Dedicated to improving the quality of legal practice in Colorado's federal courts.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE GORDON P. GALLAGHER
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
JENNIFER EYL, Esq.
Executive Director, Project Safeguard
PROF. TAMARA KUENNEN
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
PAMELA MAASS, Esq.
Law Mother, LLC
The recovery of property and money are critical components of safety and liberty for people experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Such recovery is essential to many survivors’ decisions to attain, and maintain, independence from an abusive partner. Colorado’s Civil Protection Order Act, one of the most widely used civil legal remedies to address IPV, recognizes the connection between the recovery of property – particularly pets - and safety. That Act stops short, however, of granting property and pet recovery as enumerated forms of relief, leaving a critical gap in access to justice for people experiencing abuse. An alternative county court remedy, though one that is not nearly as accessible to pro se litigants, is replevin. This cause of action is designed specifically for property recovery. It simultaneously provides the perfect opportunity for meaningful pro bono representation: it is a short in duration, legally discrete civil case that facilitates learning, or brushing up on, state court filing, pre-trial procedure, and trial practice.
This course outlines the nuts and bolts of litigating replevin in county court. It demonstrates the connection between replevin, economic justice, and safety. It then turns to the attorney’s role in safety planning for clients experiencing abuse, illustrating how safety planning is not merely a wise or helpful thing to do, but an ethical way to practice, drawing on Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 regarding competence; 1.2 regarding scope of representation and boundaries; 1.4 regarding communication and decision-making; 1.6 regarding confidentiality (and Colorado Rule of Evidence 502 regarding privilege); and Colo. RPC 2.1 regarding our role as counselor and advisor.
In addition to providing instruction on both replevin and safety planning, the course is designed to inspire collaboration between Faculty of Federal Advocate attorneys, law students at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and legal advocates and attorneys at Project Safeguard. The course will conclude with an example of a successful collaboration.
This program is presented as part of the goal of the POWER Act of 2018. The POWER Act is the acronym for "Pro Bono Work to Empower and Represent Act of 2018" (P. L. 115-237) that Congress passed on September 4, 2018. The primary goal of the POWER Act is for the U.S. district courts to partner with a local, tribal, or territorial domestic abuse service provider and a local volunteer lawyer project to promote pro bono legal services as a way to empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to engage citizens in assisting those survivors.
2 general/.9 ethics CLE credits approved.
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