April 17, 2015

Colorado Court of Appeals: State Court Retains Jurisdiction Where Removal Attempt Without Slightest Color of Merit

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in McDonald v. Zions First National Bank, N.A. on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Construction Loan Agreement Dispute—Partial Summary Judgment—Jurisdiction—Motion for New Trial.

In 2007, plaintiff purchased a parcel of land to construct a building on it. He entered into a loan transaction with defendant Zions First National Bank and signed a construction loan agreement (Agreement).

Plaintiff submitted applications for disbursement of loan funds, some of which defendant paid and some which it rejected. Plaintiff alleged defendant’s refusal to disburse all the loan funds required him to pay certain vendors out of his own pocket. Eventually, plaintiff defaulted on the loan and defendant foreclosed on the property.

Plaintiff sued in 2009, alleging defendant breached the Agreement and an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. After discovery, defendant moved for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed an unverified response. The trial court partially granted defendant’s motion, dismissing plaintiff’s two substantive claims, but did not issue judgment on defendant’s counterclaims due to genuine issues of material fact. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss its counterclaims without prejudice. The court granted the motions and vacated the trial date. The court also granted defendant’s request for attorney fees pursuant to the Agreement and entered judgment in favor of defendant in the amount of $102,267.75.

Defendant tried to collect from plaintiff for almost three years, during which time defendant filed a notice of removal of the action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. There had not been an acceptance of that action or a remand from the federal court. On December 23, 2013, defendant requested the trial court certify its order granting partial summary judgment as final.

The Court of Appeals first analyzed whether the trial court had jurisdiction to certify its order as final under CRCP 54(b) and, if so, whether the Court had jurisdiction to review it. Following analysis of the attempt at removal to the federal court, the Court held in a matter of first impression that where a party’s notice of removal indicates, on its face and as a matter of law, that the attempt to remove the case is without the slightest color of right or merit, jurisdiction in the Colorado courts is not divested. Plaintiff had no ability to remove this case to federal court; therefore, jurisdiction was not divested by the filing of the notice of removal. The Court concluded that because only the grant of partial summary judgment was certified as a final order, only challenges to the propriety of that order were properly before it. This disposed of many of plaintiff’s challenges.

The Court then turned to the breach of contract claim and found that there was no genuine issue of material fact because defendant had submitted evidence showing it did not breach its contractual duties and plaintiff had failed to refute this evidence. Plaintiff’s second claim alleged breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Again, there was no genuine issue of material fact because plaintiff submitted no evidence showing such a breach and defendant’s evidence showed no such breach.

Plaintiff also filed three motions under CRCP 59, one of which was accompanied by an affidavit from his real estate agent. The affidavit was not timely filed. The motion did not attempt to demonstrate any evidence that was newly discovered or could not have previously been discovered by the exercise of reasonable diligence. The Court found no abuse of discretion in denying the motions. The summary judgment and order denying motions for a new trial were affirmed.

Colorado Court of Appeals: ALJs and PALJs Subject to Financial Disclosure Requirements of C.J.C.s so No Equal Protection Violation

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Kilpatrick v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Workers’ Compensation—Discovery—Maximum Medical Improvement—Petition to Reopen—Evidentiary Rulings.

Claimant sustained an admitted, compensable injury to his left wrist in the course and scope of his employment with Goodwill Industries of Denver (employer). Post-surgery, claimant continued to complain of pain. Following a steroid and lidocaine injection, claimant still had symptoms. Claimant sought additional surgery through his authorized treating physician (ATP). Employer’s insurer (Pinnacol) denied the request.

Soon thereafter, claimant was placed at maximum medical improvement (MMI). The ATP and two other physicians opined that further surgery would not be helpful. Employer filed a final admission of liability.

Claimant was referred to another physician, who recommended further surgery. The ATP signed a statement agreeing with this recommendation and apparently attempting to rescind his previous MMI determination. Claimant petitioned to reopen his claim. The administrative law judge (ALJ) denied the request, and the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (Panel) affirmed.

On appeal, claimant argued the ALJ made errors and abused her discretion in denying a discovery request he made concerning Pinnacol’s financial disclosures. He argued that workers’ compensation litigants are treated inequitably as compared to litigants in district court because they do not have access to the financial disclosures of prehearing administrative law judges (PALJs), ALJs, and Panel members. The Court of Appeals found that the PALJ held a hearing at which the parties presented arguments regarding the discovery request, and held that it was reasonable to find disclosing the financial records of hundreds of Pinnacol employees as overly burdensome and having no direct bearing on claimant’s request to reopen his claim. Therefore, there was no error.

Claimant argued that the denial of the request for Pinnacol’s financial records violated his right to equal protection under the law, noting that district court litigants can obtain a written disclosure of the financial records of each justice or judge of a court of record. Employer argued that ALJs and Panel members are subject to the same financial reporting requirements, and therefore there can be no equal protection violation. The Court of Appeals agreed with employer. The Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC) applies to all full-time judges, which includes the administrative law judiciary. Moreover, pursuant to CRS § 24-30-1003(4)(a), ALJs are subject to the standards of conduct set forth in the CJC. Finally, the Panel conceded that it was covered by the financial disclosure provisions. Therefore, claimant was not treated differently from other civil litigants.

Claimant argued that the ALJ erred by rejecting the ATP’s apparent retraction of his MMI determination and contended that the ALJ was bound by the retraction. The Court found this was a misreading of the case law and that the ALJ was not so bound. Further, there was substantial evidence supporting the ALJ’s MMI finding and denial of the request to reopen.

Finally, claimant challenged a number of the ALJ’s evidentiary rulings, essentially arguing that employer abused the discovery process by failing to disclose evidence and testimony to be presented. The Court found no basis that there was any abuse of discretion in the ALJ’s evidentiary rulings. The order was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Identity Theft and Unauthorized Financial Transactions Statutes Address Different Conduct

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Trujillo on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Identity Theft—Unauthorized Use of Financial Transaction Device—Testimony—Character Evidence—Habit Evidence—Equal Protection.

Trujillo worked at an assisted-living facility. One weekend, she took $250 in cash and a debit card from a resident. Trujillo used the debit card to spend approximately $270 at several stores. She was convicted of identity theft and theft from an at-risk adult.

On appeal, Trujillo argued that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted the resident’s testimony that she never gave her debit card to anyone, contending it was inadmissible character evidence. The resident described her regular response to the situation of needing people to buy things for her—her habit was to never give them her debit card. This testimony was habit evidence, not character evidence, and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting it.

Trujillo also contended that her conviction for identity theft violated her right to equal protection of the laws because, as applied to her, the identity theft statute punishes the same conduct as the unauthorized use of a financial transaction device statute but carries a harsher penalty. Trujillo’s charged conduct was using the resident’s debit card, without her permission, to purchase food, clothing, and other items. A reasonable distinction can be drawn between the conduct punished by the two statutes because the felony identify theft statute describes a theft perpetrated against the account holder of a financial device, while the misdemeanor statute describes fraudulent conduct committed against the provider of cash, property, or services in a financial transaction. Therefore, Trujillo’s equal protection rights were not violated. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Physician’s Prescription Order Falls Within Exception to Physician-Patient Privilege

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Moon on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Prescription—Physician–Patient Privilege—CRS § 18-18-415(1)(b)—Juror.

A doctor wrote Moon a prescription order for six Vicodin pills. Moon later gave a pharmacy a prescription order for sixty Vicodin pills. A pharmacist called the doctor, who said that he had prescribed six pills, not sixty. At trial, Moon testified that she received a prescription order from the doctor and gave it to the pharmacy, but she denied altering it.

On appeal, Moon contended that the trial court erroneously allowed her doctor to reveal information at trial that was protected by Colorado’s physician–patient privilege. The doctor testified that he wrote two prescription orders for Moon, one for antibiotic eyedrops and the other for six extra-strength Vicodin pills. The court also admitted copies of the two original prescription orders contained in Moon’s medical records. This evidence was not privileged in light of CRS § 18-18-415(1)(b)’s statutory exception to privileged communications for persons who alter an order in an attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or deceit.

Moon also contended that the trial court abused its discretion in denying her request to excuse a juror who revealed during trial that she knew the pharmacist. The pharmacist had filled the juror’s prescriptions. The juror’s relationship with the pharmacist was not ongoing and she said that she could be fair and impartial despite knowing the pharmacist. Therefore, the court was not required to dismiss her. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Single Entry Can Only Support One Count of Burglary

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Carter on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

Burglary—Challenge for Cause—Cross-Examination—Relevance—Jury Instructions—Complicity Liability—Voir Dire—Reasonable Doubt—Prosecutorial Misconduct.

After Fuller, a former grade-school classmate of R.W., knocked on the door, asking to use R.W.’s phone, two or three men rushed inside, pushing past R.W. One of the perpetrators was armed with a rifle. While the perpetrators searched the house, several people called 911, and the police arrived moments later. Fuller and Golston fled, but were apprehended nearby. Defendant’s wife, a friend who was residing in the basement, and at least three minor children had been in the house and witnessed the incident.

Defendant was taken into custody several days later after his parole officer noted that his ankle monitor placed him within 150 to 200 feet of the residence on the night of the incident. He was convicted of four counts of first-degree burglary—assault/menace; one count of first-degree burglary—deadly weapon; and three counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred when it denied his challenge for cause to a prospective juror who was a criminal investigator for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). However, the CPUC does not qualify as a public law enforcement agency under the applicable statute. Therefore, it was not error for the trial court to deny the challenge for cause.

Defendant also argued that the trial court erred by restricting him from eliciting, on cross-examination, information about two alleged incidents that he claims would have been relevant as to R.W.’s motive to testify and credibility. Specifically, defendant sought to cross-examine R.W. and Detective Meier, an investigating detective on the case, to support a defense that what happened at R.W.’s house on the eve of the incident was not a robbery but a botched drug deal. This evidence, however, was too speculative to support the relevance of these inquiries; therefore, they were properly excluded.

Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it gave a second instruction on complicity liability. Standing alone, the second instruction could be confusing, but it didn’t conflict with or contradict the first instruction. When read as a whole, the instructions accurately informed the jury of the applicable law.

Defendant contended that the trial court erred, during voir dire instructions to the jury, by analogizing the beyond a reasonable doubt standard to an incomplete jigsaw puzzle, and by allowing the prosecutor to make similar comments, consequently lowering the prosecution’s burden of proof. The trial court verbally instructed the jury twice on the definition of reasonable doubt, as stated in the model jury instructions and applicable case law, and provided final written instructions. Absent evidence to suggest otherwise, it is presumed that the jury followed these instructions.

Defendant further contended that the trial court erred when it allowed the prosecutor to make statements characterizing defense counsel as attempting to distract the jury with “magic trick[s]” and “red herrings.” Although the reference to defense counsel in the prosecution’s closing argument was arguably inappropriate, as a whole, the prosecutor’s statements were fair comments on the evidence. Therefore, they were not improper. Conversely, the prosecutor’s comments during voir dire did not appear to be tied to the evidence and were improper. However, these statements were not the focus of the overall voir dire and argument. Therefore, any error was harmless.

Defendant also argued that the trial court erred in entering convictions on each of the five counts of first-degree burglary. Defendant’s burglary convictions were based on the same unlawful entry of the victims’ home. Because a single entry can support only one conviction of first-degree burglary, even if multiple assaults occur, defendant’s five first-degree burglary convictions violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

The case was remanded to the trial court with directions to vacate defendant’s conviction and sentence for four counts of first-degree burglary—assault/menace and correct the mittimus accordingly. In all other respects, the judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/12/2015

On March 12, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and 35 unpublished opinions.

People v. Trujillo

People v. Moon

People v. Carter

People v. Dobler

People v. Rediger

People v. Nerud

Patterson v. BP America Production Co.

McDonald v. Zions First National Bank, N.A.

Kilpatrick v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Reformation of Conservation Deed Appropriate to Correct Mutual Mistake

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Ranch O, LLC v. Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Conservation Easement—Summary Judgment—Reformation of Deed Based on Mutual Mistake.

Craig Walker was the sole manager and 99% membership owner of Walker I-Granby, LLC (LLC). Walker owned certain property that he conveyed to the LLC. Walker and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (Land Trust) then signed a deed of conservation easement (Conservation Deed) that purported to give the Land Trust a conservation easement on the subject property. The Conservation Deed named Walker as the grantor, but Walker had previously conveyed the subject property to his LLC. The LLC should have been the grantor. Neither Walker nor the Land Trust was aware of this error.

Walker, on the LLC’s behalf, then entered into discussions with Ranch O, LLC’s principal about selling the subject property to Ranch O. Walker informed Ranch O of the Land Trust’s conservation easement.

Ranch O bought the subject property from the LLC. The deed conveying the property noted that the subject property was encumbered by a conservation easement held by the Land Trust and noted the recording information for the Conservation Deed.

Ranch O requested a declaratory judgment that the Conservation Deed was invalid and had no force and effect because Walker had no ownership interest in the subject property at the time the Conservation Deed was signed and recorded. The Land Trust answered, seeking a declaratory judgment that the Conservation Deed was valid and enforceable despite the scrivener’s error and reformation of the Conservation Deed to correct any error regarding the identity of the grantor. The Land Trust claimed any error was the result of mutual mistake. The district court granted the Land Trust’s motion for summary judgment and denied Ranch O’s request.

On appeal, Ranch O argued that the undisputed facts precluded the district court from reforming the Conservation Deed based on a mutual mistake of fact. The Court of Appeals disagreed. It found that the evidence clearly and unequivocally showed that reformation was appropriate because both parties to the Conservation Deed mistakenly believed that it correctly identified the grantor and that the grantor had the authority to convey the conservation easement. The mutual mistake justified reforming the Conservation Deed.

Ranch O also argued that reformation violated the policies and purposes behind Colorado’s race-notice statute. The Court disagreed, noting that Ranch O had actual notice of the Conservation Deed before it purchased the subject property. It was also advised of the Conservation Deed in the LLC’s deed to Ranch O. Ranch O, given its actual knowledge of the Conservation Deed, cannot simply ignore it and then seek to defeat its reformation in this action. Reformation is an equitable remedy and equity demands that the Conservation Deed be reformed. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Claims Against Developers Could Lie in Tort; CGIA May Apply

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in First National Bank of Durango v. Lyons on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Securities Fraud—Subject Matter Jurisdiction—Colorado Securities Act Claims Lie in Tort—Scope of “Public Employment.”

Defendants William S. Lyons, Jr., William S. Lyons III, and others comprised the Board of Directors of Lincoln Creek Metropolitan District (District). The District is a special district formed to provide public facilities to Lincoln Creek Village. Defendants’ company, LCV, LLC, owned almost all of the property in the District and was the developer of Lincoln Creek Village.

In March 2006, plaintiffs (collectively, Banks) purchased $4.13 million of General Obligation Tax Bonds issued by the District to partially fund construction of Lincoln Creek Village. In July 2008, the bank that held the deed of trust securing the development loan foreclosed on the encumbered Lincoln Creek Village property. The Banks then filed this action against defendants, LCV, and the bond underwriter.

The Banks alleged that defendants misrepresented and omitted material facts in connection with the offer and sale of the bonds, in violation of CRS § 11-51-501(1) of the Colorado Securities Act (CSA). Defendants asserted the defense of governmental immunity and filed a CRCP 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that the Banks had failed to provide notice of the claims to the District, a jurisdictional prerequisite under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). The district court denied the motion to dismiss, concluding that the CSA claims do not sound in tort and therefore the CGIA is inapplicable.

On interlocutory appeal, defendants argued that the Banks’ CSA claims lie in tort or could lie in tort. The Court of Appeals noted that defendants are public employees for purposes of the CGIA and that the CGIA requires that written notice of claims against a public employee must first be provided within the statutory period to the public entity where the employee is employed. Failure to comply with the notice requirement forever bars the action against the employee. It was undisputed that the Banks did not provide notice to the District of their claims against defendants. The question then became whether the claims against defendants lie in tort or could lie in tort.

The Court found that the complaint demonstrated that the injury underlying the Banks’ CSA claims was tortious in nature. Essentially, the Banks alleged that they relied on a misrepresentation of material fact by defendants. This is injury arising out of tortious conduct.

The Banks also argued that the misrepresentations were made by defendants in their capacity as private developers and not within the scope of any “public employment” with the District; therefore, the CGIA notice requirement does not apply. Defendants countered that this issue was not decided by the district court. The Court agreed with defendants and remanded the case to the district court to decide whether the claims against them are based on acts or omissions that occurred within the scope of their public employment. If it finds the misrepresentations alleged were made by defendants within the scope of their employment with the District, then it must dismiss the Banks’ claims. However, if the claims were premised on misrepresentations made by defendants as private developers and outside the scope of their employment with the District, the CGIA does not apply and statutory notice was not required.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statutory Employer Not Liable for Workplace Injury Where Workers’ Compensation Benefits were Paid

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Monell v. Cherokee River, Inc. on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Dismissal of Negligence Claims—Attorney Fees Award Under CRS § 13-17-201—Statutory Employer Under CRS § 8-41-401.

Plaintiff was hired by N.J. Liming, a subcontractor to defendant Cherokee River, Inc. (CRI), for the construction of a steel building. Plaintiff was working near high-voltage overhead electrical lines when electricity arced from the lines and electrocuted him, causing severe burns, shock, and temporary heart stoppage.

Plaintiff received workers’ compensation benefits from N.J. Liming. He then sued the landowner, the companies that furnished the electricity and maintained the electrical lines, and CRI. He asserted two negligence claims against CRI. CRI moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, because it was plaintiff’s statutory employer under CRS § 8-41-401. The district court agreed and dismissed the negligence claims against CRI. CRI moved for attorney fees and costs under CRS § 13-17-201. The district court awarded CRI fees and costs related to defending the tort action and litigating the fees and costs motion.

On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court erred because CRI was not his statutory employer. The Court of Appeals disagreed. It noted that the workers’ compensation statute immunized employers from tort liability for a workplace injury if the injured worker collects workers’ compensation benefits. Here, it was clear that plaintiff’s injuries arose from an activity that was within the scope of CRI’s business and work. Because CRI was plaintiff’s statutory employer, it was immune to tort liability for his injury.

Plaintiff contended that CRS § 13-17-201 provides that the defendant shall have judgment for his or her reasonable attorney fees. Also, because CRI’s insurer paid the attorney fees, CRI had incurred no attorney fees that plaintiff could pay. He also argued that CRI’s insurer was ineligible for a fees award because it was not a defendant in the case. The Court disagreed. The purpose of the attorney fees statute is to discourage the institution or maintenance of unnecessary tort claims. To whom plaintiff pays the fee award is irrelevant to this purpose.

Plaintiff further argued it was error to award fees for litigating the fees and costs motion, because CRS § 13-17-201 only authorizes an award of fees incurred “in defending the action.” The Court agreed. A defendant is entitled to fees for litigating a CRS § 13-17-201 motion for fees only if the plaintiff’s defense to the motion is substantially frivolous, substantially groundless, or substantially vexatious. There was no such finding here.

Finally, CRI requested appellate attorney fees. The Court granted CRI its reasonable fees relating to the defense of the dismissal order but denied its request for fees relating to its defense of the court’s fee award.

The order granting the motion to dismiss and the fees award for litigating it was affirmed. The fee award for litigating the fees and costs motion was reversed, and the case was case remanded with directions.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 3/5/2015

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and 17 unpublished opinions.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Constitutionality of Life Without Parole for Juvenile Offenders Must Be Determined on Case-by-Case Basis

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Wilder on Thursday, February 26, 2015.


In 1998, at the age of 17, defendant conspired to murder his codefendant’s husband and landlord. Defendant and his codefendant invited the two men to the house they were renting. The husband did not arrive, but the landlord arrived with a friend. After an argument, the codefendant shot both the landlord and his friend several times. The landlord’s friend died from the gunshot wounds. Defendant killed the landlord by repeatedly bludgeoning his head with a baseball bat.

On appeal, defendant asserted that his mandatory sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder conviction was unconstitutional. Because defendant was a juvenile at the time of the crimes, the Court of Appeals was required to make an individualized determination of whether life without parole was appropriate, given the particular qualities of the juvenile being sentenced. Here, the trial court sentenced defendant to life without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder conviction, under the 1999 mandatory provision of CRS § 18-1.3-401(4)(a). Defendant’s sentence was vacated and his case was remanded to the trial court for an individualized determination of whether life without parole is an appropriate sentence.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: DNA Swab Evidence from Juvenile Offender Need Not Be Suppressed

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Casillus on Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Deferred Adjudication—Juvenile—Probation—DNA Collection—Suppression of Evidence—Fourth Amendment.

A juvenile court placed defendant Ismael Casillas on a deferred adjudication. The terms of the deferred adjudication required him to be under the supervision of the juvenile probation department with standard terms and conditions. Defendant’s juvenile probation officer later swabbed his cheek for a DNA sample. This DNA sample led to defendant—now an adult—being first linked to a carjacking and, ultimately, being convicted of criminal mischief, which he now appeals.

Defendant contended that evidence of his DNA should be suppressed because its collection violated the juvenile DNA collection statute and the Fourth Amendment. Because defendant stipulated to a one-year deferred adjudication and sentence on his juvenile charge and successfully completed his deferred adjudication, he was not required to submit to a cheek swab. Therefore, the cheek swab violated the juvenile DNA collection statute and the Fourth Amendment. However, because defendant has not established that any violation of the juvenile DNA collection statute was willful and recurrent, the trial court did not err by denying his motion to suppress based on a statutory violation. Furthermore, the suppression of the DNA evidence obtained from the juvenile probation officer’s cheek swab was only a supervisory function under the direction of the juvenile court and would have no deterrent value. As a result, suppression of the DNA evidence was neither a necessary nor appropriate remedy for violation of defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. The trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress the DNA sample was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.