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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Is it your ethics, or your office management?

Tim O Neil 01For most attorneys, their law school training readied them to counsel clients, draft legal documents, and litigate disputes; it may not have prepared them as well for the practical reality of running a business. At some point in our careers, however, most of us have to come to grips with the nuts and bolts of managing a law practice, especially those of us who are sole practitioners or members of small firms. While running your own business may not have been what drove you to the profession, being thoughtful and skillful about how you manage your law office is critical not only to your financial success, but the ethics of your practice.

The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern the ethical and professional conduct of lawyers in the state, may not specify exactly how one must run their law office (although, with respect to certain matters, like what bank accounts to have for your business, they do), many times lawyers find themselves answering to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC) regarding issues that arise from what are primarily office management problems. A lawyer who is remiss in viewing their office management practices through the lens of professional responsibility under the Rules might be unwittingly setting an ethical trap for herself in the future. The time demands of attending to client needs must be balanced with time demands of managing your practice.

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Are you Putting Yourself at Risk By “Saving” on your Car Insurance? (Part 2)

Submitted by Bradley A. Hall

Last quarter, I wrote about how you are able to protect yourself and your family members from injuries caused by uninsured and underinsured negligent drivers. But what if the shoe is on the other foot? What if you are now the defendant who ran the stop sign, looked down at the wrong time, or committed some other act which injured another driver, pedestrian, or even one of your own passengers? Do you have enough liability insurance to cover the injured parties’ damages? If not, your personal assets, including your ongoing income, may be at risk.

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Ins and Outs of Liquor Licensing

Submitted by Adele L. Reester

Have a liquor license or thinking about getting one for your business: knowing the ins and outs can make all the difference.Liquor licensing of restaurants, taverns, stores, and other establishments is governed by a variety of state laws and regulations, legal decisions, and local rules established by individual Local Licensing Authority (“LLA”). Each municipality or county establishes its own LLA, which may be its judge, a hearing officer, the city council, the county commissioners, or even an appointed citizen board like the one used by the City of Boulder. In Longmont, the City utilizes its municipal judge, while outside city limits Boulder County’s Board of County Commissioners has appointed a hearing officer.

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Colorado Water Law Legislation Update

Submitted by Jeffrey J. Kahn

Proposed Water Legislation and Ballot Initiative

Legislation:  The 2014 Colorado Legislative Session convened on January 8th and several pending bills appear headed for enactment, including:

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Public Benefit Corporations

Have You Heard?

Public Benefit Corporations
Submitted by Suzan D. Fritchel
Beginning in April, 2014, Colorado will have a new business entity: the Public Benefit Corporation.

The Colorado State Legislature recently passed a bill authorizing a new form of business entity called the Public Benefit Corporation. This new entity will be “for profit,” but the board of directors must balance the best interests of the corporation and shareholders (maximization of profits) with the “public benefits” as stated in its articles of incorporation. Examples of possible public benefits identified by an entity would include charitable, cultural, educational, environmental or religious goals. Contact us for guidance in this new area of business operation.

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