June 25, 2017

Top Ten Programs and Homestudies of 2016: The Best of the Rest

The year is drawing to a close, which means that the compliance period is ending for a third of Colorado’s attorneys. Still missing some credits? Don’t worry, CBA-CLE has got you covered.

Today on Legal Connection we are featuring the Best of the Rest: the top programs and homestudies in the areas of law not previously covered, including construction law, disability law, agricultural law, water law, natural resources law, immigration law, and marijuana law. Although these practice areas are varied, the homestudies and programs featured below are top-notch. For practitioners in these areas of law, visit cle.cobar.org/Practice-Area to find more programs and homestudies in your area of practice, and visit cle.cobar.org/Books to search our selection of books.

Construction Law — Residential Construction Defect Law 2016: Intermediate to Advanced Class
The program will highlight significant construction defect liability, damages and insurance developments occurring over the past two years and described in the Fifth Edition of Residential Construction Law in Colorado (CLE in Colo., 2015) written by Ronald M. Sandgrund, Scott F. Sullan and Leslie A. Tuft. A copy of the book is included as part of the course materials. No written materials other than a list of cases and statutes discussed will be supplied. This program is an advance program and is not intended to provide a general overview of construction defect law or practice. Each Homestudy includes a PDF copy of the CLE book, Residential Construction Law in Colorado, 5th Edition. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 3 general credits.

Immigration Law — Immigration Law 2016
Attend this program and you will receive practical training for representing individuals in immigration proceedings, including juveniles and survivors seeking asylum and other humanitarian relief. Topics covered include: Immigration Law 101, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA, Cancellation of Removal and Trial Advocacy Skills in Immigration Court, Asylum Law, and Model Asylum Hearing. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits.

Water Law — Water Law 101 in 2016
This is the eighth in a series of courses related to Colorado water law and administration. This particular course will introduce you to the basic legal framework governing Colorado water law, rights, and administration as of 2016. You will become familiar with court cases, matters and issues critical to your understanding of water and water law in Colorado. You will learn about Colorado’s different types of water rights, how they are administered, the role of the State and Division Engineers, and what is required for changes of water rights. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits.

Environmental Law — Colorado’s Future Energy Economy: Legal Landscape
Attend this program and hear perspectives of officials and leaders at national and state and federal government levels on the direction of Colorado’s energy industry. Plus, gain invaluable insights on such from environmentalists, the energy industry, academia, and private firm practitioners. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the legal landscape behind Colorado’s energy and natural resources industries. Attend this program and personally unravel the issues with the experts. AND, at the same time, you will sharpen your practice skills and expand your knowledge to better serve your clients! Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

Natural Resources Law — Oil, Gas, and Mining: Current Legal Issues
This Oil, Gas and Mining Law program is the one to attend to get up to speed on energy issues currently affecting Colorado and the West. You will leave this seminar with a better understanding of the latest regarding pertinent litigation, regulations and solutions for quieting title, financing, and distressed companies. Taught by experts, this program will provide you with an opportunity to network with colleagues and experts, and to catch up on hot topics in the energy law arena. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 9 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

Disability Law — Social Security Disability: Advanced Practice
Your distinguished panel of Judges, ODAR and Colorado Disability Determination Services Officials, a vocational expert, and seasoned private firm SSDI practitioners will provide you with the latest information on: Changes, Statistics, and Findings of the Colorado Disability Determination Services Office, What’s Happening in Region 8 and at Headquarters – Office of Disability Adjudication and Review?, State of the Denver Regional Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Attorney Fee Agreements and Fee Petitions, How-to’s of Vocational Expert Examination, Perspectives of the Appeals Council, Appeals Council and Federal District Court Arguments, Case Law and Rulings, and How to File in Federal Court and Win! Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 8 general credits.

Agricultural Law — Rural Land Transactions: Contract Issues
Whether you represent the buyer or seller of ranch land, cattle, timber or recreational ranches, farms or other rural lands, this program is for you! Attend and your faculty of seasoned real estate attorneys and brokers will guide you through the nuances of rural land transactions, and help you avoid mistakes and potential pitfalls. You will receive straightforward guidance on Buyer Entity Pros and Cons, Federal Grazing Permits, Water, Mineral and Wind Rights, Growing Crops, and much more. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 4 general credits.

Marijuana Law — Enforcing Cannabis Contracts, Including the Use of Arbitration in the Cannabis Industry
A key fear in the cannabis industry is the extent to which cannabis-related contracts are enforceable. This goes beyond contracts for the sale of cannabis itself and may include any number of legal instruments that touch a cannabis business. Although a number of recent court decisions in the Colorado state and federal courts indicate a trend toward the enforcement of cannabis-related contracts, and these cases will be discussed, many doubts remain regarding the enforceability of cannabis-related contracts. Arbitration provides a unique forum for the resolution of cannabis-related disputes that may provide greater legal certainty and enforceability. This CLE presentation covers the nuts and bolts of arbitration law relevant to the enforcement of purportedly illegal contracts, and goes beyond to identify techniques counsel should consider when drafting arbitration clauses for cannabis businesses and their partners. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 3 general credits.

Tenth Circuit: No Error where District Court Granted Summary Judgment Prior to Rule 26(f) Meeting

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Trans-Western Petroleum, Inc. v. United States Gypsum Co. on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

United States Gypsum (USG) owns the oil and gas underlying 1,700 acres of land in Utah. USG entered into an oil and gas lease in 1995 that was subsequently assigned to Wolverine Oil & Gas Corp. and extended through August 17, 2004. In 2004, Douglas Isern, the owner and sole officer of Trans-Western, called USG and expressed interest in leasing the oil and gas rights when the Wolverine lease expired. Trans-Western sent USG a proposed five-year lease beginning August 17, 2014, and a check for $32,680. USG executed the lease on September 15, 2004 but did not cash the check.

On October 1, 2004, Wolverine protested the recording of the lease, claiming its lease remained valid. USG then rescinded the Trans-Western lease both orally and in writing. Trans-Western brought suit against Wolverine in 2006, seeking a declaratory judgment that Wolverine’s lease had expired on August 17, 2004. The district court determined that the lease had expired and granted the parties’ joint motion for a Rule 54(b) certification and stay. The Tenth Circuit affirmed on appeal. Thereafter, USG and Trans-Western executed a Ratification and Lease Extension for a primary five-year term beginning December 11, 2009.

In 2010, Trans-Western filed a second amended complaint, seeking a declaratory judgment that its lease with USG was valid and damages for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Trans-Western moved for partial summary judgment, which USG opposed. The district court granted partial summary judgment but denied attorney fees due to disputed material facts on damages. At a bench trial on damages, Trans-Western contended it was entitled to expectation damages because USG deprived it of the opportunity to assign. The district court disagreed, finding Trans-Western was entitled to only nominal damages based on the contract’s value on the date of the breach. The parties appealed.

The Tenth Circuit certified a question to the Utah Supreme Court regarding how expectation damages should be measured for the breach of an oil and gas lease. The Utah Supreme Court responded that consequential damages are those that are reasonably foreseeable by the parties at the time the contract was made. The court also held that the trial court may exercise its discretion to allow for the use of post-breach evidence to help calculate expectation damages.

The Tenth Circuit first evaluated USG’s cross-appeal, in which it argued that the district court should have granted its Rule 56(d) motion and deferred ruling on its partial summary judgment motion so that USG could conduct discovery. The district court determined that USG had a correct understanding of certain facts and constructive notice of others, thereby allowing the case to be resolved as a matter of law. In the district court, USG argued that extra time would allow it to discover evidence that Trans-Western was aware that USG was under a mistaken impression. On appeal, USG argued that discovery would have shown there was no meeting of the minds due to a lack of consideration from Trans-Western. The Tenth Circuit found these arguments different, and ruled that USG waived its argument. The Tenth Circuit further noted, though, that even if it were to consider the argument, USG did not meet the requirements for Rule 56(d) deferral because its allegations were vague and non-specific.

USG also argued the district court violated a scheduling order by granting summary judgment prior to the Rule 26(f) meeting. The Tenth Circuit found no abuse of discretion, noting that nothing suggested that USG sought to enforce the scheduling order and the order did not preclude motions practice. USG next argued the district court erred by granting Trans-Western’s motion for partial summary judgment because the lease failed for want of mutuality and consideration. The Tenth Circuit again disagreed. Trans-Western issued a bank draft in 2004, and USG had the ability to negotiate the draft from the moment of its delivery. Because the parties exchanged promises with adequate consideration, the district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court but remanded for calculation of damages consistent with the Utah Supreme Court’s opinion.

HB 16-1430: Implementing Recommendations of Governor’s Oil and Gas Task Force

On April 1, 2016, Rep. Steve Lebsock and Sen. Mary Hodge introduced HB 16-1430Concerning the Implementation of a Recommendation of the Oil and Gas Task Force Regarding the Sharing of Oil and Gas Operators’ Development Plans with Affected Local Governments. The bill was assigned to the House Transportation & Energy Committee, where it was amended and referred for Second Reading with the House Committee of the Whole. The bill was again amended on Second Reading but passed Third Reading with no further amendments. It was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy Committee.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission recently promulgated several rules to implement two of the recommendations of the governor’s oil and gas task force. The bill codifies some of the essential elements of one of the recommendations.

First, the bill states a local government must register with the Commission a statement of its intent to be covered by the bill in order to be qualified to receive from oil and gas operators the information specified in the bill.

Second, each operator shall register with the Commission and with each registered local government in whose jurisdiction it has an approved drilling unit, a pending or approved permit to drill, or an application for a new or amended oil and gas location.

Third, an operator registers with a local government by: (1) complying with the registration process established by the local government; or (2) if no local registration process exists, delivering a current copy of its Commission registration to the local government.

Fourth, a registered local government may request a registered operator to provide the following information: (1) an estimate of the number of wells the operator intends to drill in the next five years; and (2) a map showing the location of the operator’s existing well sits, sites for which the operator has approved or has submitted applications for drilling, and potentially developable sites for which no application has been submitted.

Max Montag is a 2016 J.D. Candidate at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Colorado Supreme Court: Lone Pine Orders Not Allowable Under Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Antero Resources Corp. v. Strudley on Monday, April 20, 2015.

CRCP 16—Lone Pine Orders.

In this decision, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether a specialized type of modified case management order known as a “Lone Pine order” is authorized under the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. After the initial exchange of Rule 26 disclosures, Antero Resources Corporation asked the trial court to enter a modified case management order requiring the Strudleys to present prima facieevidence that they suffered injuries attributable to the natural gas drilling operations of Antero Resources. The trial court granted the motion and issued a Lone Pine order directing the Strudleys to provide prima facie evidence to support their allegations of exposure, injury, and causation before the court would allow full discovery. The trial court determined that the Strudleys failed to present sufficient evidence and dismissed their case with prejudice. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that, as a matter of first impression, Lone Pine orders “are not permitted as a matter of Colorado law.”

The Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment. The Court held that the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure do not allow a trial court to issue a modified case management order that requires a plaintiff to present prima facie evidence in support of a claim before a plaintiff can exercise its full rights of discovery under the Colorado Rules.

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

e-Legislative Report: April 28, 2014

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For readers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions on requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

The LPC did not meet on Friday, April 25.

At the Capitol—Week of April 21

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, April 21

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • SB 14-123. Concerning the authority of the peace officers standards and training board, and, in connection therewith, providing additional rule-making authority; raising the maximum fee for certification and skills exams; allowing awarding grants to nonprofit organizations; denying certification for municipal violations; and making an appropriation. Vote: 36 yes, 26 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-161. Concerning the modernization of provisions of the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” that ensure voter access for eligible electors, and, in connection therewith, reducing the deadline by which a voter registration application must be submitted via certain methods, altering procedures pertaining to national change-of-address searches, allowing emergency ballots to be obtained for nonmedical reasons, amending provisions relating to military and overseas voters, increasing the penalty for providing false residential information, making the aiding or abetting the provision of false residential information a new felony offense, and making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 42 yes, 20 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1357. Concerning in-home support services provided in the Medicaid program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 48 yes, 14 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1356. Concerning an increase in the Colorado oil and gas commission’s penalty authority, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 40 yes, 22 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1373. Concerning individuals who may claim the property tax exemption for qualifying seniors and disabled veterans. Vote: 58 yes, 4 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1355. Concerning department of corrections reentry initiatives for successful reintegration of adult offenders into the community, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 47 yes, 15 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1334. Concerning the petroleum cleanup and redevelopment fund. Vote: 50 yes, 12 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1311. Concerning the credit against the state income tax for the costs incurred in connection with the preservation of historic structures, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 50 yes, 12 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1368. Concerning the transition of youth ages eighteen through twenty-one who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to the adult program of services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1310. Concerning the provision of breath testing devices to law enforcement agencies. Vote: 55 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1361. Concerning the authority of the state licensing authority to establish equivalencies for retail marijuana products, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1358. Concerning continuation of in-home support services, and, in connection therewith, authorizing in-home support services for spinal cord injury waiver pilot program participants. Vote: 55 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-154. Concerning funds administered by the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-30. Concerning the fee charged to issue a special license plate to a person with a distinguished flying cross that was awarded for valor, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 59 yes, 3 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-51. Concerning access to records relating to the adoption of children, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1044. Concerning consequences for a parolee who tampers with an electronic monitoring device that the parolee is required to wear as a condition of parole. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1371. Concerning property taxation of oil and gas leaseholds and lands, and, in connection therewith, specifying that the wellhead is the point of valuation and taxation for such leaseholds and lands. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1353. Concerning powers of appointment. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1363. Concerning the nonsubstantive revision of statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended, and, in connection therewith, amending or repealing obsolete, imperfect, and inoperative law to preserve the legislative intent, effect, and meaning of the law. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1359. Concerning medication synchronization for patients who are prescribed multiple medications. Vote: 58 yes, 4 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1366. Concerning reasonable restrictions on the sale of edible retail marijuana products. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.

Tuesday, April 22

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-92. Concerning the creation of the crime of insurance fraud, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1362. Concerning great-grandparent visitation with great grandchildren. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-49. Concerning endangering public utility transmission, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes and 1 no.

Thursday, April 24

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1383. Concerning the required number of physicians that must be provided to an injured employee for selection of a treating physician in workers’ compensation cases. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • HCR 14-1002. Submitting to the registered electors of the state of Colorado an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the petition signatures required for a citizen initiated constitutional amendment, and, in connection therewith, requiring a portion of the petition signatures for the amendment be gathered from voters who reside in each Colorado congressional district, increasing the total number of petition signatures required for the amendment, and excluding the repeal of an amendment passed prior to 2015 from these petition signature requirements. Vote: 47 yes and 18 no.
  • HB 14-1372. Concerning unauthorized advertising for adoption purposes. Vote: 65 yes and 0 no.

Friday, April 25

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1360. Concerning the continuation of the regulation of home care agencies by the department of public health and environment, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies, as modified by the legislative sunset committee, and making an appropriation. Vote: 48 yes, 16 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1380. Concerning the Colorado coroners standards and training board, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-117. Concerning the reauthorization of the regulation of real estate appraisers by the board of real estate appraisers through a recreation and reenactment of the relevant statutes incorporating no substantive amendments other than those approved during the first regular session of the 69th general assembly. Vote: 49 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-129. Concerning changes to criminal provisions related to marijuana and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

In the Senate

Monday, April 21

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1321. Concerning the membership of the Colorado task force on drunk and impaired driving. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1003. Concerning the exemption from state income tax of income that is earned by a nonresident individual working temporarily in the state to assist with disaster emergency relief activities, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1034. Concerning the creation of a wine packaging permit to allow certain alcohol beverage licensees to package wine produced by another wine manufacturer, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1042. Concerning access by birth parents to records relating to the relinquishment of parental rights, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1228. Concerning the repeal of certain requirements for defensive driving schools attended in accordance with a court order resulting from a violation of a law regulating the operation of a motor vehicle, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1339. Concerning the creation of the hazardous substance site response fund. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-183. Concerning an increase in the maximum term of a business incentive agreement that a local government enters into with a taxpayer who pays business personal property tax. Vote: 34 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-181. Concerning the elimination of the use of automated vehicle identification systems for traffic law enforcement. Vote: 34 yes and 1 no.
  • HB 14-1045. Concerning the continuation of the breast and cervical cancer prevention and treatment program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 29 yes and 6 no.
  • HB 14-1185. Concerning the issuance of travel insurance policies. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1207. Concerning the creation of the household medication take-back program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 25 yes and 10 no.
  • HB 14-1006. Concerning the remittance of the marketing and promotion tax collected by lodging establishments in a local marketing district, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 33 yes and 2 no.

Tuesday, April 22

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-12. Concerning increasing the assistance payment for the program for aid to the needy disabled, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 22 yes and 13 no.
  • SB 14-14. Concerning the property-related expense assistance grants for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 21 yes and 14 no.
  • HB 14-1313. Concerning a requirement that the owner of a pet animal provide a valid rabies vaccination certificate prior to registering the animal with a county. Vote: 23 yes and 12 no.

Wednesday, April 23

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-186. Concerning the aggregation of efficiency projects in small communities in order to attract private sector investment through performance contracting. Vote: 23 yes and 12 no.
  • SB 14-184. Concerning oversight of the industrial hemp program. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1260. Concerning the creation of three mandatory minimum presumptive ranges for defendants convicted of a felony sex offense involving intrusion against a child who is under 12 years of age when the adult defendant is at least 10 years older that has one of the ranges starting at ten years as the minimum in the range, and, in connection therewith, creating an indeterminate lifetime sentence with a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 10 to 16 years for a class 4 felony; a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 18 to 32 years for a class 3 felony; and a mandatory minimum presumptive range of 24 to 48 years for a class 2 felony. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1061. Concerning sentences imposing monetary payments in criminal actions, and, in connection therewith, eliminating prison sentences for persons who are unable to pay criminal monetary penalties. Vote: 34 yes and 1 no.
  • HB 14-1280. Concerning limits on liability for agritourism. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1354. Concerning the ability of a county clerk and recorder to seek judicial review of final action by the secretary of state relating to elections. Vote: 31 yes and 4 no.
  • HB 14-1288. Concerning information available regarding personal belief exemptions to immunization requirements for children prior to attending school. Vote: 19 yes and 16 no.

Friday, April 25

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1347. Concerning statutorily established time periods that are multiples of seven days. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1344. Concerning the use of electronic means to document transactions related to the business of insurance. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1266. Concerning the penalties for certain value-based offenses, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-194. Concerning the issuance of identification documents by the department of revenue, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1199. Concerning changes to the regulation of consumer goods service contracts, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1162. Concerning protection of the victim of a sexual assault in cases where a child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, and, in connection therewith, making legislative changes in response to the study by and the report of the recommendations from the task force on children conceived through rape. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • HB 14-1144. Concerning measures to improve the performance of district attorneys, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 33 yes and 2 no.
  • SB 14-3. Concerning child care assistance for working families, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 19 yes and 16 no.
  • SB 14-176. Concerning crimes related to entities that trade in stolen vehicles, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-187. Concerning creation of the Colorado commission on affordable health care to analyze health care costs in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 23 yes and 12 no.
  • SB 14-164. Concerning aerial firefighting efforts through the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety, and, in connection therewith, implementing recommendations made by the division regarding the Colorado firefighting air corps. Vote: 35 yes and 0 no.

Stay tuned for 10 Bills of Interest.

Colorado Supreme Court: Reformation Not Necessary for Commercial Option Entered Into Prior to Enactment of Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities Act

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Whiting Oil & Gas Corp. on Monday, March 3, 2014.

Equity Oil Company—Reformation of Future Interests in Property—Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities Act—Common Law Rule Against Perpetuities—Nondonative Transfers

In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether a nondonative, commercial option entered into before the passage of the Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities Act is subject to reformation under CRS § 15-11-1106(2). As a threshold matter, the Court examined whether the option violated the common law rule against perpetuities, and concluded that it does not. Because the commercial option negotiated by the parties was fully revocable, it posed no practical restraint on alienation, and did not violate the common law rule against perpetuities as that rule was construed in Supreme Court case law before passage of the Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities Act.

The Court held that because the option did not violate the common law rule against perpetuities, no reformation was necessary. Accordingly, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals on different grounds, and did not reach the questions of whether § 15-11-1106(2) provides for reformation of nondonative, commercial instruments, or whether the lower courts’ application of that section to the option here was unconstitutionally retrospective.

Summary and full case available here.