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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
May 29, 2012

2012 CO 38. No. 10SC852. Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, L.L.C. v. Flood.
Attorney Fees and Costs—Rules of Professional Conduct—Appeals From the County Court to the District Court.
The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment in part, holding that the fees of appellate attorneys associated on a case to represent a client constitute an expense of litigation under Rule 1.8(e) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, and therefore an attorney’s payment of these fees does not violate Rule 1.8. The Court reversed the district court’s order applying Colorado Appellate Rules 28(b) and 39.5 to an appeal from the county court to the district court. The Court remanded the case to the district court to return it to the county court for proceedings to determine whether respondent is entitled to attorney fees and costs as the prevailing party in this appeal and, if so, the amount of those fees and costs.

2012 CO 39. No. 10SC779. Capital Securities of America, Inc. v. Griffin, Treasurer of Jefferson County.
Purchase of Unlawful Securities—CRS § 24-75-601.1—Common Law Disgorgement as a Remedy.

In 2006, Jefferson County purchased securities through Capital Securities of America, Inc. The county later determined the purchase was unlawful under CRS § 24-75-601.1. The county sued Capital Securities and, among other things, sought to disgorge the commissions earned by Capital Securities under a theory of common law restitution. Both the trial court and the court of appeals concluded that restitution was appropriate and ordered Capital Securities to disgorge their commissions. 

The Supreme Court held that disgorgement is not an available remedy against Capital Securities. Although the Colorado Legislature expressly provided a damages remedy (and specified how damages were to be calculated), an equitable remedy (repurchase), and a regulatory remedy (license revocation), it did not provide a disgorgement remedy under a theory of common law restitution. Under these circumstances, the Court concluded that the addition of disgorgement would impermissibly alter the extensive and detailed remedial scheme adopted by the legislature. Accordingly, the judgment was reversed.

2012 CO 40. No. 10SC623. In the Interest of B.B.O.: Olds v. Berry.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities—Nonparent Standing—Fundamental Rights of Parents.

The Supreme Court considered whether a parent must consent to a nonparent caring for a child before a nonparent may establish standing to petition for an allocation of parental responsibilities under CRS § 14-10-123(1)(b) or (c). The Court concluded that the plain language of the statute does not require parental consent for nonparent standing. The Court also concluded that it is not necessary to read a consent requirement into the statute to protect the fundamental rights of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children. Accordingly, the Court held that parental consent is not required for a nonparent to establish standing to petition for an allocation of parental responsibilities under CRS § 14-10-123(1)(b) or (c). The judgment was reversed.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions