'Common Sense' legislators to be honored by CCJL at Oct. 24 event

Sunday, September 23, 2018

DENVER — Colorado Civil Justice League has announced winners of its Common Sense in the Courtroom Awards, given to state legislators who have demonstrated a commitment to curtailing lawsuit abuse.

Awards will be presented at CCJL’s Legislative Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Denver Four Seasons.

CCJL is the only organization in Colorado exclusively dedicated to stopping lawsuit abuse while preserving a system of civil justice that fairly compensates legitimate victims.

“Common Sense in the Courtroom requires justice for those who have been wronged, balanced by fairness for those who may be wrongfully accused,” said CCJL executive director Mark Hillman.

The best news from the 2018 legislative session was the bills that didn’t pass.Late in the legislative session, two bills were introduced to discourage arbitration – an alternative to litigation that often saves time and money.  The alternative to arbitration?  Hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit, of course.

Other bills were introduced to address business practices that result in perceived greed or inequity.  The irony, however, is that in each of these bills the remedy to alleged “corporate greed” was to create new incentives for profiteering by personal injury lawyers.

"At CCJL, we are grateful for the bipartisan support of legislators who understand the importance of an efficient and balanced court system to our state's economy," Hillman said.

Common Sense in the Courtroom Award recipients include:

  • Representatives Jon Becker (Fort Morgan), Susan Beckman (Littleton), Perry Buck (Greeley), Terri Carver (Colorado Springs), Marc Catlin (Montrose), Phil Covarrubias (Brighton), Justin Everett (Littleton), Matt Gray (Broomfield), Chris Hansen (Denver), Steve Humphrey (Eaton), Tracy Kraft-Tharp (Arvada), Lois Landgraf (Fountain), Polly Lawrence (Douglas County), Tim Leonard (Evergreen), Kimmi Lewis (Kim), Larry Liston (Colorado Springs), Paul Lundeen (Monument), Hugh McKean (Loveland), Patrick Neville (Franktown), Dan Pabon (Denver), Bob Rankin (Carbondale), Kim Ranson (Douglas County), Judy Reyher (La Junta), Lori Saine (Firestone), Shane Sandridge (Colorado Springs), Lang Sias (Arvada), Dan Thurlow (Grand Junction), Kevin Van Winkle (Highlands Ranch), Yeulin Willett (Grand Junction), David Williams (Colorado Springs), Jim Wilson (Salida), Alex "Skinny" Winkler (Northglenn) and Cole Wist (Centennial).

  • Senators Rachel Zenzinger (Arvada), Angela Williams (Denver), Jack Tate (Centennial), Jerry Sonnenberg (Sterling), Jim Smallwood (Castle Rock), Ray Scott (Grand Junction), Kevin Priola (Brighton), Tim Neville (Littleton), Beth Martinez Humenik (Thornton), Vicki Marble (Fort Collins), Kevin Lundberg (Berthoud), Kent Lambert (Colorado Springs), Cheri Jahn (Wheat Ridge), Chris Holbert (Parker), Owen Hill (Colorado Springs), Kevin Grantham (Canon City), Bob Gardner (Colorado Springs), Larry Crowder (Alamosa), Don Coram (Montrose), John Cooke (Greeley) and Randy Baumgardner (Hot Sulphur Springs).

    This year's luncheon is sponsored by American Furniture Warehouse, Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors, State Farm, HuschBlackwell, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell and COPIC.

  • Supreme Court backs CCJL in judgment interest case

    Monday, September 10, 2018

    Today, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a claimant is not entitled to interest on damages if no court action is filed.  The opinion written by Justice Brian Boatright supports the position taken by Colorado Civil Justice League in an amicus brief authored by Lee Mickus of Taylor Anderson LLP.

    “We hold that, under the plain language of the (statute), an insured is entitled to prejudgment interest only after (1) an action is brought, (2) the plaintiff claims damages and interest in the complaint, (3) there is a finding of damages by a jury or court, and (4) judgment is entered,” wrote Justice Boatright.

    In this case, Joel Munoz was injured in a car crash and reached a settlement with his insurer, American Family.  Munoz asked for interest on the claim, but American Family Insurance declined to pay interest because Colorado law requires interest only after a judgment, not after a private settlement.

    The high court's finding upheld an early decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

    Read the Supreme Court opinion HERE.




    Carlos Samour newest Justice on Colorado Supreme Court

    Monday, July 09, 2018

    Judge Carlos Samour became Colorado’s newest Supreme Court justice earlier this month when he was sworn in to replace retiring Chief Justice Nancy Rice. 

    Although most widely known for presiding over the trial of James Holmes for the Aurora theater shooting, Samour has served for 11 years as a judge in the 18th Judicial District, where he was most recently Chief Judge.

    “Judge Samour complements Colorado’s Supreme Court both professionally and personally. He has presided over some of Colorado’s highest profile cases in recent history and has distinguished himself, without exception, as being fair and impartial regardless of the magnitude of the case,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, when announcing the appointment.

    During his two terms, Governor Hickenlooper has appointed five of the seven justices on the Court.

    With Rice’s retirement, Justice Nathan Coats was selected by his colleagues to serve as Chief Justice.Coats was appointed in 2000 by Gov. Bill Owens.

    “Judge Samour has earned a reputation as an efficient, fair-minded jurist by those who have practiced in his courtroom,” said CCJL executive director Mark Hillman.“He is considered to be consistent, thoughtful, hard-working and exceptionally knowledgeable.”