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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

COVID-19 and Colorado State Courts

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Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on small business owners who are dealing with closures and other challenges in response to recommended or mandated social distancing measures in the wake of the spreading coronavirus 

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UPDATE: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on small business owners who are dealing with closures and other challenges in response to recommended or mandated social distancing measures in the wake of the spreading coronavirus 

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FORM - Certification Letter for Workforce Travel

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert provides a sample form for use by companies designated as “Essential Businesses and Operations” under Governor Polis' Executive Order D2020-017 (as amended) exempting certain critical services from the stay-at-home Order.

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COVID-19 EMPLOYER CHECKLIST

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on specific issues for employers in response to the current crisis.

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ALERT: COVID-19 and Contract Issues

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on clients dealing with contract rights and obligations in the wake of the spreading coronavirus. Parties to a contract should confer with counsel regarding the particulars of your contract and your specific situation.

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What to Do?  Your Family Law Cases During the Pandemic

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on family law issues and the challenges presented by shelter in place orders, court shutdowns and the looming financial crisis.

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578 Hits

ALERT: Governor Polis Signs Executive Order Regarding Paid Sick Leave

jared.polis.at.desk

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ recent Executive Order regarding paid sick leave.

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997 Hits

ALERT: Landlords and Property Managers: Response to Tenant Shutdowns

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on commercial real estate owners and their property managers who are seeing their tenants experience a complete or partial shutdown of their businesses in response to recommended or mandated social distancing measures in the wake of the spreading coronavirus.  Landlords and tenants should review their Lease documents and, if needed, seek legal advice regarding your rights and obligations in your particular situation.

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1100 Hits

ALERT: Force Majeure and Commercial Leases

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on landlords and tenants who are dealing with closures and other challenges in response to recommended or mandated social distancing measures in the wake of the spreading coronavirus

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ALERT: Small Business Funding and Colorado Disaster Loans

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses on small business owners who are dealing with closures and other challenges in response to recommended or mandated social distancing measures in the wake of the spreading coronavirus 

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ALERT: Congress Enacts Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Family-First-Coronavirus

Lyons Gaddis COVID-19 Alert

This Alert is one in a collection of articles created by Lyons Gaddis in our effort to get important information to our clients regarding the effect of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States.  This Alert focuses the newly adopted Families First Coronavirus Response Act and its effect on student loans and a recently announced interest waivers.

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Corporation vs. LLC: Which Form of Entity Makes Sense for Your Business?

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One of the most critical decisions for business owners is how to organize or incorporate their business. It’s a decision that should be made after detailed conversations with a CPA and a lawyer. Two of the most common and most useful business entity forms are the corporation and the limited liability company. Depending on how business owners foresee the future of the business and its particular needs, either can be a fine choice. Corporations and associations are guided by the Colorado Revised Statutes Title 7.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). The limited liability company (“LLC”) is the most popular form of entity for small business owners for two main reasons. First, the legal requirements of running an LLC are much more flexible, while laws governing corporations are extensive and require a number of formalities to be observed. Some of these formalities include required annual meetings, required assigned officer positions that must be filled by individuals (e.g. President or Secretary), and required disclosures to be made on shares or shareholders. The laws governing LLCs give much more leeway to a business owner to run the business as the business owner sees fit. Second, LLCs are often attractive to small business owners because they are pass-through entities for tax purposes, meaning that the LLC itself does not pay any tax whatsoever. Instead, the profits and losses of the company are passed through to the members. As a result, most small businesses without numerous individual owners prefer the LLC form. To apply for a LLC in Colorado, use the Colorado Secretary of State website to apply. Name requirements have been set by the Colorado Revised Statutes.

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Eviction law update: Changes to Eviction Notices

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If you own and rent-out real estate, chances are you have had to deal with a difficult tenant.  Recent changes in the eviction laws may affect how you remove a tenant who has breached your lease agreement. Importantly, in Colorado, the only way to legally remove a tenant who is in default of a lease and refuses to deliver possession of property (residential or commercial property) back to the landlord, is to go through the court eviction process.  In an eviction action, the court determines who is entitled to legal possession of the property, and what damages are due because of the breach of a lease. Eviction court procedures must be strictly followed or the case could be dismissed – leaving a landlord with lost time and money.  Recent changes in the law have, in some circumstances, lengthened the notice/cure period a landlord must provide a tenant before an eviction action can be started.

There are two types of notices in an eviction action: 1) Demand for Compliance or Possession (which gives the tenant a right to cure during the demand period); and 2) Notice to Quit (tenant has no right to cure).  The Demand for Compliance or Possession (“Demand”) is typically used when a tenant has failed to pay rent on time. The Demand gives the tenant the right to cure the rent within the notice period, and if the tenant fails to cure, a landlord may proceed with an eviction action.  With regard to the Demand itself, the new law changed the notice periods as follows (HB 19-1118 (C.R.S. § 13-40-104), effective May 20, 2019):

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The Road to OZ Passes Through Colorado

OZ
QUAF
Map

The Road to OZ Passes Through Colorado
Tax Windfall, Opportunity Zones and Real Estate Investment

By Cameron A. Grant on January 26, 2020

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1034 Hits

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors … Until They Don’t.

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boundary marker

Some of the most contested lawsuits pit neighbor against neighbor, arguing over who owns what small strip of seemingly valueless land. Sometimes one neighbor argues the fence is a foot over the lot line; other times, a neighbor puts up a fence in the middle of the night. Tensions flare, and weeks later, everyone is at the lawyers’ offices armed for bear.  Many months and thousands of dollars later, a District Court Judge decrees where the true lot line rests.  Maybe a fence moves, maybe it doesn’t, maybe a deed gets recorded.  Whether you win or lose, everyone spent a fortune and no one is happy.  

From the outside, boundary disputes seem like the most petty, unreasonable lawsuits you could imagine. However, sometimes they’re legitimate. Most Colorado towns were founded in the 1800’s.  Original surveys were often made using large, heavy chains to measure distances. Old surveys frequently marked boundaries as starting at the “large cottonwood tree” or “the stone fence post,” features that have long-since vanished. Survey chains were particularly bad at measuring over uneven  terrain, let alone foothills or mountains. Further uncertainty comes with modern surveying tools, such as GPS and laser scanning, called lidar.  Applying such accurate modern techniques to the verbiage of legal descriptions from the 1800’s is sometimes comical. Some towns, such as Leadville, find errors so great that one person’s house might be located on another person’s lot.  

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An Advocate's Advice: 7 Lessons Learned Over a Lifetime in the Law

Stairs

After 45 years of handling several thousand disputes, there are some recurring lessons to be learned about achieving the best results. While every case is unique, the roadmap to a successful result includes a set of common waypoints. As you face a dispute, whether litigation, mediation, arbitration or even negotiation, these seven “trade secrets” will help ensure that you have the best chance of success:

1. Identify Your Goals. You wouldn’t start a road trip without knowing your destination. Similarly, make sure you know where you are driving your case. What do you want to achieve in the case? Write it down. Be specific. Share those goals with your lawyer at the outset of representation. Disputes are emotional, time consuming, and issues become murky as the case proceeds. Clearly identified goals can keep you, your lawyer, and your case on track.                                                                                                                                                                         
2. Demand Attention from Your Lawyer. Many Lawyers are like emergency room doctors; they practice triage. Very few attorneys have the luxury of representing a single client. Your attorney must divide their time between multiple cases, where the most serious issue of the moment takes all the attention. That means even though your lawyer wants to focus solely on your case, they may be getting pulled in many other directions at the same time. To you, your case is the most important, to your attorney, treating every case as their most important can be an insurmountable hurdle. To keep your case in priority and at the forefront of your attorney’s mind, schedule specific times to call or meet with your lawyer to review your case. Yes, these calls and meetings can cost money, but it creates both urgency and open discussion about the best way to achieve your goals.                                                                                                              
3. Establish Trust. You must trust your lawyer and your lawyer’s advice. If you don’t, find another lawyer. Strategic decisions will be left to your attorney, even if you don’t agree with every point of strategy, you must trust that your attorney is making their decisions in your best interest. The dispute resolution process is difficult and often stressful for both you and your attorney. During the process of resolving your claim you may get advice that you internally disagree with. If you do not trust your lawyer, conflicts will develop. These conflicts can derail a favorable resolution.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. If the first three points did not drive this point home, allow me to reiterate: like any relationship, communication is KEY! Cases are all about information, facts, data and opinions. The more factual data you can provide your lawyer, the better chance you have of achieving your goals. Let your attorney decide what is relevant. As your case progresses you will get fatigued, sometimes you just want to turn the issue over to someone else – you are sick of it. That is understandable, but it is critical that you continue to communicate with your lawyer. Usually, there are few other ways for your lawyer to get the information needed. We may be good at what we do but we do not read minds.                             

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When is an Irrevocable Trust Not Irrevocable?

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Decanting and the Art of Change

What is in a name?  There was a time when irrevocable meant just that.  In Colorado (and at least 24 other states); however, an irrevocable trust can now be changed by decanting.  Decanting can describe the gradual pouring of a liquid, typically wine, from one container into another.  Recently, the term “decanting” has taken on a new meaning in the legal profession where it refers to a technique whereby assets are transferred (decanted) from one trust to another trust.  Decanting essentially allows modification of an otherwise irrevocable and unamendable trust.

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1194 Hits

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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1289 Hits

Open Records and Personnel Files

20190628 JIC Blog

Most, if not all, government employees are aware of the general proposition of “open records.”  The general premise is that information related to the functions of government should be open to public inspection.  In Colorado, this general premise is codified in the Colorado Open Records Act, § 24-72-200.1, et seq., C.R.S. (“CORA”).  CORA applies to all local governments within Colorado including, but not limited to school districts and special districts.  At the beginning of CORA, the state General Assembly provides the following declaration on the intent of the law:

“It is declared to be the public policy of this state that all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as provided in [CORA] or as otherwise specifically provided by law.”[1]

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The Firm welcomes Scott Sinclair!

Scott Sinclair

I was born in New York City, raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, and went to Cornell College in Iowa (not Cornell U. in Ithaca, NY), where I met my wife, Clare.  When we graduated, she missed her mountains (she grew up in Steamboat), so we moved to Fort Collins.  We bought our house in Loveland in 2007, and adopted our first son, Daniel, in 2012.  We have one cat, Toppers, and are going through the adoption process for our second son, Rhys.  I’ve been in legal support since 2009, most recently focusing on family law and estate planning at Clark, Williams and Matsunaka.  I enjoy hanging out with the kiddos, movies, video games, and playing and running tabletop roleplaying games. 

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1309 Hits

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Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-776-9900 
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Louisville, CO 80027
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