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From the Vault — After Columbine

From the Vault — After Columbine

In 2012 issue of Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine, we published an award-winning oral history focusing on the legal fallout of the tragedy in Littleton. We spoke to six attorneys, including James A. Cederberg, who represented one of the victims; and John M. Richilano, who defended a friend of the shooters. An excerpt:

ColumbineGuys.jpgCederberg: We were trying to put together evidence that [teachers and school officials] had a lot of information in front of them and didn’t put two and two together. And [U.S. District] Judge [Lewis] Babcock didn’t care much for that argument. He issued a written order that pretty much addressed the arguments that we were making. The standard’s very tough, which is reckless indifference. Red flags-he didn’t feel that was enough to get where he needed to go to impose liability.

Frankly, we were asking in our motion to go in uncharted territory. We knew we had an uphill battle. There was no precedent for applying the kind of principles that we were trying to apply to the bizarre and outrageous facts of this particular case, where you’ve got kids who had this plot, and signaled the plot, who I thought were making somewhat extraordinary efforts to tell people they were not happy. … We never got to do any discovery to find out what exactly did happen. I don’t think we left any stones unturned. The legal system is the best one in the world, but it doesn’t provide a remedy for every harm that occurs.

To learn more about Cederberg and the other attorneys involved, read the full feature article on SuperLawyers.com. And be sure to check out the latest version of Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine here.

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