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Colorado Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments in event with Durango High School on March 26

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

DENVER – The Colorado Court of Appeals will resume its Courts in the Community program with an all-online event coordinated with Durango High School to include oral arguments in two cases and question-and-answer periods with students on March 26, 2021.

“This will be the first time since the pandemic began that either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals has been able to reach out to a high school with our Courts in the Community program,” said Court of Appeals Chief Judge Steven Bernard. “We are excited for the opportunity to interact with students, even if it’s just on computer screens, and teach them about how their court system works. We’re looking forward to the prospect of both my court and the Supreme Court returning to in-person visits to high schools in the fall.”

Courts in the Community began in 1986 in an effort to give Colorado high school students insight into the state’s judicial system and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings. The court will hear arguments in actual cases from which it will issue opinions. The court generally issues opinions within a few weeks of oral arguments.

For the online program, the oral arguments will be live-streamed, as are all the courts’ arguments, at (click on the “Court of Appeals Third Floor” tab). Following the arguments, students will log on to a separate virtual meeting, giving them the opportunity to ask questions of the judges and attorneys who presented arguments.

The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three judges to hear cases. Judges hearing cases during Friday’s event are Chief Judge Steven Bernard, Judge Gilbert M. Román and Judge Terry Fox.

The two cases are: 

  • 20CA216, Elizabeth Morin v. ISS Facility Services Inc., and City and County of Denver: Elizabeth Morin alleges she was injured when she slipped and fell near an unmarked water hazard at Denver International Airport on July 13, 2017. She sued the City and County of Denver, which owns and operates the airport, and janitorial contractor ISS Facility Services, claiming both had some responsibility for her injury. Her attorney filed the lawsuit on July 15, 2019, two days after the two-year anniversary of her claimed injury. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing the two-year statutory deadline to file such a lawsuit had expired. The trial court agreed with the defendants that she had missed the deadline and dismissed the case. In written briefs, Ms. Morin argued that when a statutory deadline falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the law allows extending the deadline to the next business day. The defendants argued that the statute she cited does not apply to the courts, however, and that the trial court was correct in relying on a 2015 Court of Appeals opinion that held the statute of limitations is measured by calendar days including weekends and holidays, and that she could have filed her case electronically even on a weekend or holiday. The parties also dispute whether Ms. Morin filed her notice of appeal with the Court of Appeals before the deadline.


  • 18CA1139, People v. Eric William Grant: Eric Grant, who is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, has asked the Court of Appeals to reverse his conviction on charges including first-degree murder and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He was convicted in the July 2017 robbery of a Colorado Springs auto-repair shop during which the business owner was fatally injured and a customer was assaulted. Mr. Grant based his appeal on several issues. He argued the trial court improperly allowed the prosecution to introduce a statement Mr. Grant made to police in Philadelphia, where he was arrested on a warrant from Colorado, because that statement was not disclosed to the defense until about halfway through the trial. He also argued the trial court improperly permitted a police officer to testify about the officer’s opinion that Mr. Grant was one of the robbers seen in a surveillance video of the crime scene. Lastly, he argued that the trial court should not have permitted prosecutors to introduce evidence of a robbery allegedly committed by Mr. Grant in spring 2017 that was conducted in a manner similar to the robbery at the auto-repair shop.

Video recordings from the two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at

Editor’s Note:

The documents related to these two cases are located at:

Additional information on the Courts in the Community program is available at:

News media organizations interested in recording the arguments and Q-and-A sessions may contact Jon Sarché at the State Court Administrator’s Office ( or 720-625-5811). The following pages contain information about expanded media coverage.

This information is provided as an e-mail service of the Colorado State Judicial Branch, Office of State Court Administrator, 1300 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, Colo. 80203. To discontinue this service or update your e-mail address, please respond to this message with your name, contact information and any comments.

Media opportunity


What:             Colorado Court of Appeals Oral Arguments

When:             10 a.m. - 11 a.m., March 26, 2021

Where:           Online with Durango High School

Photo opportunities. During oral arguments, the requirements set forth in Chapter 38, Rule 3 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules are in effect. Rule 3 is attached. Highlights include:

  1. A request for expanded media coverage ( must be filed in advance with copies to counsel for the parties.
  2. If granted, only one video camera and/or one still camera is allowed, and that media source must share and pool its coverage with other media.
  3. No flash attachments or lighted television cameras are allowed during the arguments.
  4. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.

For information, contact Jon Sarché, 720-625-5811.

Following each argument, during the question-and-answer interaction between the students, lawyers and judges, access is open for photography and videography without the limitations of Rule 3. All media representatives also are welcome to photograph the luncheon immediately following the cases.



10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

20CA216, Morin v. ISS Facility Services

10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

18CA1139, People v. Grant

11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Attorneys in 20CA216 answer students’ questions

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Attorneys in 18CA1139 answer students’ questions

11:30 a.m. – noon

Judges answer students’ questions


Request for Expanded Media Coverage. Requests for expanded media coverage must be submitted at least one day prior to the proceeding as outlined in Rule 3 (submitting requests earlier is appreciated to allow for response time). Requests may be made by filling out the form at Contact information for counsel in the cases is provided below.
Expanded media coverage of court proceedings


The presence of expanded media coverage in the Colorado court system’s courtrooms is controlled by strict standards spelled out in Chapter 38, Rule 3 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules effective July 1, 2010. The rule also outlines each step necessary to garner approval for such coverage.


There are several points in the Rule of particular note:

  1. A request for expanded media coverage ( must be submitted to the court at least one day before expanded media coverage is requested to begin, unless a longer or shorter time is required or permitted by the court.
  2. Copies of the expanded media coverage request shall be sent to all counsel for each party participating in the proceeding prior to submitting the request to the court.
  3. The request must include a description of the pooling arrangements, including the identity of the designated representatives.
  4. Any party or witness may lodge with the judge a written objection to expanded coverage of all or a portion of a proceeding.


Request for expanded media coverage in Colorado state courts



Rule 3.  Media Coverage of Court Proceedings

  1. Expanded Media Coverage: A judge may authorize expanded media coverage of court proceedings, subject to the guidelines set forth below.
  1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
  1. “Proceeding” means any trial, hearing, or any other matter held in open court which the public is entitled to attend.
  2. “Photograph” and “photography” means all recording or broadcasting of visual images, by means of still photographs, videotape, television broadcasts, motion pictures, or otherwise.
  3. “Expanded media coverage” means any photography or audio recording of proceedings.
  4. “Judge” means the justice, judge, magistrate, or other judicial officer presiding over the proceedings. In proceedings with more than one judge presiding, any decision required shall be made by a majority of the judges.
  5. “Media” means any news gathering or reporting agency and the individual persons involved, and includes newspapers, radio, television, radio and television networks, news services, magazines, trade papers, in-house publications, professional journals, or any other news reporting or news gathering agency whose function it is to inform the public or some segment thereof.
  1. Standards for Authorizing Coverage.  In determining whether expanded media coverage should be permitted, a judge shall consider the following factors:
  1. Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial;
  2. Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would unduly detract from the solemnity, decorum and dignity of the court; and
  3. Whether expanded media coverage would create adverse effects which would be greater than those caused by traditional media coverage.
  1. Limitations on Expanded Media Coverage.  Notwithstanding an authorization to conduct expanded media coverage of a proceeding, there shall be no:
  1. Expanded media coverage of pretrial hearings in criminal cases, except advisements and arraignments;
  2. Expanded media coverage of jury voir dire;
  3. Audio recording or “zoom” close-up photography of bench conferences;
  4. Audio recording or close-up photography of communications between counsel and client or between co-counsel;
  5. Expanded media coverage of in camera hearings;
  6. Close-up photography of members of the jury.
  1. Authority to Impose Restrictions on Expanded Media Coverage.  A judge may restrict or limit expanded media coverage as may be necessary to preserve the dignity of the court or to protect the parties, witnesses, or jurors. A judge may terminate or suspend expanded media coverage at any time upon making findings of fact that: (1) rules established under this Rule or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated; or (2) substantial rights of individual participants or rights to a fair trial will be prejudiced by such coverage if it is allowed to continue.
  1. Conditions for Coverage.  Expanded media coverage shall be conducted only under the following conditions:
  1. Equipment Limitations.
  1. Video.  Only one person at a time shall be permitted to operate a videotape, television, or motion picture camera. There shall be only one such camera at a time in the courtroom, except that, at the discretion of the judge, the camera operator may have a second camera. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.
  2. Audio.  The court’s audio system shall be used if technically suitable and, in that event, there must be no interference with the court’s use of its system. If the court’s system is not technically suitable, then the person conducting expanded media coverage may install an audio recording system at his or her own expense upon first obtaining approval of the judge. All microphones and related wiring shall be unobtrusive and shall not interfere with the movement of those in the courtroom.
  3. Still Cameras.  Only one person at a time shall be permitted to operate still cameras, which shall make as little noise as possible. The still photographer may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.
  4. Lighting.  No movie lights, flash attachments, or sudden lighting changes shall be permitted during a proceeding. No modification or addition of lighting equipment shall be permitted without the permission of the judge.
  5. Operating Signals.  No visible or audible light or signal (tally light) shall be used on any equipment.
  1. Pooling Arrangements.  The media shall be solely responsible for designating one media representative to conduct each of the categories of expanded media coverage listed in subsection (I) of this section, and for arranging an open and impartial distribution scheme with a distribution point located outside of the courtroom. If no agreement can be reached on either of these matters, then there shall be no expanded media coverage of the type for which no pooling agreement has been made. Neither judges nor other court personnel shall be called upon to resolve any disputes concerning such pooling arrangements.
  2. Conduct of Media Representatives.  Persons conducting expanded media coverage shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the decorum and dignity of the courtroom. The following practices shall apply:
  1. Equipment employed to provide expanded media coverage shall be positioned and operated so as to minimize any distraction;
  2. Identifying marks, call letters, logos, symbols, and legends shall be concealed on all equipment. Persons operating such equipment shall not wear clothing bearing any such identifying information;
  3. Equipment used to provide expanded media coverage shall not be placed in, or removed from, the courtroom while court is in session. No film, videotape, or lens shall be changed within a courtroom while court is in session.
  1. Procedures.  The following procedures shall be followed in obtaining authorization for expanded media coverage:
  1. Request for Expanded Media Coverage.  A written request shall be submitted to the judge at least one day before expanded media coverage is requested to begin, unless a longer or shorter time is required or permitted by the judge. Copies of the request shall be given to counsel for each party participating in the proceeding. The request shall include the following:
  1. The name, number, date and time of the proceeding;
  2. The type (audio, video or still photography) of expanded media coverage requested and a description of the pooling arrangements required by section (e)(II), if any, including the identity of the designated representatives.
  1. Objections.  Any party or witness may lodge with the judge a written objection to expanded media coverage of all or a portion of a proceeding.
  2. Judicial Authorization.  The judge shall rule on a request or objection within a reasonable time prior to the proceeding or promptly after the request or objection if the proceeding has begun. The ruling shall be made on the record and the reasons therefore set forth briefly.
  3. The media or any witness may not appeal, or seek review by original proceeding, the granting or denial of expanded media coverage. A party to the case may seek review of a ruling by original proceeding, if otherwise appropriate, or by post-trial appeal.
  1. Other use of Media.
  1. A judge may authorize the use of electronic or photographic means for the perpetuation of a record, or for purposes of judicial administration.
  2. A judge may authorize the broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing of investitive, ceremonial, or naturalization proceedings.


Counsel contact information:


20CA216 – Elizabeth Morin v. ISS Facility Services and City and County of Denver

For the Appellant:

Todd F. Bovo, Bovo Law, LLC,

For the Appellee:

Malcolm S. Mead and Clinton L. Coberly, Hall and Evans, LLC,,

18CA1139 – People of the State of Colorado v. Eric William Grant
For the Appellant:

Casey J. Mulligan, Mulligan & Mulligan, PLLC,

For the Appellee:

Majid Yazdi, Senior Assistant Attorney General,



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