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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Cameron practices with a dual focus on real estate and business transactions. His real estate work involves the representation of real estate developers, investors, contractors and owners in connection with the acquisition, development and management of real estate projects, including residential subdivisions, condominiums, master-planned communiti...es and office buildings. Cameron’s business work involves transactions of all sizes, including joint ventures, business structure and strategy, and general corporate counseling. More

Supreme Court Reverses State Litigation Requirement in Takings Cases

Following the ruling in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, a property owner may bring a claim in federal court for a violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment as soon as the government takes private property for public use without paying for it, overruling established precedent that a property owner must exhaust state court remedies before suing in federal court.  https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/knick-v-township-scott-pennsylvania/ #supremecourt #takings #landuse #realestatelaw

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"I love it when a plan comes together." -Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (the A-Team)

Ziggis Coffee Drive Thru 002

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is watching a client's carefully laid plans take shape.  Ziggi's Coffee began with a husband and wife team pulling espresso shots behind the counter of their Longmont coffee shop.  They are now in growth mode and are opening their tenth Colorado location, with more to come.  It has been an honor to partner with them on this journey.  Check out this article about their new Greeley location, but more importantly, check out their coffee!  https://bit.ly/2y8h7Kr #coffee

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and Dirt) . . . all eligible for a tax deferred 1031 exchange (maybe)

Planes Trains and Automobiles

This photo, which I think is a marketing promo of a happy tax payer and his 1031 Exchange Accommodator, lists three types of property that might lose 1031 exchange protection under the tax bill making its way through the Senate and House chambers this week.  As noted in Retail Real Estate Law, the recent Senate-House compromise removed personal property from like-kind treatment under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.  So, today, you could complete a 1031 exchange with your plane, your train or even your automobile (provided that you adhere to the strict requirements established in Section 1031 and its associated regulations) but that may not be the case following approval of the revisions to the Tax Code in the coming weeks. 

For most of us, real estate is the like-kind property with which we deal on a regular basis.  That appears to be unaffected by the current tax bill.  Whether or not we lose the ability to exchange personal property, it seems that a refresher on 1031 exchanges is in order. 

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May He Rest in Peace; now give me his football tickets!

Cameron Grant

Frank Lumpkin Jr. loved Georgia football.  As the story goes, one Saturday (over 50 years ago) Mr. Lumpkin walked through downtown Columbus, Georgia with his infant son.  He came upon an Auburn fan and the two ultimately came to blows, with Lumpkin clutching his son’s bassinet in his left hand while he swung at the Auburn fan with his right.

Mr. Lumpkin looked out for his two loves that day – his son and his Georgia Bulldogs.  Unfortunately, he later forgot to take care of his kids when he failed to mention his Georgia football season tickets in his will.  Now, his son, Frank Lumpkin, III, and his daughter, Julia Lumpkin, are embroiled in litigation over their parents’ estate, with ownership of the Georgia tickets as a major sticking point. 

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Cameron Grant Elected Managing Shareholder

Lyons Gaddis is pleased to announce that Cameron A. Grant has been elected as the firms’ new Managing Shareholder, effective July 1, 2016.  Mr. Grant succeeds Anton V. Dworak, who served as Managing Shareholder for 8 years, and joins his colleague, Catherine A. Tallerico, on the firm’s Management Committee.  During Mr. Dworak’s tenure he oversaw the expansion of the firm’s services, the opening of a Louisville office and the construction of an addition to the firm’s Longmont offices.

Mr. Grant returned to the firm three years ago.  Prior to rejoining Lyons Gaddis, Mr. Grant served as Managing Partner of Grant, Grant & Goiran and of Donelson, Ciancio and Grant, where he built his regional practice focusing on real estate development, transactions and business matters.  His real estate work involves the representation of real estate developers, investors, contractors and owners in connection with the acquisition, development and management of real estate projects, including residential subdivisions, condominiums, master-planned communities and office buildings. Cameron’s business work involves transactions of all sizes, including joint ventures, business structure and strategy, and general corporate counseling.

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Blizzard? What Blizzard?


Our enterprising (and athletic) attorneys find a variety of ways to keep working despite the major snowstorm to hit the Colorado front range this week.  Some work from home, others test their snow tires, but a brave and healthy few turn the storm into the first official Lyons Gaddis Ski to Work Day.

Photo and snowbound fun courtesy of Madoline Wallace-Gross and Matthew Machado.

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What to Do After You Win POWERBALL!


Cameron Grant

So, Now You Are a Winner?

Submitted by Cameron Grant.

Do not deny it.  You have already thought through (at least briefly) what you would do if you won the estimated $1,500,000,000 PowerBall jackpot.  Yes, that is $1.5 BILLION.  Would you start by buying yourself some new toys?  That Ferrari?  A new house?  Heck, how about an island?  My eldest son is currently working on college scholarship applications and I let him know that if I win PowerBall he can tear up those essays because I will simply buy him Georgetown University.  But, seriously, what should you do if you win?  In his post on the subject, Texas Tech law professor Gerry W. Beyer offers some practical suggestions for What To Do After Winning the Lottery.  Professor Beyer recommends the following:

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Water Woes and Wars Shape Development in Northern Colorado


nicholson

If you can’t bring LA to the water, you bring the water to LA…– Roman Polanski’s Chinatown dramatizes the so-called “California Water Wars”.

I have yet to see Jack Nicholson roaming the plains of Northern Colorado but the factors that drove and challenged growth in Southern California in the late 1930s now take shape in Northern Colorado. It takes more than land and a strong market to create a successful development, at least around here.  In Northern Colorado, water is the key ingredient and that resource is in short supply.  The City of Longmont holds a lot of cards.  The Towns of Firestone, Frederick and Mead have the land and the demand.  Longmont’s City Council recently discussed Councilman Brian Bagley’s three point plan to protect Longmont’s eastern border from encroaching municipal neighbors.  A key prong in that plan is to protect Longmont’s store of water rights from being leased or sold to those towns.

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Courts Weigh in on Fracking in the West

Cameron Grant

Submitted by Cameron Grant.

Just when you thought you had heard enough about fracking, western courts are getting into the action.  First, the Colorado Supreme Court is set to take up the issue of local v. state control in the case between the City of Longmont and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.  Next, the Wall Street Journal reports that a federal judge in Wyoming blocked  Interior Department rules setting stricter standards for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the second set of major regulations from the Obama administration to be faulted in court in as many months.  It seems that we will have some judicial guidance on the fracking issue in the near future.  Stay tuned . . .

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Lyons Gaddis Sponsors Scholorship


Dick Lyons recently had the honor of presenting a $500 college scholarship to Ms. Alessandra Chavez.  Ms. Chavez was given the award by the Hispanic Education Foundation.  Alessandra graduated from Longmont High School and will attend the University of Northern Colorado to major in biology or chemistry.  The Firm is proud to support the Hispanic Education Foundation in its efforts to create education opportunities, enrich lives, and enhance the St. Vrain Valley community.

The scholarship awards banquet was discussed in more detail in a recent article in the Longmont Times Call.  “We’re a small organization, but we’re a lot of committed individuals and members of the community who care about the future of Longmont and the St. Vrain Valley,” said Longmont resident and Boulder firefighter Matt Zavala, who serves on the board.

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Smoke on the Water: Representing Grow Operations

Lyons Gaddis water lawyers have been asked by several of the firm’s clients to advise them on providing water to marijuana-related businesses cultivating marijuana in “grow operations.”  These matters are complicated by the fact that the cultivation and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Under the aiding and abetting doctrine of criminal law, persons or entities providing water to these businesses could be subject to a federal prosecution.

Lyons Gaddis attorneys Jeff Kahn and Matt Machado recently spoke to state and local bar associations regarding the legal and ethical implications of providing legal representation to water providers in negotiating sales or leases of water for grow operations.  Mr. Kahn’s presentation to the Colorado Bar Association, Water Law Section (available here) covered topics including the lack of clear direction provided by the Cole Memorandum and the Bureau of Reclamation policy regarding the use of reclaimed water for activities prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act.  Matt Machado participated in a panel at the Boulder County Bar Association Bench Bar Retreat, and discussed ethical requirements for lawyers representing marijuana-related businesses.  This is a new area of the law that continues to evolve rapidly.  If you have questions in this area of water law, please contact , Jeff Kahn or Matt Machado.

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Lyons Gaddis Opens Louisville Office

The Firm is excited about our new branch office in Louisville. Located at 363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110, our Louisville office will provide greater flexibility for current and new clients from Louisville, Superior, Erie, Lafayette, Broomfield and surrounding communities near the Highway 36 corridor, as well as those from the Boulder and Denver metropolitan areas.

We are also excited that our three attorneys who live in Louisville, Steve Jeffers, Matt Machado and Madoline Wallace-Gross, will work on a regular basis in the Louisville office, allowing them to be more active in their hometown community. Steve has lived in Boulder County since 1977 and called Louisville home for the past 28 years. Matt and Madoline have also lived in Louisville for a number of years. All three attorneys look forward to new opportunities to be involved in the Louisville community. The Firm’s Louisville branch office will include office space for resident attorneys Steve, Matt, and Madoline, and additional office and conference space for other attorneys to work and to meet with clients, expert witnesses and consultants. All of the Firm’s attorneys are available to meet by appointment in either the Longmont office at 515 Kimbark Street, 303-776-9900 or in the Louisville office at 363 Centennial Parkway, 720-726-3670.

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Fracking Ban May Lead to Takings Claims


Submitted by Cameron A. Grant

Recently the Denver Post reported that Boulder County could be liable for $1 billion in petro “takings” if local governments adopt and enforce bans on the drilling practice called fracking.  On June 24th, voters in the City of Loveland rejected a measure that would have extended a moratorium on drilling in the city limits.  Clearly, the issues surrounding oil and gas development in Colorado are heating up.  Sensational claims continue to be made during this energetic election season.  The potential threat of petro takings is one such claim.

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Are You Putting Yourself At Risk By “Saving” On Your Car Insurance?


According to statistics compiled by the Center for Disease Control, the number one cause of death due to unintentional injury is motor vehicle accidents.  Likewise, motor vehicle accidents are the fourth leading for emergency room visits resulting from unintentional accidents.

Across the United States, 1 in 7 drivers are uninsured.  Colorado falls in line with that statistic.  In addition, Colorado requires only that a driver purchase $25,000 in liability coverage.  The odds are good in Colorado that, if you are involved in an auto accident, the at-fault driver is going to be uninsured or have the minimum limits of coverage.  Even a moderately serious accident can result in well in excess of $25,000 in damages.  An ambulance ride to the emergency room, follow-up care with your physician, lost wages and other expenses can add up quickly.

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Do Not Overlook the Real Estate When Buying a Business, Part 1

Cameron Grant 01

Four Reasons that a Survey is Important When Buying a Business with Valuable Real EstateThis is the first of a two-part article addressing the real estate component of a business purchase.  Almost invariably, my clients looking to purchase a new business focus on gross revenues, strategies for decreasing costs, expanding customer base, manufacturing processes and other forward-looking elements of the deal.  Rarely do they focus on one of the most basic and often significant factors – the company real estate.  Whether it is a leased retail location, shared manufacturing facility or a long owned office building, a buyer should not overlook the bricks and mortar.  In Part 1 of this article, I will discuss the importance of a survey when evaluating a business purchase involving valuable real estate.  In Part 2, I will discuss issues involving leases, their evaluation, assignment and assumption.

My clients often ask whether a survey is needed as part of a new business purchase.  If the business does not own real estate or if the real estate is neither valuable nor critical to the business operation, then no, a survey may not be important.  If, however, the company owns valuable real estate or real estate critical to the business operation, then a survey is absolutely an important part of a due diligence process.  In these cases, we strongly suggest that our clients obtain a new survey or update the seller’s existing survey.  This exercise will give you a picture of the property you are about to purchase.  That picture will be an important tool as you determine whether you will control the business real estate.  The following list identifies four pieces of crucial information provided by a survey:

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Lyons Gaddis Opening Louisville Office

The firm is excited about our new branch office in Louisville. Scheduled for opening in mid-April, we are remodeling the space to include a conference room and offices for four attorneys. Located at 363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110 (immediately west of Lowes, on the north side of the Highway 36 and McCaslin Boulevard interchange), our new branch office in Louisville will provide greater flexibility to meet with current and new clients from Louisville, Superior, Erie, Lafayette, Broomfield and surrounding communities near the Highway 36 corridor, as well as those from the Boulder and Denver metropolitan areas.

The branch office will also allow our three attorneys who live in Louisville, Shareholder Steve Jeffers, and Associates Matt Machado and Madoline Wallace-Gross, to work on a regular basis in the Louisville office and be more active in their hometown community. Steve has lived in Boulder County since 1977 and called Louisville home for the past 28 years. Long-time Associates Matt and Madoline have also lived in Louisville for a number of years. All three attorneys look forward to the new opportunities for community involvement.

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Mutual Indemnification in Leases


Why Can’t I Have What the Landlord Gets? Submitted by Cameron A. Grant I recently spoke to a group of commercial real estate brokers about the legal aspects of the leasing business. One question that garnered significant attention related to indemnification provisions in lease agreements. These brokers represent both landlords and tenants in lease deals and routinely run into a negotiating hurdle about indemnification. Landlords often demand that the tenant indemnify them against a host of potential problems but are reluctant to give tenants a similar level of protection. The brokers reported difficulty in bringing the two sides together over this issue. One broker said that a major lease negotiation broke down over this issue alone. This is an avoidable problem. If the parties understand the differing degrees of control and exposure perhaps indemnification will not pose such a challenge to these negotiations.

What is “indemnification“? – a party’s agreement to pay the liability, and in some cases, the defense costs and damages, of the other party if a claim is asserted by a third party.

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Legal Services for all Stages of your Project


Lyons Gaddis has a large and active real estate development practice, representing government entities, developers, investors, landlords, tenants, lenders, borrowers and business users in projects throughout Colorado. Our attorneys have experience with multi-million dollar public infrastructure projects, public and private finance, real estate taxation, and industrial, office and retail sales and leases. As a full-service firm with established construction, land use, business and tax practices,

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Serving The Entire State Of Colorado
Map and Directions


Longmont Office

515 Kimbark Street, Second Floor
Longmont, CO 80502
Phone: 303-776-9900 
Maps & Directions

Louisville Office

363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110
Louisville, CO 80027
Phone: 720-726-3670 
Maps & Directions

Satellite Office

748 Whalers Way, Suite # 240A
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Maps & Directions