Colorado Rights Blog


  • Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley spoke at the marriage equality rally on March 3rd

  • Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.

Holding the Government Accountable: Initiating the 1983 Action for Police Misconduct

The University of Denver School of Law Chapter of the NLG, the National Lawyers Guild of Colorado and the ACLU of Colorado present:

Holding the Government Accountable: Initiating the 1983 Action for Police Misconduct, A Training for Practicing Lawyers, Law Students and Legal Workers.

8:30 a.m. for registration, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for program
D. U. College of Law, 2255 E. Evans Ave., Denver CO 80208, Room 190,

John Culver, Benezra & Culver, Denver, CO
David Lane, Killmer, Lane & Newman, Denver, CO
Kenneth Padilla, Esq., Padilla & Padilla, PLLC, Denver, CO
Carol Sobel, Esq., NLG Executive Vice-President, Co-chair of Mass Defense Committee, Los Angeles, CA
Rebecca Wallace, ACLU of Colorado, staff attorney

9 Introductions

9:10 Introduction to 1983 (John Culver)

9:30 Causes of Action for Police Misconduct (David Lane/Rebecca Wallace)

(break 10:30 to 10:40)

10:40 Parties: Who to sue?
Class action options (Carol Sobel/John Culver)

Municipal Liability, Monell
Supervisory liability and failure to train
Discovery and privileges (Ken Padilla/Rebecca Wallace)

(Lunch 12:15 to 1:00)

1:00 Pleading to avoid Motion to Dismiss: Post-Iqbal Considerations (John Culver)
Acks v. Denver: Post DNC 1983 litigation:
Pre-filing Investigation, FOIA/CORA, published sources

2:00 Developing the case, getting to trial (David Lane/KenPadilla)
Uses of political pressure
Pleading to support discovery and protect clients
Motion to compel
Experts and standard of care
Preparing to respond to the motion for summary judgment

(Break 3-315)

3:15 Ethics: Retainers to avoid conflicts, Joint Representation issues (Joint Defense outlines), who can be contacted, settlements, fees (Canon and Phillip issues?)
(Carol Sobel)

4:15 Panel discussion: Applying the principles to the police misconduct case

Participation limited to plaintiff’s attorneys, NLG or ACLU legal workers and students. Participants may not represent police, governmental or insurance interests, certification on registration required. Participation in the live event is limited to 90 persons and the webcast to 100 persons, first come, first served. The webcast will be limited to those more than 60 miles from the DU Law School until the live event is fully booked.

Cost: $100.00 for attorney, $10.00 student ($50.00 for webcast participation)
(CLE: 7 hours of general credit, 1.0 hour of ethics credit will be sought)

Reservation of right to change webcast format. If too few register for the webcast, a Windows Media File of the presentation may be offered in the discretion of the organizers.

For information contact Timothy Quinn at or 303-695-4851.

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