Colorado Rights Blog


  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

  • Ronald Johnson is pre-diabetic, suffers from asthma and high blood pressure, and regularly uses an inhaler to breathe. His age and respiratory ailments put him at risk of serious illness and death if he contracts COVID-19. With over hundreds of active cases in Colorado’s prisons, his family fears he will not make it out alive. His daughter, Amber, says, “In prison, he can’t protect himself and he can’t social distance. My deep fear is that my dad will die in prison. That is an awful, traumatic reality to consider. My chest is tight just thinking about how quickly it spreads and how vulnerable he is.”

    Governor Hickenlooper shortened his sentence following testimony from family, friends and correctional officers advocating for his early release. Yet, he is still eight years away from parole. While he remains in prison, COVID-19 continues to spread. Ronald’s three siblings, four children and four grandchildren are desperate for his release.

    Read more about Ronald Johnson and other at-risk incarcerated people.

  • Tuesday Olson knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
  • It’s time to end the death penalty in Colorado. Family members who lost loved ones to murder speak out against an unjust and broken system.

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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