Supreme Court. A full explanation of a lawyer’s responsibility regarding client funds and COLTAF is found in the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.15. Questions? Call us at 303-863-7221, e-mail us at coltaf@legalaidfoundation.org, or visit our website at www.coltaf.org.



HONOR ROLL BANKS

COLTAF gratefully acknowledges the Honor Roll banks for their support and community leadership. The Gold Honor Roll banks pay an average interest rate of 1.50% and higher, and Silver Honor Roll banks pay 1% to 1.49% on COLTAF accounts (as of June 30, 2004). In addition, these banks do not charge service charges or activity charges to account holders, nor remittance fees to COLTAF.


GOLD HONOR ROLL

Air Academy National Bank
Bank West
Colorado State Bank & Trust (all branches)
First United Bank (all branches)
Pine River Valley Bank
UMB Bank of Colorado (all branches)
WestStar Bank (all branches)


SILVER HONOR ROLL

Bank of Durango
Castle Rock Bank
Community Banks of Colorado (all branches)
Community First National Bank (all branches)
Heritage Bank (all branches)
New Frontier Bank
Peak National Bank—Nederland
Pueblo Bank & Trust (all branches)
Rio Grande Savings & Loan (all branches)
Wells Fargo Bank (all branches)


COLTAF accounts must be maintained in financial institutions approved by the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel. A financial institution will only be approved if it agrees to provide written overdraft notification to the Regulation Counsel. Please refer to our web site (www.coltaf.org) for a complete listing of approved banks.

Colorado attorneys can help increase resources for legal services to low-income persons by (a) encouraging the financial institution in which they maintain their COLTAF and other accounts to increase the net interest paid, or (b) depositing their COLTAF funds in financial institutions which pay higher net yields on these accounts. Please contact our office at (303) 863-7221 for current interest rate and fee information.

2003–2004 COLTAF Grant Awards

COLTAF was pleased to provide $900,000 in funding to these 28 highly deserving organizations. We take great pride in being able to support their worthwhile efforts.


 

Legal Services Program Grant – $700,000

COLTAF disbursed $700,000 to Colorado Legal Services. In 2003 the program provided civil legal assistance to approximately 6,000 low-income individuals and families throughout the state of Colorado. Increasing demands for civil legal assistance made our role of granting funding to this program even more critical.

 

Administrative & Legislative Advocacy Grant – $100,000

The Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) engages in multi-forum advocacy for low-income residents. Federal laws and regulations prohibit legal services offices in Colorado from engaging in these activities.

 

 


 Pro Bono Programs - $70,000

COLTAF funding for the Pro Bono programs, like the Discretionary programs, remained the same this year. Grants totaling $70,000 were made available to 15 programs. These programs are state-wide with varying economies and populations. From the rural communities to the metropolitan areas, the common thread is that all of the clients are poor and can’t afford legal assistance.

Every case does not require representation in court. Sometimes counseling, informational presentations and printed hand-outs can address the problem. Pro se clinics are proving to be a great asset where they are available.

Pro Bono service is not required in Colorado. Volunteer attorneys provide personal time and commitment. The only compensation they receive is the knowledge that they are making a difference in someone’s life … and in their community.

The following programs received Pro Bono grants:

Boulder County Legal Services $ 2,000
Delta County Bar Association $ 2,000
El Paso County Bar Association $ 5,500
Garfield Legal Services $ 6,000
Larimer County Bar Association $ 6,500
Mesa County Bar Association $ 5,250
Metro Volunteer Lawyers $ 6,000
Northeast Colorado Legal Services $ 5,000
NW Colorado Legal Services—Dillon $ 1,500
NW Colorado Legal Services—Gunnison $ 750
NW Colorado Legal Services—Steamboat $ 2,000
San Luis Valley Bar Association $ 5,500
Southwest Colorado Bar Association $ 4,000
Uncompahgre Volunteer Legal Aid $ 9,500
Weld County Legal Services $ 8,500

Total Pro Bono Grants $70,000


 Discretionary Grants - $30,000

This past year the sluggish economy continued to impact interest rates on COLTAF accounts. The funding available for Discretionary Grants remained virtually the same as the previous funding cycle, which was $30,000. Eleven programs, all prior grantees, were invited to re-apply for funding. All of the programs receiving funding support safe havens for children and victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Assistance with civil restraining orders and legal advocacy services for the victims were the primary requests for projects to be funded.

The grantees represent all geographical areas of the state. They range from isolated rural communities to mid-size towns and larger metropolitan areas. Regardless of their size or location, they all have one thing in common— advocating for victims of domestic violence.


Advocates against Battering & Abuse, Steamboat Springs
-Awarded $2,900 to assist with civil restraining orders for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Serves Routt County.

Advocates Against Domestic Assault, Trinidad
-Awarded $3,240 to maintain and increase advocacy services of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Serves Trinidad and 11 isolated communities in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties.

Advocates Crisis Support Services, Craig
-Awarded $2,040 for a civil restraining order project. Serves Moffat County.

Alternatives to Violence, Loveland
-Awarded $3,000 for Court Liaison Program. Serves Larimer County.

Arkansas Valley Resource Center, Inc., La Junta
-Awarded $2,700 for legal advocacy services.for victims of domestic violence. Serves Bent and Otero Counties.

Crossroads Safehouse, Inc., Fort Collins
-Awarded $2,900 to assist with cell phone costs for Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). Serves Larimer County.

Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities, Denver
-Awarded $3,000 for court advocacy for families living with disabilities due to domestic or caregiver abuse. Serves metropolitan area.

Family Crisis Services, Inc., Cañon City
-Awarded $2,100 for legal advocacy services. Serves Fremont and Custer Counties.

Pueblo YWCA Family Crisis Shelter, Pueblo
-Awarded $3,260 for legal advocacy program. Serves Pueblo County.

Tri-County Resource Center, Montrose
-Awarded $2,280 for legal advocacy program. Serves Montrose, Delta and Ouray Counties.

Tu-Casa, Inc., Alamosa
-Awarded $2,580 for legal advocacy project. Serves the San Luis Valley.

 


STAFF

Maryan Sneed, Interim Director
Vicki Capek, Administrator
Debra Gallegos, Administrative Assistant
COLTAF shares staff with the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado.

Address: 1900 Grant Street, Suite 1112
Denver, Colorado 80203-4309
Phone: 303-863-7221 • Fax: 303-861-5274 •
E-mail: coltaf@legalaidfoundation.org • Website: www.coltaf.org

2003-2004 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kirsten M. Kurath, President
Williams, Turner & Holmes,
Grand Junction
Elected by COLTAF

David Butler, Vice-President
Holland & Hart, Denver
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

Annita M. Menogan, Secretary
Coors Brewing Company, Golden
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

Andy Martin, Treasurer
Littleton
Elected by COLTAF

Deborah R. Adams
Sole Practitioner, Colorado Springs
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

Jonathan D. Asher
Colorado Legal Services, Denver
Legal Services Programs Appointment

James B. Boyd
Pitkin County Courthouse,
Aspen
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

John W. Dunn
Dunn & Causey, Avon
Colorado Bar Foundation Appointment

Sandra H. Gardner
Sole Practitioner, Craig
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

Walter W. Garnsey, Jr.
Kelly | Haglund | Garnsey + Kahn LLC, Denver
Elected by COLTAF

Danielle Z. Johnson
Fort Collins
Elected by COLTAF

Robert J. Mack
Colorado Springs City Attorney’s Office, Colorado Springs
Elected by COLTAF

Elizabeth J. McNamee
Davis, Graham & Stubbs, Denver
Elected by COLTAF

Drew Moore
Sole Practitioner, Grand Junction
Colorado Bar Association Appointment

Jon R. Sorensen
Wells Fargo Bank, Denver
Elected by COLTAF

 


FINANCIAL STATEMENTS*

 

Statement of Financial Position
June 30, 2004 (with comparative totals for 2003)

ASSETS

2004 2003

Current Assets


Cash $785,676 $834,755
Interest receivable 89,099 90,896
Total current assets 874,775 $925,651

Property and Equipment, at cost

Equipment 8,690 8,690
Accumulated depreciation 6,677 5,332
2,013 3,358
Total Assets $876,788 $929,009

 

Liabilities And Net Assets

Current Liabilities

Grant commitments $675,000 $700,000

Net Assets

Unrestricted operating 101,788 129,009
Board designated 100,000 100,000
201,788 229,009

Total Liabilities and Net Assets $876,788 $929,009

Statement of Activities
And Changes in Net Assets

2004 2003

Total Revenue $969,686 $1,007,703

Expenses

Operating expenses 121,907 121,602
Grants 875,000 853,000
Total Expenses 996,907 974,602

Change in Net Assets (27,221) 33,101

Net Assets, beginning 229,009 195,908

Net Assets, ending $201,788 $229,009

 

* -These figures have been reviewed by
Ginsburg, Cohen & Company.

© 2004 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=2004.


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