Dear Members of the 9th Judicial Bar Association:
I write to urge your action in preventing the current administration’s proposed elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which supplies 40 percent of Colorado Legal Services’ funding. The CBA has long been a champion of LSC, which funds legal aid organizations across the nation by serving the most vulnerable Americans, including veterans, domestic violence victims, and disaster victims. Civil legal aid ensures fairness for all in the justice system — not just for those who can afford it. As the enclosed fact sheet suggests, the elimination of federal funding for LSC would seriously jeopardize the ability of low-income Coloradans to secure the legal help they need.
Here’s how you can help:
Visit DefendLegalAid.org by _______ to become a Legal Aid Defender. Once you submit the requested information, the American Bar Association (ABA) will hand-deliver your Legal Aid Defender card with your personal message to your Members of Congress. You don’t need to be a member of the ABA to get involved.
Thank you for participating in this call to action.
The Impact of the Loss of Federal Funding for Civil Legal Aid in Colorado
For a compilation of Colorado Legal Aid stories, visit
- The Trump administration’s budget for FY2018 calls for the elimination of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 that provides federal funding for civil legal aid to low-income Americans.
- Colorado Legal Services (CLS), Colorado’s statewide staffed legal aid program, currently receives 40 percent of its annual budget from LSC.
- The elimination of LSC funding would be devastating for low-income Coloradans with serious civil legal problems for whom CLS is a place of last resort.
- CLS is the only agency in the state that provides free legal services in civil cases to indigent clients in every Colorado county.
- In order to maximize access to services throughout the state, CLS operates through a network of 13 offices and uses technology wherever possible to better serve rural and other remote areas.
- With few exceptions, CLS clients live at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline, which means an annual income ceiling of $14,850 for an individual and $30,375 for a family of four.
- Every year, CLS provides legal assistance to more than 10,000 Coloradans, including families facing foreclosure or eviction, women trapped in abusive relationships, veterans denied rightfully earned benefits, seniors victimized by consumer scams, and disabled individuals denied access to necessary health care.
- CLS provided nearly $72 million of net benefit to its clients and the Colorado community in 2015 on total funding of just over $11.3 million. In other words, for every dollar spent on legal aid, Colorado received $6.34 in benefits using standard Social Return on Investment analysis.
- Even with the current level of LSC funding, at least one income-eligible Coloradan is turned away for every one served due to inadequate resources. CLS has only 51 lawyers on staff to serve an income-eligible population of 900,000.
- The elimination of LSC would vastly diminish the private bar’s capacity to provide pro bono legal services to low income Coloradans because its ability to do so is directly dependent on its partnership with CLS, which screens cases for merit and eligibility and trains and mentors private attorneys, many of whom have little experience in the kinds of civil legal problems experienced by low-income Coloradans.
- The elimination of LSC would increase the number of unrepresented litigants in Colorado courts, undermining the effectiveness and efficiency of the courts in resolving all of their cases fairly and in a timely fashion.
- The elimination of LSC flies in the face of the most sacred duty of government — to provide equal and impartial justice to all of its citizens — and contradicts our country’s solemn pledge of “justice for all.”
- LSC has enjoyed bipartisan support for more than four decades and, in each of the last three fiscal years, strong bipartisan majorities in Congress have increased LSC’s funding by $10 million per year.
- Funding for LSC amounts to less than one 1/100 of 1 percent of the federal budget, undercutting any claim that its elimination is necessary in the interest of “lean” government, particularly in light of a 10 percent increase in defense spending.
Facebook Page - Coming Soon
Check out our new (and improved) Facebook Page. We currently have a page under Angela Stode, but will be changing the page name to 9th Judicial Bar Association. Please keep an eye out for your invitation to like the page, or search us out and like it to stay up-to-date on events.
MERIT SELECTION PANEL FOR MAGISTRATE JUDGES SEEKING MEMBERS
Dear leaders of the Colorado Bar Association, local and specialty/minority bar associations, federal bar associations, and other legal organizations:
Please be advised that the U.S. District Court has posted the following announcement on the court's public website. The U.S. District Court requests your assistance to further distribute the announcement to members of your respective bar associations and legal organizations. The announcement seeks applicants for the creation of a new merit selection panel for the selection, appointment and reappointment of magistrate judges, beginning with the position that will be available upon the retirement of U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe, eff. July 1, 2018. Please note that the panel will be composed of five lawyers (there is no requirement that they be members of the U.S. District Court bar) and two non-lawyers. Each must be a resident of the District of Colorado or, if a non-resident, have significant ties to the community within the district. Please also note that "practicing attorneys are invited to encourage interested non-lawyers to apply."
In the Matter of the Appointment of a Merit Selection Panel
In accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 4, § 420.30 of the Judicial Conference Regulations for the Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment of United States Magistrate Judges, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado is seeking applications for appointment to a merit selection panel.
Before the appointment or reappointment of a U.S. magistrate judge, the court, by majority vote of the district judges, must appoint a merit selection panel, which will recommend to the court for consideration individuals whose character, experience, ability, and commitment to equal justice under the law fully qualify them to serve as a U.S. magistrate judge.
The persons appointed to the merit selection panel will perform the duties prescribed by § 420.30.30 of the regulation and consider applicants for the position of United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe, the current incumbent, will be retiring effective July 1, 2018. The merit selection panel may also be appointed to review the reappointment of incumbent magistrate judges in the future as they arise.
The merit selection panel must have no fewer than seven members, including the court-appointed chairperson. At least two of the members must be non-lawyers.
Interested candidates for the Merit Selection Panel shall submit an application packet electronically in PDF format. The packet shall include a cover letter and current resume (optional) addressed to the Clerk of Court. The cover letter shall address the candidate’s interest in serving on the selection panel. Practicing attorneys are invited to encourage interested non-lawyers to apply. Applications must be submitted no later than close of business on November 9, 2017.
Submissions must be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your attention and assistance.
Human Resources Administrator
citizenship workshop - october 28, 2017
Hello 9th Judicial District Bar Association,
Our office has co-sponsored a free Citizenship Workshop with the Basalt Regional Public Library, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association on Saturday, October 28, 2017, in Basalt, CO. We are seeking donations.
We would love it if you have time to come help us volunteer, but if not, please consider donating supplies or food. Needed items include pens, reems of printer paper, notepads, highlighters, whiteout, sticky notes, staplers and tape. If you would like to donate food, we are seeking to feed around 20-30 volunteers breakfast and lunch. Please contact me directly if you would like to contribute at email@example.com. I am happy to come pick up items from you.
I have provided information about the workshop in the attached flyers and below if you are interested in volunteering your time. All volunteers but especially bilingual volunteers are tremendously welcomed. Thank you for your consideration and support
David R. Schambach, Esq.
932 Cooper St.
P.O. Box 3005
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
The citizenship workshop provides assistance to lawful permanent residents who are eligible to apply for citizenship. Each drive is set up as a one-stop shop with several stations: a station to complete the application for citizenship; a station to make photocopies and compile everything for submission; a station to gather materials to study for the citizenship test; and most importantly, a station with immigration attorneys to verify the person is eligible and does not have any issues that could potentially result in denial of naturalization and placement in removal proceedings. We are hoping to assist over 50 applicants on October 28 and are seeking volunteers (we would love to have as many bilingual volunteers as possible) to help the applicants complete the citizenship forms. There will be extensive oversight by experienced immigration practitioners and an attorney will review each completed application with all applicants in a final station of the workshop.
Prior experience is not necessary. All volunteers will be provided an hour training from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on the day of the workshop. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. Proficiency in Spanish is helpful, but not required.
This is a fun and rewarding event and will provide a great learning opportunity for students who are interested in immigration law and giving back to the Colorado immigrant community. It will also provide students with valuable experience that they can include on their resumes and discuss in employment interviews. Please feel free email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Location: Basalt Regional Public Library, 14 Midland Ave., Basalt, CO, 81621
Volunteers Needed: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm; 12:30 pm - 3 pm; or all day
Sign-up: here (non-attorney volunteers are invited to sign-up, as well)
Mandatory Training for All First-time Volunteers: Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 9:00am
Thank you and have a great weekend.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON ELDER ABUSE
Elder abuse and financial exploitation are a hidden epidemic. Diminishing capacity, isolation, concealment, and other factors put certain adults at risk, and the harms that befall them are often difficult for law enforcement or other government agencies to discovery or address.
Attorneys are in a unique position to identify instances of elder abuse and financial exploitation and to intervene on behalf of an at risk adult. If a client or you have become aware of a potential instance of elder abuse or financial exploitation, and you have decided that it is appropriate to make a report to government authorities, you have several options.
First, you may call 911 in the event of an emergency. Otherwise, in non-emergent circumstances, you may contact (i) police dispatch to file a report or (ii) the Human Services department through a state hotline at 1-844-264-5437. At this time, the state hotline recording states that it is a “child abuse” hotline, but it is intended to receive and triage matters relating to both at risk children and adults. I have called the hotline, and you can get to a human being within a few minutes.
Both options should prompt a response from an investigator. If you believe that the response to your initial contact was insufficient or untimely or that the situation was not adequately addressed, we have a new option – the District Attorney’s has set up an email address for attorneys to use to escalate elder abuse and financial exploitation for at risk adults - email@example.com. Emails to this address will hit the account of a chief investigator for the DA’s office and may be useful in addressing the needs of an at risk adult.
he CBA Waterman Fund is here to help
The fund is a charitable trust that provides financial assistance to Colorado lawyers in good standing who have been practicing for at least 10 years. Administrators meet monthly to consider applications for assistance and distributions range from a one-time benefit to six-month awards which are renewable. Click here for more information.