2017-18 Colorado Ski Season Opening

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, A-Basin, has won the first-to-open competition for this season. The resort is scheduled to open this Friday, announcing that the Black Mountain Express lift will turn at 9 a.m., giving skiers and snowboarders access to the intermediate High Noon trail. A-Basin mountain operations will continue to make snow as weather permits to open additional terrain. Loveland and A-Basin were the first mountains in Summit and Clear Creek counties to make snow this year, kicking off operations on Sept. 25. Unlike other ski areas, Loveland and A-Basin don't set opening dates, opting instead to spin lifts soon.…

Colorado Large Animals Pose Road Risk

According to an annual deer-vehicle collision study, you have a 1 in 253 chance of hitting a large animal while driving in Colorado. In 2017, State Farm reports, Colorado moved up one position ranking to No. 36 across the nation for where you’re most likely to hit large wildlife. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2015, seven motor vehicle deaths occurred due to vehicle collisions with large animals in Colorado. And we are just entering high season for such collisions. The most common month for collisions is November, followed by October. And CDOT reminds drivers that the…

Disputed Facts Result in Settlement

A 2016 ski collision involving a Snowmass Village resident and a New Mexico man volunteering as a guide for disabled veterans resulted in a federal lawsuit. The case illustrates how complicated the dynamics of a ski collision can be. The controlling rule typically is that the uphill skier has the duty to avoid the downhill skier. But skiers also have a duty to not stop or position themselves in a blind spot. In the reported fact pattern, the downhill skier with the tethered disabled vet allegedly stopped below a ridge on the trail, not visible to uphill skiers. The uphill…

Village at Wolf Creek Blocked Again

A federal court has once again blocked a land exchange key for the development of The Village at Wolf Creek. The Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, a three-decade project pursued by Texas billionaire B.J. “Red” McCombs, is seeking the construction of more than 1,700 units that could house about 8,000 people near the Wolf Creek Ski Area. This week, Judge Richard P. Matsch denied a request from lawyers representing the proposed development to reconsider a decision he issued in May. The judge found that the agency tried to circumvent its obligation by relying on a law that requires it provide access to…

When to Break Into a Car

A new Colorado law went into effect last month which protects individuals who break into a stranger’s vehicle to save a life – but certain steps must be undertaken to avoid liability or criminal charges. The rescuer must have a reasonable belief that the person or animal is suffering serious bodily harm. Then an attempt must be made to locate the owner of the vehicle or contact law enforcement. As a last resort, the new law allows the rescue by breaking into the vehicle. In Denver, it is a crime to leave an animal in dangerous conditions, such as a…

Help with Legal Fact Checking

In this age of fake news and loose ideas offered as facts, the American Bar Association has taken on the task of offering reliable answers to current legal issues. The new website, ABA Legal Fact Check, is described by the ABA as the first focusing exclusively on legal matters. ABA Legal Fact Check will explore widely disseminated legal assertions. Primary to the task is addressing misrepresentations and misunderstandings about constitutional rights. The website will offer legal discussions and explanations based upon case and statutory law and other legal precedents to clarify common misconceptions. Recent posts include protections for hate speech,…

Student Safety with New School Year

If you have children walking to school, walk the route several times with them so it becomes familiar. Have children always walk on a sidewalk if possible and always use a crosswalk for crossing a street. If no sidewalk is available, then walk facing traffic. Remind your children that drivers can get distracted, so pay attention and stay visible when crossing the road. This means crossing in front of cars and buses, not behind, and to avoid texting while walking. If your children will ride a bike to school, instruct them on the proper use of hand signals to communicate…

Continued Conglomeration of Major Ski Resorts

A joint 7/31/17 press release from KSL Capital Partners and Henry Crown and Co. announced the completion of the acquisition of Intrawest Resorts Holdings and Mammoth Resorts. A new company has been formed, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, which now owns 12 mountain resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain and June Mountain in California; Steamboat Ski & Resort and Winter Park Resort in Colorado; Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario; Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec; Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia. The Crown family also owns the Aspen…

Don’t Throw Out That Phone, My Friend

Mueller v. Swift should be a guidepost for future litigation involving electronically stored information (ESI). In the new age of electronics, individuals must take every step to be sure all data is being preserved. Just as in keeping a paper trail when wanting to document all conversations, one should be keeping an entire electronic trail as well. Spoliation of evidence will play a key role in this case. This has become a large issue in modern litigation and has garnished attention and concern. Many courts that have already addressed this issue place sanctions on parties when there is failure by…

Your Right to Review

Consumers are rating everything from medical care to margaritas, leaving businesses unhappy when poor reviews pop up online. In March of 2017 a new federal law went into effect, protecting consumers from bullying by companies afraid of posted reviews. The Consumer Review Fairness Act was signed by President Obama following bipartisan support in Congress. According to the Federal Trade Commission: The Consumer Review Fairness Act makes it illegal for companies to include standardized provisions that threaten or penalize people for posting honest reviews. For example, in an online transaction, it would be illegal for a company to include a provision…