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Colorado Court of Appeals to hear arguments in Fort Lupton

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

FORT LUPTON, Colo. – A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments at Fort Lupton High School on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, before an audience of high school students. Limited seating for the public will be available.

The event is part of the Colorado Judicial Department’s Courts in the Community, the outreach program the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals initiated on Law Day (May 1), 1986. The Courts in the Community program was developed to give high school students firsthand experience in how the Colorado judicial system works and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings; the judges will hear arguments in real cases and, later, issue opinions in those cases. The court generally issues opinions within a few weeks of arguments.

The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three to hear cases. The division that will hear cases at Fort Lupton High School comprises Judges Stephanie Dunn, Neeti V. Pawar, and Grant T. Sullivan.

The two cases to be heard at Fort Lupton High School are:

  • 22CA2086, Adam Strange v. GA HC Reit Liberty CRCC, LLC: This appeal stems from a workers’ compensation claim that Adam Strange filed after he was injured while carrying a ladder at work on property owned by GA HC Reit Liberty (GA HC). Only some of the damages Mr. Strange tried to claim were covered by the workers’ compensation policy, so he filed a complaint against GA HC alleging it was negligent in allowing ice to build up on the loading dock where Mr. Strange was injured. After a trial, the jury found that GA HC should have known about the ice and that its failure to use reasonable care led to a dangerous condition and Mr. Strange’s injuries. The jury awarded him $40,000 for non-economic losses and $100,000 for physical impairment or disfigurement. Both parties appealed that decision. In briefs, Mr. Strange argued he should have been allowed to claim damages for areas covered by worker’s compensation even though no settlement agreement was reached between GA HC and the workers’ compensation carrier. In its briefs, GA HC argued that while the trial court was correct in some areas, it was wrong in permitting Mr. Strange any recovery for damages for physical impairment and disfigurement, which GA HC says was previously paid by the workers’ compensation carrier.

 

  • 21CA1946, The People of the State of Colorado v. Shari Dooley: Shari Dooley was convicted of stalking her ex-husband and violating two protection orders he had obtained against her. She was sentenced to six years in community corrections. She has asked the Court of Appeals to consider a number of errors she claimed the trial court made. She argued in her written brief that the trial court failed to hold a hearing or issue a ruling on the prosecution’s motion to introduce evidence of past acts she had taken but for which she hadn’t been convicted. Ms. Dooley, who was representing herself at trial because her attorney had withdrawn from the case, didn’t object when the evidence was admitted. In her brief, she said she didn’t qualify to have a public defender represent her and couldn’t afford to hire another attorney for the trial. She also argued, among other things, that the trial court improperly allowed her attorney to withdraw, that she wasn’t adequately advised of her rights regarding representation by counsel, and that the trial court should not have admitted “pervasive” evidence about her prior actions. In its brief, the prosecution argued the trial court’s actions and decisions were proper and that Ms. Dooley’s rights were not violated.

Proceedings at Fort Lupton High School, 530 Reynolds St., Fort Lupton, CO 80621, will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

Question-and-answer sessions, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. After the second case argument, students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Court of Appeals judges.

There will be a limited number of seats for the public. Audio recordings from the two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.

 

 

Editor’s Note:

The documents related to these two cases are located at: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Materials.cfm?s=Spring&y=2024

Additional information on the Courts in the Community program is available at: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Community.cfm

News media organizations interested in recording the arguments may contact Jon Sarché at the State Court Administrator’s Office (contact information below). The following pages contain information about expanded media coverage.

We will be reserving seats for journalists. Please contact Jon Sarché at jon.sarche@judicial.state.co.us or at 720-625-5811 if you plan to attend.

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