Experience & Accomplishments
During the course of my legal career of over 37 years, I have successfully represented clients in a variety of legal matters which include family law, criminal defense, medical malpractice, and workers compensation cases. However, I have dedicated my current practice to family law (divorce, custody, visitation, child support, maintenance, alimony, and division of property) and criminal defense (traffic, misdemeanor, and felony) cases so that I can remain current on legal trends and changes that occur in the law without the lag time other firms may face. I am also more efficient when I am able to focus primarily on these two areas of law because I can draw on past experiences when representing new clients. This saves money because I don’t have to spend extra time researching how to represent them.
Experience Is Key
I have successfully represented clients on appeal before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court. Some of these cases were published because they were responsible for making new case law in Colorado, which included expanding the rights of children and protecting the privacy rights of injured persons. These include the cases of Cintron v. City of Colorado Springs, 886 P.2d 291 (Colo. App. 1994) and Samms v. District Court, 908 P.2d 520 (Colo. 1995).
In Cintron, I successfully represented an infant who was injured at birth while at a hospital that was owned by the City of Colorado Springs. In this case I was responsible for overturning a trial court’s decision that dismissed the child’s claim because her parents and their former attorney failed to notify the City of Colorado Springs of their intent to sue within six months of their child’s injuries. The hospital was considered to be a public entity because it was owned by the City and, at the time the claim was filed, the law required that an injured person must notify a public entity of their intent to sue within six months of the date that he/she discovered their injury. When the claim was filed, medical evidence for the case showed that the child was still too young to have any awareness of her own neurological disability. Thus, the question became whether the child was charged with the knowledge of her parents. If so, the child’s lawsuit should be dismissed. If not, the lawsuit would be reinstated. Although most states have a similar law, they were almost equally divided on how the law should be interpreted. Fortunately, the Colorado Court of Appeals agreed with me and held that, “even though a parent may voluntarily undertake to aid assertion of a child’s personal injury claim by acting as next friend, minor will not, generally, be charged with parents’ negligence.” The Court then reinstated my client’s claim and opened the doors for other similarly situated children in Colorado to do the same.
In Samms, I represented spouses who were the plaintiffs in a personal injury claim. I persuaded the Colorado Supreme Court to overturn the decision of a trial court that allowed the defendant’s attorneys to interview my clients’ physicians without my clients or their attorney present. This decision applies to all persons who bring personal injury lawsuits in Colorado and enables injured persons to safeguard the physician-patient privilege.
Accomplishments That Matter
With the permission of my clients, I am also authorized to discuss several successful, unpublished decisions that secured the rights of my clients in family law matters. In one case known as In re the Marriage of McKenzie, Court of Appeals Case No. 09 CA 2651, I successfully overturned a trial court’s finding that my client was in contempt of court as well as a corresponding sentence to jail for not paying child support. I accomplished this by proving to the Colorado Court of Appeals that the initial decision was based on an assumption that was made by the trial court that was not supported by any evidence. I proved on remand that my client was not able to pay support as ordered because he was disabled. I then successfully reduced my client’s child support by over 400%.