Longmont 303-776-9900
Louisville 720-726-3670

blog 1

Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Family Farm Audits


Submitted by John Wade Gaddis

Varying commodity prices, uncertain water supplies, and unseasonable weather make it imperative for a family farm to stay on top of its business. How? Here are ten items to consider:

  1. Hold Regular Meetings. Meet regularly with your lender. Meet regularly with your ditch boss. Meet regularly with the owners of the farm and keep everyone in the loop. Schedule regular meetings.
  2. Keep Entity Up to Date. Keep annual meeting minutes. File reports with the Secretary of State annually.
  3. Plan Oil and Gas Development. Do you want to sever the minerals from the farm? Should you form an entity to take ownership of the minerals?  If you are leasing or entering into a production agreement, preserve as much of your property for future development as possible.
  4. Review All Insurance Policies. Does the farm’s insurance policy provide sufficient coverage for a catastrophic loss? Should you investigate obtaining a liability umbrella to provide more coverage? What crop loss insurance should be purchased?
  5. What is Your Plan for Retirement? Everyone talks about estate planning but have you put together a written retirement plan? Will the farm ownership continue in the family?  If so, have you defined a structure that helps your heirs make decisions in a way that avoids conflict or a forced breakup of the farm?
  6. Keep Up With Special Districts. Participate in discussions with any special districts that may affect your farm. Participating in sanitation districts, water districts and metropolitan districts can add value to the farm.
  7. Participate in Governmental Long Range Planning. Many farms lie within urban planning areas. Be sure to attend any public hearings about land use planning, zoning and future annexations. Be Proactive. Contact surrounding communities to review their long range plans.
  8. Document Everything. Update farm leases. Update farm house rental agreements. Document all farm assets, including water rights and storage rights. Obtain and inventory copies of all deeds, water rights, oil and gas rights and water storage rights.
  9. Know Your Disaster Plan. Recent events have taught that monsoon rains occur, fires can quickly destroy thousands of acres and unthinkable tragedies happen. Think about the worst that can happen and have a written plan of action in place.
  10. Assemble a Team of Trusted Advisors. Assembling a team of agricultural advisors, appraisers, bankers, accountants and attorneys – that know you and know your goals, hopes and methods of operation will help meet every challenge and make the most of every opportunity.

It is important to pay attention to larger issues that affect your farm. Sometimes you can manage to review all of these issues on your own. If you need help doing this, Lyons Gaddis Kahn Hall Jeffers Dworak and Grant PC performs farm audits and we can schedule one for you.  Please contact an attorney in our Transactional Group for help.

  1001 Hits
1001 Hits

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 Estate


This 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:

Continue reading
  981 Hits
981 Hits

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.

Continue reading
  1088 Hits
1088 Hits

Special District Election Bill Signed by the Governor

Submitted by Blair M. Dickhoner

On February 18th, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the much anticipated Local Government Election Code, legislatively known as HB-1164.  HB-1164 was crafted to resolve several inconsistencies between special district election requirements and the new election provisions created by the passage of HB-1303 last year.  HB-1164, codified at Section 1-13.5-101 et seq., C.R.S., applies to any district, business improvement district, Title 32 special district, authority or political subdivision of Colorado that is authorized by law to conduct an election.  It does not, however, apply to counties, school districts, RTD or municipalities.

Special districts that are unable to cancel their election will be permitted to follow one of the following election options: (1) hold a coordinated election with the county (primarily for November elections); (2) conduct a polling place election; or (3) carry out an independent mail ballot election.  In circumstances where a special district opts to proceed with a non-coordinated polling place or independent mail ballot election, the new Local Government Election Code will govern the operation of that election.

Continue reading
  930 Hits
930 Hits

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:

Continue reading
  1164 Hits
1164 Hits

LEGISLATURE CONTINUES PATTERN OF STRONGER REGULATION OF HOAs


Submitted by Eve I. Canfield

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), C.R.S. § 38-33.3-101, et seq, was amended in 2013.  Two statutory amendments were made by HB 1276 and HB 1277. 

 HB 1276 has been referred to as the “HOA Debt Collection Bill”.  The legislature has continued to define and control collection procedures of HOAs to address what the public sees as unfair and abusive collection procedures by HOAs.  While the prior SB 100 required HOAs to adopt collection policies and procedures, HB 1276 goes further in stating specific requirements for an HOA’s collection policy.  HOA collection policies will have to be 1276-compliant, or the HOA will be prohibited from using a collection agency or an attorney to collect past due assessments.  There are 7 specific requirements to be included in the policy:

Continue reading
  969 Hits
969 Hits

A Holiday Gift to Your Family


Submitted by Wallace H. Grant

Is your will up to date?  Do you have powers of attorney delegating financial and medical authority to a trusted family member or advisor?  Do you have a living will?  If not, spending some time updating your will and other estate planning documents would be a good holiday gift to your family, or a New Year’s Resolution that you can accomplish early in the New Year.

A Will is your opportunity to decide what happens to your estate upon your death.  In your will, you can designate who you chose to administer your estate; you can select guardians for your minor children; you can establish trusts for young children or family members who have special needs; you can determine who is to receive your personal items, such as collections, special tools, antiques, etc.; and you can decide how the rest of your estate is to be divided and distributed.  If you don’t have a will, those decisions are made by Colorado statutes, rather than by you!

Continue reading
  1220 Hits
1220 Hits

Starting a New Business


Submitted by Chad A Kupper

A limited liability company is flexible, and offers distinct advantages over a sole proprietorship, namely, the ability to reduce the personal liability of its members. But, did you know that an LLC also offer pass-through taxation in certain circumstances? If there is only one member in the company, the LLC is treated as a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes, and the individual owner would report the LLC’s income or loss on Schedule C of his or her individual tax return. Thus, income from the LLC is taxed at the individual tax rates. Make sure you know which corporate tax election is best for your LLC. Ask us how we can help you set up the right business for your needs.

  1023 Hits
1023 Hits

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.

  1034 Hits
1034 Hits

Powerful Powers of Attorney


Three Ways to Empowerment

Submitted by Anton V. Dworak

When clients make appointments for “estate planning”,  they tend to be focused on how they leave their property when they pass away.    While this is, of course very important,  we always stress that an estate plan is incomplete without properly drafted “powers of attorney.”

 A power of attorney is a legal document where you grant powers to make decisions for you under circumstances you dictate.  These powers include making financial decisions,  paying bills,  executing deeds or making medical decisions.     These powers can be effective immediately or upon disability.    What powers and when they can be used depends on your individual personal circumstances.

Continue reading
  1182 Hits
1182 Hits

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.

Continue reading
  1860 Hits
1860 Hits

Civil Unions & Estate Planning


Spouses, Partners, Children & Uncertainty

Submitted by Eve I. Canfield

The Colorado Civil Union Act’s Legislative Declaration states that its purpose is to provide eligible couples (typically same-sex couples) the opportunity to obtain the same benefits, protections and responsibilities that Colorado law  provides to spouses of a legal marriage. It seems a simple enough idea – just replace “spouse” with “partner in a civil union”, right? If it isn’t marriage, do parties get “unionized” or “civilized”? The Civil Union Act will certainly provide advantages under Colorado’s probate laws, but there are over a thousand federal laws that will continue to affect estate planning and other aspects of the lives of same-sex couples. For instance, Social Security Survivor Benefits are based on federal law and are not yet available to any kind of same-sex couples. There are 38 states, including Colorado, that prohibit same-sex marriage, but 20 states that recognize some form of legal relationship. If you were legally married in California, because California recognizes same-sex marriage, you are automatically deemed to be in a civil union in Colorado. What rights as a surviving spouse in California might you lose by this deemed change in your status in Colorado? Are your children legally your children in Colorado, if they are not your biological children? How should your estate plan be modified once you enter into a civil union? It will be some time before all the questions regarding civil unions are resolved, in the mean time it is important to review your situation to take advantage of the new rights and privileges, and also to try to protect those you love against unexpected consequences.

  1000 Hits
1000 Hits

Can I Recover my Attorney Fees?


Submitted by John Wade Gaddis

In virtually every transaction, if there is a dispute and a party has to litigate to enforce the agreement, he wants to recover the attorney fees and costs that he had to pay. It seems self evident that the prevailing party should recover the fees that he paid. In most circumstances, if you have not drafted an attorney fees provision into your agreement, you cannot recover the fees incurred in litigation.

The cost of litigation is high and because fees cannot be recovered in the absence of an attorney fee provision in the contract, many clients end up deciding not to enforce the contract — even when it creates a tremendous hardship. This is why it is critical to have a well thought out agreement that includes provisions defining how you will enforce the agreement. We can help draft your next contract and/or review it BEFORE you sign it.

  983 Hits
983 Hits

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,

  948 Hits
948 Hits

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