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, Suite 800 Denver, Colorado 80202 ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW, 1 OUPLO58 Petitioner: THE PEOPLE COLORADO
FILED IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE STATE OF COLORADO Christopher T. Ryan, Clerk
OF A COURT USE ONLY A Case Number:
Respondent: DOUGLAS BRUCE Kim E. Ikeler, #15590 Assistant Regulation Counsel Attorney for Petitioner 1560 Broadway, Suite 1800 Denver, CO 80202 Phone Number: (303) 866-6400 Fax Number: (303) 893-5302 Email: k.ikelexJcsc state. co .US
PETITION FOR INJUNCTION
through the undersigned Assistant Regulation
Counsel, and upon authorization pursuant to C.R.C.P. 234(a),l respectfully requests that the Colorado Supreme Court issue an order pursuant to C.R.C.P. 234 directing the Respondent to show The Unauthorized Practice of Law (“UPL”) Committee authorized the filing of this Petition on May 13, 2011.
cause why he should not be enjoined from the unauthorized practice of law. As grounds therefor, counsel states as follows: Jurisdiction
The Respondent, Douglas Bruce, is not licensed to practice
law in the state of Colorado.
Respondent Bruce is an inactive California attorney. Respondent’s last known address is P.O. Box 26018,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80936.
Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, as
described below. Factual Allegations
Respondent Bruce filed an action against the City of
Colorado Springs, seeking injunctive or declaratory relief regarding approval of language for a ballot initiative. Douglas Bruce v. City of Colorado 10CV260. Springs, El Paso County District Court, Case No.
The case was assigned to Judge David Gilbert, who
denied the requested relief on June 18, 2010.
On July 29, 2010, Respondent Bruce filed an almost The
identical complaint, again in El Paso County District Court.
case was assigned to Judge Theresa Cisneros. order in open court dismissing the case. order stated as follows:
She entered an
Judge Cisneros’ minute
8/9/10: CISNEROS: CMD: NETWORK 1:50 PM HEAR: TF PRO SE; ATIY WHITE FOR DEF; HEARING REGARDING PTF’S COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF; ATTY WHITE MOVES TO DISMISS THE CASE BECAUSE PTF FILED THE EXACT COMPLAINT IN CASE NO. 10CV260 IN DIVISION 7. ARGUMENTS; COURT GRANTS CITY’S MOTION TO DISMISS. PTF’S REMEDY WAS TO APPEAL JUDGE GILBERT’S RULING, NOT TO FILE A NEW CASE. THIS CASE IS BARRED BY THE DOCTRINE OF COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL AND IS THEREFORE DISMISSED. JUDGE CISNEROS/TMC
Respondent Bruce was present in court when Judge
Cisneros entered her order. Respondent stated words to the effect that he was going to have other members of his political action committee file similar lawsuits.
On August 12, 2010, Helen Collins, an ally of Respondent
Bruce, filed a complaint nearly identical to the complaints in the Bruce actions. Helen Collins u. City of Colorado Springs, El Paso
County District Court, Case No. 10CV343 (the “Collins case”). The case was assigned to Judge David Miller. 9. On the same day, August 12, 2010, Douglas Stinehagen,
another ally of Respondent Bruce, filed a complaint nearly identical
to the complaint in the Collins case. Douglas Stinehagen v. City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County District Court, Case No. 10CV344 (the “Stinehagen case”). Crowder.
The case was assigned to Judge Ronald
On August 20, 2010, Judge Crowder held a status
conference in the Stinehagen case. The City Attorney brought the nearly identical complaint in the Collins case to Judge Crowder’s attention. Upon seeing that the two complaints were essentially
identical, Judge Crowder asked Mr. Stinehagen: “Who wrote your complaint?” Mr. Stinehagen answered: “Mr. Bruce.”
The City Attorney moved for consolidation of the Collins Mr. Stinehagen objected. Judge
case and the Stinehagen case.
Crowder asked Mr. Stinehagen whether he wanted to file a brief on the issue. From the audience, Respondent Bruce in a loud voice
consolidated before Judge Miller. consolidated cases. hearing. present.
The City moved to dismiss the
On August 25, 2010, Judge Miller held a
Ms. Collins, Mr. Stinehagen and Respondent Bruce were
In answer to the Judge’s questions, Mr. Stinehagen
admitted that he did not have legal training and that he had not drafted his complaint.
Ms. Collins asked for leave to have Respondent come
forward and address the Court on the question of whether her complaint raised the same issue as the complaints in the Bruce actions.
Judge Crowder declined to allow Respondent Bruce to
make legal argument.
Despite the Judge’s direction, Respondent began to speak
The Judge warned him: “Mr. Bruce, you are not to be commenting on the case, unless you want to practice law without a license.”
Respondent Bruce then began writing notes to Ms. Collins
and Mr. Stinehagen.
Stinehagen read from the notes to the Judge,
distinguishing between the Bruce cases and his case.
The Judge took the notes and marked them as an Exhibit. The Judge made a record that Respondent had written
notes to Ms. Collins and Mr. Stinehagen, trying to tell them what to say.
Respondent Bruce offered to testify as an expert witness. The Judge asked Respondent whether he wished to be
joined in the consolidated cases. a.) Respondent Bruce then spoke at length, including
concerning the supposed differences between the Bmce case before Judge Gilbert and the consolidated Collins and Stinehagen cases. b.) Respondent Bruce argued that Article XX, §9 of the
Constitution applied to the injunctive and declaratory relief requested by Ms. Collins and Mr. Stinehagen, rather than Article XX, §6, as Judge Gilbert had ruled. c.) Respondent Bruce argued that the City Charter,
state statutes and the Constitution supported the relief requested in the Collins and Stinehagen complaints.
collateral estoppel. a.) Respondent argued that he was not in privity with As a result, their cases
Ms. Collins and Mr. Stinehagen.
were not barred by collateral estoppel based in Judge Gilbert’s dismissal of the first Bruce case.
also contended that Ms.
Collins’ and Mr.
Stinehagen’s right to seek redress of violations of their constitutional rights should not be foreclosed on the basis that he (Respondent) previously had filed a similar suit.
continued to hand notes to Ms. Collins, instructing her on what to say. Request for Relief
The unauthorized practice of law includes but is not
limited to an unlicensed person’s actions as a representative in protecting, enforcing or defending the legal rights and duties of another and/or counseling, advising and assisting that person in connection with legal rights and duties. See, People v. Shell, 148
P.3d 162 (Cob. 2006); and Denver Bar Assn. v. P.UC., 154 Cob. 273, 391 P.2d 467 (1964). In addition, preparation of legal
documents for others by an unlicensed person, other than solely as a typist, is the unauthorized practice of law, unless the Colorado Supreme Court has authorized such action in a specific
Title Guaranty v. Denver Bar Ass’n, 135 Cob. 423, In particular, the activities that are
312 P. 2d 1011 (1957).
prohibited involve the lay exercise of legal discretion, such as advice to clients regarding legal matters, preparation of court pleadings
and appearance in court.
People v. Adams, 243 P.3d 256, 266
an unlicensed person
the unauthorized practice of law by drafting Complaints to be filed by Ms. Collins and Mr. Stinehagen in their own names.
Respondent Bruce further engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law by making legal argument to Judge Miller at the August 25, 2010 hearing, in opposition to the motion of the City to dismiss the Collins and Stinehagen cases on grounds of collateral estoppels, and by passing notes to Ms. Collins and Mr. Stinehagen directing them what argument to make.
The Respondent does not fall within any of the statutory
or case law exceptions. WHEREFORE, the Petitioner prays that this court issue an order directing the Respondent to show cause why the Respondent should not be enjoined from engaging in any unauthorized practice of law; thereafter that the court enjoin this Respondent from the practice of law, or in the alternative that this court refer this matter
recommendations to the court on whether this Respondent should be enjoined from the unauthorized practice of law. Furthermore,
Petitioner requests that the court impose a fine for each incident of unauthorized practice of law, not less than $250.00 and not more than $1,000.00; award costs to the Petitioner, and any other relief deemed appropriate by this court. Respectfully submitted this of May 2011.
Kim Assistant Regulation Counsel Attorney for Petitioner