Our Cases in the News

High Profile Cases The Evans Firm's Handled

2016

2015

2014

Brandon Coats v. DISH Network, LLC. (Colorado Court of Appeals case # 2012CA0595 published at 2013 COA 62 / Colorado Supreme Court case # 2013SC0394): Brandon Coats appeal led the Arapahoe County District Court ruling that Colorado corporation DISH Network, LLC did not violate the Colorado state statute C.R.S. 24-34-402.5 when it terminated him. On April 25, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the Arapahoe County ruling 2-1 with a published decision, ruling that because marijuana was still unlawful under federal law, it could not fit the definition of a "lawful activity" in a state statute. Mr. Coats sought review of the appellate ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court.

On Monday, January 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed en banc to review the Court of Appeals decision for Mr. Coats case for the following 2 issues:

  • Whether the Lawful Activities Statute, C.R.S. section 24-34-402.5, protects employees from discretionary discharge for lawful use of medical marijuana outside the job where the use does not affect job performance.
  • Whether the Medical Marijuana Amendment makes the use of medical marijuana “lawful” and confers a right to use medical marijuana to persons lawfully registered with the state.

2011-2013

Brandon Coats v. DISH Network, LLC. (Arapahoe County District Court case # 2011CV1464 / Colorado Court of Appeals Case # 2012CA0595 and 2012CA1704 published at 2013 COA 62): Brandon Coats filed suit against Colorado corporation DISH Network, LLC in August 2011 for violating Colorado state statute C.R.S. 24-34-402.5, which prohibits employers in Colorado from discriminating or terminating employees for engaging in legal off-duty conduct in Colorado. This was the first time that any employee had tried to sue their employer under this state statue as it related to marijuana. The Arapahoe County Court ruled that Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, Sec. 14 provided only an affirmative defense to a criminal prosecution. Mr. Coats appealed the ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals. On April 25, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the Arapahoe County ruling 2-1 with a published decision. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that because marijuana was still unlawful under federal law, it could not fit the definition of a "lawful activity" in a state statute. (The appellate court also decided that claims brought under this statue were not tort claims and therefore not subject to attorney fees if dismissed). Mr. Coats sought review of the appellate ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Video: CNN News coverage on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case. Read the full covered story here.

Video: Fox 31 News coverage on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case. Read the full covered story here.

Video: CBS Channel 4 News Coverage on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case. Read the full covered story here. Read additional coverage from Channel 4 story here. Read more coverage from Channel 4 story here.

Video Colorado Inside Out on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case. April 26th, 2013 EditiononPBS.

Video: KWGN Cathy Hernandez on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.

Video: KDVR Cathy Hernandez on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.

Video: CBS 4 Denver Rick Sallinger on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.

Video: Oral Argument is Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.

Video: More ABC Channel 9 News on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case. Read the full covered story here.

Video: ABC Channel 9 News Coverage on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.

Video: Fox News Money with Melissa Francis on Brandon Coats v. DISH Network case.


2011

United States of America v. Ha Do et. al. (U.S. District Court Case # 2011CR00422): In October of 2011 Federal and local law enforcement agents conducted a raid on a Denver warehouse suspected of illegally (not in compliance with Colorado state, local, and administrative regulations) growing marijuana plants for medical marijuana dispensaries or centers. Four defendants were charged with a violation of 21 U.S.C. 841 (more than 1000 plants), which carries a prison sentence of 10 years to life. Although a few other smaller raids have been conducted in the last year, this represents the first, and largest concentrated effort by Federal law enforcement agencies attempting to assert and enforce the Federal Controlled Substances Act within the State of Colorado since the medical marijuana craze began in 2008-2009. Without discussing the merit or lack of merit of this Federal prosecution, and regardless of the outcome, the arrests have a chilling effect on the medical marijuana commercial community. It is alleged by the Department of Justice that these particular Colorado dispensaries were targeted because they were not in compliance with Colorado state law and because marijuana was being transported across state lines. Not only were the people in charge of operating the marijuana dispensaries targeted, but also their landlord who allegedly signed a commercial lease permitting the grow in an otherwise empty warehouse. After receiving this case, The Evans Firm ceased all representation of any medical marijuana commercial enterprises. As we like to explain to clients who call our office for these services, we have never seen a business plan or a return on investment so high that it would be worth risking spending a life time in prison. (You don't get to spend your business profits in prison).


Video: ABC Channel 9 News reports on Do MMJ case.

Video: CBS Channel 4 News reports on Do MMJ case.

See more about our client's case as covered by the following media sources:

ABC Channel 9 News

People of the State of Colorado v. Ronald Smith (Denver District Court Cast # 2010CR5343): In December of 2010, the City and County of Denver filed criminal charges of 2nd Degree Burglary and Criminal Mischief against Mr. Ronald Smith, a well-known and respected lobbyist in Colorado with (really goes without saying) no prior criminal history. The allegations involved Mr. Smith breaking into his ex-wife's home and causing property damage. During the case, several key pieces of evidence were either destroyed or not collected by the police. Additionally, a fingerprint was recovered at the scene that did not belong to Mr. Smith, nor the two occupants of the home. Mr. Smith's whereabouts during the time period of this alleged burglary were accounted for by several witnesses, and even the cell phone tower records obtained by police showed that Mr. Smith was never at his ex-wife's home. This case is currently under appeal after a guilty verdict was returned after a weeklong trial that involved over 60 witnesses in September of 2011. We are hopeful that the Court of Appeal finds reversible error made during the motions hearings and trial so that Mr. Smith may regain his status.

Video: CBS Channel 4 News reports on People v. Ron Smith case.

See more about our client Mr. Smith's case as covered by the following media sources:


2010

Rueben Reyes v. City of Evans, Colorado et. al. In November of 2010, Rueben Reyes led police on a long high-speed chase in Northern Colorado. Although he unarmed, the 911 dispatch operator told officers chasing Reyes that he was armed and dangerous, and would not be going down without a fight. After they were erroneously told this information, officers disregarded many protocols and safety procedures on handling and interacting with people they come into contact with on the job. Although Reyes is accused of shooting and killing Officer Sam Brownlee of the Weld County Sheriff's Office, the facts of this case seem to suggest otherwise. Beginning with the fact that Mr. Reyes had absolutely no weapons on him, he was then pulled from his car, surrounded by four officers, each one holding a separate limb of the 160 lbs. Mr. Reyes, as he was brought to the ground. Then apparently completing a feat of magic, Mr. Reyes somehow gets his non-dominant hand free from the officer holding it, reaches across his entire body while lying face down, and removes a .45 caliber that is supposedly secured in a locking holster. He then fires that gun three times, though none of the four officers holding Mr. Reyes see him do it, much less say that they lost control of his hand. To add to those facts, three police agencies including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation failed to perform the necessary (and simple) tests that would have confirmed their theory that Mr. Reyes, and not another officer, was holding the gun responsible for killing Officer Brownlee - a simple fingerprint test. It's not as if they did the test and the results were inconclusive - they flat out did not do the test. Now the .45 caliber gun is either missing or destroyed as Weld County Officials did not produce it at an officially scheduled evidence viewing and now refuse to provide its whereabouts. Mr. Reyes was shot 3 times at point blank range, then left lying on the ground for an extended period of time to bleed to death, without any one administering basic first aid. The investigation into this case is ongoing.


See more about our client The Reyes Family's case as covered by the following media sources:

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