Legal Ideas & Information - FJGG Newsletter - February 2016.

THE LEGAL EDGE


Legal Ideas & Information - February 2016
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2016 Colorado Residential Contact Clauses and Addenda are Ready!

Highlights of the 2016 Update:
 
Hot Market Clauses (NEW to Additional Provisions)
TRID Motivated Extensions (NEW to Additional Provisions)
Edits for compliance with 2016 Commission Approved Contract
  
 

Property Taxes in Colorado
How are they determined and what can I do about it?
 
Picture of attorney Julie A. JacobsColorado’s system of real property taxation can leave homeowners confused and frustrated. This may be especially true if a homeowner receives a Notice of Valuation reflecting an unexpected increase in the value of his or her home which results in an increase in taxes owed. This article will provide an overview of the process by which property values are determined for the purposes of taxation and the options for homeowners who believe their properties have been incorrectly valued.

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Same Sex Marriages and Maintenance
 
Picture of Sylvia Brownfield, Esq.Gay and lesbian (same sex) marriages/couples face unique challenges concerning awards of maintenance (alimony) in Colorado courts. The US Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the landmark 2015 decision Obergefell v. Hodges. If a same sex couple applied for a marriage license after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the date of marriage is easy to determine. But Colorado recognizes common law marriages, too.

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What If the Property I Own Has the “Wrong” Zoning?

Picture of Attorney Harmon Zuckerman

Question: I own a property. The current zoning will not let me do what I want to do with it. Is there any way of changing the property zoning?

Answer: The short answer is, “Yes.” Communities use zoning to promote harmonious development patterns and keep incompatible land uses away from each other. As times change, however, so do our communities. Sometimes zoning must be amended, and the law allows for this.

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An Overview of Risk Management for Child Custody Evaluations

Child custody disputes are not pleasant and often represent one of the most difficult aspects of a challenging time for families. Because of the contentious nature of these disputes, psychologists who are involved in child custody evaluations are often the target of licensure complaints or lawsuits filed by dissatisfied parents. This article will discuss child custody evaluations in Colorado and how psychologists can help mitigate the risks associated with this type of work.

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Patient Access to Mental Health Records – The Rules Have Changed, Be Sure Your Practices Do, Too.

The proper release of medical records is an important issue for medical practitioners to understand. Many providers recognize that a patient’s records ultimately belong to the patient, not to the provider, and that patients have the right to access their medical records. There are often exceptions to this general rule, and until April of 2014, Colorado law contained a blanket exception for mental health records.

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IN THIS ISSUE
 
2016 Colorado Residential Contact Clauses and Addenda

Property Taxes in Colorado – How are they determined and what can I do about it?

Same Sex Marriages and Maintenance

What If the Property I Own Has the “Wrong” Zoning?

An Overview of Risk Management for Child Custody Evaluations

Patient Access to Mental Health Records

Can an Employee be Fired for Using Marijuana?

Attorney Testimony in a Will Contest Proceeding

Four Rules on the Documentation of Employee Discipline
 

Can an Employee be Fired for Using Marijuana?

Picture of attorney Damien ZumbrennenOn November 6, 2012, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which made it legal under state law for those over age 21 to possess, use, manufacture, and commercially sell marijuana. Amendment 64 was codified in Article XVIII, Section 16 of the state constitution. However, marijuana remains illegal as a “schedule 1” controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This conflict between state and federal law has created a host of complex legal issues, many of which remain unresolved by the courts.

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Attorney Testimony in a Will Contest Proceeding

Picture of attorney Britney Beall-EderMany people have wills in place when they die to ensure there is a proper roadmap for distribution of their assets upon death, consistent with their intentions and wishes. Sometimes a person (the “testator”) wishes to change their will in the final days, months or years that they are alive. In doing so, the testator may request assistance from someone close to them – a family member or other loved one – to make the desired changes. The testator may or may not work with an attorney in preparing or revising their will. However, if the person who assists the testator in changing their will is also a beneficiary or fiduciary under the will, a legal presumption arises that the assisting party unduly influenced the testator’s will revisions.

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Four Rules on the Documentation of Employee Discipline
By Damien Zumbrennen

Few things are less flashy than the process of creating a detailed personnel file including reports on disciplinary action taken against an employee. This is especially true when the documents and reports sometimes disappear forever into a filing cabinet or drawer, never to be seen or used again. However, when a dispute with an employee does arise, this humdrum activity becomes critically important for an employer to protect itself from exposure to legal liability.

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The Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein Website has a new look!
 
We're proud to announce the launch of our new and improved website, which can be accessed at the usual place www.frascona.com. We kept all the revered content, while adding a new look and ease of navigation.  Our website uses responsive design, it will automatically size to your browser, so you'll have a great experience on your mobile phone, tablet as well as your desktop. The new search feature gives you easier access to the informative articles and content on our site.
 
We hope you continue to find our site useful. As always, please contact us with any comments, questions, or suggestions. Enjoy! 
 
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This publication is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher and distributor are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional service, and assume no liability in connection with its use. 
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