August 20, 2019

Archives for November 17, 2015

Congratulations to Justice Hobbs and Judge Davidson, Recipients of the 2015 Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence

On Monday, November 16, 2015, CLE in Colorado hosted its annual Richard N. Doyle CLE Award of Excellence presentation at the Faculty and Author Thank You Reception. This year’s recipients of CLE’s Richard N. Doyle Award of Excellence were former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs and former Colorado Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janice Davidson. We at CLE in Colorado appreciate the contributions of all our volunteer faculty and authors. Thank you for graciously donating your time and energy to our programs and publications.

Justice Hobbs retired from the Colorado Supreme Court this past August. He was appointed to the Court in 1996, and authored over 250 majority opinions in his judicial career. He is an avid historian and proponent of water rights in Colorado. He has written and contributed to several books, including the Colorado Water Law Benchbook, two editions of the Public’s Water ResourceLiving the Four Corners: Colorado, Centennial State at the Headwaters, and Into the Grand. He is also a frequent speaker at CLE events, including water law and appellate practice events.

Judge Davidson was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1988, where she served until January 2014. Judge Davidson is now at IAALS, where she is a Senior Advisor to the Honoring Families Initiative. For years, Judge Davidson was the managing editor of the Colorado Appellate Handbook, and she helped form the majority of the book’s content, making it into an extraordinarily helpful litigation resource. Judge Davidson is also a speaker for CLE, most recently appearing at the Appellate Practice Hot Topics seminar.

We are grateful to Justice Hobbs, Judge Davidson, and all our outstanding faculty and authors. We couldn’t do it without you.


Gary Abrams, Executive Director of CLE in Colorado, gave the introductions.


Marc Painter, Chair of the CLE Board of Directors, introduced Justice Gregory Hobbs.


Justice Hobbs accepting his award.


Dawn McKnight, CLE’s Assistant Executive Director and Publications Director, presented the award to Judge Davidson.


Judge Davidson accepting her award.


Attorney Kim Willoughby provided Vanjak Vodka for the reception, and Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada provided Lawyer’s Lager. Thank you both for the libations.


The food and camaraderie were terrific.


No CLE event would be complete without delicious desserts created by the masterful bakers on the CLE staff.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 11/16/2015

On Monday, November 16, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued two published opinions.

Oasis Legal Finance Group, LLC v. Coffman

In the Matter of Water Rights as applied for by Meridian Service Metropolitan District: Meridian Service Metropolitan District v. Ground Water Commission

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.

Tenth Circuit: After Employee Proposes ADA Accommodations, Burden Shifts to Employer to Show Undue Hardship

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Osborne v. Baxter Healthcare Corp. on Monday, August 24, 2015.

Kelly Osborne, who is deaf, applied for a job as a plasma center technician (PCT) at BioLife Plasma Services. After two interviews, she was conditionally offered the job pending final tests and paperwork. BioLife’s human resources division reviewed her paperwork and determined she could not perform essential functions of the PCT job because she was deaf and would not be able to hear the alarm on the plasmaphoresis machine or hear clients calling for help. When Ms. Osborne showed up for work on her first day, Joe Elder, the manager, told her BioLife had rescinded her offer of employment. Ms. Osborne filed suit, arguing that BioLife’s revocation of the job offer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The district court granted summary judgment to BioLife and ordered each side to pay its own fees and costs. Both parties appealed.

The Tenth Circuit found material disputes of fact as to whether the accommodations Ms. Osborne proposed would be reasonable for BioLife and concluded summary judgment was inappropriate. The Tenth Circuit evaluated the three factors to present a prima facie case of discrimination under the ADA: (1) whether the employee is disabled within the meaning of the ADA, (2) whether the employee is qualified, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform the essential functions of the job, and (3) whether the employee was discriminated against because of his or her disability. Because there was no dispute that Ms. Osborne met the first and third factors, the Tenth Circuit evaluated only the second—whether she would be able to perform essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Ms. Osborne proposed adding lights to the plasmaphoresis machine in addition to the alarm sound and giving clients call buttons. Ms. Osborne argued her proposed accommodations were reasonable on their face and the burden should have shifted to BioLife to show that it was unable to provide the accommodations without undue hardship. The Tenth Circuit agreed, finding that summary judgment was precluded because genuine issues of material fact existed regarding whether BioLife could provide the accommodations. Because the Tenth Circuit found that summary judgment was inappropriate, BioLife’s appeal of the cost determination was moot.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 11/16/2015

On Monday, November 16, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued four published opinions and one unpublished opinion.

Garcia v. United States

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.