The term "civil litigation" describes the process of resolving disputes through the court system. A lawsuit should always be a last resort. Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary. When contemplating a lawsuit, it is critical that your attorney is candid with you about your chances for success and the costs and time commitment involved. It is always necessary to evaluate alternatives to litigation. Whether to file or defend a lawsuit takes careful consideration. Some cases resolve early, others do not. If the decision is made to engage in litigation, our firm has the litigation and trial experience to handle matters from personal injury to transactional disputes, and most types of cases in between.
There are three types of criminal cases – felonies, misdemeanors, and petty offenses. A felony is the most serious charge. Petty offenses are the least serious. Regardless of the type of charge filed, we strive to evaluate the evidence in the case and resolve the matter at an early stage. Following our review of the evidence we talk to our clients about our impressions and the client's options. Our job in the first instance is to provide the client with enough information in order for the client to make an informed decision.
Often cases end in a plea bargain. Occasionally, but rarely, cases are dismissed. If a dismissal or satisfactory plea offer is not attainable, the client can choose to go to trial. Regardless, we advocate for our clients every step of the way.
Personal injury cases require experienced and trial-tested attorneys. Personal injury cases most often involve insurance companies. Insurance companies make their profits by ensuring that the claims paid out are less than premiums paid in. This involves an inherent incentive for a company to pay less than a claim is worth.
Our first priority in handling a personal injury case is to lighten the load on our client. Often times medical bills are streaming in and the insurance adjuster is calling. We step in and handle this for the client so the client can focus on his or her health, treatment, and daily life. We will also ensure that your case is handled the right way. This means we carefully review reports, review medical records, and interview witnesses in order to fully evaluate the facts. We work with experts in various fields, from medicine to accident reconstruction, in order to ensure our clients' interests are protected.
Depending on the type of claim and consistent with our clients' wishes, we will generally attempt to settle the case before considering a lawsuit. If a settlement offer is acceptable to the client and the client can avoid the cost of trial, the case will settle. Sometimes a lawsuit is necessary, however. We strive to make sure our clients are fully informed about the costs and risks of trial before a decision is made whether or not to file a legal action.
We handle a variety of business and corporate matters for our clients, from business formation to the purchase and sale of businesses. There are almost always tax considerations and we make sure the right professionals are involved, if necessary.
Colorado's workers' compensation laws apply when an employee sustains an injury in the course and scope of his or her employment. When an on the job injury occurs, an employee is required to report the injury to the employer in writing. The employer has the right to choose the physician the employee is to see. The employer (or employer's insurer) is also required to pay the medical expenses and wage losses arising from the injury. Once the employee reaches maximum medical improvement, an impairment rating is assigned, and the employee may be entitled to an award for his or her impairment.
Unfortunately, the workers compensation system contains pitfalls for the unwary. The statutory scheme is immense and confusing. We have the experience and knowledge to handle these types of claims and to help our clients through this process.
A substantial amount of our work is devoted to handling all levels of real estate matters. We are equipped to handle any type of real estate transaction from start to finish, no matter whether it is residential, commercial, agricultural or vacant land.
Our firm also represents numerous homeowners' associations (HOAs) in the Gunnison Valley. We handle matters ranging from the drafting of covenants to litigating disputes to general HOA representation. We have extensive knowledge of Colorado's Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) and have argued numerous issues at the district court level and at the Colorado Court of Appeals. As with any type of civil dispute, we attempt to resolve HOA matters before litigation ensues, if at all possible.
Our attorneys have vast experience in the area of land use law. Attorneys who practice in the area of land use law are required to possess substantial knowledge about the Colorado Revised Statutes and local land use regulations. The Colorado Statutes and local regulations vary depending on whether the land use matter arises in an unincorporated county area or within the borders of a municipality. We are prepared to handle land use issues no matter where the dispute, transaction or change in use originates.
Mr. O'Loughlin serves as the County Attorney for Hinsdale County, Colorado. In that capacity, he frequently advises and represents Hinsdale County on land use matters. Mr. Schumacher has litigated a land use case from a local County Court to the Supreme Court of Colorado. This combination of knowledge and experience serves our clients well.
Estate planning and Probate can involve the drafting of a simple will to more complex matters involving wills and trusts. The complexity of an estate plan varies depending on the individual, the individual's family, and the individual's assets. We serve as a guide to our clients to ensure that they will have an estate plan that is appropriate for their needs.
We also believe it is important for a person to have a living will. A living will allows an individual to make a directive expressing the individual's preference as to how they wish to be treated in end-of-life medical situations, specifically terminal conditions. This alleviates the need for family members to make tough medical conditions on behalf of loved ones in times of great heartache.
It is remarkable but true – general contractors in Colorado do not have to be licensed. In other words, contractors are not regulated. The result is that substandard work is all too frequent. There is a remedy for the consumer, however. The Colorado Construction Defect Reform Act (the “Act”) contains a notice process one must follow in the event of a defective construction claim. If defective construction has occurred, it is critical that notice to the contractor is made promptly. The Act is designed to allow parties to settle construction defect claims at the pre-litigation stage. We handle construction defect claims at both the pre-litigation notice phase and through trial.