Welcome. The purpose of this page is to answer frequently asked questions so you can decide whether I am the right lawyer for you. My answers are direct, and that's intentional. I don't want to waste your time or mine.
What types of cases do you handle?
I have been fortunate to do many things in my 37-year career. I have been an Air Force Judge Advocate, Special Asst. U.S. Attorney, attorney in private practice, prosecutor, and municipal judge. I served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Municipal League and served six years on the Editorial Board of The Colorado Lawyer (including one as chairperson). I served fourteen years as General Counsel for a trade association with more than 22,000 members. I have represented farmers, fire districts, non-profits, and high-tech startups. As my practice has grown, and as I have learned what I enjoy most, I have narrowed the focus of my practice. My current practice falls into five broad categories:
1. Contract Drafting and Review. I draft and review legal documents, including all types of contracts. I strive to make the documents clear to minimize the risk of future disputes. And I strive to include provisions that protect my clients. I draft, review, and advise clients on many types of documents including commercial contracts, real estate contacts, employment contracts, intellectual property contracts (licensing agreements and so forth), leases, any many other types of documents. Other lawyers frequently ask me to draft and edit legal documents for them, including contracts, motions, and briefs.
2. Advising New Businesses and Organizations. I advise people and assist them in setting up new businesses and organizations. Forming the entity (corporation, LLC, or nonprofit corporation) is the easy part. Many potential clients can do that without a lawyer. They retain me to advise them on what type of entity to form, to draft agreements with their partners, customers, and vendors, and to help them protect themselves, minimize risk, and maximize the probability of a successful outcome if litigation is unavoidable.
3. A Limited Number of Certain Types of Litigation Cases. I advise and represent clients in litigation or who may become involved in litigation. Much of the litigation I do involves disputes between businesses, disputes between business partners, breach of contract claims, corporate veil litigation, misrepresentation claims, business torts, intellectual property disputes (including TTAB actions), and real estate litigation (including boundary and easement disputes, mountain real estate issues, and significant HOA disputes).
4.Speaking, Teaching, and Writing. I enjoy sharing what I have learned in my 37-year career with other lawyers and I speak frequently at CLE seminars. I've written many articles for The Colorado Lawyer and other publications.
5. Serving as Co-Counsel or a Mentor. I enjoy helping other lawyers in areas where my expertise may be helpful. See, Co-Counsel and Mentor.
Are there cases you don't handle?
I don't handle domestic cases, though I sometimes serve as co-counsel in such cases for corporate veil issues when one spouse claims the other is hiding assets in a corporation or LLC.
I don't handle criminal cases.
I don't practice in areas I am not qualified to practice in, e.g., tax law, patent law, disability claims, civil rights claims, discrimination claims, estate planning for wealthy people, and other highly specialized areas.
I earned a Masters in Law degree (LL.M.) in agricultural law, but my practice in this area is largely limited to drafting and reviewing relevant documents and advising clients in real estate disputes. I receive many calls seeking advice on disputes involving horses, but in almost all these cases the economic value of the horse is not enough to justify my hourly rate. 98% of those cases probably belong in small claims court. I am happy to help equine enthusiasts with boarding agreements, purchase contracts, liability waivers, and so forth.
I don't represent tenants in residential landlord/tenant disputes because in most cases the amount of money in dispute is not sufficient to justify my hourly rate. (I do represent clients in commercial lease disputes).
I don't handle small claims court cases because the amount of money in dispute is not sufficient to justify my hourly rate
I no longer practice in the area of military law.
What is your hourly rate?
My hourly rate is $335.00.
What is your required retainer?
It depends on what the client needs. I require every client to pay a retainer and I deposit that in my Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation (COLTAF) account so I may pay myself as soon as I earn the money. I refund any unearned fees.
In general, if the client wants me to review a document, the retainer will be less than if the client retains me for litigation.
I will send you a proposed fee letter if you want to retain me that will specify the required retainer.
In general, if you are contemplating filing a district court lawsuit, you should be prepared to write a check for at least $5,000.00 and that may quickly evaporate.
Do you accept cases on a contingency fee basis?
Do you offer a free consultation?
I will talk with a potential client by phone for a few minutes at no charge, and I can usually tell very quickly what the legal issue is and whether I am the best lawyer for that client.
Is there anything else a potential client should know about you?
Yes. My office is in my home in what used to be my dining room. I share it with my 140-pound Irish Wolfhound. This works well for me. If you want a lawyer with a fancy office, that's not me.
I like clients that help me help them. That means they keep me informed and respond in a timely fashion when I request documents or information. They respect my boundaries and don't call me during the evenings or on weekends,except in a genuine emergency or if we have agreed on it in advance.