OBP News

Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition

By: Christian J. Schulte – Published in the BizWest Thought Leaders column in April 2017

The title comes from journalist Olivia Nuzzi, reminding us that technology, however useful, can bite us. Nowadays, evidence in lawsuits can be mostly emails, instead of more carefully edited letters and memoranda. This matters, because people write stupid things in emails they would not elsewhere. Policy and training do not help, and even if they did, there are limits; candor among coworkers is too important.

So, when faced with a lawsuit, it can be tempting to try to delete and cover up damaging internal emails, even from your own lawyers—but do not. Emails propagate in a network like rabbits in a field, and everything eventually comes out. Better to get the worst into your lawyers’ hands quickly, to help them help you develop a strategy to deal with it early on.

Attorney Timothy R. Odil Promoted to Equity Member of the Firm

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is proud to announce the promotion of attorney Timothy R. Odil to Equity Member. “We are thrilled to have Tim as our partner in our firm,” says Partner John Kolanz. “His hard work on the most complex litigation matters and his mentorship of our younger attorneys has made him a valuable asset to us and our clients,” adds Kolanz.

Tim is a key member of the firm’s litigation team. His practice focuses on disputes among private parties as well as disputes with local, state, or federal government agencies. He handles complex business litigation and appeals, government and commercial contract disputes, regulatory compliance, licensing disputes, and rulemaking issues, as well as employment law matters.

Tim was recognized as a Colorado Lawyer of the Year in 2014 by Law Week Colorado. The honor was in recognition of Tim’s superior work in both the trial court and the appellate court. Tim was selected as an honoree in the 2015 BizWest 40 Under Forty Leaders Honor Roll program. This program recognizes Northern Colorado’s top 40 young professionals under the age of 40, who represent the best and the brightest emerging leaders that make a difference in their companies, industries, and communities. Tim was also voted one of Business Connect’s 2016 Top 20 Under 40, which recognizes the top business performers under age 40 in Weld County. Tim has also been recognized several times as a Colorado Rising Star by Law & Politics, and he is a former board member of Rebuilding Together Metro Denver.

A Colorado native, Tim received his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University. Tim began his legal career as a law clerk in the Weld County Courts, where he clerked for District Court judges J. Robert Lowenbach and Daniel S. Maus.

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Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC provides real estate and business law services throughout Northern Colorado. OBP has 15 attorneys serving its two offices in Greeley and Loveland. For more information, please visit www.nocoattorneys.com.

Attention to all who work in the legal community! The Weld County Bar Association is proud to host its Eighth Annual Law Day honoring those who work in the legal field. The event will be held on May 5th from 7:30 -8:30 am., at the Plaza West, Jury Assembly Room. RSVP information is included on the flyer. There is no cost to attend!

Congratulations to Fred Otis for being honored as a Volunteer of the Year! Fred not only serves on the United Way Board of Directors, but he has also given extensive time in helping the homeless in Weld County.

Why Is My Contract So Long?

By: Brandy Natalzia

“The time to repair the roof
is when the sun is shining.”
-John F. Kennedy

You entered into a pretty basic commercial deal, and decided to do things properly and get it drawn up by an attorney. You’ve now received a ‘draft’ from the attorney and it’s long. It was a simple deal. Why are there so many terms? Why is it several pages in length? The answer lies in risk-shifting, or preparing for the rain.

Contracts are generally signed in good times, when the sun is shining. The parties typically have high expectations of the success of the agreement and may not consider what happens if and when things don’t go as planned. However, it is important to prepare for the bad times, to formulate terms that consider risks that may arise after the contract is signed. There are many ways a contract can be drafted to guard against the rain – two of the more common ones are representations and warranties and indemnity provisions.

Representations and Warranties

A representation is simply a statement of fact upon which another party is expected to rely, while a warranty is a party’s assurance as to a particular fact coupled with an implied indemnification obligation if that fact is false. Representations and warranties are generally used to allocate risk by (1) apportioning exposure to potential losses and shifting risk from the recipient to the maker; (2) creating a direct claim against the maker if representations and warranties are inaccurate; and (3) serving as a basis for the parties’ indemnification rights.

Indemnification

An indemnification clause is a promise to protect and defend another in the event a particular set of circumstances leads to a loss suffered by another party. Indemnity provisions are the primary vehicle by which parties typically shift or apportion risk in a contract.  Indemnity provisions may include any, or all, of three obligations to (1) indemnify, (2) defend, and (3) hold harmless the other party. A well-drafted indemnification provision allows parties to customize their risk allocation by shifting the burden of loss and compensating an indemnified party for risks it did not assume and expenses that may not be recoverable under common law, like attorneys’ fees.

Having an attorney draft or review your contract before signing is recommended. It is imperative that you understand the potential consequences of the risk-shifting provisions in any contract. By carefully drafting and negotiating a contract before execution, during the good times, you can best protect yourself or your company from the inevitable rain.

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC attorney Nate Wallshein appointed to the board of The Matthews House

Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC is proud to announce that attorney Nate Wallshein was appointed to the board of the Matthews House.

The Matthews House is an organization that empowers young adults and families in transition to navigate difficulties on the road to self-sufficiency. Many individuals in the program do not have a significant support system nor the skills necessary for living independently. The Matthews House provides resources and relationships necessary for those to take control of their lives and shape positive futures for themselves.

“I am humbled and thrilled to serve on the Board at The Matthews House. The staff and volunteers provide much needed services in our community by empowering youth and families in times of transition, and by providing preventive, educational, and vocational training. The incredible support from northern Colorado residents drives our success and continues to strengthen our community,” said Nate Wallshein.

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Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC provides real estate law and business law services throughout Northern Colorado. OBP has 15 attorneys spread across its two offices in Greeley and Loveland. For more information, contact Nate Wallshein at nwallshein@nocoattorneys.com or Jennifer Lynn Peters at jpeters@nocoattorneys.com or 970-330-6700 or visit www.nocoattorneys.com.

The entire staff agrees, we work for the finest attorneys around and we wished them a very Happy Boss’s Day yesterday!

We are privileged and proud to say we work for the awesome attorneys at OBP!bosss-day

Is your property titled correctly?

By: Timothy P. Brynteson – Published in the BizWest Thought Leaders column in October 2016

Most couples assume that if one them dies, their home or other real estate will pass automatically to their spouse.  Normally couples own their home or other real estate “jointly” – in other words they own it together, or both of their names are on the title.  While this is almost always true, you may not own it as “joint tenants” which is how most couples think they own their home.  If your title does not specifically name you and your partner as “joint tenants” – you will be deemed to own your property as “tenants in common” which will mean that the survivor of the couple will need to file a probate proceeding to transfer the deceased partner’s property to themselves.  It is a good practice to check your title to property, cars and bank accounts to make sure they are titled properly and avoid extra work and expense when the first of the couple dies.

We extend congratulations to Diane Goddard on her 20th work anniversary! She’s still smiling after 20 years!

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