Medical malpractice is one of the most troublesome realities of today's modern health industry. For when a skilled practitioner or trained technician, who holds the life of a patient in his or her hands, acts negligently, the results can be devastating, both physically and financially. This office has extensive experience in evaluating professional liability and assessing the damages to the injured party. With contacts at one of the top medical schools in the country, we can have your medical records reviewed by the very people who train today's physicians.
If you feel you have been harmed as a result of the carelessness of a member of the health care profession or one of its institutions--including, quite possibly, a health maintenance organization (HMO), give our office a call. Let us evaluate your case without fee or obligation.
All drivers in Colorado must carry ‘no fault' insurance for amounts up to $50,000 in medical and $50,000 in rehabilitation expenses. Additionally, your own auto coverage will compensate you for a percentage of your lost wages for a period of up to 52 weeks and provide essential services assistance. But if you have been injured in an automobile accident, your coverage provides nothing for your pain and suffering or any of the other elements of damage recognized under Colorado law. And if your injuries have been severe, the dollar value of those damages can, indeed, be substantial. Their recovery can only be had by pressing a claim against the driver of the other vehicle.
If you've been in a motor vehicle accident, it makes sense to have the questions of liability and the extent of your damages assessed by an attorney experienced in these matters. For a free initial consultation, telephone my office today.
Have you been injured while on someone else's property? Were you there with their express or implied permission? Was it for social reasons or business? Have your injuries been more substantial than the initial medical payment provisions of the landowner's insurance will cover? What about your lost earnings? If you have been unable to work as a result of your injuries, are you receiving compensation?
Even what appears to be a minor injury like a slip and fall can have a devastating effect on your life—leading to chronic spine, leg or joint pain. If you have received an injury while on another's premises and are concerned about what the future may hold for you, give my office a call. I'll set up a no-fee appointment for you.
This age of mechanization and computerization has brought about many advantages in the products that we utilize in our daily lives. But on occasion, a defective product slips through the cracks. Sometimes it's as a result of a breakdown in the quality controls of the manufacturing process. Other times, it's a matter of inadequate design. Or it could be a case of an insufficient warning on the dangers inherent in the use of the product.
Whatever the reason for the failure of the product, a manufacturer may be liable for any injuries suffered by a user of the product. If you have been injured in this manner, you can telephone my office for a no-obligation appointment
As more and more people turn to our lakes and waterways for recreation, the frequency of injuries related to boating accidents increases. And like motor vehicles on our state's streets, roads and highways, traffic on the water is subject to various rules of safe operation.
All boating operators are held to standards of safe handling. And like the captain of a ship, they are bound to take reasonable care for the safety of their passengers. With over twenty years of experience in boating, handling watercraft both large and small, I am in a unique position to evaluate any accident in which you or a loved one has been injured. If you need to speak with a lawyer, give my office a call.
Generally speaking, Colorado is an employment-at-will state. That means either the employee or employer may terminate the employment relationship for no reason at all. However, the employer cannot terminate it for certain prohibited reasons, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, or as retaliation for the exercise of legally-protected rights, such as voting or filing a workers' compensation claim. Of course, this assumes that there was no binding contract of employment between you and your employer which contained provisions controlling its termination.
If you have reason to believe that your employer's decision to terminate you was caused by wrongful reasons, you should consult with a lawyer. You may be entitled to reinstatement, with loss of pay and attorney fees, or another remedy that will prove satisfactory.
While Colorado is an employment at will state, both federal and state laws protect employees against termination of employment for wrongful reasons, such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religious belief. If you have been terminated recently and question the reasons given by your superiors, or if you have reason to believe that your employer is setting you up to fire you on a pretext, you should speak with an attorney. Working hand in hand with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, your lawyer will be in a position to determine if your employer had just cause to terminate the employment relationship or to see that you are treated fairly on the job.
Age: Are you over 40? Is there a pattern in your company of discharging older workers and hiring younger ones to replace them?
Gender: If you're a female in a male-dominated company, or even a male in a female-dominated one, and you think the reason for your termination was based on your gender, your case might warrant investigation.
Race/Ethnicity: Are you a member of a racial or ethnic minority? If you've been terminated recently and there's a history of either open or veiled conduct on the job directed toward your minority status, the company's reasons for your termination should be examined by trained professionals.
ADA: Do you live with a disability of a permanent nature? Do you feel your disability has effected the decisions of prospective employers not to hire you? If so, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) may give you a remedy.
Is someone at your place of employment making unwanted advances of a romantic or sexual nature to you? Are those advances making your work situation uncomfortable? Is the level of discomfort such that your work environment has become hostile?
If you have answered ‘yes' to any of these questions, you need to seek legal counsel. Even if the harassment has just begun, you should take action to prevent the escalation of unwanted behavior which often follows in the wake of victim inaction.
If you feel that you are a victim of work-related sexual harassment, please telephone my office. All calls, whether you retain me or not, are given the highest degree of confidentiality.
Next to the loss of a loved one, few experiences in life can be as emotionally traumatic as a divorce or legal separation. Not only must you cope with the headaches that come from the division of marital property, the establishment of parenting time scheduling, and the conversion to the financial hardships of a two-household family, but you must also deal with the all the heartaches that follow the loss of love between two people. Add to that the confusion and emotional turmoil of the children of the marriage who come to regard themselves as victims of the process and you have a real quagmire.
An attorney can act as a welcome buffer to the emotional turmoil that's certain to follow in the wake of a marital dissolution. If you're in the midst of a marital break up and need some time to counsel with an attorney, free of obligation or initial charge, please contact my office for an appointment.
Custody problems? Wanting to relocate to another part of the state or country and need permission of the courts to do so? Got an ex- who's acting irresponsibly with the kids during his or her parenting time? Having problems just getting the ex- to live up to the terms of the visitation order that's already in place? Finding the parenting time schedule set out in the order from years ago unworkable now, given your change in circumstance?
Custody orders entered by a court are never meant to be set in concrete. As with most other matters that involve growing children and their changing wants and needs, custody determinations should be flexible processes that adjust to the always shifting ‘best interests' of the children. If you're experiencing problems with the custody orders currently in place, call my office for an initial consultation.
Have your or your ex-spouse's financial circumstances changed dramatically since the Court set the child support payment? Or has their been a major change in the custody or parenting time that your children spend with each parent? If those changes have been substantial, you may be entitled to an increased level of support for your children. However, you cannot obtain this additional support if you don't request it from the Court. And any increase you may be entitled to receive will only run from the date of filing—not from the date of the change itself!
If you need legal assistance in modifying a child support order, please telephone my law office. We can evaluate your circumstances during a no-fee, no-obligation consultation. If the circumstances do not warrant modification, you won't owe us anything. But if they do, we'll move with all due speed to get you the level of support your children need and to which they are entitled.
A second marriage for both of you—later in life? Substantial assets which each of you has, in your heart at least, pledged to the now adult children of your first marriages? Need a way to keep the family peace? Then consider a pre-marital agreement.
Also known as pre-nuptial contracts, Colorado law recognizes the validity of such instruments, whether entered into before marriage (pre- or ante-nuptials) or after (post-nuptials). However, there are certain restrictions placed on the terms of such an agreement, and it's wise for both of you to retain attorneys to assure that your interests are protected. Want to learn more? Call my office for a no obligation appointment.
Although by no means limited to these cases, adoptions are most common in two situations: first, for couples who have not been able to have a family; and second, when one spouse wishes to become the legal parent of the children of his mate's first marriage. The adoptive process in this state are controlled by C.R.S. §19-5-201 et seq..
If required by the court, such as in the case of a non-step parent adoption, you might have to be subjected to a home study investigation by the county department of social services. An attorney can counsel you through the process. Additionally, you should have an attorney review all of the court papers related to the relinquishment of parental rights by the child's natural parents.
In matters of step parent adoptions, the home study investigation is rarely employed. Nonetheless, having a legal adviser who can assure a speedy resolution to the process is advisable.
Is there a question about the parentage of a minor child? Modern genetic science makes the answers to such questions almost certain. A simple withdrawal of blood from the child and the prospective father is usually sufficient to perform DNA testing.
If you are the mother of a child whose father is denying his responsibility and refusing to support his offspring, a lawyer can institute a simple paternity action on your behalf.
If you are the putative father of a child and you have reason to believe that another was responsible for the child's conception, you too can institute a simple paternity action to determine parentage.
If you'd like to discuss these matters with an attorney, contact my office today for a free consultation.
Under Colorado law, a "guardian" is a person who has been qualified pursuant to testamentary or court appointment to be responsible for the safety of a minor or incapacitated person. A person may be found to be "incapacitated" if he is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his person.
A "conservator" is a person appointed by a court to manage the estate of a protected person. A "protected person" is one who cannot effectively manage or apply his estate to necessary ends, either because he lacks the ability or is otherwise inconvenienced, or because he is a minor.
If you have a loved one who falls into either one of these categories and you believe that court action is needed to protect his/her person and property, you should consult with an attorney about instituting guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.
Several years ago, I became involved in a will dispute that involved three elderly sisters. The eldest passed away, leaving an estate with a value approaching $400,000.00 in cash and certificates of deposit. She had prepared a will several years before, naming her youngest sister as her primary beneficiary and leaving only a nominal sum to her middle sister. She rationalized the uneven distribution in her will by explaining that her youngest sister was ill of health and financially deprived, while her middle sister and her husband were worth over $2 million.
But misunderstandings and the development of ill feelings among the siblings caused the eldest to change her will a few years later, writing the youngest out and leaving her entire estate to the middle sister. Another year or two passed and the eldest began to regret what she'd done. So she contacted another attorney and had a new will drafted, leaving half of her estate to each. The lawyer quickly prepared the instruments, sent her copies to review, incorporated the changes she requested, and sent the final papers for execution. When the client received them in the mail on Friday, she asked a friend to drive her over to the law office to sign the will formally. But unfortunately, the friend couldn't make time in her schedule so they set an appointment for the next Monday.
On that Sunday, the elderly woman fell in her apartment, breaking her hip. She was admitted to the hospital where she underwent surgery the next morning. Later that afternoon, when her friend visited, she asked her to have the attorneys come by her hospital room on Tuesday to sign the will. But around 2 a.m., the elderly lady went into severe respiratory distress and had to be admitted to the ICU. She lingered for two weeks, unable to fully communicate, then passed on, her last will unsigned.
There's an obvious lesson here. If you're thinking of preparing a will, DON'T DELAY! Wills can be simple instruments and most attorneys will prepare them at a nominal cost to you. If you need a will, telephone my office for an appointment.
Want to find out how the story came out? Read the section below on Will Disputes.
Have a loved one who just passed away? Was there property in the estate that cannot pass without submitting a will to the courts? Probate can be a confusing and protracted experience if you're not familiar with the process.
Colorado's Probate Code is multi-tiered, allowing for a more expedient distribution of small estates worth less than $27,000. For larger estates, a more complex administration is often necessary to assure that the decedent's properties and assets are distributed according to his or her wishes. Whatever size the estate, it is often best to have an attorney involved in the process to make sure that not only that the decedent's wishes are carried out but also that the heirs' acquisition of title to the properties is clear. If you're having to face a probate matter, don't do it alone. Call my office for a free initial consultation.
If you missed the beginning of this story, skip up to the section on Will Preparation.
Needless to say, when the middle sister lodged the second will into probate, the attorney for the youngest sister filed a dispute, contending that the middle sister had tortiously interfered with the eldest sister's execution of the third will. She had learned of the new will shortly after she found her sister lying on the floor that Sunday morning with a broken hip. The final papers were sticking out of the eldest sister's purse, which the middle sister brought to the hospital. After the surgery, the middle sister attempted to deny visitors to her sister's room by posting a note on the door and instructing the staff nurses.
Furthermore, discovery by the youngest sister's attorney revealed that the middle sister had been instrumental in convincing her elder sister to tear up the first will and prepare the second, even hand-picking the attorney and setting the appointments.
Fortunately, the lawyer aggressively pursued his client's claim, interviewing dozens of witnesses until he found one who recalled the note on the door. Shortly after the witness gave sworn testimony to that effect in a deposition, the middle sister agreed to share the estate with her less fortunate sibling.
Will disputes come in many forms: irregularities in the execution of the will; questions of undue influence or duress; fraud and misrepresentation; and, as in the case above, tortious interference. If you have reason to question a will from which you expected to receive an equitable distribution, you may contact this office for a free initial consultation.
Do you have property that you wish to protect against waste? Do you want this property to be given to your children or other loved ones before you die? Do you have minor children whose financial security—whether education, business, or future family---you wish to help assure? Or do you have a charity, educational institution or other benevolent organization whose goals you would like to further?
Trusts are among the most under used instruments in today's legal system. Working hand in hand with CPAs or other trusted financial advisers, an attorney can help you plan how your estate can best be preserved to carry out your heartfelt wishes—and to minimize your tax liability. If you want to consult with an attorney without obligation to see if a trust would be of benefit to you and those about whom you care, telephone my office for an appointment.
With today's busy lifestyles, few privileges are more important to us than our license to drive our vehicles on the public streets. Equally important, however, is the public's right to feel safe on the roads and highways.
If you have been arrested for an alcohol or substance related driving offense, you could face stiff penalties if convicted--including jail time and a monetary fine. Hiring a lawyer to review the details of the arrest, the evidence against you, and the mitigating circumstances is an essential ingredient in assuring yourself that the judicial system is treating you fairly.
My office represents clients arrested and charged with DUI and DWAI offenses. If you wish to discuss the facts of your case with a professional trained in legal evaluation, please call the telephone number listed below. Your initial consultation will be without charge.
If you're facing DUI charges in counties other than those in SW Colorado, please use the links below to contact attorneys who practice in the following counties:Jim Forslund Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, & Gilpin
If you have been arrested and charged with a felony, you need legal representation. And SOON! Every day that you go without a lawyer is another day that the evidence that might assist in your defense or act in mitigation of your sentence could get stale.
Even if this is your first offense, you could be facing substantial prison time. Add to that the fact that having a felony record can disqualify you from many employment and career opportunities.
If you need an attorney to review the charges and evidence the state has against you, give my office a call. If you're not able to make bail and have to remain incarcerated, I'll come out to the jail.
Did you know that, even for a misdemeanor, in Colorado you can be sentenced to a term of up to 18 months in prison? Did you know you could also face a fine of up to $5,000.00? Still think a misdemeanor isn't a "serious" crime? Still want to face the District Attorney without a lawyer at your side?
My office offers flat fee agreements for many misdemeanor matters. If you are taking the charges against you seriously and feel you need to consult with an attorney before you make any decisions, please call my office.
Southwestern Colorado is a burgeoning area of growth, with new people moving to the area every day. The demand for affordable housing is high, and the market a competitive one. Understandably, too many people rush into their home purchases without fully investigating the property they are buying. The most common oversight is failing to have a thorough building inspection performed by a competent and trusted professional with experience in the local area. In rural areas, a few buyers have learned too late of the water table problems that afflict certain regions. And on occasion, a less-than-honest seller goes to great lengths to hide problems from unsuspecting buyers.
One safeguard against "buyer's remorse" is to consult with an attorney through every stage of the purchase process—from the signing of a buyer's agency agreement with a local real estate agent to the closing. If you are looking at a major purchase of a home or vacant land, feel free to call my office for an initial consultation.
Did someone make representations to you in the course of a business transaction that you subsequently discovered to be false? Were those representations material or of importance to your decision to enter into the transaction? Did you rely on the truthfulness of those representations? As a result of that reliance, have you suffered some form of loss? Do you have reason to believe that the party making the false representations made them with full knowledge of their falsity?
If you have answered ‘yes' to all of the above questions, you may have a case of fraud against the other party. If you answered ‘yes' to only the first four, you still may have a case of misrepresentation against that party. If you want to speak to an attorney about a deal gone bad, call my office today.
Own a small business? Need an attorney to whom you can turn on occasion? Need a contract drafted up now and then? Or just need to have someone review the contracts others have prepared? What about that lease? Is it a new one? Or a renewal? Or maybe you have an enforcement problem, such as the landlord failing to repair the roof and the possibility of damage to your supplies or equipment.
Small business owners run into legal situations almost daily. And the most successful businesses keep their attorney on speed dial. If you don't have a local attorney to whom you can turn, please consider calling my office for an initial consultation. We'll talk about your needs and lay out a plan for representation that will fit easily within your budget.
Today, insurance is a necessity. We have it on the automobiles we drive—liability coverage against our own negligence; collision to repair our vehicles; comprehensive to cover vandalism; PIP (personal injury protection) to pay for our medical and rehabilitation costs; and UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) to protect against those less responsible than ourselves. We have homeowners' insurance to safeguard the homes in which we live and to insure its contents. Many of us carry health insurance to pay for major medical expenses. And there's a host of others—disability, life, commercial, and so forth. Name something important, and there's likely to be an insurance product that covers it.
But what happens when you make a claim under a policy for which you paid that hefty premium and the insurance company refuses to pay off? There are specific standards that govern the conduct of the members of the insurance industry in Colorado. And when one of them unjustifiably denies the claim of one of its own insureds and acts in bad faith, the penalty against the insurance company can be harsh—with treble damages, costs and attorneys fees awarded to the policy holder.
If you believe that your insurer has wrongfully denied a claim you made, you should get your case evaluated by a trained legal professional. Feel free to call my office for a no-obligation appointment.
The field of intellectual property embraces a wide range of legal issues: copyright, patent, trademark, trade dress, and unfair competition.
Copyright is a federal protection afforded to a person who creates a work of artistic expression, whether it be literary, graphic, aural, or other in some other form. Generally speaking, a limited form of protection attaches to the artistic work when it is created or completed. However, the full panoply of protection covers the work when it is registered with the Copyright Office of the U.S. Library of Congress. I have personally filed hundreds of registrations over the past twenty years and stand ready to assist any author, artist, or other creator who needs to protect her or his work from unauthorized copying or other infringement.
Trademarks or service marks are names, symbols, logos, slogans or other graphic representations that identify a particular business or organization with its products or services. Marks can be registered on both the national and state levels, depending on the geographical region of service or product distribution. If you have a mark you wish to register or if you feel your business is being compromised by another's use of a mark that is substantially similar, please call my office for an appointment.
Trade dress embraces the packaging, marketing tools, or other form of appearance of the business products or services a company trades. It could be something such as a distinctive container or a unique color scheme. If you have trade dress elements you feel need protection from unauthorized copying, you might wish to consult with an attorney.
Unfair Competition relates to a wide field of dishonest or fraudulent rivalry in trade and commerce, many of which have been codified in Colorado in C.R.S. §6-1-101 et seq. If you have a business competitor who you feel is utilizing unfair or deceptive methods, harming your establishment, you should discuss it with a lawyer.
If you have other questions about the field of intellectual property, feel free to call my office for an appointment. Initial consultations on legal matters are generally without charge or obligation.