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Fiduciary Duties Involved in Colorado Businesses; Part I - The Basics

Colorado offers a lifestyle that is attractive to many new businesses, and in recent years, we have seen an influx of residents and start-ups seeking to take advantage of all this state has to offer. But business people—and particularly friends entering into business on a handshake or “back-of-the-napkin” deal—should take care to draft business agreements up front in order to avoid the lawsuits that may ensue when disputes arise down the line. One particular area of concern that often times leads to the break-up of a business is a breach of fiduciary duty. But what is a fiduciary duty and how do you know if you are violating it? This series will first address the basics of fiduciary duties, the sources from which those duties come, and the enforcement of those duties. Then, each subsequent Part will address what those duties entail in relation to a partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.

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Competing with Non-Compete Provisions

You are married to your job. You are what you do. There is truth to the idea that we all identify ourselves with the profession we have chosen. So, what happens when someone tries to limit your ability to do that job? Most often, these limitations are presented in the form of a non-compete clause in a contract.
Colorado does not look favorably on restricting competition or a person’s ability to work, and our legislature enacted law that defines very narrow exceptions to the general rule that covenants not to compete are void. Colorado Revised Statute Section 8-2-113 states that a contractual restriction on a person’s ability to perform “skilled or unskilled labor for any employer” is automatically unenforceable unless it falls into one of four categories.

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How to Determine Whether the Economic Loss Rule Bars Your Client’s Tort Claims

(The third in our series of three articles on the Economic Loss Rule in Colorado)

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Contract Claims that Overlap With Tort Claims in Colorado Likely Bar the Latter

(The second in our series of three articles on the Economic Loss Rule in Colorado)

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Unique Challenges for Marijuana Businesses

Colorado companies involved in the marijuana business face a unique challenge. While other businesses can protect their brands and identities by filing for a federal trademark with the USPTO, the Lanham Act prohibits businesses in the marijuana industry from receiving trademark protection. That leaves Colorado's cannabis entrepreneurs in a tough spot--if they take the time and spend the money to develop a true brand identity, they have no easy protection from competitors copying their brand identity and passing off fake product as genuine. In the absence of federal trademark protection, Colorado businesses need to take advantage of the limited trademark protection available under state law. Ogborn Mihm, LLP is helping one such business defend its brand identity and trademarks in Boulder District Court.  For more, please visit: http://www.businessden.com/2015/08/12/pot-bb-takes-copyright-fight-to-court/. 

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