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Faculty of Federal Advocates
P.O. Box 12025
Denver CO 80212-0025

Patricia Murphy

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Copyright © 2004-2013
Faculty of Federal Advocates


Faculty of Federal Advocates: Programs and Services

The Faculty of Federal Advocates offers a series of programs and services that benefit both legal professionals and the broader community. Select from the following list for details on a particular FFA initiative, or scroll down the page to read the entire range of our programs and services:
Court Liaison Committee
Counsel/Co-Counsel Program
Bankruptcy Pro-Bono Legal Service
Bankruptcy Liaison Committee
New Federal Trial Lawyers Committee

Sample Jury Instructions for Employment Cases
These sample jury instructions were prepared by an ad hoc committee of the Faculty as a resource for our membership in employment cases. The Faculty wishes to thank the members of the committee for their commitment and dedication to the completion of this important and challenging task. These sample instructions are provided as a resource and have not been specifically approved or adopted by the United States District Court of Colorado.

Download Sample Jury Instructions in PDF format (updated September 2013)

Court Liaison Committee
The purpose of the Liaison Committee of the Faculty of Federal Advocates is to increase the level of professionalism in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and thereby improve the quality of the legal system for the public, the litigants, the judges, and the advocates, by formulating appropriate methods for encouraging and facilitating communication between the Faculty and the Court.

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Counsel/Co-Counsel Program
The purpose of the Counsel/Co-Counsel Program is to alleviate the pro se cases in the federal district court as mandated by Congress in the Civil Justice Reform Act. The Faculty provides representation in civil cases that, the Judges have determined, are sufficiently complicated to warrant the appointment of counsel.

Most of the cases, but not all, involve Section 1983 prisoner civil rights claims. The program is designed to provide a beneficial experience to the attorneys involved by matching experienced federal practitioners with less experienced attorneys.

The Faculty provides the counsel/co-counsel teams with legal research assistance and support, including malpractice insurance and some funding for costs. In-service training programs are held regularly.

The Faculty’s library materials, which focus primarily on Section 1983 actions, can be checked out from the U.S. District Court Library. Volunteer paralegals give generously of their time in preparing summaries of cases, and court reporters volunteer to help with depositions.

Rule 260.8. Direct Representation and Mentoring in Pro Bono Civil Legal Matters

Dear FFA members:

The Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education recently approved the application of the Faculty of Federal Advocates to award CLE credit for qualifying participants in the Counsel/Co-Counsel Program.

Attorneys who handle Counsel/Co-Counsel cases on a pro bono basis may request credit pursuant to Rule 260.8 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.  An attorney may receive up to 9 units of credit in a three-year compliance period for representing an indigent or near-indigent client.  A mentoring lawyer may receive one unit of CLE credit for each completed matter.  If you are handling a Counsel/Co-Counsel case, please carefully review Rule 260.8 to insure that you receive proper credit for your work.   

A lawyer wishing to receive general credit units under this Rule shall submit to the assigning court, program, or law school a completed Form 8.  The form can be obtained from the Colorado Supreme Court website (www.coloradosupremecourt.us) under Continuing Legal and Judicial Education.

This CLE credit is another means of acknowledging the important work our FFA members provide to indigent parties who would otherwise be without representation.

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Bankruptcy Pro-Bono Legal Service
The Faculty of Federal Advocates Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program furnishes free legal services to Debtors in pending bankruptcy cases.

The bankruptcy judges have identified a need to provide representation to pro se debtors/defendants in adversary proceedings involving discharge or dischargeability claims. These claims usually are not included as part of the original legal representation for the filing of the bankruptcy petition. However, the failure of the debtor/defendant to adequately respond in the adversary proceeding may effectively undermine the entire purpose of the bankruptcy filing.

The Faculty has implemented the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program to address this situation. The Program services are limited to situations where a Debtor is sued in an Adversary Proceeding and the Debtor meets certain income and asset tests. The Program teams an experienced attorney who is fully capable of assuming full responsibility for representing the Debtor with a less experienced attorney who is interested in learning about civil litigation generally and bankruptcy matters particularly.

Mentoring is a central part of the experience and adds to the quality of the legal services provided as well as the educational/training experience of both attorneys. Where helpful, paralegals may join the attorney team.

All out of pocket costs are borne either by the client, a volunteer provider, or the Faculty of Federal Advocates. The program maintains liability insurance for the protection of its volunteers.

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Bankruptcy Liaison Committee
In April 2000, the Faculty formed a standing Bankruptcy Liaison Committee to assist the Bankruptcy Court with administrative issues. The Committee maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Court concerning issues facing the Court and bankruptcy litigants. The Committee also sponsors an annual half-day Bench-Bar retreat. During the retreat, attorneys rotate between tables and meet with individual judges to discuss pre-established bankruptcy topics.

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New Federal Trial Lawyers Committee
The Board of Directors of the Faculty of Federal Advocates wants to encourage attorneys with limited experience in practice in the federal courts to become active members in our organization. We are actively reaching out to less-experienced practitioners who are interested in becoming involved in the work of the FFA and we want to encourage attorneys with less federal experience to join our organization to assist them in making the transition from exclusively a state practice to federal court.

The FFA Board is anxious to get input from members on how to encourage these attorneys to join our organization and get their input on how the Faculty can assist in this transition. Please let us know if you want to recommend any attorneys who have less than 10 years experience in federal court who might be interested in participating in this program.

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