Garfield & Hecht’s Litigation Team Triumphant in 2012
The Litigation Team was successful in 2012 in many commercial and pro bono cases.
• Wachs v. Pitkin County Bd. of County Comm’rs, 2012 WL 5288039, court of appeals case no. 11 CA 0078 (Colo. App. 2012), The Court of Appeals affirms the trial court’s permanent injunction enjoining the construction of the controversial Castle Creek trail due to the failure of Pitkin County to follow its own permitting requirements.
• Oz Architecture of Denver, Inc. v. Freedman-Glenwood Meadows, LLC, 2012 WL 1369713, court of appeals case no. 11 CA 0636 (Colo. App. 2012), The Court of Appeals affirms the priority positions of Alpine Bank’s and the Seller’s Deeds of Trust in addressing the mechanics’ lien “relation back” doctrine asserted by the architect and civil engineer.
• Aspencore v. The City of Aspen, Successful challenge of City’s attempt to apply HPC demolition review to non designated buildings in the CC Historic District (Little Annie’s and Benton Buildings) resulting in first “AspenModern” negotiation yielding approval of the Aspen Core multi-use building with 7000 square foot luxury penthouse.
• Kittle v. St. Jude’s Co., 2012 WL 1197536, court of appeals case no. 10 CA 1580 (Colo. App. 2012), In April 2012, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of our client and reversed the trial court’s decision that our client did not satisfy the elements of adverse possession for riverfront property in unincorporated Pitkin County. The opposing party is now seeking certiorari from the Colorado Supreme Court.
• Bailey v. Willison, 2012 WL 1158733, court of appeals case no. 11 CA 0937 (Colo. App. 2012). In April 2012, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld a fee award won by the Firm on behalf of its landowner clients after the clients were unsuccessfully sued for alleged exposure to toxic mold. After successfully moving to exclude improper evidence and unreliable expert testimony, the Firm’s clients were granted summary judgment in their favor. After successfully defending that judgment on appeal, they were awarded fees and costs, which the Colorado Court of Appeals did not disturb.
• Amos v. Aspen Alps 123, LLC, 280 P.3d 1256 (Colo. 2012), In June 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled 6-1 in favor of our client holding that our client lawfully engaged in joint-bidding at a public trustee foreclosure sale of a multi-million-dollar luxury property in Aspen and did not violate Colorado antitrust law. The Supreme Court reversed the Colorado Court of Appeals, which erroneously held that our client illegally bid-rigged. The Supreme Court reinstated our successful trial court judgment. We now are seeking costs and attorneys’ fees.
• Dancing Bear v. Portigon – In 2012, the Pitkin County District Court entered a series of judgments in favor of our client, a large European bank, finding that the bank did not breach any contractual agreements or commit any lender-liability torts by refusing to supplementally fund a loan for the Dancing Bear project in Aspen after there were loan defaults and construction budget over-runs. The Dancing Bear developer was seeking damages in the upwards of $60 million. We successfully moved to dismiss all claims and to recover the $2.7 million in interpleader funds that were being held in the court registry. This follows resounding successes in federal bankruptcy court in which we represented the European bank in defeating the debtor-developer’s reorganization attempts.
• Ramos Arevalo v. Sonrise Pilot, LLC – In early 2012, we successfully settled a federal lawsuit on behalf of pro bono plaintiffs whose parents were killed in a trucking collision off Highway 82.
• The Firm is also actively representing an indigent party on a pro bono basis in federal bankruptcy court as part of the Faculty of Federal Advocates’ pro bono program that pairs poor litigants with experienced attorneys free of charge. These are but two examples of the Firm’s deep commitment to providing pro bono legal services to people in need throughout our communities and our state.
• The Firm works frequently with Alpine Legal Services, a local non-profit organization on whose Board of Directors the Firm attorney Ed Sands sit.