Bloch & Chapleau News

Colorado General Assembly Considers Bill for Presumptive Maintenance at Permanent Orders

Bloch & Chapleau Apr 11th, 2013 Family Law

Spousal maintenance, previously referred to as alimony, has become a hotly debated family law issue across the country in recent years. Now Colorado is taking its turn as the General Assembly is currently debating a bill setting forth a formulaic calculation for maintenance awarded at permanent orders, which “suggests” both the amount and duration of […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Search By Drug Sniffing Dog Violates The 4th Amendment

Bloch & Chapleau Apr 4th, 2013 Criminal Law

In Florida v. Jardines, the United States Supreme Court recently held that an investigation of a defendant’s home by a drug sniffing dog does not constitute a permissible search under the 4th Amendment.  In that case, the police had received an unverified tip that marijuana was being grown at the defendant’s home.  The police approached […]

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Dissolution of Civil Unions: A New Colorado Frontier

Bloch & Chapleau Mar 29th, 2013 Family Law

On March 18, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the Civil Unions Bill, which goes into effect May 1, 2013, making Colorado the 9th state to allow civil unions. Some people believe the term “civil union” is synonymous with “marriage,” but they are actually quite different.  The differences include the availability of Federal benefits such […]

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Colorado Courts Issue Conflicting Opinions On Whether an Inbounds Avalanche Constitutes an Inherent Risk of Skiing

Bloch & Chapleau Mar 28th, 2013 Personal Injury

Recent litigation surrounding the deaths of two young skiers as a result of inbounds avalanches last year at Vail and Winter Park has prompted two separate Colorado District Courts to issue conflicting opinions as to whether an inbounds avalanche is an “inherent risk” of skiing pursuant to the Colorado Skier Safety Act.  On January 22, […]

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Colorado Supreme Court Overturns Black Hawk’s Bicycle Ban

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 25th, 2013 Personal Injury

On February 4, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down the city of Black Hawk’s controversial bicycle ban within the city’s limits. Black Hawk had enacted the ban in 2010 due to the rising number of commercial buses and increase in traffic in the gambling town, which has numerous narrow, shoulderless roads. The ban did […]

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The Defendant Is Not Required To Testify in a Criminal Trial

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Criminal Law

In a criminal case, the prosecution has the burden to prove all of the elements of the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the prosecution is not allowed to use the testimony of the defendant to meet its burden. Moreover, the jury cannot draw any inferences based on whether or not the defendant has […]

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Court of Appeals Rules that Great-Grandparents Do Not Have Visitation Rights

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Family Law

On January 31, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled whether great-grandparents of a child have standing to request visitation under the Grandparent Visitation Statute, which is an increasingly prevalent area of family law. In this case, the child’s great-grandmother (grandmother of the child’s mother) requested visitation rights, which the child’s father opposed. Although the […]

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Sudden Emergency Defense Abolished in Colorado

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Personal Injury

Defendants in negligence lawsuits in Colorado used to be able to ask the jury to excuse their conduct when the defendant was confronted with a “sudden emergency,” such as a patch of ice in the road.  Not anymore.  In a victory for personal injury plaintiffs, the Colorado Supreme Court abolished the sudden emergency defense in […]

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Introduction to Colorado Civil Trial Courts

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Civil Law Other Matters

The Colorado court system has three basic levels of civil trial courts, each with its own jurisdictional limits and rules of procedure: (1) Small Claims Court; (2) County Court, and (3) District Court. Small Claims Court cases have a damages cap of $7,500, and generally do not allow attorneys to participate, unless the defendant chooses […]

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Dog Bite Claims are On The Rise

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Personal Injury

Dog attack law suits are on the rise. Insurance companies paid out about $479 million for dog bite and dog attack claims in 2011, according to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute. These claims are typically paid under homeowner’s liability policies. In addition, the average amount paid per claim has risen 54% since […]

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