Summaries of Published Opinions, 0221 COBJ, Vol. 50, No. 2 Pg. 94

PositionVol. 50, 2 [Page 94]

50 Colo.Law. 94

Summaries of Published Opinions

Vol. 50, No. 2 [Page 94]

Colorado Lawyer

February, 2021

COLORADO SUPREME COURT

December 7, 2020

2020 CO 83. No. 19SA266. In the Matter of Kamada.

Judicial Discipline—Sanctions.

In this judicial disciplinary proceeding, the Supreme Court considered the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline's (Commission) recommendation that now-former District Court Judge Ryan L. Kamada be sanctioned by public censure fornumerous violations of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct that occurred while he was serving as a judicial officer.

The Commission's recommendation concluded that Kamada's conduct violated the following provisions of the Code: Canon 1, Rule 1.1(A) (requiring a judge to comply with the law), Rule 1.2 (requiring a judge to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary), and Rule 1.3 (prohibiting abuse of the prestige of a judicial office); Canon 2, Rule 2.9 (prohibiting ex parte communications), and Rule 2.10 (prohibiting judicial statements on pending cases); and Canon 3, Rule 3.5 (prohibiting the intentional disclosure of nonpublic judicial information).

The Court held that the Commission properly found that Kamada's actions violated numerous provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Had Kamada not already resigned his position, removal from office would have been an appropriate sanction for his misconduct. Because he has resigned, the Court agreed with the Commission's recommendation that Kamada should be publicly censured.

2020 CO 84. No. 20SA206. People v. Arellano.

Disqualification—Special Circumstances.

In this interlocutory appeal, the People contended that the district court abused its discretion in disqualifying the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office. The district court found that under CRS §20-1 -107(2), the testimony of a district attorney's office employee, who is also a victim in the case, is of sufficient consequence to establish special circumstances preventing the defendant from receiving a fair trial. The court thus granted the motion to disqualify, and the People appealed.

The Supreme Court found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in disqualifying the district attorney's office. The district court made extensive findings of fact, all of which were supported in the record, and then properly applied the correct legal standards to the facts before it. Accordingly, the district court's order was not manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable, or unfair so as to constitute an abuse of the broad discretion afforded district courts under CRS §20-1-107(2).

The Court affirmed the district court's order.

2020 CO 85. No. 2OSA265. People v. Kent. Motion to Disqualify District Attorney—CRS § 20-1 -107(2)—"Special Circumstances."

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