COLORADO SUPREME COURT
February 10, 2020
2020 CO 8. No. 17SC815. Juarez v. People.
Criminal Law—Plea—Effective Assistance— Immigration.
Juarez petitioned for review of the Court of Appeals' judgment affirming the denial of his motion for postconviction relief. With regard to his challenge to the effectiveness of his counsel, the district court found both that defense counsel adequately advised his client concerning the immigration consequences of his plea of guilty to misdemeanor drug possession and that, in any event, there was no reasonable probability Juarez would not have taken the plea. The intermediate appellate court similarly found that counsel's advice fell within the range of competence demanded of attorneys in criminal cases, but as a result of that finding, the appellate court considered it unnecessary to address whether counsel's performance prejudiced Juarez.
The Supreme Court affirmed, ruling that because Juarez conceded he was advised and understood that the misdemeanor offense to which he pleaded guilty would make him "deportable," defense counsel's advice concerning the immigration consequences of his plea correctly informed him of the controlling law and therefore did not fall below the objective standard of reasonableness required for effective assistance concerning immigration advice.
2020 CO 9. No. 19SA118. In re Chessin v. Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction—Jurisdiction of Courts—Attorney Discipline.
In the lawsuit underlying this original proceeding, a complainant filed an action in district court under CRCP 106(a)(4) seeking an order compelling the Office of Attorney
Regulation Counsel (OARC) to investigate the complainant's allegations of attorney misconduct. After OARC moved unsuccessfully to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, it sought relief under C.A.R. 21. The Court has long held that as part of its inherent powers, it has exclusive authority to regulate and supervise the practice of law in Colorado, including the structure and administration of attorney discipline proceedings. The Court's rules governing attorney discipline proceedings do not contemplate district court review of OARC intake decisions. Accordingly, the Court held that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to review OARC's decision not to proceed with an investigation into allegations of attorney misconduct. The Court therefore made the rule to show cause absolute.
2020 CO 10. No. 18SC919. People in the Interest of A.R.
Juvenile Court—Dependency and Neglect—Termination of Parent-Child Legal Relationship—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.