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J_LS_2021A 01/12/2021 11:03:35 AM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL SERVICES
Date 01/12/2021
Attendance
Cooke X
Foote X
Lee X
Rodriguez X
Snyder X
Soper X
Van Winkle X
Weissman X
Gardner X
Herod X
Time 11:03:35 AM to 12:28:12 PM
Place Old State Library
This Meeting was called to order by Herod
This Report was prepared by Owen Colling
Hearing Items Action Taken
Executive session under § 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II), C.R.S., for attorney-client discussions concerning retaining counsel to represent the CO General Assembly as plaintiff in Kerr, et al. v. Polis Committee Discussion Only
Discussion concerning the retention of counsel to represent the Colorado General Assembly as a plaintiff in Kerr, et al. v. Polis OLLS retained as counsel

Executive session under § 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II), C.R.S., for attorney-client discussions concerning retaining counsel to represent the CO General Assembly as plaintiff in Kerr, et al. v. Polis - Committee Discussion Only


11:06:41 AM  

Sharon Eubanks, Director of the Office of Legisltive Legal Services, testified before the Committee. Senator Gardner and Ms. Eubanks discssed the ways the Committee has used executive sessions in the past and the purpose of executive sessions.



11:09:06 AM
Motion I move that the Committee on Legal Services meet in executive session in accordance with section 24-6-402 (3)(a)(II) for the purpose of discussion related to retaining counsel to represent the General Assembly as a plaintiff in the case of Kerr, et al. v. Polis.
Moved Weissman
Seconded Snyder
Cooke No
Foote Yes
Lee Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper No
Van Winkle No
Weissman Yes
Gardner No
Herod Yes
YES: 6   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL



Discussion concerning the retention of counsel to represent the Colorado General Assembly as a plaintiff in Kerr, et al. v. Polis - OLLS retained as counsel


11:11:41 AM  

Ms. Eubanks discussed the Executive Committee's resolution directing the Committee on Legal Services to retain the Office of Legislative Legal Services as counsel to represent the General Assembly and the Office's concern about the direction from the Executive Committee with regard to competency and capacity of the Office in this matter.

Senator Gardner and Ms. Eubanks discussed the question of whether the Committee is bound by the Executive Committee's resolution and whether the Committee should retain counsel at all. They also discussed the history of Kerr et al. v. Polis.

Representative Weissman discussed his thoughts on the question before the Committee and that he believes there needs to be an answer to the constitutional questions posed by Kerr. Ms. Eubanks responded to Representative Weissman.

11:11:58 AM  

Representative Snyder, Representative Herod, and Ms. Eubanks discussed the cost of retaining counsel for litigation.

Senator Gardner and Ms. Eubanks discussed the potential costs to the Office of hiring additional staff to assist in representing the General Assembly in this lawsuit and they also discussed the issue of standing in the case.

Representative Weissman further discussed the standing issue and the General Assembly's institutional interest in this case.

Senator Cooke and Ms. Eubanks discussed the nonpartisan nature of the Office and how the Office performs its functions in furtherance of the institutional interest of the General Assembly while doing what it is requested to do.

Senator Foote and Ms. Eubanks discussed the different options before the Committee for retaining representation for the General Assembly for this case.

Representative Weissman and Senator Cooke discussed the parties to the lawsuit.

Representative Soper and Ms. Eubanks discussed what would happen if the Committee were to vote not to retain counsel and also how the Office would respond to being directed to represent the General Assembly in the lawsuit in terms of staffing and the cost of that to the Office.

11:17:30 AM  

Representative Soper discussed Representative Weissman's motion and encouraged a no vote.

Representative Weissman's motion passed. Senator Gardner then made a motion. He discussed his motion and urged a yes vote. Senator Gardner and Ms. Eubanks clarified who should be retained with regard to the motion.

Representative Herod and Ms. Eubanks discussed Senator Gardner's motion.

Senator Cooke and Ms. Eubanks discussed conflicts of interest in voting.

Representative Weissman and Ms. Eubanks discussed Senator Gardner's motion and individual legislator standing concerning the lawsuit.

Representative Snyder and Ms. Eubanks discussed Senator Gardner's motion. Senator Gardner responded to the discussion.

Representative Weissman discussed Senator Gardner's motion and the standing issue. Senator Gardner responded to Representative Weissman. Representative Herod stated her support for Representative Weissman's arguments and urged a no vote.



12:15:40 PM
Motion I move that the Committee on Legal Services retain our attorneys the Office of Legislative Legal Services to represent the General Assembly as a party plaintiff in the matter of Kerr, et al. v. Polis concerning matters in both the federal District Court of Colorado and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Moved Weissman
Seconded Snyder
Cooke No
Foote Yes
Lee Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Snyder Yes
Soper No
Van Winkle No
Weissman Yes
Gardner No
Herod Yes
YES: 6   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


12:27:37 PM
Motion I move that the Committee on Legal Services retain counsel to represent such members of the minority party who wish to be parties to litigation in defense of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights joining with the Attorney General's office as a party on that side of the litigation.
Moved Gardner
Seconded Cooke
Cooke Yes
Foote No
Lee No
Rodriguez No
Snyder No
Soper Yes
Van Winkle Yes
Weissman No
Gardner Yes
Herod No
YES: 4   NO: 6   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL


12:28:12 PM   The committee adjourned.