Monthly Archives: May 2015

Elizabeth L. Harris appointed to Colorado Court of Appeals

As announced in a press release issued May 29, 2015:

DENVER — Friday, May 29, 2015 —

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the appointment of Elizabeth L. Harris to serve as a judge for the Colorado Court of Appeals. She will fill a vacancy due to the retirement of the Honorable James S. Casebolt.

Ms. Harris is a sole practitioner, focusing primarily on appellate work, criminal defense and civil litigation.
Before establishing her own practice in 2013, Ms. Harris was an associate, of counsel and partner at Jacobs Chase (now Husch Blackwell) from 2003 to 2012.

Previously, Ms. Harris was an assistant federal public defender (2000 – 2003) and research and writing attorney at the Office of the Federal Public Defender (1997 – 2000).

From 1996 to 1997, she was a judicial clerk for the Honorable John Porfilio, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Ms. Harris received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in 1989 and her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1996. The appointment is effective July 1, 2015

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Filed under Commentary

Allstate Insurance v. Medical Lien Managment, Inc., 2015CO32 (May 26, 2015)

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X. Medical debt financing companies require a plaintiff to assign the proceeds of their potential future settlement funds up to the amount of medical expenses financed and then demand that the tortfeasor’s insurance company pay them directly. Here, notwithstanding such a demand, Allstate paid the plaintiff, not MLM, who sued. The Court noted an assignment is a transfer of one’s right to performance to another. A conditional right to funds is assignable. But a right to a future right to funds is not, unless it is to all or a determinable portion of the funds. A demand for specific performance of payment of future funds may be enforceable. But an assignment cannot increase an obligor’s burden to perform. Here, the assignment was ill-defined and not independently determinable and thus not an assignment at the time it was made.

 https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2013/13SC131.pdf

**Disclaimer: the author represents a company engaged in business similar to MLM.

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Filed under Contracts, Personal Injury

Cynthia H. Coffman, as Attorney General, and Julie Ann Meade, as the Administrator of the Uniform Debt Management Services Act, v. Lawrence W. Williamson, Jr., Esq.; Donald Drew Moore, Esq.; and Morgan Drexen, Inc., a California corporation, and Walter Joseph Ledda, 2015CO35 (May 26, 2015).

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” – Jane Austen. Some companies offer debt-management services to debtors. Plaintiff is one of them. They are regulated by CRS 12-14.5-202. (the DMSA). Attorneys providing such services are exempt from regulation. Plaintiff (consisting entirely of nonlawyers) hired “local counsel” and sought “legal services exemption.” The Court, interpreting the DMSA with Colo.RPC 5.3, held that nonlawyer assistants may be exempt if they work for an attorney in substance, not just in name, and under the attorney’s supervision. Here, Plaintiff’s attorneys, some out-of-state , did not actually provide meaningful instruction or supervision. Although the Court, through CRCP 205.1, not the Legislature, regulates attorneys, the DMSA did violate the Separation of Powers doctrine. Thus, Plaintiff was subject to regulation.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2014/14SA249.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9789&courtid=2

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Filed under Attorney Regulation, Constitutional

Robert Cikraji v. Daniel Snowberger, Superintendent, Durango Public Schools, Andrew Burns, Roxanne Perrin, David McMillian, Paul Angelico, Curt Wilson, 2015COA66 (May 7, 2015)

Opinion in pro se Plaintiff’s appeal published; parent was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. The Colorado High School Activities Association’s bylaws allows athletes to compete on “any other team, in any non-school activity or event in that sport during that sports season with the express written permission of the principal.” Plaintiff’s son, a Durango HS athlete won a 10k cross country race in Ohio but did not get permission to compete and was suspended from one meet. Plaintiff, apparently an Ohio lawyer, sued on behalf of his son. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal. It noted many failures to comply with the CAR. And, Plaintiff engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by bringing claims on behalf of his son. Plaintiff’s case was dismissed because he failed to comply with CGIA notice requirements, depriving the court of jurisdiction.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/Opinion/2015/14CA1160-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9772&courtid=1

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Filed under Administrative, Attorney Regulation, Government, Proceedure