ARE YOU THE CONTROLLING TYPE? By John A. Kolanz

If so, and you own property on which tenants engage in certain regulated activities, you should consider consulting a specialist for a little preventive care – legal, not medical. Controlling the activities of these tenants can draw enforcement against the property owner when the tenants’ operations raise environmental compliance issues, as a recent federal case illustrates.

The case involved a sportfishing group that sued an industrial park owner for Clean Water Act (“CWA”) violations caused by discharges of polluted storm water. The fact that any pollutants in the storm water were put there by the tenants did not protect the landlord. The court held that “owners and/or operators who have sufficient control over a facility can be held liable under the CWA even if they do not themselves perform the industrial activities that create the pollutants in the storm water discharge.” Here, the landlord owned and controlled the storm water drainage system from which the pollutants were released.

Operations requiring storm water permits are not uncommon, and can include transportation, food processing, and recycling businesses, as well as construction activities. The requirement can also apply to other operations on a case-by-case basis.

Moreover, this potential enforcement trap for landlords goes beyond CWA concerns. Owners who exert control over their tenants’ waste management practices may also risk enforcement. In recent years, retail outlets like hardware stores, pharmacies, and even groceries have been targeted by hazardous waste enforcement actions. This is because many common products like drain cleaners, over-the-counter drugs, and hand sanitizers can be considered hazardous wastes under certain circumstances.

Thus, a tenant’s business may not necessarily raise a red flag. Landlords should consider how monitoring protocols or proper lease provisions could provide protection from the environmental afflictions of their tenants, and save the expense of a pound of cure.

Super Lawyers Magazine Honors Lee J. Morehead from Otis, Bedingfield and Peters, LLC.

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is proud to announce that Lee J. Morehead has been recognized by Super Lawyer Magazine as a 2018 Colorado Rising Star.

The 2018 Colorado Super Lawyers and Rising Stars’ lists recognize the top lawyers in Colorado based off a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The list is reserved for attorneys who exhibit excellence in their practice. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.

“We are proud and gratified with Lee’s recognition as a Rising Star! We get to work with him and see his professionalism and excellent legal mind at work every day – it is satisfying to see this kind of recognition by his peers and clients,” says Partner Tim P. Brynteson, Esq.

Mr. Morehead, who practices out of the firm’s Loveland office, received his undergraduate degree in International Business and his master’s degree in Legal Administration from the University of Denver. He graduated cum laude from Vermont Law School.

Shortly after joining OBP in 2014, he was selected to participate in Leadership Weld County. Lee graduated from the Weld County Leadership program and was inducted into the 2015 BizWest 40 Under Forty Leaders Honor Roll program. Mr. Morehead was voted one of Business Connect’s Top 20 Under 40 which recognizes the top business performers under age 40 in Weld County. In 2016 Lee was the President of the Weld County Bar Association.

Mr. Morehead’s practice at Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC focuses on oil and gas, general business transactions, probate administration, and employment law.

Deductions to Royalties from Oil and Gas by: Lee J. Morehead

If you have reviewed a royalty revenue statement you have probably asked, “Why are there all of these deductions?” Many mineral owners have recently asked this question which has brought the issue of royalty deductions to the forefront. The simple answer is taxes and your oil and gas lease.

Typically, Ad valorem, Conservation, and Severance taxes are deducted from royalties. Ad valorem means “according to value” and the percentage is decided by each local government. Conservation tax is levied by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and ranges from 0.7% to 1.5% of the value of the minerals produced. Severance tax is levied by the State and ranges from 2% to 5% depending on the value of the minerals produced.

Other deductions, such as pump overs, transportation, and pipeline tariffs to name a few, come from the oil and gas lease. Even if you did not personally sign a lease, a lease may still bind your minerals. Oil and gas leases generally “run with the land.” This means that the lease is binding on purchasers of land that include mineral rights even if the purchaser did not sign it.

If the lease does not include a provision regarding allowable deductions, law defines what deductions are allowed and which are not. Some states allow deductions for any costs incurred after the minerals are severed from the land, i.e., brought to the surface. Colorado is different and follows the marketable product rule. Deductions for costs incurred before the minerals are considered marketable are not deductible. If you have questions about deductions, you should review your oil and gas lease with an attorney.

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Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC provides a range of legal services throughout Northern Colorado. OBP has 15 attorneys spread across its two offices in Greeley and Loveland. For more information, contact Lee Morehead at lmorehead@nocoattorneys.com  or call 970-330-6700 or visit www.nocoattorneys.com.

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is pleased to announce that attorney Jennifer Lynn Peters has been certified as a member of Lawyers of Distinction.

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is pleased to announce that attorney Jennifer Lynn Peters has been certified as a member of Lawyers of Distinction.

The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States.   Membership is limited to the top 10% of attorneys in the United States. Members are accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney’s qualifications, license, reputation, experience, and disciplinary history.

Widely known for organizing the 19th Judicial District Bench-Bar Committee’s Annual Nuts & Bolts CLE, now in its 14th year, Jennifer routinely gives presentations on real estate law, business law, and ethics. She also volunteers as a mediator for the Weld County courts, and was the recipient of the Weld County Bar Association’s Andrew Borg Award recognizing pro bono service in 2009. Ms. Peters was named a Rising Star by Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine in both 2011 and 2012, and is a member of the board of directors of CREW Northern Colorado and the Weld Food Bank. Jennifer was inducted into the 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame by the Northern Colorado Business Report. She was awarded a certificate of completion of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Leadership Program.

“It is a tremendous honor and I am humbled to be selected for this certification.   It is great to work with a talented and supportive team of lawyers and staff at our firm that make it possible for me to support our Northern Colorado community and provide such a high level of legal services to our clients,” said Jennifer Lynn Peters.

Lawyers of Distinction does not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given state. Lawyers of Distinction uses it own independent criteria, including both objective and subjective factors in determining if an attorney can be recognized as being within the top 10% of attorneys in the United States in their respective field. This designation is based upon the proprietary analysis of the Lawyers of Distinction organization alone, and is not intended to be endorsed by any of the 50 United States Bar Associations or The District of Columbia Bar Association. Please see the website www.lawyersofdistinction.com for further details concerning membership qualification.

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Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC provides real estate law and business law services throughout Northern Colorado. OBP has 16 attorneys spread across its two offices in Greeley and Loveland. For more information, contact Jennifer Lynn Peters at jpeters@nocoattorneys.com or 970-330-6700 or visit www.nocoattorneys.com.

Buying a Business? Make Sure Your Written Agreement Protects You from Future Competition! By: Tim Odil

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is pleased to announce that Brynne Gant joins the firm as a litigation associate.

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is pleased to announce that Brynne Gant joins the firm as a litigation associate.

She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and earned her J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young. Before law school, Brynne worked for a firm specializing in family and criminal law along with real estate and business law. During law school, she interned for the Lehi City Attorney’s Office and the Denver District Attorney’s Office in the Family Violence Unit. She was Runner-Up in the school’s trial competition and was the President of multiple clubs. She comes to Otis, Bedingfield, & Peters after a fellowship with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office-Appeals Division and after working over three and a half years for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, most recently as one of the Special Victims Unit DA’s. She has handled over 40 jury trials, including everything from misdemeanor harassment to homicide. Brynne is also an artist of all sorts and enjoys writing, dancing, drawing, painting, and playing piano.

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Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC provides a range of legal services throughout Northern Colorado. OBP has 16 attorneys spread across its two offices in Greeley and Loveland. For more information, contact Brynne Gant at bgant@nocoattorneys.com or Jennifer Lynn Peters at jpeters@nocoattorneys.com or call 970-330-6700 or visit www.nocoattorneys.com.

OBP has been named one of the fastest- growing companies in Northern Colorado!

OBP has been named one of the fastest- growing companies in Northern Colorado!

What are the fastest-growing private companies in Northern Colorado?

The Mercury 100 list is ranked by percentage revenue growth over a two-year period. The 100 companies are divided into five “flights” of 20, with the highest revenue earners in flight one. Those 20 companies are then ranked by their percentage revenue growth over a two-year period. The Mercury is compiled by BizWest’s research department and vetted by Anton Collins Mitchell. The top five in each flight were introduced at the event on 6/27 and OBP was in the top five in our category!