Doug Stevens on Why He Practices Outdoor Recreational Law

Doug Stevens worked his first case for a hunting outfitter nearly a dozen years ago, and has been providing counsel to outdoor recreation providers ever since. Like any business, recreation providers face legal issues related to the day to day — including business structure, incorporation and succession planning — while simultaneously being in the unique position of needing to prepare [...]

By |2017-01-13T14:56:02-06:00January 17, 2017|

Colorado Court of Appeals Addresses Liability Waiver Issues in Stone Decision

In Stone v. Life Time Fitness, Inc., et al. (No. 15CV0598, Colo. App. December 29, 2016), the Colorado Court of Appeals recently declined to uphold a district court’s summary judgment order in favor of a fitness club when a member sued after being injured at the facility. Applying the Premises Liability Act (PLA), the trial court had dismissed a lawsuit [...]

By |2017-01-09T11:11:13-06:00January 9, 2017|

Questions to Consider When Selecting an Experiential Education Program

There are a number of questions to consider when contemplating participation in an experiential education program. These include practical considerations related to budget and personal expectations as well as those pertaining to the intricacies of the program itself and risk management issues. To provide guidance to potential program participants, I recently wrote an article for the Association for Experiential Education’s [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:17-06:00November 11, 2016|

A Primer on Service and Emotional Support Animals

The following blog was published by the Association for Experiential Education this month. Service animals help thousands of people with disabilities participate in life's everyday activities. Because of these animals’ critical role, business owners are required by law to make "reasonable accommodations" to allow these animals into their facilities. Increasingly, many people also rely on dogs or other animals to [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:19-06:00August 10, 2016|

Legal Matters Involving Service Animals and Guest Ranches

Justin Miller co-authored this article.  It was first published in Hoofbeats, the publication of the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association. Service animals help hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities participate in life’s everyday activities. Because of these animals’ critical role, business owners are required by law to make “reasonable accommodations” to allow these animals into their facilities. Increasingly, many [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:26-06:00April 12, 2016|

10th Circuit Affirms Ortega Decision Involving Collective Bargaining Agreement, Grievance Process

A recent decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Ortega v. New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc., et al. (No. 15-2098, 10th Cir. March 29, 2016) reiterates that if a collective bargaining agreement contains a grievance process, that process must be completed before an employee can assert a breach of contract claim against the employer. Mina Ortega was an attorney [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:26-06:00April 6, 2016|

Tenth Circuit Rules on Recreational Liability Waivers

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the enforceability of negligence waivers in the outdoor recreation industry. On Monday, Jan. 6, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Espinoza vs. Arkansas Valley Adventures. The case concerned alleged rafting outfitter negligence in a customer death. One of the judges dissented in regard to one aspect of the [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:28-06:00January 22, 2016|

Wyoming Wilderness School Lawsuit Highlights Importance of Liability Releases

A lawsuit filed against a Wyoming wilderness school claiming the school’s conduct led to a participant’s death was dismissed after the judge ruled that the school’s release of liability waiver, signed by the victim, effectively blocks his relatives from suing. The case, while tragic, sends an important message to the outdoor recreational industry of the necessity of requiring participants to [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:31-06:00October 26, 2015|

Colorado Court of Appeals Holds No Liability for Co-Participant’s Negligent Conduct in Inherently Dangerous Sport

In a case involving a serious injury sustained by an individual participating in a martial arts sparring match, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed a Broomfield County trial court’s decision for summary judgment in favor of a defendant who had been sued by the plaintiff on a claim of negligence (2015 COA 143. No. 14CA1506. Laughman v. Girtakovskis). The plaintiff, [...]

By |2016-05-23T12:25:57-06:00October 21, 2015|

Court Rules Employers May Terminate Employees for Medical Marijuana Use

The Colorado Supreme Court recently issued a highly anticipated decision regarding employee use of medical marijuana. In the case, Coats v. Dish Network, Colorado’s highest court held that employees can be terminated for the off-duty use of medical marijuana. The Plaintiff, Mr. Coats, is a quadriplegic and has been confined to a wheelchair since he was a teenager. In 2009, [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:37-06:00June 17, 2015|