June 23, 2019

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.

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