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Q3 2015 Newsletter
September 2015
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Practice Areas




Criminal Defense 

Election Law 

Employment Law 

Government Affairs 

Land Use and Zoning 

Liquor Licensing 


Personal Injury 

Real Estate 

Tax and Estate Law 

Melanie MacWilliams-Brooks

What is in this newsletter?
FGMC Briefs
Fisher v. State Farm:
New Requirement of Piecemeal Payment of Benefits In UM/UIM Cases

FGMC Appellate Victories
Charged with a Crime? Yes, You Need an Attorney! Here's Why...
Liquor License Update

(303) 333-9810
360 S. Garfield St., Ste 600
Denver, CO 80209 

(719) 602-6117
102 S. Tejon St., Ste 1100
Colorado Springs, CO 80903 

Do You Believe in Miracles?????

     Once in a while we encounter those instances where you just shake your head and say "are you kidding me - that is unbelievable!"  We recently had one of those moments and the story is so inspiring and miraculous that we had to share it with all of our friends, clients and colleagues.  At the beginning of August, my wife, Becky, and I took our three kids to Yellowstone for a summer vacation.  If you have never been to Yellowstone (about 90 minutes north of Jackson, Wyoming) I highly recommend going there.  The views and wildlife are breathtaking - and that's coming from someone who has lived his entire life in the beautiful state of Colorado.
          While we were driving through the park we came across a sad sight.  There was a "lost dog" poster hanging on a sign in front of a waterfall.  Becky and I commented on how sad this was because the dog had been missing since late July, and we both realized that in the harsh Yellowstone environment it was highly unlikely a domesticated Australian Shepard would survive very long.  We noticed that the phone number had a 720 area code, so I felt even worse for this family that must have traveled from the Denver area.
         On the day I returned home from my vacation I received a call from a woman named Laura who had been referred to my office.  Laura and her friend David had recently been in a terrible head-on automobile collision where another driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove into the wrong lane.  The wreck was catastrophic.   David suffered severe injuries and needed a Flight for Life from Yellowstone to Bozeman, Montana.   David and Laura wanted to retain our firm for their personal injury cases.  I told her we would be happy to help them during this very devastating time in their lives.  I also told her that my family and I had just returned from Yellowstone, so it was very coincidental that I was getting a call about an automobile accident there.  She indicated that in addition to their traumatic injuries, David's dog, Jade, had escaped during the chaos of the accident and the ensuing paramedic intervention, and was still missing two weeks later.   I asked her if she had posted a lost dog sign in Yellowstone of a black and white Australian Shepard.  She said she had posted lots of signs up in Yellowstone.  I told her that my wife and I saw that sign a few days earlier when we were touring the Park and remembered the cute picture of the dog with a cigar in her mouth.
         David and Laura never gave up hope that little Jade would be found.  They made three trips up to Yellowstone in 30 days because there were purported sightings of Jade.  This demonstrated the type of loyalty and love David and Laura possessed  for Jade.   I was impressed at their unshakable optimism and was rooting for them to find Jade.  On the Friday before Labor Day, my colleague Kari Jones came into my office to tell me Laura and David were travelling up to Yellowstone, again, because of another Jade sighting.  Upon arriving back in Yellowstone, Laura was out walking her other dog and caught the sight of something black and white running around.  She turned to look at this blur, and noticed it was Jade.  Jade ran right up to Laura when she saw her!  Jade was skin and bones, and in need of a bath, but she was alive and healthy!   Jade was lost for 42 days inside a national park that is over 3,400 square miles.  With all of the predators in Yellowstone, the harsh terrain and the sheer  vastness of the Park, to find a lost dog is truly a miracle.  It was accomplished by a strong volunteer effort, lots of posters, and Laura and David's dedication and love. Needless to say this story made a lot of local and national headlines (click picture for one of the national news reports)
I always say one of the great parts of my job is getting to meet some wonderful people and learn about their struggles and successes.  We are so happy for David and Laura, and I am hopeful that when the made for TV movie comes out, the part of their attorney will be played by George Clooney or Brad Pitt.  Miracles do happen you know.

Danny S. Foster,

FGMC Briefs

*  FGMC Would like to Welcome our newest Attorney 
    Katie Roush to the Firm
Katie is an exceptional commercial litigator who has worked for another prominent local firm as well as clerked for Justice Nancy Rice at the Colorado Supreme Court and Judge Larry Naves in the Second Judicial District Court.  We hope you have an opportunity to meet Katie and discuss how she can be of service to you and your company. [email protected]

*    On August 1, 2015, David S. Canter, presented at the Colorado Defense Lawyer's Association annual convention, addressing the import of the Colorado Court of Appeals' decision in 
Fisher v. State Farm, lecturing on the topic, "When to Pay the Undisputed Amount ofDamages in a Uninsured/Under insured Motorist Claim."

*       Lindsay Richardson joined the Rhone Brackett Inn of Court, a member in good standing of the American Inns of Court.

*     On September 5th Gary Lozow was one of the three panelists for Temple Emanuel's program "The Death Penalty: Legal and Spiritual Perspectives."

*     Members of FGMC were proud to participate in the 2015 March of Dimes mud volleyball tournament. While the team didn't win the tournament, they didn't hesitate to dive in the mud. FGMC donated $1,000 to this worthwhile cause.
Fisher v. State Farm: New Requirement of Piecemeal Payment of Benefits In UM/UIM Cases
By David S. Canter

          One of the most important opinions to be handed down from the Colorado Court of Appeals this year was Fisher v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2015 COA 57 - an opinion that provided guidance to both personal injury attorneys and insurance defense counsel concerning an automobile liability insurance carrier's duties and obligations when evaluating a claim for uninsured ("UM") and/or under insured motorist ("UIM") benefits.  This article will evaluate the Court's opinion, and will summarize the salient points or "takeaways" from this opinion.

FGMC Appellate Victories:

FGMC's appellate practice recently achieved several victories in the Colorado Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Court.

Chip Schoneberger, Danny Foster and Lindsay Richardson persuaded the Colorado Supreme Court to uphold the trial court's suppression of blood alcohol level evidence in a DUI case against the firm's client.  Without a search warrant, police obtained a blood sample from the client while he lay unconscious in a hospital bed.  The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the District Attorney's request to eliminate the warrant requirement for extracting blood from DUI suspects...

Charged with a Crime? Yes, You Need an Attorney! 
Here's Why...
By Lindsay N. Richardson

            Recently, I was hired by the family of a young man who was facing a serious felony charge here in the metro area. He had been in-custody for several months and little progress had been made on his case despite the efforts of his previous attorney. His family was desperate, and after feeling like they were not being heard and nothing was being done, they turned to FGMC to help. They knew the young man had done something wrong, but felt like the offer made by the district attorney - which was to brand this young man with a permanent felony conviction - was unjust. Upon accepting the case, I engaged in an activity that I learned way back in law school that I like to call reading the law.


FGMC & Brian Proffitt would like to congratulate our new liquor licensed establishments:

Atomic Cowboy/Fat Sully's Pizza/The Denver Biscuit Co.
4275 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212

Bubba's 33
5807 Constitution Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80915

Grimaldi's Pizzeria
8439 Park Meadows Drive, Suite I-550, Lone Tree, CO 80124

RNR Sportsbar
35 N. Uncompahgre Ave., Montrose, CO 81401

Anthony's Pizza
1780 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202

Wines for Humanity
7247 W. 116th Ave., #4, Broomfield, CO 80020