News

Colorado Supreme Court decision effectively prohibits direct-flow water rights for aesthetic, recreation, or fishery purposes.

July 20, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

On June 29, The Colorado Supreme Court released its decision in St. Jude Co. v. Roaring Fork Club that could have significant impacts on water rights and real-property development throughout Colorado. The Court’s decision effectively prohibits direct-flow water rights for aesthetic, recreation, or piscatorial (fishery) purposes.… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Releases Water Rights Decision With Potentially Significant Ramifications

June 10, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

On June 1, the Colorado Supreme Court released its decision in Frees v. Tidd, in which it held that a land owner whose property is burdened by an irrigation ditch easement may obtain a junior conditional water right at the headgate of that irrigation ditch for non-consumptive hydropower use of water that the neighbor is diverting from the stream under a senior water right.… [Read More]

Colorado Court of Appeals Releases Decision on How to Calculate Statutes of Limitations

May 14, 2015   |   Litigation

A statue of limitations is a law that provides the maximum time after an event when legal proceedings may be initiated. For example, generally under Colorado law, a tort action must be brought within two years after the claim has accrued.… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Clarifying Water Right Abandonment Statute

March 18, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

In Wolfe v. Jim Hutton Educational Foundation, the Colorado Supreme Court was asked to interpret the water rights abandonment statute, which provides, “failure for a period of ten years or more to apply to a beneficial use the water available under a water right .… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Addresses When Requantification of Historic Consumptive Use is Required

February 10, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

In Wolf v. Sedalia Water and Sanitation District, the CO Supreme Court was asked to decide whether the historic consumptive use (HCU) of a water right had to be requantified before inclusion in an existing augmentation plan when the HCU had already been determined in a previous case.… [Read More]

CO Court of Appeals Rejects the “Neighborly Accommodation” Doctrine in Prescriptive Easement Case

January 20, 2015   |   Litigation, Real Estate and Real Property

In LR Smith Investments, LLC v. Butler, the Colorado Court of Appeals heard an appeal of a trial court decision finding that two prescriptive easements existed. In Colorado, a party acquires a prescriptive easement when the prescriptive use is (1) open and notorious; (2) continuous without effective interruption for at least 18 years; and (3) either adverse or pursuant to an attempted but ineffective grant.… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Clarifies Use of Historical Consumptive Use Analysis in Change of Water Right Case

January 13, 2015   |   Litigation, Water Law

In Widefiled Water and Sanitation District v. Witte, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed the proper use of historical consumptive use (HCU) analysis in a proceeding to change a water right. An HCU analysis determines the amount of water that has been put to beneficial use, and thus, the amount of water that may properly be subject to a change.… [Read More]

10th Circuit to Review Constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act

December 30, 2014   |   Environmental Law, Litigation

On November 25, an appeal was filed with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to review the decision of the US District Court of Utah that a rule promulgated under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect the Utah prairie dog was unconstitutional.[Read More]

CO Supreme Court Clarifies an Important Negligence Standard

December 23, 2014   |   Litigation

In Chapman v. Harner, the state Supreme Court finally resolved the long-standing question of what is the proper allocation of the burden of proof under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Res ipsa loquitur, which in Latin means “the thing speaks for itself,” is a common-law evidentiary rule that, if applicable, creates a presumption that the defendant was negligent and does not require the plaintiff to show any direct evidence of the defendant’s behavior.… [Read More]

CO Supreme Court Concludes that a Forum Selection Clause Does Not Divest Colorado Courts of Jurisdiction

December 19, 2014   |   Contract Law, Litigation

A forum selection clause contains a contractual agreement between private parties that provides where the parties will bring any litigation related to the contract. In In re Nickerson v. Network Solutions, LLC, the state Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a forum selection clause stating that Virginia courts have “exclusive jurisdiction” over any dispute under the contract deprives a Colorado court of jurisdiction over a dispute.… [Read More]