For the April Meeting, Judge Gorsuch’s Group presented the program “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DUTY TO DEFEND THE LAW” featuring guest speaker former Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers.
Mr. Suthers, currently a candidate for Mayor of Colorado Springs, interacted with Inn Members during the cocktail hour and talked about the transition from being the Attorney General of Colorado to a candidate in a mayoral election.
During his speech, Mr. Suthers explained to the Inn members his view of the office of Attorney General and what he believed were consitutional and appropriate actions to take. He emphasized that as Attorney General, his role was not to take positions based on his personal views or public policy, but was duty bound to defend state laws regardless. This included, for example, his defending Colorado’s gun control laws despite the fact that members of his own party greatly opposed them. Mr. Suthers also guided the members through his reasoning for his actions during the controversy over gay marriage laws in Colorado. Mr. Suthers opposed attorneys general from utilizing what he has coined a “litigation veto,” which is failing to defend a state law because that A.G. believes the law to be unjust or bad policy. When challenged by Inn Members, Mr. Suthers also defended his decision to join the states’ lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
“THE (LEGAL) FUTURE IS ALREADY HERE – IT’S JUST NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED.”
February 25, 2015 – Despite a sudden and severe snow storm, Judge Wheeler’s Group came through with a fascinating presentation, which explored how Colorado can help bring together academia, the bench/bar, and clients to help law evolve in a time of rapid technological change. The Inn had a surprisingly good turnout considering the inclement weather conditions.
The world is changing and fast; can law adjust and evolve to keep up with it? Our guest speaker was Paul Lippe, who is the founder and CEO of the Legal OnRamp, www.legalonramp.com, spoke about this at the meeting. Legal OnRamp is a Silicon Valley-based initiative founded in cooperation with Cisco Systems to improve legal quality and efficiency through collaboration, automation and process re-engineering. Lippe formerly was an executive at the electronic design automation company Synopsys and later was CEO of Stanford SKOLAR, a medical digital library and e-learning company sponsored by Stanford Medical School. OnRamp Systems Inc., offers products and services to businesses to help their legal departments deliver results more efficiently with higher quality and lower cost. OnRamp Systems Inc. sponsors and hosts Legal OnRamp.
Mr. Lippe gave an overview of several concepts underpinning technological change and how it impacts industry and business practices. An analogy: while paper driving maps were necessary and used exclusively before, sociey has shifted to GPS and Google Maps, and the old maps are gone. With this revolutionary shift in mind, Paul asks “what if we had a Google Maps for law?” Navigating the intricacies of a complex legal undertaking is very complex. And though traditional legal project management methodologies offer some guidance, Paul aruges that the “map” they provide is quite analogous to the old Rand McNallys: “flat, broad, basic, and though helpful, only so in a rudimentary way.” Many issues were presented and discussed relating to how and if the law can adjust in the face of inevitable societal and technological change.