Jennifer Peters Featured in BizWest

Each month BizWest invites a business leader to reflect on the issues affecting his or her industry. This month, BizWest asked Jennifer Peters to discuss issues facing her firm and the professional role she plays in the community.

To read the article click on the following link:

https://bizwest.com/2018/06/27/one-on-one-with-jennifer-peters-otis-bedingfield-peters-llc/?member=guest

Transfer on Death Provisions – By: Brandy Natalzia- Published in the BizWest Thought Leader column in June 2018.

What happens to a member’s membership interest in a limited liability company (LLC) upon his death? Generally, a death should be treated as nothing more than a transfer of interests between the deceased member and the person who is that member’s rightful heir. But what about any restrictions on transfer spelled out in the Operating Agreement? There is case law that holds that the express language in contracts (here, the Operating Agreement) addressing the disposition of the membership interest trumps contrary language in a testamentary instrument, such as a will or trust.

And what if the LLC is a single-member LLC and that sole member dies? When the decedent operates a viable business in a single-member LLC, significant value can be lost to the estate if the LLC is dissolved upon the death of the member. If there is no provision within the single-member LLC’s Operating Agreement for the transfer of ownership to someone else, the LLC can become an asset of the decedent’s estate. As such, it may encounter tax and probate problems. The LLC may be divided among family members, dissolved, or even sold off to people the decedent did not choose.

Consider the use of and effect of a Transfer on Death (TOD) registration of the LLC interest under the Uniform TOD Security Registration Act. Arguably, this can be used to name a TOD beneficiary of the LLC interest within the Operating Agreement. Although the TOD designation may be a powerful estate planning tool for the members, it may be difficult procedurally for the remaining members when a member passes away. It is important for the members to discuss whether they want to allow TOD designations when the Operating Agreement is being drafted and then to work with an experienced business lawyer who can help ensure that any TOD designations for the membership interests are recognized.

Adverse Possession: Losing the Farm Without Even Knowing It – By: Lia Szasz – Published in the BizWest Thought Leader column in May 2018.

Did you know that, under Colorado statute, someone can obtain title to your land without paying for it? Under the doctrine of adverse possession, if someone uses your land continuously for 18 years, it may become theirs. This doctrine became famous when a retired judge in Boulder obtained title to part of his neighbor’s property through adverse possession, and a lengthy (and expensive) legal battle ensued.

However, there are actions a landowner can take to prevent this from happening to them. While adverse possession is a concern for all Colorado landowners, it is especially important for those in agriculture, who often have hundreds or even thousands of acres of land. For example, if a neighboring landowner’s fence line is placed somewhere other than the true property line on a ranch, a portion of the ranch could become the neighbor’s property if the fence line stands for 18 years. Those in agriculture should take care to periodically monitor their ground for use by any third party and to put a stop to it.

On the other hand, if you’re buying a farm or ranch, it is also important to have a survey completed to determine the true boundaries of the property. Often, agricultural land is kept in the same family for generations, and a fence line may not reflect the true property line. When someone from outside the family purchases some or a part of that property, a survey may keep you from buying something you did not expect—the defense of an adverse possession claim. A competent attorney can assist those in agriculture, as well as any landowner, in ensuring that they are protected from losing some or all of their real estate to adverse possession.

ARE YOU THE CONTROLLING TYPE?

By: John Kolanz

A version of this article was published in the March 2018 BizWest Thought Leaders column.

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.

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.

###

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.

Some things just don’t age well…- By: Brandy Natalzia – Published in the BizWest Thought Leader column in September 2017.

Unlike a fine wine, leases can leave a bad taste in your mouth if simply left on a shelf. Whether you are a commercial or residential landlord, if you haven’t read your lease recently, you can bet there are outdated terms or potentially inaccurate or incomplete provisions.

Many things have changed that have had quite the effect on leases – including the legalization of marijuana, reasonable accommodations, and the rights of tenants who are victims of unlawful sexual behavior and stalking.

One of the more recent changes took effect on August 9, 2017. Previously, both commercial and residential landlords could provide tenants under a short-term lease just seven days’ notice of lease termination, among the shortest notification windows in the country. C.R.S. § 13-40-107 extends that advanced notification requirement to 21 days.

If you think your lease may need to be dusted off, it might be a good time to reach out to an attorney for assistance.

Buying a Business? Make Sure Your Written Agreement Protects You from Future Competition! – By: Tim Odil – Published in the BizWest Thought Leader column in August 2017.

When disputes arise over the purchase of a business, it is often because the agreement did not adequately define what is being acquired by the buyer, what obligations remain with the seller, what representations are part of the basic understanding of the transaction, and what business information is confidential or trade secret.  Often, such agreements also fail to address the risk of departing employees.

Business strategies, customers, status of work, current and projected needs for future work, information about key employees and whether they will remain engaged after the sale is valuable, competition-sensitive information instrumental to the success of the business, and items that that any buyer should consider, define, and protect in the purchase agreement to help avoid future disputes.  Ask every question you can think of as part of the due diligence process.  Understanding what you are buying is crucial to successfully transitioning the company after sale.

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!

Clean Water Act Rule: Review of the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Rule Considerations for Moving Forward by: John Kolanz

John recently had an extensive article published in The Water Report (see link below).  He also spoke at CSU on June 13th on the Waters of the United States rulemaking at the 2017 Universities Council on Water Resources/National Institutes for Water Resources Annual Conference.  Way to go John!

Clean Water Act Rule: Review of the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Rule Considerations for Moving Forward by: John Kolanz

 

Kolanz, John A. “Clean Water Act Rule: Review of the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Rule Considerations for Moving Forward .” The Water Report 160 (2017): 1-31. Www.NEBC.com. Web. 15 June 2017.