Legal Ideas and Information - October 2014


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Oliver E. Frascona


(June 28, 1947 - August 31, 2014)

Colorado lost a tremendous father, pilot, attorney, educator, entrepreneur, and real-estate-law guru when Oliver Ezard Frascona passed away in a tragic airplane accident in Erie on Aug. 31, 2014. He was 67.

Oliver was born in Boulder on June 28, 1947, to Joseph Lohengrin Frascona and Jean Ezard Frascona. In 1965 he graduated from Fairview High School, where he and his father co-authored the school fight song. Oliver attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1969. While at CU, Oliver taught himself to play the keyboard and started a rock ‘n roll band, Cryptkickers, which later merged with his Lambda Chi Alpha brother William Hobbins’ band to form the Bakersfield Charter. Oliver managed and promoted the band, which played ‘60s and ‘70s rock at clubs throughout Denver and Boulder, as the band members worked their way through college. It was at CU, while participating in ROTC, that Oliver first learned to fly airplanes.

After college, Oliver was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and trained in flight systems at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. He earned his real-estate broker’s license in 1972, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law in 1974, after just two years of study. Working initially from the basement of his home, he began the practice that developed into the law firm now known as Frascona, Joiner, Goodman & Greenstein, P.C.

Oliver took his responsibility as a law partner and an employer to heart, and invested great time and energy into the well-being of his colleagues. He treated the firm like an extension of his family. Although he rejected conventions, he loved traditions, and took great pleasure in planning the annual firm BBQ — complete with baking hundreds of cookies for colleagues, clients and guests. In recent years, he delighted in playing with the reunited Bakersfield Charter at the BBQ. And as a consummate lover of surprises, he thoughtfully selected annual holiday gifts for the firm — never admitting that he came in after hours to place them on everyone’s desks.

Members of the firm recently held a 40th anniversary celebration, which Oliver had helped to plan. It was a tribute to Oliver’s greatness, and an affirmation of the firm’s commitment to carry on his tradition of excellence and service.

Oliver was a ferocious legal advocate with an insatiable passion for real estate. He dedicated his life’s work to real estate law, representing and advising developers, builders, lenders, buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants. He was perhaps best known, however, for being one of the nation’s premier educators of REALTORS®. There may never be a more dedicated advocate for and champion of REALTORS® than Oliver Frascona. As a leading member of the real-estate brokerage community recently commented, “He was as close as our industry would ever get to a celebrity in the business. He was larger than life.  He was an excellent presenter.  He made our annual classes vibrant and real and relevant.  He was very generous with his time and always available to answer questions.”

Oliver was a member of the Real Estate Educators Association and the Colorado Real Estate Educators Association, which named him Educator of the Year in 1990. He also was a member of the Colorado Association of Certified Closers; the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, which named him Educator of the Year in 2008; and the Boulder, Colorado and American Bar Associations.

Whether you met him once or knew him for a lifetime, Oliver was impossible to forget. With his bushy, handlebar mustache and three-piece suits, his quick wit and boisterous laugh, he left an impression everywhere he went. He was intensely loyal and never cowered in the defense of what was just and right. He was a demanding perfectionist, but he was also the first to offer help to someone in need, and he would often open his home to a new friend on a moment’s notice. He had a mischievous sense of humor and loved to teach through teasing.

Oliver lived life with incredible gusto. He had two speeds — 100 miles per hour and asleep, and he approached everything he did with incredible charisma, generosity, brilliance, loyalty, and passion. He was the proud father of two children, Alexander and Monica Frascona. Always the loudest voice on the sidelines of their sporting events, he was fiercely protective of them. He shared with his children his indomitable excitement for life, his unwavering commitment to fairness and justice, his dedication to serving others, and his love of adventure.

Iconic, legendary, never boring, sweet, thoughtful, ingenious … Oliver Frascona will be missed by his family, friends, the law firm, the Colorado real-estate community, and the world at large, on which he left a brilliant imprint.
Oliver is survived by his son and daughter. He was preceded in death by his parents. A private memorial service was held on Sept. 13. A Celebration of Life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26, at the Omni Interlocken Hotel, 500 Interlocken Blvd., Broomfield, Colorado. Memorial contributions may be made to Flatirons Habitat for Humanity, to be used in support of building a Habitat home in north Boulder during the coming year. Contributions may be made at or 1455 Dixon Ave., Suite 210, Lafayette CO, 80026. Please note Oliver Frascona in your gift.


Liability Protection: Considerations Regarding The Transfer of Rental Property To a Legal Entity

Mechanic’s Liens: Nuts and Bolts

Clearing Title to Real Estate When a Tenant-in-Common Owner Dies

What Does it mean to Work in a Hostile Work Environment?


Liability Protection: Considerations Regarding The Transfer of Rental Property To a Legal Entity
By Jonathan Sargent

Q:  I recently purchased a rental property and title is held in my individual name. I put 20% of the purchase price down and financed the remaining 80% of the purchase with a loan secured by a deed of trust on the property. I am concerned about my liability exposure relating to the rental property and am considering transferring the legal title to the property to a limited liability company. What should I consider when making such a transfer?

A:  The foregoing scenario is one that I am frequently asked about. Individuals who own one or more rental properties are often concerned about liability exposure relating to their ownership of the rental property and would like to protect their other personal assets (e.g. equity in their principal residence, bank accounts, stock accounts, and other assets) from such liability. The transfer of a rental property to a limited liability company ("LLC"), when properly executed, can achieve a measure of the desired liability protection. Below is a list of 5 general considerations to be mindful of when contemplating and/or performing a transfer of legal title for rental property from one's individual name to an LLC:


Mechanic’s Liens: Nuts and Bolts
By Tasha Power

The Mechanic's Lien process in Colorado is governed by statute, namely, C.R.S. § 38-22-101, et seq. One key issue to be aware of is that the Mechanic's Lien process is extremely deadline intensive. Missing a deadline by just a day can void a contractor's lien rights. Below is a general overview of this statutory and time-sensitive process.

What is the deadline to record a Mechanic's Lien?

With certain limited exceptions, a Mechanic's Lien must be recorded in the county in which the subject property is located no later than 4 months after the lien claimant's last substantial work on the property. Punch list and other trivial work should not be considered when calculating this deadline. It is best to err on the side of caution when calculating the last date of substantial work to avoid skirmishes over whether the lien is timely.

Note, however, that at least 10 days before recording the Mechanic's Lien Statement, a "Notice of Intent to Record Lien Statement" must be personally served on, or sent via certified mail to, the record owner of the property along with the general contractor (if applicable). Recording a Mechanic's Lien without first serving a Notice of Intent at least 10 days prior will void the lien.


Clearing Title to Real Estate When a Tenant-in-Common Owner Dies
By Michael Smeenk

Q:  How is title to real estate cleared when someone dies owning property as tenants in common with other owners?

A:  Through a probate proceeding.

I frequently hear from sellers or real estate brokers when they discover the following closing Requirements on Schedule B-1 of their title commitment:

  1. Certified copy of Letters evidencing appointment of Personal Representative/Fiduciary.
  2. Personal Representative's Deed to [BUYER] describing the Will, the time and place of probate and the date of Personal Representative's appointment, and noting the state documentary fee to establish that the transaction was made for value.

What do these Requirements mean and how do we address them?

We see these types of Requirements most frequently because: (1) there were two or more owners of the Property, (2) the owners held title as tenants in common, and (3) one or more of the owners has died. Holding title as tenants in common is contrasted with holding title as joint tenants. Where multiple parties hold title as joint tenants and one owner dies, the deceased owner's interest automatically passes to the surviving owner(s). But if the vesting deed doesn't specify that title was held as joint tenants, the default is that the owners own the property as tenants in common.


What Does it mean to Work in a Hostile Work Environment?
By Jordan Bunch

I don't think that a single TV show about lawyers exists that has not had at least one episode dedicated to sexual harassment. It's such a juicy sounding topic that shows from Boston Legal to the Good Wife just can't resist. The result is that most people are familiar with this terms "sexual harassment" and "hostile work environment." However, as is often the case, these shows do a poor job of demonstrating how these claims play out in reality.

Both Colorado and Federal law recognize that an employee may bring a claim against an employer for a "hostile work environment." A hostile work environment claim is a type of employment discrimination claim. An employee need not suffer a tangible adverse employment action, such as termination of employment or failure to get a promotion, in order to have a hostile work environment claim.


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Copyright © 2014 Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein, P.C., All rights reserved.
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