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- SCOPE, PURPOSE, AND CONSTRUCTION
- STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
- BAR OF THE COURT, GOOD STANDING, RESIGNATION
- ENTRY AND WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE
- ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE
- REINSTATEMENT AND READMISSION
- CONFIDENTIALITY AND IMMUNITY
- STUDENT PRACTICE
- ATTORNEY PRO BONO REPRESENTATION
SCOPE OF ATTORNEY RULES
(a) Title and Citation. These rules shall be known as the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado-Attorney. These rules shall be cited as D.C.COLO.LAttyR Rule, Subdivision, Paragraph, Subparagraph, Item (e.g., D.C.COLO.LAttyR 15(g)(1)(B)(ii)).
(b) Effective Date. Unless otherwise stated, these rules are effective as of December 1 of each year.
(c) Scope. These rules shall apply to all attorneys who are admitted to the bar of this court, or who purport to appear in the United States District Court or the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado.
(d) Effect on Authority of Court. Nothing stated in these rules shall be deemed to negate or diminish the express or inherent disciplinary powers of the court or a judicial officer.
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
(a) Standards of Professional Conduct. Except as provided by Subdivision (b) or order or rule of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct (Colo. RPC) are adopted as standards of professional responsibility for the United States District Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado.
(b) Exceptions. The following provisions of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct (Colo. RPC) are excluded from the standards of professional responsibility for the United States District Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado:
(1) Colo. RPC 1.2(c) (limiting scope of representation), except that, if ordered, and subject to D.C.COLO.LAttyR 5(a) and (b), an attorney may provide limited representation to an unrepresented party or an unrepresented prisoner in a civil action;
(2) Colo. RPC 1.2(d), Comment  (counseling and assisting client regarding Colorado Constitution art. XVIII, §§ 14 and 16 and related statutes, regulations, or orders, and other state or local provisions implementing them), except that a lawyer may advise a client regarding the validity, scope, and meaning of Colorado Constitution art. XVIII, §§ 14 and 16 and the statutes, regulations, orders, and other state or local provisions implementing them, and, in these circumstances, the lawyer shall also advise the client regarding related federal law and policy.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BAR OF THE COURT
(a) Application. An applicant for admission to the bar of this court shall be a person licensed by the highest court of a state, federal territory, or the District of Columbia, on active status in a state, federal territory, or the District of Columbia, and a member of the bar in good standing in all courts and jurisdictions where the applicant has been admitted. Each applicant shall complete an approved form provided by the clerk and shall pay all fees established by the court.
(b) Consent to Jurisdiction; Certification of Familiarity with Local Rules. An attorney who applies for admission to the bar of this court:
(1) consents to this court’s exercise of disciplinary jurisdiction over any alleged misconduct;
(2) certifies familiarity with the local rules of practice of this court; and
(3) certifies familiarity with the Standards of Professional Conduct adopted in this court in D.C.COLO.LAttyR 2.
(c) Member in Good Standing. An attorney admitted to the bar of this court must remain in good standing in all courts where admitted. In good standing means not suspended or disbarred by any court for any reason. An attorney whose suspension or disbarment has been stayed by order of the disciplining court prior to the effective date of the suspension or disbarment remains in good standing. An attorney who is not in good standing shall not practice before the bar of this court or continue to be an attorney of record in any pending case. On notice to this court of lack of good standing from the suspending or disbarring jurisdiction, or otherwise, the clerk of this court shall make a notation in the court record of such lack of good standing.
(d) Relief From Rule of Good Standing.
(1) Applications. An attorney who seeks relief from the rule of good standing in Subdivision (c) shall file a request for relief, which shall be referred to the Committee on Conduct.
(2) Standards. It is presumed that discipline imposed by another court against a member of the bar of this court is appropriate. To obtain relief, the attorney so disciplined has the burden to establish by clear and convincing evidence:
(A) that the procedure resulting in discipline by the court was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to deny due process;
(B) that the application of the good standing rules in Subdivision (c) would result in grave injustice, or
(C) that the kind of misconduct warrants substantially less severe discipline.
(3) Reinstatement by Original Disciplining Court. An attorney who has been reinstated or readmitted by the original disciplining court, but who remains suspended or disbarred in a different court for the same conduct as that at issue in the original disciplining court, may apply for reinstatement or readmission pursuant to D.C.COLO.LAttyR 11 and is not disqualified by the requirement that an attorney be in good standing in all courts where admitted.
(e) Resignation. An attorney may resign from the bar of this court only if the attorney is in good standing, is not counsel of record in an active case, and is not the subject of any disciplinary proceeding before this court.
ATTORNEY SELF-REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
(a) When Self-Reporting is Required. An attorney who has been admitted to the bar of this court shall notify the clerk of the court in the following circumstances.
(1) Eligibility. The attorney must remain a licensed member in active status and in good standing of the bar of at least one state, federal territory, or the District of Columbia. If at any time these eligibility criteria are not met, the attorney shall, no later than 14 days after the attorney receives notice of the change in status, notify the clerk of this court of the change in status and the reason for the change.
(2) Suspension or Disbarment by Another Court. If the attorney is suspended or disbarred for any reason by any court, the attorney shall give, no later than 14 days after the date the disciplinary order enters, written notice to the clerk of this court of the terms of discipline, the name and address of the court imposing the discipline, and the effective date of the disciplinary action. An order of suspension or disbarment that is stayed or appealed must be reported.
(3) Resignation Pending Investigation of Misconduct. If the attorney resigns from the bar of any other federal or state court while an investigation into allegations of misconduct is pending, the attorney shall give to the clerk of this court, no later than 14 days after the resignation, written notice of the resignation and the fact that an investigation was pending.
(4) Pending Charges. If the attorney is charged in any court with a crime as defined in D.C.COLO.LAttyR 8(a), the attorney shall notify the clerk of this court in writing of the charge no later than 14 days after the attorney receives notice that the charge has been filed.
(5) Conviction. If the attorney is convicted of a crime as defined in D.C.COLO.LAttyR 8(a), the attorney shall provide the clerk of this court, no later than 14 days after the conviction, written notice of the conviction, including the terms of the conviction, the terms of the sentence if known, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed for the offense, the court entering the conviction, and the date of conviction. In addition, the attorney shall notify the clerk of this court, no later than 14 days after the conviction becoming final with no further right of direct appeal, that the conviction has become final. The definition of conviction in
D.C.COLO.LAttyR 8(b) applies to this paragraph.
(b) Effect of Failure To Self-Report. Failure to self-report is a separate cause for disciplinary action. However, a failure to self-report an administrative suspension for failure to pay an annual registration fee or to comply with mandatory continuing legal education requirements shall not constitute separate cause for further disciplinary action by this court.
ENTRY AND WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF CONTACT INFORMATION
(a) Entry of Appearance.
(1) Unless otherwise ordered, an attorney shall not appear in a matter before the court unless the attorney has filed an Entry of Appearance or an Entry of Appearance to Provide Limited Representation or signed and filed a pleading or document.
(2) As permitted under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 2(b)(1), an attorney may provide limited representation to an unrepresented party or an unrepresented prisoner in a civil action by order granting a motion which defines the scope of limited representation with reasonable particularity and certifies the approval of the unrepresented party or unrepresented prisoner. Any change in the scope of limited representation must be approved by the court.
(3) An Entry of Appearance, Entry of Appearance to Provide Limited Representation, initial pleading, or initial document shall include
(A) the identity of the party for whom the appearance is made;
(B) the firm name, office address, telephone number, and primary CM/ECF e-mail address of the attorney; and
(C) the certification of the attorney that the attorney is a member in good standing of the bar of this court.
(4) A form of Entry of Appearance or Entry of Appearance to Provide Limited Representation is available on the court's website HERE or in the office of the clerk of court.
(5) Only an unrepresented party or a member of the bar of this court as defined in D.C.COLO.LAttyR 3 may appear in a matter before the court, sign and file a pleading or document, or participate in a deposition, hearing, or trial. The provision restricting the signing of a document shall not apply to a witness, deponent, declarant, or affiant.
(6) The responsibility for signing a pleading or document shall not be delegated.
(7) This rule shall not be applied or construed in a manner inconsistent with any statute or rule governing an attorney appearing for the United States.
(b) Withdrawal of Appearance. An attorney who has filed an Etry of Appearance or an Entry of Appearance to Provide Limited Representation or has appeared otherwise in a case may seek to withdraw on motion showing good cause. Withdrawal shall be effective only on court order entered after service of the notice of withdrawal on all counsel of record, any unrepresented party, and the client of the withdrawing attorney. A motion to withdraw must state the reasons for withdrawal, unless the statement would violate the rules of professional conduct. Notice to the client of the attorney must include the warning that the client is personally responsible for complying with all court orders and time limitations established by applicable statutes and rules. Where the client of the withdrawing attorney is a corporation, partnership, or other legal entity, the notice shall state that such entity may not appear without counsel admitted to the bar of this court, and that absent prompt appearance of substitute counsel, pleadings and papers may be stricken, and default judgment or other sanctions may be imposed against the entity.
(c) Change of Contact Information. Notice of change of name, mailing address, or telephone number of an attorney or unrepresented party shall be filed no later than five days after the change. A user of CM/ECF shall keep his/her primary and alternative e-mail addresses current. Instructions for a registered user to update and maintain his/her CM/ECF accounts are HERE.
DISCIPLINARY PANEL AND COMMITTEE ON CONDUCT
(a) Disciplinary Panel. The Chief Judge shall appoint a panel of three judicial officers to constitute the Disciplinary Panel (the Panel). The Panel shall have jurisdiction over all judicial proceedings involving disbarment, suspension, censure, or other attorney discipline. The Chief Judge may designate additional judicial officers to serve as alternates on the Panel.
(b) Committee on Conduct. The court has established a standing Committee on Conduct (the Committee) consisting of 12 members of the bar of this court. Each member shall be appointed for three years and until a successor is appointed. No member of the Committee shall serve more than two consecutive terms. Additional members may be appointed by the court. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. If a member serves beyond expiration of the appointed term, the additional time served shall be chargeable to the successor member. The court shall designate a chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Committee. The vice-chairperson shall act during the absence or disability of the chairperson. Members of the Committee shall serve without compensation, but when practicable their necessary expenses shall be paid by the clerk from the fund in which admission and annual registration fees paid by members of the bar are deposited.
(c) Duties of the Committee. The Committee shall receive, investigate, consider, and act on complaints against members of the bar of this court, applications for reinstatement or readmission, applications for relief from the rule of good standing, and allegations that a member of the bar of this court is incapable of practicing law due to a disability, including, but not limited to, physical or mental disability or substance abuse. The chairperson shall appoint one or more members to present and prosecute charges and to prepare orders and judgments as directed by the Panel. The Committee is authorized to report any information consistent with the objectives of this rule to the authorized disciplinary body of any bar or court where the applicant or respondent attorney is admitted. The Committee may perform any additional duties implied by these rules or assigned by order of the Panel.
(d) Abstention and Disqualification of Current and Former Committee Member. A Committee member shall refrain from participating in any disciplinary proceedings in which a judge, similarly situated, would be required to recuse. A Committee member shall not represent an attorney in any matter before the Committee. A former Committee member shall not represent any attorney investigated or prosecuted during the former Committee member’s term on the Committee.
COMPLAINTS AND GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINE
(a) Complaints. A complaint against a member of the bar of this court for any conduct which may justify any disciplinary action (not limited to suspension or disbarment) shall be filed in writing under oath, except that a complaint filed by a judicial officer need not be under oath. A complaint shall be filed with or referred to the Committee.
(b) Grounds for Discipline. Grounds for discipline include:
(1) a violation or attempted violation of the Standards of Professional Responsibility of this court;
(2) a willful failure to comply with a subpoena validly issued by the Committee or the Panel, or the knowing failure to respond to a lawful demand from the Committee or the Panel, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by privilege or applicable rules relating to confidentiality.
(c) Types of Sanctions. Misconduct shall be grounds for imposition of one or more of the following sanctions:
(1) Disbarment. Disbarment means the removal of the attorney from the bar of this court.
(2) Suspension. Suspension means the revocation for an appropriately fixed period of time of the authorization and good standing of the attorney to practice in this court. Suspension may be stayed in whole or in part.
(3) Public censure. Public censure means a reproach made in public.
(4) Letter of admonition. A letter of admonition means an unpublished reproach.
(d) Investigation of Complaints. When the Committee receives information by complaint or otherwise alleging attorney misconduct or incapacity, the matter shall be referred by the chairperson of the Committee to a Subcommittee consisting of three Committee members designated by the chairperson who shall appoint one of them as Subcommittee chairperson. The chairperson or vice-chairperson of the Committee may be designated as a member of a Subcommittee.
(1) Service of Complaint and Answer. The Subcommittee shall investigate a complaint referred to it by the chairperson of the Committee. A copy of the complaint shall be served on the member of the bar against whom the complaint has been made (the respondent) by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the most current address of the respondent on file with the clerk. No answer shall be accepted or considered, unless specifically requested of the respondent by the Subcommittee investigating the complaint. If an answer is requested by the Subcommittee, the respondent shall file an answer under oath with the Subcommittee no later than 21 days of the date of the request or such other deadline as specified by the Subcommittee.
(2) Hearings, Witnesses, and Documents. The Subcommittee shall have the authority to request documents, interview or depose witnesses, and consult experts. On request of the Subcommittee, the clerk shall issue subpoenas, returnable to the Committee, commanding the presence of witnesses and/or production of designated books, papers, documents, or other tangibles at the times and places stated in the subpoena. The Subcommittee chairperson, as master, is authorized to administer oaths. Any witness who fails or refuses to comply with a subpoena shall be subject to contempt proceedings before the Panel.
(e) Resolution of the Complaint by the Committee on Conduct. On completion of its investigation, the Subcommittee shall report its recommendations to the full Committee. The Subcommittee shall not recommend a disposition other than dismissal without first notifying the respondent in writing of the substance of the matter and affording the respondent an opportunity to respond in writing. Notice at the last known address of the respondent is sufficient. The Committee may, by a majority of the Committee members in attendance, instruct the Subcommittee in any one of the following ways:
(1) Dismissal of the Complaint. If the Committee concludes that the complaint is without merit or that other grounds justify its dismissal, the Committee shall send a letter signed by the chairperson or vice- chairperson of the Committee advising the complainant and the respondent.
(2) Letter of Admonition. If the Committee concludes that the misconduct is sufficiently significant that the complaint should not be dismissed, but may not warrant submitting charges to the Panel, the Committee may issue a private letter of admonition to the respondent. The complainant shall be notified that the letter of admonition was issued, but shall not be provided with a copy of the letter of admonition. Neither the fact that the letter of admonition was issued nor its content shall be made available to the public. The respondent receiving a letter of admonition may file a written request no later than 21 days for review of the letter. The admonition shall be reviewed by the Panel for clear error.
(3) Submission of Charges. The Committee may instruct the Subcommittee to prepare charges and submit them to the Panel or, with or without preparing charges, may refer the matter to the Colorado Supreme Court - Attorney Regulation Counsel or another court-authorized grievance body. If charges are prepared and submitted to the Panel, and thereafter the Panel orders the charges filed, the clerk shall file them and issue forthwith a summons commanding the respondent to answer. Except as hereinafter provided, the summons and a copy of the charges shall be served by a United States marshal or his or her designee. A respondent who cannot be served in Colorado may be served by filing a copy of the summons and charges with the clerk, who shall send a copy of the summons and charges by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last office address the respondent filed with the clerk. The respondent shall answer the charges no later than 30 days from the date of service. Absent a timely answer, the charges may be taken as confessed, and the Panel may
conduct further proceedings which may be held on an ex parte basis as the Panel deems appropriate, and may enter judgment against the respondent without hearing or further notice to the respondent.
(f) Disciplinary Panel Hearings and Orders. After the respondent has filed an answer, an evidentiary hearing may be scheduled by the Panel. The Panel or a judicial officer appointed by the Panel may issue orders regarding discovery and other pre-hearing matters. A respondent against whom charges have been filed shall be entitled to representation by counsel at the expense of the respondent. The chairperson of the Committee shall appoint one or more of its members to prosecute the charges. If the charges are sustained by clear and convincing evidence, the Panel may censure, suspend, disbar, or otherwise discipline the respondent. A respondent who is suspended or disbarred shall be enjoined from practicing law before this court, and the judgment shall so recite. Any violation of the judgment shall be deemed a contempt of court.
(g) Conditional Admission. A respondent against whom formal charges have been made may tender to the Committee a conditional admission to the charges or to a particular charge in exchange for a stated form of discipline. A conditional admission shall be approved or rejected by the Panel. If the stated form of discipline is rejected by the Panel, the admission shall be withdrawn and may not be used against the respondent in any subsequent proceedings.
(h) Complaint against Sitting Member of the Committee on Conduct. If a complaint is lodged against a sitting member of the Committee, in lieu of investigation by any other sitting member of the Committee, the court shall appoint a Special Subcommittee consisting of three members of the bar of the court who in the past have served on the Committee, but not as co-members with the member against whom the complaint is lodged, or such other members of the bar of the court as the court may choose. The court shall designate one of the three as chairperson of the Special Subcommittee. The Special Subcommittee shall follow the procedures of this rule, except that the Special Subcommittee shall work directly with the Panel rather than the full Committee.
CONVICTION OF CRIME
(a) Crime. As used in these rules, a crime for which discipline may be imposed is any crime punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than one year; any lesser crime that reflects adversely on the honesty, trustworthiness or fitness of the attorney in other respects; or any crime a necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common law definition of the crime, involves interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud, deceit, bribery, extortion, misappropriation, theft, or an attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit a crime.
(b) Conviction. As used in these rules, a conviction shall include a verdict of guilty, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of whether entry of judgment of conviction or imposition of sentence is suspended or deferred by the court.
(c) Duty of the Clerk. After receiving notice of a conviction of a member of the bar of this court for a crime as defined in Subdivision (a), the clerk shall immediately notify the Panel and the attorney.
(d) Interim Suspension.
(1) General Procedure. The Panel may place an attorney on interim suspension immediately on proof of a conviction of the attorney for a crime as defined in Subdivision (a), regardless of the pendency of any appeal. Alternatively, the Panel may refer the attorney to the Committee for investigation and recommendation.
(2) Opportunity to Object. The attorney may submit in writing any objection that establishes that the suspension may not properly be ordered, such as proof that the crime did not constitute a crime as defined in Subdivision (a) or that the attorney is not the individual convicted.
(3) Termination. On a written showing by the attorney of extraordinary circumstances, the Panel may vacate an order of suspension.
(4) Effect of Reversal or Vacatur of Conviction. With the exception of a guilty plea resulting in a deferred judgment or sentence, if an attorney suspended under this rule demonstrates that the underlying conviction has been reversed or vacated, the order of interim suspension shall be vacated and the attorney reinstated. The vacatur of the interim suspension shall not automatically terminate any disciplinary proceeding then pending against the attorney.
(e) Formal Charges. The conviction for a crime as defined in Subdivision (a) is final when there has been a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere, or, in the event of a guilty verdict, on the conclusion of any direct appeals. When the conviction for a crime as defined in Subdivision (a) is final, the Committee shall consider the facts and shall determine whether to submit formal charges to the Panel pursuant to D.C.COLO.LAttyR 7(e)(3). If the Committee submits formal charges to the Panel, the Committee shall recommend the nature and extent of the discipline to be imposed.
(f) Other Grounds for Discipline. Notwithstanding the disposition of criminal charges, the Committee may consider the underlying facts to determine if disciplinary proceedings are warranted.
D.C.COLO.LAttyR 9 EFFECT OF RESIGNATION FROM BAR OF ANOTHER COURT WHILE UNDER INVESTIGATION
On receipt of notice that any member of the bar of this court has resigned from the bar of any other federal or state court while an investigation into allegations of misconduct is pending in that court, the Panel may disbar or suspend the attorney from practicing as a member of the bar of this court.
INCAPACITY DUE TO DISABILITY OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
(a) Allegation or Evidence of Incapacity Due to Disability or Substance Abuse.
(1) Committee Investigation. When the Committee receives an allegation or evidence that a member of the bar of this court may be unable to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities because of mental or physical disability or substance abuse, the Committee may take or direct whatever action it deems appropriate to investigate the matter. The investigation may include examination by such experts the Committee shall designate. The cost of such examination shall be borne by the court. If the attorney fails or refuses to submit to the examination, the Panel may initiate contempt proceedings and impose appropriate punishment. The attorney may obtain an independent opinion from an expert or experts of his or her choice at his or her sole expense and may submit the results of such additional examination(s), and any written submissions to the Committee. If the Committee determines that the attorney is unable to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities because of mental or physical disability or substance abuse, the Committee shall petition the Panel for an order of suspension.
(2) Voluntary Election. At any time before the Committee petitions the Panel for an order of suspension, the attorney may elect to transfer voluntarily to disability inactive status. The Committee shall advise the attorney of this option prior to ordering any examination of the attorney. The Committee may continue any pending disciplinary investigation.
(3) Panel Determination. If the Committee petitions the Panel for an order of suspension, the Panel may take or direct whatever action it deems appropriate to determine the matter. The Panel shall provide the attorney with notice of the proceedings. If the attorney is without representation, the Panel may appoint counsel to represent the attorney. The Panel may order additional examinations, the cost of which shall be borne by the court. Failure or refusal to submit to examination shall be prima facie evidence of disability. The attorney may make a written submission to the Panel. Before reaching a determination, the Panel may offer the attorney an opportunity to transfer voluntarily to disability inactive status. If the Panel concludes that the attorney is unable to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities because of mental or physical disability or substance abuse, the Panel may order the attorney suspended. Alternatively, the Panel may impose conditions that the attorney must satisfy to continue practicing in this court and may issue a private letter to the attorney stating its bases for concern.
(b) Placement by Another Court on Disability Inactive Status. If a member of the bar of this court is placed on disability inactive status or suspended due to disability by any state or federal court, that attorney shall be placed on disability inactive status and shall not practice in this court until the attorney submits an application for reinstatement under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 11 and the application is approved by the Panel.
(c) Declaration of Incompetence or Involuntary Commitment. When the Panel receives proof that a member of the bar of this court has been judicially declared incompetent or involuntarily committed to a treatment facility, the Panel may immediately order that the attorney be suspended from practicing in this court. A copy of the order shall be served on the attorney, his or her guardian, and the director of the treatment facility.
(d) Claim of Disability During Disciplinary Proceeding. If during a disciplinary proceeding the attorney asserts that his or her defense is impaired due to mental or physical illness or substance abuse, the Panel shall refer the attorney to the Committee and order the attorney suspended from practicing in this court until the Committee determines the capacity of the attorney to practice law under Subdivision (a)(1).
(e) Effect of Disability Inactive Status or Suspension. An attorney who has been suspended by this court due to disability or who is on disability inactive status in this court shall not practice in this court until the attorney submits an application for reinstatement under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 11 and the application has been approved.
REINSTATEMENT AND READMISSION
(a) Reinstatement After Suspension; Readmission after Disbarment.
(1) General Procedure. An applicant for reinstatement or readmission shall complete an approved form provided by the clerk and pay any fees established by the court. An application for reinstatement or readmission shall be investigated by one or more members of the Committee appointed by the chairperson. Following investigation, the Committee shall prepare a recommendation. If the Committee recommends denial of the application, the Committee shall first notify the applicant of the recommendation and the corresponding reasons, and provide the applicant with an opportunity to provide a written response. The recommendation, the response, and all supporting documents shall be submitted to the Panel for decision.
(2) When Application May be Made. An attorney who has been suspended may apply for reinstatement or readmission only after the term of suspension has expired. An attorney who has been disbarred may not reapply until at least five years after disbarment.
(3) Standards. An attorney who has been suspended or disbarred and who seeks reinstatement or readmission must show by clear and convincing evidence that the attorney has been rehabilitated, has satisfied any condition required by the court, and is fit to practice law. Notwithstanding, the Panel retains discretion to deny for good cause reinstatement to an attorney who has been disbarred by this court.
(4) Reinstatement Not Automatic. Reinstatement or readmission is neither automatic nor a matter of right, except that reinstatement following administrative suspension for failure to pay an annual fee or to comply with mandatory continuing legal education requirements shall be automatic on receipt by this court of written proof of reinstatement by the original suspending jurisdiction.
(5) Effect of Reinstatement or Admission in the Original Disciplining Court. An attorney who has been reinstated or readmitted by the original disciplining court, but who remains suspended or disbarred in a different court for the same conduct as that at issue in the original disciplining court, may apply for reinstatement or readmission. The attorney may be required to demonstrate professional competence.
(6) Conditions. Reinstatement or readmission may be subject to conditions as the Panel may require, including but not limited to monitoring, reporting, testing, and education.
(b) Reinstatement from Disability Inactive Status or After Suspension Because of Disability or Incapacity.
(1) Applications. An attorney who is on disability inactive status or who has been suspended for mental or physical disability or substance abuse may apply for reinstatement not more than once a year, or more frequently if the Panel so directs. An attorney who was suspended because of a judicial declaration of incompetence or involuntary commitment to a treatment facility must provide proof that the attorney has been declared competent by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) Disclosures, Consent, and Waiver. An attorney applying for reinstatement under this rule shall disclose the name and address of every psychiatrist, psychologist, physician, hospital, or other health-care provider that has examined or treated him or her in the three year period before his or her suspension, unless the Committee establishes a different period. The attorney shall furnish the Panel or the Committee a written consent and release to obtain from these sources information and records requested by the Panel or the Committee or any expert designated by the Committee. Filing an application for reinstatement constitutes waiver of any physician-patient privilege or psychotherapist-patient privilege with respect to any related examination, diagnosis, or treatment of the attorney.
(3) General Procedure. The Committee may take or direct such action as it deems appropriate to investigate whether the application should be granted, including collection of evidence and examination by such medical experts as the Panel or Committee may designate. The Committee may direct that the expense of examination be paid by the attorney. The attorney may make a written submission to the Committee. The Committee shall submit its recommendation to the Panel, which shall determine whether to approve the application.
(4) Standard. The application shall be granted only if the attorney shows by clear and convincing evidence that the attorney is no longer disabled and is fit to practice law.
(5) Conditions. Reinstatement under this rule may be subject to such conditions as the Panel may require.
CONFIDENTIAL AND PUBLIC MATTERS
(a) Confidential Matters. Except as provided in this rule, all documents, deliberations, and proceedings of the Committee and the Panel shall be confidential and not available or open to the public.
(b) Public Matters. The public shall have access to the following:
(1) orders for admission, reinstatement, readmission, relief from the rule of good standing, disability inactive status, censure, suspension, disbarment, and dismissal after a response has been filed; and
(2) charges submitted to the Panel, the answer of the respondent to the charges, and the hearings of the Panel on the charges.
(c) Disclosures. The Panel and the Committee have discretion to disclose information in the following circumstances:
(1) where disclosure is necessary to discharge the duties of the Panel or the Committee, or to otherwise protect the public, the administration of justice, or the legal profession;
(2) where the respondent has waived confidentiality;
(3) where disclosure is authorized under the Subpoena Regulations of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts; or
(4) where disclosure is to a judicial officer of this court.
(a) Persons Responding to Inquiries or Giving Testimony. A person responding to inquiries from or giving testimony to the Committee, the Panel, or agents acting at their direction, shall be absolutely immune from any civil action relating to such participation.
(b) Persons Performing Official Duties. A person performing official duties under the provisions of these disciplinary rules, including but not limited to members of the Committee, the Panel and assigned court staff, monitors or other members of the bar working in connection with the Committee or the Panel, and health care professionals working in connection with disciplinary proceedings, shall be immune from suit for all conduct in the course of the discharge of their official duties.
(a) General Provisions.
(1) With the approval of the presiding judicial officer, an eligible law student may appear, under the supervision of an attorney who is a member of the bar of this court in a civil action or non-felony criminal case on behalf of a party who has consented in writing.
(2) Unless otherwise limited, once admitted under Subdivision (d), the student may appear in that civil action or criminal case and other related proceedings when accompanied by the supervising attorney and may prepare and sign pleadings and documents which also must be signed by the supervising attorney.
(b) Eligibility. To be eligible, the student shall:
(1) be enrolled in a law school approved by the American Bar Association or, if graduated, be preparing to take a written bar examination or awaiting admission to the bar following that examination;
(2) be enrolled in or have successfully completed a law school clinical program or an externship or internship with a government agency;
(3) have completed two full semesters of law school, including a course in evidence;
(4) be certified by the dean of the law school (or the designee of the dean) as qualified to provide the legal representation authorized by this rule. The certification may be withdrawn by the certifier at any time by mailing notice to the court;
(5) be introduced to the court by the supervising attorney;
(6) not receive compensation of any kind from the client. This shall not affect the ability or right of an attorney or law school clinical program to seek attorney fees which may include compensation for student services; and
(7) certify in writing that the student is familiar with the Federal Rules of Criminal or Civil Procedure (depending on the nature of the action or case), Federal Rules of Evidence, and local rules of practice of this court and website HERE, including the judicial officer's procedures.
(c) Supervising Attorney. The attorney supervising a student shall:
(1) be a member in good standing of the bar of this court;
(2) maintain appropriate professional liability insurance for the supervising attorney and eligible students;
(3) introduce the student to the court;
(4) assume professional responsibility for the work of the student;
(5) be present whenever the student appears;
(6) sign all pleadings; and
(7) sign and file a written agreement to supervise a student in accordance with this rule.
(d) Admission Procedure.
(1) The student, dean (or designee), supervising attorney, and the client shall complete the Law Student Appearance form HERE which shall be filed with the clerk.
(2) The appearance of the student is not authorized until approved by the presiding judicial officer which approval may be withdrawn for any reason without notice or hearing.
CIVIL PRO BONO REPRESENTATION
(a) Court Appointed Pro Bono Representation in Civil Actions. The Civil Pro Bono Program provides for the selection and appointment of eligible, volunteer attorneys to represent without compensation eligible, unrepresented parties in civil actions when requested by the court. The program is implemented through the Standing Committee on Pro Se Litigation (Standing Committee), the Civil Pro Bono Panel (Panel) and the Faculty of Federal Advocates (FFA).
(b) Standing Committee: Composition, Mission, and Authority.
(1) The Chief Judge shall appoint the members of the Standing Committee. The committee shall include one district judge, one magistrate judge, the Legal Officer of the court, and one representative each from the following organizations: the FFA, the Colorado Bar Association, a private law firm, Colorado Legal Services, the clinical program of the University of Denver Law School, the clinical program of the University of Colorado Law School, and the Pro Se division of the court.
(2) The purpose and mission of the Standing Committee is to oversee the Panel, report annually to the court on the status of the program, and promote access to the court by unrepresented parties.
(3) Decisions of the Standing Committee shall be made by majority vote of those present at a meeting of the committee. A majority of the district judges may vacate a decision of the Standing Committee.
(c) Panel Membership and Removal.
(1) A member of the Panel shall be an attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of this court.
(2) A member of the Panel shall be available and willing to accept an appointment when reasonable and appropriate.
(3) A member of the Panel may be removed from the Panel by the Standing Committee for the following reasons:
(A) an excessive number of declinations of appointment or requests by an attorney for relief from appointment after entering an appearance; or
(B) failure to comply with the local rules of the court during the pro bono representation of an unrepresented party.
(4) A member may withdraw from the Panel at any time by letter to the clerk.
(d) Attorney Eligibility.
(1) An attorney, law firm, non-profit legal organization, or clinical legal education program at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (Clinic) may apply for membership on the Panel. The application form is available on the court website. Information on an application may be amended at any time by letter to the clerk.
(2) An application shall include the following:
(A) for a law firm, non-profit legal organization, or Clinic, the name of an individual within the organization to act as Panel Liaison and to receive notices and information from the clerk;
(B) a statement that the applicant, i.e., attorney, Panel Liaison, or Clinic supervisor, is a member in good standing of the bar of this court;
(C) a summary of the civil trial experience or trial advocacy training of the applicant;
(D) the number of appointments per calendar year the applicant will accept; and
(E) the specific types of civil actions or causes of action the applicant will accept.
(e) Pro Se Party Eligibility.
(1) The following unrepresented parties are eligible for appointment of pro bono counsel:
(A) after initial review of the complaint by the Pro Se division of the court, a non-prisoner, unrepresented party who has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP) under 28 U.S.C. ' 1915;
(B) after initial review of the complaint by the Pro Se division of the court, an unrepresented prisoner; and
(C) after demonstrating limited financial means, a non-prisoner, unrepresented party who has paid any filing fee in full.
(f) Appointment Procedure.
(1) Prerogatives of judicial officers.
(A) A judicial officer to whom the civil action is assigned may on motion by an eligible, unrepresented party or on his or her own initiative enter an Appointment Order authorizing appointment of a member of the Panel to represent the party and directing the clerk to select an attorney with a relevant subject matter preference or expertise.
(B) In deciding whether to appoint counsel, the judicial officer should consider all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:
(i) the nature and complexity of the action;
(ii) the potential merit of the claims or defenses of the unrepresented party;
(iii) the demonstrated inability of the unrepresented party to retain an attorney by other means; and
(iv) the degree to which the interests of justice, including the benefits to the court, will be served by appointment of counsel.
(2) Duties of the clerk.
(A) No later than 14 days after the filing of an Appointment Order, the clerk shall select a member of the Panel to represent the unrepresented party using an automated, random selection process.
(B) In making the selection, the clerk shall consider the following:
(i) the existence of counsel who is willing to accept appointment who is already representing the unrepresented party in another action in this court;
(ii) the relevant preference and expertise of the members of the Panel; and
(iii) the equitable distribution of appointments among the members of the Panel, with preference given to counsel already representing the unrepresented party in another action in this court.
(C) On selection of a member of the Panel, the clerk shall contact the member and provide relevant, case-specific documents, e.g., complaint, answer, pending motions, etc. For a law firm, clinic, or non-profit legal organization, the Panel Liaison shall select and maintain assignment of eligible counsel. No later than five days after contact, the member shall notify the clerk whether the member is available for appointment.
(D) On receipt of notice of availability for and acceptance of appointment from the member of the Panel, the clerk shall file a Notice of Appointment and shall serve the unrepresented party with the Appointment Order, the Notice of Appointment, and this rule.
(E) If after four attempts, the clerk is unable to select a member of the Panel who is available and willing to accept appointment, the clerk shall notify the judicial officer who entered the Appointment Order of the unavailability of counsel.
(g) Duties of Court-Appointed Counsel.
(1) On receipt of the Notice of Appointment, the attorney shall communicate promptly with the unrepresented party to determine whether any actual or potential conflict of interest exists and whether the action can be resolved more appropriately in another forum or by other means.
(2) Unless ordered otherwise, no later than 30 days after receipt of the Notice of Appointment, the attorney shall file:
(A) an Entry of Appearance under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 5(a); or
(B) a Notice Declining Appointment stating good cause for declining the appointment.
(3) The appointment of pro bono counsel in the designated civil action does not extend to an appeal after final judgment or in any other civil action.
(4) An attorney appointed under this rule shall represent the unrepresented party from the date of the Entry of Appearance until
(A) the court permits the attorney to withdraw;
(B) the case is dismissed;
(C) the case is transferred to another district or remanded to state court; or
(D) final judgment is entered.
(h) Fee Agreements.
(1) As a general rule, the attorney shall represent the unrepresented party without remuneration.
(2) However, if the unrepresented party is entitled to recover attorney fees or a monetary award or settlement, the attorney and the unrepresented party may enter into a fee agreement permitting the attorney to receive attorney fees that are earned.
(3) Alternatively, the attorney and the unrepresented party may enter into a contingent fee agreement that complies with the Colorado Rules Governing Contingent Fees.
(4) Any fee agreement shall be entered into before an Entry of Appearance is filed.
(5) When a statute authorizes an award of attorney fees to the prevailing party, the attorney shall advise the unrepresented party of the potential award.
(i) Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses from the Reimbursement Fund.
(1) A member of the Panel providing representation to an unrepresented party may apply to the FFA for reimbursement of litigation expenses.
(2) The FFA shall have exclusive, final, non-appealable authority over the funds available to it for reimbursement of litigation expenses and the reimbursement of litigation expenses incurred by a member of the Panel in the representation of an unrepresented party.
(3) The court periodically shall determine the contribution, if any, to the reimbursement fund.
(j) Withdrawal from Representation. An attorney may seek to withdraw from the representation of an unrepresented party by motion to withdraw under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 5(b).
(k) Other Pro Bono Representation. This rule does not preclude an attorney, law firm, or legal organization from providing pro bono representation to an unrepresented party in the absence of court appointment, nor does this rule prevent a judicial officer from requesting an attorney, law firm, or legal organization that is not a member of the Panel to represent an unrepresented party.