|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 30, No. 9 [Page 33]
© 2001 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.
All material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is copyrighted by the Colorado Bar Association. Before accessing any specific article, click here for disclaimer information.
Colorado Bar Association 2000-2001 Annual Report
|OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
|Laird T. Milburn, Grand Junction
|Nancy L. Wallace, Fort Collins
Ellen S. Roberts, Durango
|John S. Holt, Aurora
|John E. Moye, Denver
|Charles C. Turner
|Thomas L. Kanan, Jr., Denver
Richard E. Mishkin, Lakewood
|Dale R. Harris, Denver
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
|Demetri R. Munn, Denver
Joaquin G. Padilla, Denver
|Jack E. Donley, Colorado Springs
|Dana Collier Smith
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
|Terre L. Rushton, Louisville
Lynne M. Sholler, Breckenridge
|Mary Jo Gross, Commerce City
David R. Juarez, Brighton
||Karen Verhoeff, Holly
William E. Walters, Denver
REPORT FROM THE 2000-01 PRESIDENT
A lot of good things happened at the Colorado Bar Association this year. We launched a strategic review and planning program to position the CBA to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing profession. We continued the forward-looking work of the Multidisciplinary Practice/Multijurisdictional Practice ("MDP/MJP") Task Force. Our Family Violence Program received an incredible stamp of approval when it was selected by the Attorney General to receive a half-million dollar grant to develop and administer a statewide educational program for employers about violence in the workplace. We worked closely with the courts and others to support legislation authorizing twenty-four new district court judges and funding for the judicial performance commissions.
These are just a few of the things that our members and staff accomplished this year. We should be proud of their efforts and of the work of all our sections, forums, committees, and task forces, as described in more detail in the following report. So many of our members continue their extraordinary dedication to the betterment of the profession, the justice system, and the community through their bar association work and in other ways.
As I close the book on my year as president, I want you to know what an honor and privilege it has been for me. It has been a highlight of my career that now spans the better part of four decades. In so many ways this year, I have been reminded of the important place the legal profession has in our free society and how many good things lawyers do that never make the headlines or receive any recognition at all. I’m glad I became a lawyer. I would do it over again. I hope most of you feel that way, too.
REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The seven most dreaded words in the English language appear not to be "Mike Wallace is here to see you." but "Let’s engage in some long-range planning." Notwithstanding the horror of that prospect, under the direction of President Dale Harris, that is exactly what the CBA leadership did this past year. They had some genuine enthusiasm and, even more remarkably, some positive results.
After a short mail and e-mail survey to a selected number of our members, the Executive Council, bolstered by leaders of the sections, local bars, and committees, met with facilitator Harrison Coerver for a day-long session. We came out of that process not with a specific blueprint of what we should do for the next five years, but rather "priorities" of what the CBA ought to focus on in the near term. Here’s what they are:
One: "Help Members Improve Practice, Quality, Economics and Efficiency." Okay, you say, "What does this mean?" Frankly, we were a little stumped, too, because the core of this concern was the expression over and over again from our members that they were overworked, stressed, and out of balance. We can’t change, fundamentally, the practice of law, but we can, and plan to, provide information to our members about how to juggle practices with family life—perhaps seminars, perhaps technology solutions, perhaps examples of how some lawyers seem to cope. A "quality of life" committee will not fix everyone’s sense of being overwhelmed, but we can bring strategies and techniques to the attention of our members, and perhaps that will help.
Two: "Legal System Improvements." We all know that the system, litigation in particular, is not a model that makes anyone happy. But, wouldn’t some simplification, coordination and consistency of rules between and among courts ease everyone’s life—for lawyers and clients? Isn’t the swamping of the courts by pro se litigants an issue that we all can rally around and attempt to devise more efficient handling of those cases? Piecemeal approaches in the past have exacerbated the problems in most people’s view. We can do better.
Three: "Improve Value and Delivery of Member Services." The CBA must be a place where members get their money’s worth—valuable, timely, unbiased, economical services, and information. We have many of those things, but communicating that to our members has been a challenge. Our new database and our new website improvements have to prove to everyone that our substantial investment in those technologies has been worth the money. Our sections continue to be a wonderful resource for the members who belong, but many more could benefit.
Four: "Assist Attorneys and Judges with Technology." Trying to stay abreast with, never mind ahead of, this issue is a constant challenge. The fact that the CBA was the first state bar with a website now seems so quaint. Can members rely on us to provide the most up-to-date and useful information about practice aids and ways to improve their delivery of legal services? They certainly should expect no less. Hands-on training, website usefulness, local bar presentations? They should all be part of the mix.
Five: "Improve Public Confidence." In the succinct words of one of our members: "Unsully our reputation." The only surprise here was that it did not rank higher in the planning group’s priorities—it usually comes in number one. Maybe our members are recalling that they have a contentious job, in a contentious world, in an arena that fosters contentiousness—what do we expect the view to be of our champions? That being said, the number of our members who engage in helpful and caring activities on behalf of the least fortunate in our society is staggering—we need to pat them on the back and tell their stories. Not because it will rank lawyers up there with the saints, but because they deserve the pat.
Follow-up: Each of these priorities has been assigned to a staff member or group of staff members. Our new Executive Council will be charged with specific oversight of these issues, with responsibility to get something done in each area. As we make progress, we will report back to the membership on how we are doing. The staff is committed to moving this along, and the leadership is equally dedicated to the process. It is not so dreaded after all—it’s actually pretty exciting.
P.S.: For more details on the survey, the process, and the outcomes of our planning efforts, see the more expanded report on our website at www.cobar.org/lrpsurvey.htm.
I think it was former CBA President Ben Aisenberg who suggested that the CBA was governed by an "awkward democracy." When you invite 148 lawyers to meet and "govern" three times a year (the Board of Governors), when you get eighteen others to meet and "govern" three or four times for a similar purpose (the Executive Council), what else should we expect? That being said, it seems to work reasonably well, although there is some discussion of tweaking it a bit. Some of the highlights of the actions taken by those respective entities during this past administrative year are below. The entities:
- Urged the federal government to name the new courthouse in honor of Judge Alfred A. Arraj
- Honored Jim Holloway for his many years of service as Counsel to the Supreme Court Grievance Committee
- Approved the endorsement of the ballot initiative dealing with background checks of buyers at gun shows
- Approved the Real Estate Section’s resolution to oppose the "Responsible Growth" ballot initiative
- Turned down a request to file an amicus brief in the Curtis v. Nevens et al. Supreme Court case
- Endorsed several aspects of the Governor’s Task Force on Civil Justice Reform
- Approved an ABA resolution calling for a moratorium on executions in the United States until policies and procedures were implemented, to ensure that death penalty cases were administered fairly and impartially
- Urged each eligible member of the CBA Board of Governors to accept one pro bono case during the next year
- Passed (finally!) a version of the draft rule to deal with the Colorado Supreme Court’s Sather opinion
- Drafted comments to be submitted in connection with a proposed rule dealing with the immediate suspension of lawyers for failing to cooperate with attorney regulation investigations
For specific information on these or other governance highlights, please see the record of minutes posted on our website, www.cobar.org/bog/minutes.htm or contact Chuck Turner at email@example.com, or call (800) 332-6736 or (303) 860-1115.
On the heels of an initiative that was defeated in the 2000 general election concerning growth management, "growth" became the hottest topic by the end of the first regular session of the 63rd General Assembly. Numerous bills were introduced, debated, and ultimately defeated. When an agreement could not be reached by the May 9, 2001, deadline for the session, the Governor called a special session to try to find a compromise in the area of growth management. Alas, by the time the general assembly adjourned the special session, no agreement was reached. As of this writing, the Governor has called a second special session of the legislature to convene and get something done about Colorado growth in Colorado.
When the legislators were not immersed in growth management, they had time to consider a total of 797 bills in the 120-day time span. The 2001 session will be remembered as having one of the largest, if not the largest, freshman class of legislators. A total of twenty-six new faces in both the House and Senate started their journey in January and ten legislators took the "musical chairs" version of term limits and moved from one house to the other—mostly representatives became senators.
The CBA sponsored or supported several important bills that impact the practice of law. The "Legislative Update," which touches on many areas of law and provides a thumbnail sketch of new legislation, can be found in the July 2001 issue of The Colorado Lawyer, or on the CBA home page at www.cobar.org.
CBA Lobbyist Michael Valdez
poses with Rep. Tambor Williams at the
annual Legislative Lunch.
Rep. Williams was instrumental
in helping the Trust and Estate Section
pass the annual probate omnibus bill.
At long last, the legislature approved an entire rewrite of Uniform Commercial Code Article 9: Secured Transactions, but not without providing matter for many war stories. A bill was introduced in 2000 to bring Colorado in-line with the rest of the nation in time for a July 1, 2001, nationwide start-up date. That bill was defeated on the last day of the 2000 session. In January 2001, S.B. 53 was introduced and met an early demise in its first committee of reference. Finally, after months of negotiations and maneuverings, S.B. 240 was introduced, sailed through both houses, and was signed by Governor Owens on June 5, 2001. The new act expands the scope of property and a transaction covered by Article 9, and clarifies the rules for creation, perfection, priority, and enforcement of a security interest and the rules that apply to consumer transactions. The new act was effective July 1, 2001, and Colorado joins every other state in the country in adopting and "going online" with the new law. Congratulations to the Business Law section for all their hard work and patience!
No session would be complete without some modifications to the Probate Code. The CBA Trust and Estate Section was instrumental in passing an omnibus bill to fix several areas of the Code. This new bill:
- Amends the harmless error doctrine
- Amends the statutory rule against perpetuities to prevent trusts from being subject to the rule against perpetuities
- Makes the same changes in the decedent’s sections of the "Colorado Probate Code" as were made in the "Colorado Uniform Guardian and Protective Proceedings Act" to allow the courts to have the same power to equitably adjust fees and costs for administration of an estate.
- Eliminates an incorrect reference to temporary conservatorship and replaces it with the term special conservatorship.
- Amend the applicability provision of the legislation enacting the "Colorado Uniform Guardian and Protective Proceedings Act" by clarifying the applicability of the repeal and re-enactment of the parts relating to guardians and protective proceedings to estates, trusts, or protective proceedings created or filed prior to January 1, 2001, the effective date of the new act
- Helps fund legal services. The legislature appropriated an additional $26,776 for the family violence justice fund. The additional funding will be added to the $400,000 appropriation on July 1, 2001. This fund provides legal services to victims of family violence. In addition, the funding will increase by $100,000 on July 1, 2002, provided the legislature sees fit under the budget bill in next year’s session. Let’s see, that is $526,776 in about four years—a good start.
If you (attorney out there) don’t explain the legal system—to your family, friends, neighbors, and people standing in the grocery line—they probably will rely on all those TV shows for their information. Explaining to someone in plain language why we operate as a nation of laws may have an unexpected benefit for you—it’s hard to talk about it without being proud of it. Perhaps the best thing that could happen to the "image" of lawyers is to have those in the profession be proud of the part each attorney plays in our system.
Another way to help get correct information out is to allow the CBA Communications Department to use you as an expert when a reporter calls our office. We always need attorneys who are willing to respond immediately in simple language and with good examples.
The Communications Department (that’s Diane Hartman, Karen Bries, and Molly Osberg) may be able to help you in several ways.
- If you get a call from a reporter and want to brainstorm about your response, call and let’s talk about it (but quickly—remember they’re on deadline).
- If you have an idea that might be a story for TV or newspapers, call and run it by us. Let’s talk about how to "pitch" it to a reporter.
- If you’re mad about an editorial, a news story you think is wrong or slanted, a case that was covered unfairly, we can talk about the options in getting a wrong righted.
- If you want a reporter or editor on a panel to speak to your group, we’ll have some ideas.
- If you want to brainstorm about a PR committee for your local bar association, or get some publicity for an event, call us.
Please take advantage of the "Working With the Media" workshops at the annual Institute (convention). This year, the workshops are from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday and Saturday in Vail, Sepember 21 and 22 (2 CLE credits). The Communications Department will come to your local bar association meeting and put on a workshop or attend your section or committee meeting to discuss media relations.
We continue efforts to tell people about the "good things lawyers do." We hope you will, too.
PUBLIC AND LEGAL SERVICES
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. The department staffs the CBA Pro Bono Taskforce, the CBA Availability of Legal Services Committee, the Access to Justice Conference Committee, the CBA/DBA Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee, and the statewide Legal Services Committee.
The local bar leaders’ "Phone Conference Series," a way for leaders to meet easily, included sessions on vanishing law libraries and the Legislative Update by CBA lobbyist Michael Valdez. The CBA does plan to sponsor a Local Bar Institute in 2001, the plan this year being to reach as many bar leaders as possible by presenting different topics and making the meeting available statewide by conference call. Attendance at the phone conferences has been excellent, and the department will continue these types of meetings.
Instead of presenting an annual Pro Bono Coordinators conference, the department sponsored registration for the pro bono coordinators at the first Access to Justice Conference held at the University of Denver College of Law on May 11, 2001. Pro bono offices were visited during the year to offer training and technical assistance. The "Directory of Legal Services and Pro Bono Offices in Colorado" continues to be published on the CBA website.
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.
CBA LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Computer Software Training
The department continues to offer free LEXIS/NEXIS® training to CBA members in our own CBA/LEXIS Technology Center. Computer software training also is offered at a discount to CBA members. Classes include Word and WordPerfect, Time Matters, Timeslips, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook, and more.
The new LEXIS-NEXIS® Bar Association Member Benefit Program offers flexible research offerings to CBA members who are solo and small law firm practitioners. The new program offers members the power of choice, with "pay-as-you-go" research options. Bar members in the LEXIS-NEXIS® Association Marketing program can now purchase the access they need, for the time they need it—for one day or one week. For the first time, LEXIS- NEXIS® now offers a special "New Attorney Program," featuring deeply discounted prices for solo members or those in practice with another new attorney.
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 online searching capabilities or research only on CD-ROM.
The Law Practice Management Department continues to research and make available answers to questions concerning the latest technology in the legal field. Our resource files continue to grow, and we are proud of the information we are able to provide to CBA members.
To further meet the needs of our members, the Law Practice Management Department 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.
The Law Practice Management Department sponsored its annual program on the Internet. Topics included virtual law libraries, extranets, e-mail, future nets, online CLE, and more on practicing law in cyberspace.
The lending library is available to members in all areas of the state to borrow books on topics as widespread as alternative billing methods, opening you 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 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 resources issues, office equipment, file retention, and others. A call to the hotline, (303) 824-5320 or (800) 332-6738, will answer many of your law practice management needs.
The 2000 Economic Survey was completed and is now available free to CBA members on the CBA website. In addition, printed copies are available for $20 to CBA members, $45 for non-members. Call (303) 824-5342 for more information.
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! continues to be produced quarterly by the CBA Lawyer’s Professional Liability Committee and is mailed to CBA members and posted on the CBA website. In conjunction with the Lawyer’s Professional Liability Committee, the Law Practice Management Department has posted listings of malpractice insurance producers, insurance companies underwriting malpractice insurance in Colorado, and a glossary of terms to help you better understand the language contained in your insurance policy. Find this information at www.cobar.org/comms/profliab/index. htm#insurance.
In 1998, the CBA website received approximately 28,000 "hits" per week. Two years later, the CBA website averages 190,000 per week! Come by to find out why.
Available on the CBA website:
- Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals decisions are available every Monday and Thursday, just hours after they are announced. Archives of the decisions go back to 1996. A search engines allows you to run a full-text search of the decisions. Join the Opinions listserv and receive an e-mail with the case captions, summaries of the decisions, and links back to the full-text of the decisions.
- Articles from The Colorado Lawyer are fully searchable from July 1997 to the current issue. www.cobar.org/tcl/index.htm makes it easy to concentrate your search on TCL materials only. A new addition to TCL’s site is the classified ads, posted for one month at a time.
- Looking for CLE credits? Come by CBA-CLE’s site at www.cobar.org/cle to get full listings about upcoming programs. Programs are listed by topic and by date.
- We’ve added new listservs for our members. Go to www.
cobar. org/listservs.htm to sign up! There’s a judicial listserv that will notify you of vacancies by e-mail. You also may sign up for COBARlink, which gives you the CBA’s upcoming events and CLE opportunities.
- The Family Violence Program has a wonderful list of resources including the new Survivor’s Manual. Go to www. cobar.org/famviolence/index.htm.
- The fully searchable Formal Ethics Opinions by the Ethics Committee.
- Job listings are posted to the Diversity in the Legal Profession’s site. View listings that are added daily or post a position.
- It’s easy to keep CBA events in order. Look for the joint CBA/DBA calendar online, with links to meeting notices.
- Find out who does what at the CBA by visiting our "about the CBA" section. Find information on governance, a staff directory (complete with pictures!), and the Policy and Procedures Manual.
- In the "Public Interest" section, there is a wealth of educational materials including the following brochures:
- So, You’re 18 Now—A Survival Guide for Young Adults
- Advanced Medical Directives
- Financial Powers of Attorney
- Your Parenting Plan
- Estate Planning
- Being A Lawyer In Colorado
- How to Choose and Use a Lawyer
- Joint Tenancy
- Living Trusts
- Probate in Colorado
- So Now You Are a Personal Representative
- So Now You Are a Trustee
- What in the World is ADR?
- What to Do When Someone Dies
- Wills in Colorado
The Internet/Technology Department continues to develop a dynamic, database-driven website that will allow more sections and committees to come online and post even more useful information. Watch cobar.org for major changes coming soon!
On an internal operations note, the Internet/Technology Department has been busy upgrading our hardware and software to work with the new membership database. We are focusing on a full migration to MS Windows 2000. We added an Exchange 2000 server (to host our e-mail), SQL 2000 server (for our new membership database and dynamic website), Fax Maker Pro server, MS Windows 2000/ColdFusion server (to host our website). We’ve also added a T-1 to our network to host our Web server. The CBA has come a long way from our Unix network, running dummy terminals with approximately thirty workstations, to our MS Windows 2000 five-server, fifty-workstation network!
PUBLIC LEGAL EDUCATION
As in past years, about seventy teams registered for the state mock trials. In 2001, Doherty High School of Colorado Springs went to the national competition. The Larimer County Bar Association will host the 2002 state mock trial championships at their new Eighth Judicial District courthouse in Fort Collins.
For publications, the department continues to make available the Survivor’s Guide, a handbook that teaches some basic laws to young adults. The Colorado Street Law addendum, The Law in Colorado, will be republished soon. Additional law-related educational materials are constantly being acquired to allow the office to serve as a resource to educators throughout Colorado. Mock trial materials are available for any grade level through high school. Materials on "hate speech" and "intolerance" are also available. Clinical program models are available for presentation throughout Colorado.
Dave Ells, the department director, continues to support the CBA President at local bar visits, where he explains volunteer opportunities in law-related education, such as mock trials, law studies, in-class trials, career-day presentations, and legal information clinic and program models.
On May 1, 2001, the CBA started using a new and improved membership database system, ClearVantage, designed by Euclid Technology in Bethesda, Maryland. The new system allows staff to communicate with members with greater ease and speed. This new database also will integrate with the CBA website, and members will be able to pay dues and register for CLE seminars and other events online. Notices of the enhancements will be posted to www.cobar.org in the coming year. The CBA-CLE office is using ClearVantage as well and, by sharing information, we can serve members with better-targeted programs and services.
The membership committee researches new programs and services that will benefit members and welcomes new ideas and opinions. One of the most urgent and pressing issues in Colorado in past years has been affordable health insurance. The Colorado legislature passed a law five years ago and brought about changes in the industry—insurance carriers no longer offer association programs. A full article dealing with health insurance issues and options is available at www.cobar.org/health. We are working with experienced insurance professionals that can guide you to the best health insurance options.
LEXIS-NEXIS®, the endorsed CBA Member Advantage Provider, continues to provide innovative, cost-effective solutions for attorneys. Recently, they have been offering even more programs to solo and small firm practices. Call the Membership Services Department at (303) 824-5313 or (800) 332-6736 for more details.
To get the latest on CBA programs and news, check out the CBA listserv—COBARlink. To sign up, simply go to the CBA website at www.cobar.org/listservs.htm, and from the quick menu, go to CBA Listservs. You’ll receive updates by e-mail for upcoming events, news, and CLE programs.
All CBA members are invited to direct comments and suggestions regarding membership benefits and services to the CBA Membership Services Department. Call (303) 824-5313 or (800) 332-6736, or e-mail your comments, questions, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing with the Convention Committee’s tradition, the 2000 CBA convention in Keystone offered a variety of high-quality educational sessions and social functions for those in attendance. For the first time, the CBA partnered with CBA-CLE to offer the Business Law Institute ("BLI") concurrently with the convention. This allowed CBA members to attend the BLI and still participate in the social functions of the convention. For a nominal fee, registrants of the CBA convention or BLI could attend programming offered at the other program.
The featured convention luncheon speakers were Justice William O. Douglas, as performed by Graham Thatcher, and Sarah Buel, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law and a domestic violence survivor herself. The Sunday morning program, "An American for all Centuries," featured Laurence Luckinbill as Teddy Roosevelt. A panel discussion followed his performance and addressed issues such as how President Roosevelt would have handled challenges facing today’s society.
Other presentations during the convention were "Justice That Makes Sense," "Self-Defense for Solos and Small Firms: Avoiding Malpractice and Grievances," "The Internet—Practicing Law in Cyberspace," and "A Day on Civil Rights." The Award of Merit, the Colorado Bar Association’s highest honor, was presented to former CBA President William C. McClearn. Sherri L. Sweers received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award; Judge Daniel M. Taubman received the Jacob V. Schaetzel Award; Elisabeth D. Arenales received the Donald W. Hoagland Award; Patricia Craig received the Pro Bono Coordinator of the Year Award; and the newly created Sue Burch Legislative Award was presented posthumously to Sue Burch.
Keith Tooley, along with CBA Past-Presidents
Phil Figa and Chris Brauchli, chatted at one
of the receptions at the 2000 convention.
The Colorado Lawyer
The Colorado Lawyer comprises articles on broad areas of substantive law, specialty law articles of interest to those practicing in specialized fields such as business and criminal law, and features on law-related projects and programs. A few of the topics covered this publishing year included Internet technology issues, tort reform, issues affecting elderly and disabled clients, and workplace violence. Court rules and bar association information were included regularly in the content mix. Full-text articles are available on the CBA website (www.cobar. org/tcl/index.htm). Also, an ongoing article index, as well as classified advertising, can be accessed on the website. All of The Colorado Lawyer material on the website is fully searchable to CBA members.
One highlight of the 2000-2001 publishing year was the theme issue published in October 2000 on employment law. The issue featured a series of articles on discrimination and sexual harassment, e-mail and employee privacy rights, and employment issues affecting small firms.
Full-text appellate opinions are provided in each standard issue of the journal. Readers are reminded that they may choose to receive the journal with summaries of appellate opinions, rather than the full text. To switch to the smaller version, call or fax the CBA Membership Department—(303) 824-5327; fax, (303) 894-0821—or fill out the form printed in each issue of the journal.
Starting with the June 2001 issue, The Colorado Lawyer table of contents has a new user-friendly two-page format. As with any design or content matter, The Colorado Lawyer Board of Editors welcomes suggestions and comments from readers. Please see the list of board members and their phone numbers in each issue or call the Managing Editor at (303) 824-5325.
Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, the non-profit educational arm of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, sponsored approximately seventy-five live seminars and more than 125 video replays around the state, serving more than half of the entire Colorado legal community in the past year. Publications in the CLE library continue to be supplemented and revised to keep your legal resources up-to-date. CBA-CLE is developing electronic products and an enhanced Web presence, including plans for "distance education" via online CLE programs and a searchable CLE information database.
FAMILY VIOLENCE PROGRAM
History: In September 1996, CBA President 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 the family violence program. The objectives of the program are to provide education to attorneys, assistance to lawyers who are victims or 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 2000-2001, the Family Violence Program moved forward with the education of attorneys and the building of collaborations. Through the dedication and commitment of the members of the steering and project committees, much has been accomplished. The highlights include:
- Domestic Violence and Workplace Project: In December 2000, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the Colorado Attorney General’s "Office Distribution Plan" that allocated Colorado’s part of a nationwide settlement of an anti-trust case against Nine West Group to the CBA’s Family Violence Program. The $474,000 will be used to provide training to employers and employees throughout the state about the impact and prevention of domestic violence in the workplace. The project is in its first step of conducting a needs assessment through focus groups. The project also is issuing a statewide survey to employers, lawyers, and domestic violence service providers, asking what they would find useful and effective in the area of domestic violence and the workplace. Over the next three years, the Family Violence Program will work with communities to deliver information and training.
- Violence in the Workplace: Three hundred people participated in Violence in the Workplace Conference II at the Arvada Center for Performing Arts, co-hosted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Davis Graham and Stubbs LLP, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Coors, Red Rocks Community College, Pinnacol Assurance, and others. Another fifty people in Grand Junction attended by video conference.
- Law Office Policy on Violence in the Workplace: After two years of careful drafting and review, law office policies on violence in the workplace were printed in The Colorado Lawyer and distributed to 170 large firms and the Association of Legal Administrators.
- Survivor’s Manual: Legal Issues for Survivors of Domestic Violence: This manual was drafted and edited by attorneys with expertise in areas of the law that affect survivors of domestic violence, including family law, landlord/tenant, welfare, immigration, and housing. It has been well received across the state and is in its second printing.
- Continued Education on Family Violence: The Family Violence Program continues to provide information to CBA members on various topics involving family violence, including coordinating the presentation of Sarah Buel, clinical director and domestic violence expert from the University of Texas, at the 2000 CBA convention, and revision of Family Violence Program website.
- Collaborations: The members of the Family Violence Program continue to lend their time and expertise to community-wide collaborations, including the Children Who Witness Domestic Violence Committee (a multi-disciplinary committee of civil and criminal justice professionals), High-Risk Victim Offender Dialog (Domestic Violence Subcommittee), Legal Affairs Committee of Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and legislative collaborations.
- Legislative Luncheon: The CBA is in its third year of co-sponsoring a legislative luncheon highlighting violence issues during the legislative session. This luncheon is in collaboration with Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.
- FindtheGood.org: For the past three years, the Family Violence Program has worked extensively with more than 150 organizations and agencies to prevent violence—family violence, workplace violence, school violence, etc. Through participation in action teams, the Family Violence Program has helped coordinate a messaging campaign, workplace violence prevention, state-of-the-art violence prevention, and intervention information and training.
- Restraining Order Conditions Shuttle Conference: Kathleen Schoen, director of the Family Violence Program, is working with Jefferson County Mediation Services to train mediators on the legal issues pertaining to restraining orders and the dynamics of domestic violence. The Jefferson County courts offer parties to permanent restraining order hearings an opportunity to work out the conditions of the restraining order through shuttle conferencing.
Awareness among attorneys and the community continues to increase. Although members of the Family Violence Program are proud of their accomplishments, they realize that there is a long way to go and are exploring projects involving elder abuse and child maltreatment, as well as the development of the domestic violence in the workplace project in the next year.
The Availability of Legal Services Committee has developed programs to identify those in need of legal assistance and to encourage individual attorneys and law firms to become involved in pro bono projects. This committee works with other CBA committees, local bar associations, and government entities to coordinate programs and stimulate participation in pro bono programs throughout the state. The committee also serves in an educational capacity by organizing CLE programs and seminars that build awareness of the issues surrounding equal access to justice. These activities were highlighted by the Access to Justice Conference, which the committee spearheaded. The committee is also responsible for the "Access To Justice" column in The Colorado Lawyer, which is a consolidation of the "Legal Services News" and "Pro Bono Success Stories" columns and runs six times per year. Contact Jo Ann Viola Salazar for more information or to contribute an article: jvsalazar@cobar. org; (303) 824-5310 or (800) 332-6736.
The Bankruptcy Subsection of the Business Section coordinated with the Judges of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado to establish quarterly CLE updates, where a member of the bench and member of the Bankruptcy Subsection held joint presentations. These CLE programs are free, open to all, and are held in the CBA-CLE large classroom at 1900 Grant, Suite 300, beginning at 5:15 p.m. The remaining 2001 quarterly CLE programs will be held July 26, 2001, and October 25, 2001. The subsection also has established a procedure to provide comments from the subsection and its members for Colorado bankruptcy judges who face reappointment.
The Court Reform Committee began a project aimed at re-assessing the judicial performance evaluation process. The anticipated new judicial positions will ease the caseload of existing judges, creating a unique opportunity to re-evaluate and potentially improve the current judicial evaluation process.
Through its research, the committee concluded that judicial evaluation criteria drive judicial behavior and performance. If a heavy emphasis is placed on purely objective criteria, this may make judges focus too narrowly on caseload statistics. Likewise, too heavy an emphasis on purely subjective criteria could create skewed data that does not accurately reflect each judge’s overall quality of performance. The committee is considering performance criteria that carefully balance objective and subjective measurements. The committee intends to continue this project through the end of 2001.
The Criminal Law Section presented an innovative program on "Justice that Makes Sense" at the 2000 CBA convention in Keystone. The program began with a presentation by Gerald Goldstein, a nationally recognized defense attorney from San Antonio, Texas. The presentation was followed by a spirited panel discussion. The panel included of Michael Bender, Colorado Supreme Court Justice; David Kaplan, Colorado Public Defender; Bill Ritter, Denver District Attorney; Michael Katz, Federal Public Defender; Richard Spriggs, U.S. Attorney; and Brian Shaha, Alternate Defense Counsel. The section also presented a spring "Criminal Update." The topics included practical application of Apprendi, grand jury practice, TROs, DUI/DMV, and ethics between prosecutors and defense lawyers. The section continued to be involved in reviewing proposed criminal legislation.
The Elder Law Forum Committee played a leading role in the process if new statutory enactments for the benefit of senior citizens and disabled persons. The Elder Law Handbook provides legal information for those who might represent seniors. Forum members also participated in Senior Law Day and volunteered at the Denver Bar Association’s Lawline 9.
The forum has planned and participated in many CLE programs. Some members attended forum-sponsored programs such as nursing-home litigation and post-mortem evaluation of testamentary capacity. Many Elder Law Forum members served as faculty for CLE programs on conservatorships, guardianships, and more. The group looks forward to its panel discussion at the CBA Institute this year, a program about public-benefits issues.
Many members of the Elder Law Forum committee participated in the Trust and Estate Section’s Statutory Revisions Subcommittee, drafting Colorado’s new Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. When drafting the act, the forum asked different representatives from the legal community what they thought was relevant to the uniform act. This new act provides tangibly reinforced protections for the Constitutional rights and functional autonomy of persons who become respondents in conservatorship and guardianship actions. Also included was an amendment to the Colorado disability and polled-trust statutes that removed a constraint on source of funding for trusts.
The Ethics Committee has 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 over 1,200 inquiries to its ethics telephone hot-line, considered twenty-one private letters of inquiry, issued one formal ethics opinion, and updated one other formal opinion.
The committee issued a supplement to the Formal Opinion 83, specifically concerning testimonials in advertising. Formal Opinion 109 was issued in May 2001 and relates to issues faced by lawyers when they agree to invest in their clients. That Opinion appeared in the August 2001 edition of The Colorado Lawyer. Correction letters related to typographical and related errors in the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct were sent to the Colorado Supreme Court and the rule publishers. The Colorado Lawyer will be publishing abstracts of several letters relating to bonuses for non-attorney staff, billing clients for operational costs, and firm identity issues.
The committee has been active in improving and upgrading its website. All formal opinions are now accessible. Average monthly visits remain at around 200 hits, and the committee established a subcommittee to keep the site current and to work to improve it.
The Ethics Committee also devoted significant attention to the development of proposed Rules of Conduct, as discussed in the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision, In Re Sather. After numerous meetings by the Rules of Professional Conduct subcommittee, the full committee debated proposed rules for a number of months. Eventually, these proposed rules were presented to the CBA Board of Governors. After approval by the board, these proposed rules were sent to the Colorado Supreme Court. A comment period is currently pending, and a public hearing will be held in September 2001 before the Colorado Supreme Court.
The committee acknowledged the contributions to the committee by Don W. Sears and presented him with the inaugural Don W. Sears Award. Professor Sears was on the first Colorado Ethics Committee when it was established in 1957, and has been a continuous member of the committee for forty-four years. "Remarks" by Sears on receipt of the award are printed in the September 2001 issue of The Colorado Lawyer as an addendum to the "Ethics Column." The Sears Award is established to acknowledge those members who have provided years of assistance to the efforts of the CBA Ethics Committee.
The committee ended its year in July with a keynote address by Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey at its annual Western Slope meeting, which was held in Steamboat Springs. The committee has sixteen subcommittees, including a Calling Committee, which responds to telephone guidance requests; Education/ Convention, which provides speakers and organizes the annual presentations of the ethics committee at the CBA Institute; Rules of Professional Conduct, which reviews various requests for changes in the Rules; Ethics 2000 Commission, which reviews the proposed Rules changes from this commission; The Colorado Lawyer/Newsletters/Whoops!, which provide ethics articles in various formats; and technology/website, which assists with our website and is also working on opinions addressing ethical issues related to technology.
The Family Law Section reports that the courts have instituted systemic and policy changes that will impact the nature of domestic relations practice. Courtrooms on the front range have adopted the "Simplified Dissolution Process" or the "Divorce with Dignity" program, which are aimed at reducing animosity, expense and delays. Legislative changes have helped provide clarity for domestic litigants, such as on July 1, 2001, when a formula was designed to calculate the amount of temporary maintenance that will be awarded in cases with a combined annual income of less than $75,000. Another statute effective September 1, 2001, heightens the burden on a parent seeking to remove a child from the state.
The Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment Forum hosted a number of CLE presentations, including a presentation on current issues in electronic rights with local publishing lawyer, Lloyd Rich, and a presentation by local artist manager Mark Bliesener. In addition, the forum is currently in the process of developing an electronic database of its members.
The International Law Committee completed another successful year of monthly forum luncheons featuring speakers on subjects such as environmental issues in Central Europe and Central Asia, international trade dispute resolution, franchising challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Criminal Court, export control overview, the maquiladoras/factories in the new environment in Mexico, current legal trends and issues in doing business in Africa, and an update on the "foreign sales corporation" controversy. The committee is presenting a panel at the CBA Institute on September 22, 2001, on "Plaintiff’s Diplomacy," which will discuss the use of U.S. Courts by both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens to defend their rights under international law.
In addition to these programs, the committee co-sponsored programs with the International Mining Professionals Society on international coal-bed methane development and with the World Trade Center and the Licensing Executives Association on the ICC International Court of Arbitration. The committee also sponsored a reception for a visiting NAFTA Arbitration Panel and a visit to the Jefferson County District Court in Golden by the Chief Judge of Madrid, Spain.
The Labor and Employment Law Forum Committee presented recent developments in employment law at the September 2000 CBA convention and held monthly luncheons and CLE presentations. Some of the programs included: "Getting Results While Getting Along," "Legal Fee Arbitration through the DBA," "Emerging Issues in the Litigation of Compensation Disputes," "Settlement Agreements in Employment Disputes and the Effect of Taxation Issues in Employment Cases," and "Developments in Section 1983 Employment Law."
The Law Education Committee brochure, Being A Lawyer In Colorado, continues to be available for attorneys to use at career days and other high school presentations. The very popular Survivor’s Guide, "So, You’re 18 Now—A Survival Guide for Young Adults," concerning the rights and responsibilities of 18 year olds, is available in hard copy and on the CBA website at www.cobar.org/so.htm. The Law in Colorado, an addendum to Street Law, a practical law handbook for high school curriculum, is available in hardcopy and on the CBA website at www. cobar.org/lawinco.htm. The CBA pro se workbook You Can Collect Child Support is also available in hard copy and on the website at www.cobar.org/csworkbook2001/index.htm. The CBA pro se divorce clinic model, piloted in the district courthouse in Denver and Douglas Counties in 1998, is now also used in district courthouses in Golden, First Judicial District, and Brighton, Seventeenth Judicial District.
Nearly seventy teams registered for local mock trial tournaments conducted by the El Paso, Denver, Boulder, Larimer, and Arapahoe Counties, and the First and Ninth Judicial District Bar Associations for the Colorado championship mock trials. Eighteen teams advanced to the state finals in Brighton in March. Judge Harlon Bockman, Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District, presided over the championship round between Doherty High School of Colorado Springs and Standley Lake High School of Westminster. Doherty emerged victorious and advanced to the National High School Mock Trial Championships in Omaha, Nebraska. The team was coached by Norm Thom. They represented the state well and were complimented by their competitors as extraordinarily ethical and professional in their trial performance and behavior.
One major undertaking of the committee this year has been to form an ad hoc committee to write a new mock trial case. The new committee consists of CBA members and volunteers from the Colorado Historical Society. The case, targeted for the 2003 state competition, will revolve around the Ludlow Massacre of April 20, 1914. It will be given to schools statewide and will include curricula and assessment tools created to meet civics as well as other middle and high school standards. The hope is not only to raise interest in Colorado history and the coal field wars, but to get more schools and get more CBA members involved.
The committee continues to partner with local bar associations in the Denver metro area to present pro se divorce clinics in local courthouses over the lunch hour. The program works with local district court self-help centers.
The Law Practice Management and Law Office Technology Committees continue to provide monthly CLE programs on the latest technology and law practice management issues. Topics this past year included computerized office procedures manuals, CoCourts.com, organizing your office, Windows 2000, and time-management techniques for lawyers. The annual ABA TechShow update was conducted as well. Upcoming topics this year will include: making the transition from a larger firm; recruitment and retention of staff; how to compete as a solo/small firm; using technology to market your practice; small-firm software integration; reliability of Internet research; application service providers (asps) and software services; and LEXIS, Westlaw, and beyond.
From July 2000 to June 2001, the Legal Fee Arbitration Committee received and processed a total of eighty-nine cases: twenty-two were assigned to hearing officers and there were sixty-seven additional cases where arbitration agreements were sent but not returned.
Assigned Cases. The twenty-two cases consisted of requests that were assigned after the thirty-day "cooling off" period between March 30, 2000, and March 9, 2001. Of these, six subsequently settled and fifteen award decisions were issued after review by the Legal Fee Arbitration Committee. The remaining award was assigned in January 2001 and decided July 6, 2001, immediately after the close of the year reported.
Additional Cases. The CBA staff conferred with the involved parties through telephone conferences and, in many cases, sent arbitration contracts. For various reasons, that is, differences settled, judgments previously entered, parties not agreeing to arbitrate, etc., they were never fully returned and brought to issue.
Four of the cases were directed to the committee by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel as being more appropriately heard in this forum. An additional two cases were transferred to the committee by court order, these a result of an arbitration agreement clause in the attorney/client contract.
To date, eleven new cases have been assigned to hearing officers in this fiscal year. Should this increased activity continue, we can expect a substantial increase in committee activity. It is difficult to ascertain the reason for the increased activity. Perhaps it is the downturn in our economy or the increased awareness of the availability of the committee’s free services.
Because of the dedication and selfless efforts of the various committee members who served as hearing officers, seven of the awards were made within three months of assignment of the hearing officer and seven award were made within four months. Member efforts are to be applauded.
The Mineral Law Section sponsored ten CLE programs. These programs included such topics as communications with government agencies, Native American issues, Forest Service regulations, Internet research, risk management and international transactions.
The section also sponsored its annual writing competition. The winner this year was Leah Kukowski and the runner-up was W.H. Allen Sheldon, both graduates of the DU College of Law. Kukowski received $1,000 and Sheldon received $500.
Additionally, the section is sponsoring a new lawyer reception where each member of the section is required to bring one young lawyer who practices in the natural resources area. The purpose is to acquaint young lawyers with the members and activities of the section in a social setting.
The Paralegal Committee spoke at colleges and professional association meetings, presenting a variety of CLE workshops. They hosted a reception and vendor fair for paralegals throughout the state. In addition, representatives from the committee met with the New Mexico Legal Assistants Association to learn more about one another and exchange ideas.
Although the Committee continued to market its core presentation to attorneys on "The Utilization of Paralegals," the group has moved in several new directions. The committee’s focus has shifted to include a national perspective, prompted in part by several states that look at the regulation and/or licensing of paralegals. Work is well underway to establish the committee as a central clearinghouse for information important to paralegals and other legal support staff. Look for updates on www.cobar.org/comms/paralegal/index.htm.
The Paralegal Committee has taken an active role in continuing education for paralegals. The committee hosted a quarterly seminar for legal support professionals, exploring the variations in information technology programs. Suggestions for future topics are welcomed. Contact presentation coordinators Eileen Kelly-Sharpe at email@example.com or Carol Werner at Cwerner@littler.com.
Discussions started at the annual Paralegal Committee’s Reception and Vendor Fair have led the committee to undertake the development of a mentor project, where members and other volunteers will work with paralegal students at the various training programs in the metro area. This is a great way to share experiences and expertise.
The Securities Subsection membership includes law firm practitioners, in-house counsel, and securities regulators. The subsection’s membership hosted five topical lunches. Topics covered issues such as ERISA liability for broker-dealers, the SEC’s controversial Regulation FD, NASD arbitration and mediation, and an overview of the SEC’s enforcement of reporting requirements under 13(d) and 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act.
The Small Business Entities Subsection presented a training for the Small Business Development Center counselors at its May 2001 Board of Directors Meeting. Members of the subsection helped counselors become prepared for legal problems they could encounter with small business owners.
The subsection’s other activities included CLE presentations at brown-bag lunches, the CBA convention, and small business owner groups. The last program, "Covering your Assets," was cosponsored by the Denver Metro Area Small Business Development Centers.
The Tax Section has been working toward developing and continuing programs that provide public outreach and education. The section’s pro bono committee continued the pro se Tax Court advisory program initiated in 1999. In this program, section members consult with pro se taxpayer/petitioners at the Tax Court calendar call. Through this program, Tax Section members have helped people facilitate a resolution before trial. If they still must have a trial, often people can see their case with a more realistic attitude and better understand how the system works. The section’s newest pro bono program is to work with the IRS, helping the public understand abusive trust and tax shelter schemes. Section members write articles and help the IRS make the public aware of the perils involved.
The Tax Section played an important role in a pro-taxpayer legislative effort that was passed. The bill links the innocent spouse relief provisions of the Internal Revenue Code with the companion Colorado statute. To ensure the bill’s passage, the Tax Section chair spoke in support of the bill at the House and Senate Finance Committee hearings last winter.
The section sponsored a breakfast meeting with IRS Chief Counsel Stuart Brown, which provided section members a rare chance to talk with a top IRS official and to express their views about the IRS’s reorganization on taxpayer appeal and litigation rights. The section also continued its long history of sponsoring topical luncheons at the Top of the Rockies. They contributed several "Tax Tips" articles for publication in The Colorado Lawyer.
The Trust and Estate Section has finished another successful and productive year. The Statutory Revisions Committee introduced an Omnibus Bill, H.B. 1377, which was signed by Governor Owens on June 1, 2001. The bill clarified UPC II legislation concerning the harmless error doctrine and witness requirements. The bill also amended the statutory rule against perpetuities by adding a new exception to invalid nonvested property interests for discretionary trusts. The bill also clarified the effective dates of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. The committee continues to review the Uniform Trust Code, major revisions to the Colorado "Dead Man’s Statute," and the Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interest Act.
The Rules and Forms Committee reviewed existing forms and created or revised twenty-two new forms that were adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court effective January 1, 2001. Updates to the "Green Book" and the Colorado Estate Planning Handbook were published by CBA-CLE.
The section continued the new standing committee dealing with CBA-CLE to bolster efforts on the education front, which will bring more CLE programs to members. During the past year, the section sponsored seminars on the basics of estate administration, an advanced program on special topics in estate planning, and a program on the new Colorado Uniform Principal and Income Act. The section’s annual Estate Planning Retreat was held in Santa Fe and attracted more than 120 people. The section sponsored a CBA convention program in conjunction with the Tax Section, covering various estate planning and tax issues encountered by the practitioner. In addition, the section continued to co-sponsor luncheon programs during the year, featuring topics of interest to trust and estate attorneys. The section also continued to publish its newsletter, Council Notes, and articles in The Colorado Lawyer, to provide section members with timely information in their fields of practice.
Studying current legislation, focusing on rule-making and addressing activities of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Division of Administrative Hearings were all a part of the executive board of the Workers’ Compensation Section’s workload this year. The directors from each of the divisions of administrative hearings are included in the subsection’s monthly meetings to promote the free flow of information.
The section sponsored the "Annual Workers’ Compensation Update" in March this year. The Update covered a wide range of topics and featured speakers from the legal and medical community. The section is already looking forward to next year’s update.
Another program that the section will continue to sponsor is the "Bury the Hatchet" luncheon in December. Practitioners, judges, and representatives from the Division of Administrative Hearings attend this lunch in hopes of promoting communication and harmony within the workers’ compensation community.
The Young Lawyers Division ("YLD") planned and delivered the annual "Christmas in January" program in Colorado Springs. The YLD collects donations of toys, clothes, and books for foster children. In connection with El Paso County Social Services, YLD gave the donations to families in the Colorado Springs area who could not afford holiday gifts. YLD also planned their favorite networking and social event, riding the Ski Train to Winter Park and enjoying the slopes.
Throughout each school year, YLD conducts a portion of the "Alternatives in Connection with Suspension" program at the Cherry Creek schools. This successful program pairs an attorney with a medical professional, and they discuss the effects of drugs and alcohol with students.
In April, the YLD hosted the Rocky Mountain Regional Young Lawyers’ Conference with the Denver Bar Association YLD in Breckenridge. This conference brought together young lawyers from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and other regional states to share ideas and suggestions for YLD programs and activities, as well enjoy a little skiing and socializing.
On the first weekend in June, YLD had its third annual charity fundraiser and workday, held this year in Larimer County. The day was spent assisting the U.S. Forest Service with a trail maintenance project. In the evening, YLD hosted a social event at O’Dell’s brewery in Ft. Collins to raise money for Larimer County Partners.
Watch for announcements in the fall 2001 about law school interview programs and career panels, YLD-sponsored CLE at the CBA Convention. Also, in May 2002, the National ABA YLD Young Lawyers’ Conference will be hosted by the DBA and CBA. Watch for details.
LOCAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The Adams County Bar Association hosted a Law Day breakfast in keeping with the national 2001 Law Day theme, "Protecting the Best Interests of the Children." Judge Gill, founder of Children’s Advocacy Foundation, was the keynote speaker and 600 people attended the program. The Adams County Bar Association held its annual golf tournament in August and had a picnic at the Adams County Fairgrounds. A band performed and the judges in that district did the barbecuing. Next year’s challenge will be to rename the bar association to include Broomfield, which will be a part of the 17th Judicial District beginning November 2001.
CBA President Dale Harris addresses members of
the Adams County Bar Association
on one of many local bar visits.
The Arapahoe County Bar Association continued a commitment to community development through its pro se divorce clinic and participation with the Metro Volunteer Lawyers. The Arapahoe County Bar Association was able to furnish the St. Francis Center with 2,000 pairs of underwear, sixty-two pairs of new jeans, two coats, twelve winter vests, wash cloths, toiletries, socks, boots, and blankets. The association hosted the regional mock trial competition, and continued its tradition of providing attorneys low-cost CLE programs. The association also sponsored a Law Day 2001 program for high school students on the subject of children and divorce.
The Aurora Bar Association continued its tradition of providing CLE programs in a collegial dinner setting. Speakers included Debra Jones, assistant attorney regulation counsel of the Colorado Supreme Court, who discussed "Trends in Attorney Regulation." Members learned about "The Ethics and Mechanics of Pro Bono Representation" from Barbara Chamberlain and about the year’s activities in the legislature from Michael Valdez. On a local note, representatives from Aurora briefed the members on the impact of E-470 and the redevelopment of Fitzsimmons on growth in our Aurora. The Aurora Bar Association listserv started and so far, forty-eight members have signed up.
The Boulder County Bar Association, "BCBA," rejuvenated their Bar Media Committee and began quarterly meetings with The Daily Camera and Longmont Times. A symposium was held for the public in conjunction with 2001 Law Day: Mary Keenan, Boulder DA, Mimi Wesson, from the CU Law School, and editors of The Daily Camera and the Times Call were on the panel. The topic was "Free Press or Fair Trial—Must We Choose?" Soon, the BCBA and the 20th Judiciary will host a "mini law school" for reporters in the fall.
The BCBA also sponsored a panel discussion with the candidates running for the District Attorney’s office in October 2000. It was well attended and was televised by the local Channels 8 and 54.
BCBA had their annual "Lawyer Libations" in each city in Boulder County—Longmont, Broomfield, Louisville, and Boulder. These receptions help bring the large county together.
The BCBA hosted the County High School Mock Trial competition where ten teams competed in the competition. The Twentieth Judicial District judges and volunteer lawyers participated in judging and scoring these high school teams.
Each year, the BCBA participates in gleaning corn, beets, and other vegetables for Community Food Share. This is the third year the bar has helped, and they have become so proficient that the BCBA usually break records for the number of pounds gleaned for the hungry people in Boulder County. We are very proud of our "pickers"!
The BCBA will say good-bye to our Broomfield lawyers this November when they become their own district. The sixteen sections of the BCBA continue to present quality CLE programs throughout the year, including an annual half-day ethics program in December 2001. The BCBA’s website was expanded to include the Twentieth Judicial District court opinions in the "Members Only" section and a "Find a Lawyer" section to assist the public and the legal community to find lawyers in specialty areas.
Supreme Court Justice Mary Mullarkey visited the Continental Divide Bar Association in August, where she talked about the state of the legal system.
The Denver Bar Association ("DBA") spent the year advocating pro bono by issuing the pro bono challenge to local bar associations and the DBA’s members. This challenge asked DBA members to complete one case in a year’s time span. The "Just Take One" program increased the number of cases taken through Metro Volunteer Lawyers.
In addition to pro bono work, the DBA continued its "Tuesdays at the Bar" CLE programs, had its annual Bench Bar Retreat about technology, held a volunteer appreciation reception in the November, organized its annual "Roll Out the Barrels Food Drive," where a ton of food was donated, and held its annual Henry Hall Memorial Golf Tournament. The DBA honored its best at the DBA Annual Party. Bob Inman received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Bob Kapelke received the Award of Merit, Stacy Carpenter received the Young Lawyer of the Year Award, Chris Little received the Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award, Holly Hoxeng received the Legal Assistant of the Year Award, and Judges Jeff Bayless and John Marcucci received the Judicial Excellence Award.
The First J.D. Bar Association ("First JD") has been supporting several community-based projects and organizations. It has continued its support of the Metro Volunteer Lawyers ("MVL") program with economic support. In addition, almost ten percent of the First JD attorneys have assisted by either representing a client through the pro bono project, or they have volunteered in the monthly Law Day program by assisting pro se MVL clients in preparing documents for filing and obtaining final decrees in dissolutions or parenting responsibility/paternity actions.
First JD members Fred Schrekinger and George Aucoin were honored for commitment and service to the MVL program at the DBA’s "Barristers Benefit Ball." The First JD also has provided funds to the First J.D. Bar Legal Assistance Program, which provides seniors in Jefferson and Gilpin Counties with help in obtaining legal services for a variety of legal problems. We also provided funds to the new Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, allowing them to train an additional group of volunteers to assist the courts in dependency and neglect actions in our district.
The First JD again sponsored the high school mock trial competition, providing coaches and judges for many teams and culminating in a three-day competition. We also moved our annual golf tournament from fall to spring, made it a charitable event, and presented three high school moot court participants with a total of $1,600 in scholarships.
The First JD continues its support of the pilot project in our district in which parents and children are involved in the parenting plan after divorce. Doug Hanze received the Linda T. Palmieri Award for service to children at the First JD’s annual awards banquet, Dennis Polk was honored with the award of merit, Gailyn "Gigi" James was the outstanding young lawyer, and Gregg Kildow received the Liberty Bell Award for contribution by a non-lawyer.
The Fremont Custer Bar Association ("FCBA") held two CLE programs: Michael Valdez, the CBA’s lobbyist, gave a legislative update, and local Judge William Fox updated the association on the current state of expert scientific testimony. The FCBA gave two $500 scholarships to high school students who were going to study the legal field in college. On Law Day, the FCBA held a "Call-A-Lawyer" program, where they answered the public’s legal questions that night. They also hosted a half-hour radio program called "Morning Line," to discuss legal issues with the public. The FCBA wrote a guest editorial for the Cañon City Daily Record about the anti-growth initiative and the Douglas Bruce initiative, in hopes to better inform the public. The association contributed cell phones to the Colorado Bar Association, who in turn sent the phones to the Wireless Foundation, who will distribute them to those who are identified as victims of domestic violence.
About 300 cell phones were donated by the
state and local bar associations for the
Wireless Foundation, which will reprogram
the phones and give them to those faced
with domestic violence issues.
For Law Day, the Colorado Supreme Court heard cases at the Mesa County Bar Association ("MCBA"). The MCBA’s members helped coach three schools in the mock trials. Every other month on the third Thursday, the MCBA hosts a "Call-A-Lawyer" night. The MCBA continues to fund its pro bono project.
Members of the Ninth Judicial District ("Ninth JD") are trying to recruit the nonmember attorneys in their area to become members. The Ninth JD holds one or two CLE programs every month, including the well-attended January program, where Judge Peter Craven and Municipal Judge Colleen Truden spoke about special advocates. They are also proud to announce their website at http://communities.msn.com/ninthjdbar/_ whatsnew.msnw. Members now receive meeting notices and other Ninth JD news via e-mail. In September 2001, the Ninth JD will hold its annual "Jailhouse Rock," which benefits the Garfield Legal Services. This year, they will have the program in the new jailhouse and will auction off the jail cell in the Glenwood jailhouse that Ted Bundy escaped from.
During the past year, the Northwestern Colorado Bar Association ("NWCBA") conducted its annual meeting, sponsored several CLE presentations, and participated in the Supreme Court "Outreach Program." At the annual meeting, several members were recognized by the Northwest Colorado Legal Services Project for their contributions to the program. The NWCBA continues to be the leader in Colorado for attorney participation with the "Legal Services Project." Sandra Gardner received the outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award from the Legal Services Project, and Claire Sollars received the 2000 Professionalism Award from the NWCBA.
The Pitkin County Bar Association ("PCBA") puts on a CLE every other month. Examples include the Lots of Telluride v. Lot 34 in Telluride and Pitkin County and e-filing. For 2001 Law Day, some PCBA members went to schools to talk about the law. The PCBA is now sending meeting notices to membership by e-mail and distributes administrative orders of the court and proposals by e-mail.
Seventh J.D. Bar Association ("Seventh JD") presented a CLE program by Mel Reveles and Larry Smith in both Gunnison and Montrose on "The Law Office and the Internet." The Seventh JD is starting an Inns of Court throughout the district, starting with Gunnison on September 13, 2001. Montrose will soon have one as well.
The Southeastern Bar Association has monthly lawyer lunches with different attorneys giving presentations. They also maintain an office where Colorado Legal Services can hold meetings.
The Thirteenth Judicial Bar Association ("Thirteenth JD") is the biggest district in the state. Each year, the Thirteenth JD puts together a CLE program and social hour. Because the Thirteenth JD is so big, the county bar associations host many programs. Logan County Bar Association puts on a "Call-A-Lawyer" night for Law Day. The Morgan County Bar Association is starting a mock trial program that will let attorneys talk to middle school students about the trial process and let students act out parts of the trial.
CBA Pro Bono Task Force
The CBA Pro Bono Task Force was pleased that the Supreme Court adopted new Canons of Judicial Ethics, encouraging judges to assist with the pro bono effort. The task force also developed a new pro bono logo, which was adopted by the CBA Board of Governors, to encourage attorneys to think more about their pro bono obligations. The task force assisted in planning for the Access to Justice Conference in May 2001. At this time, the task force is assisting other groups in petitioning the Supreme Court for a rule establishing pro bono or access to justice committees statewide, to assist in making access to justice for more indigent citizens a reality.
MDP/MJP Task Force
In May 2000, the CBA/DBA Multidisciplinary Practice Task Force was given a two-fold mandate by the governing bodies of both organizations:
Multidisciplinary Practice ("MDP"): To move forward with drafting proposed revisions to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct that would allow MDP "in a manner that protects the public and preserves the core values of the legal profession, including competence, independence of professional judgment, protection of confidential client information, and loyalty to the client through the avoidance of conflicts of interest." (The DBA Board of Trustees added to this litany of core values "and pro bono publico responsibilities.")
That work has been ongoing in the Rules Committee of the Task Force for a number of months. This group of lawyers, most of whom also are long-time members of the CBA Ethics Committee and who come from differing practice perspectives, are meeting for two to three hours approximately every other week. They expect that work will be completed by the end of this year. The product will be presented first to the MDP Task Force. Although the procedure is not yet fixed, the draft rules changes and commentary will be exposed to the members of the CBA and DBA for comment. If approved by the Task Force, the draft rules changes will be presented to the CBA and DBA governing bodies. If approved there, the CBA and DBA will present them with a report to the Colorado Supreme Court for its consideration.
As part of the MDP consideration, a Task Force Committee on Ancillary Businesses (businesses ancillary to a law practice and operated within or under common control with a law practice) is studying how such businesses may fit into the MDP scheme and whether additional or separate consideration needs to be given to the application of or possible changes to the Colo. RPC regarding ancillary businesses.
Multijurisdictional Practice ("MJP"): The MJP Committee of the Task Force has studied this topic and has prepared a draft proposal that would permit MJP under certain circumstances. The proposal will be given further consideration by the Task Force and a report for the CBA/DBA governing bodies prepared in due course.
Multijurisdictional Practice Committee
The Multijurisdictional Practice ("MJP") Committee of the CBA Multidisciplinary ("MDP") Task Force has continued to study the issues surrounding multi-jurisdictional practice (practice by lawyers in states in which they are not licensed). Over the past year, the MJP Committee has worked with an Ad Hoc Committee of the Colorado Regulatory Counsel to draft a proposal for a change in the rules governing unauthorized practice of law. While work on the project is not completed, the committees prepared a preliminary version of the draft that was submitted to the ABA Commission on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice. The committee will continue to work through the issues surrounding MJP and will continue to assist the Regulatory Counsel Committee in its efforts.
CBA FINANCIALS AND
The Colorado Bar Association completed its 2000-2001 fiscal year in excellent shape. The CBA had a surplus of income over expenses. Cash reserves were used this last year for new membership and accounting software as well as additional servers and workstations. Funds were set aside for expansion and "retooling" of the CBA website. This is an ongoing project that will continue into the current year. The CBA website is considered by many of our members to be a significant benefit that helps them in their every day practice of law.
Revenues from membership dues increased as did non-dues revenues. Expenses were up in all categories with the exception of "Governance" and "Meetings." The Colorado Lawyer had an increase in advertising income as well as in the cost of producing the new, more colorful, version of the publication. The journal continues to be one of the highest ranked benefits of bar membership.
A strategic planning process was conducted to keep the CBA on track with the needs of our membership. Complete results are available on the website at www.cobar.org. The CBA is in excellent financial shape as we adjusted our goals for the future.
Colorado Bar Association Balance Sheet
As of June 30, 2001
|Cash & Cash Equivalents
|Prpd. Exp. & Misc. Assets
|Net Property & Equipment
|Funds Retirement Benefit
LIABILITIES AND MEMBERSHIP EQUITY
|-Dues Payable to Local Bars
|-Sales & Income Taxes Payable
|-Prepaid Membership Dues
|-Accrued Retirement Benefits
|-Other Deferred Income
|-Restricted for Sections
|-Restricted for Forum Committee
|-Restricted for Special Projects
|Total Membership Equity
|Total Liabilities &Membership Equity
*2000 figures are unaudited.
|The Colorado Lawyer
|Programs, Committees, and Departments
|The Colorado Lawyer
|General and Administrative
|Governance and Meetings
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