Court Opinions- Nov 09, 2020

Gomez v. JP Trucking, Inc.

JP Trucking, Inc. appealed the trial court’s judgment in favor of former employees Leonel Gomez, Francisco Gonzalez, Ebarardo Sanchez and Nathan Abbott, following a limited remand ordered by a division of Colorado Court of Appeals for additional factual findings. JP Trucking asked the court to reject division’s holding from Brunson v. Colorado Cab Co. and urged the court to read “interstate drivers” under the Wage Order harmoniously with the Motor Carrier Act exemption. JP Trucking also challenged the damages awarded. 

A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals interpreted the “interstate drivers” exemption to the Colorado Wage Order’s overtime requirements harmoniously with the MCA exemption. The division declined to follow the holding in Brunson, which concluded that the interstate drivers exemption applied “only to drivers whose work takes them across state lines.” The trial court correctly found that the employee truck drivers were subject to the MCA exemption, and then correctly applied the Brunson holding pursuant to another division of this court’s remand order. 

But, because the division believed Brunson was wrongly decided, it reversed the trial court’s judgment under the Wage Order and remanded the case with directions to vacate the damages award.

People in Interest of A.A.

After both parents in this case had their parent-child legal relationship terminated, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals held that where the juvenile court completely cuts off visitation between the parents and the children, without any showing that entirely prohibiting such visitation is necessary to protect the children, there have not been reasonable efforts to reunify the family. The division further noted a potential conflict in the standard of review language found in two Supreme Court cases and urged that court to clarify the standard to be applied in reviewing termination of parental rights cases.

Peak Billing v. Mountain Sleep Diagnostics

Following a contract dispute between two companies, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals considered when an arbitration award should be vacated because it was procured by fraud, corruption or undue means under the Colorado Revised Uniform Arbitration Act. 

The division adopted a three-part test widely used in federal and other state courts to determine when such an award should be vacated, but held that in this case the award should stand 

The division adopted a three-part test widely used in federal and other state courts to determine when such an award should be vacated and held that in this case the award should stand. 

TABOR Foundation v. Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals considered whether two foundations and two of their members have standing to contest the constitutionality of two Colorado statutes under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, and on other grounds. 

The division concluded the two member plaintiffs do not have taxpayer standing or individual standing. The division also concluded the foundations lack associational standing because they have not identified any members who have standing.

Begley v. Ireson

Following property damage caused by construction on an adjoining property, a division of the Colorado Court Appeals affirmed the district court’s judgement based on application of the litigation privilege under the standard set forth in Begley v. Ireson. Begley I established that the litigation privilege may immunize an attorney’s prelitigation statement if the statement is related to prospective litigation and the prospective litigation is contemplated in good faith. 

Applying the litigation privilege as articulated in Begley I, the division affirmed the entry of summary judgment. However, because the district court did not conduct a hearing, it reversed the award of costs to Gibbs, the attorney of one of the property owners, and remanded the case for further proceedings solely on that issue.

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