Tag Archives: Aspen

Wedding Shuttle Driver Gets DUI in Aspen

The below is from the Aspen Daily News. Not good.

Wedding shuttle driver arrested for DUI

A shuttle driver working for Snow Limo taking 15 passengers who had attended a wedding at the Pine Creek Cookhouse on Saturday was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Ken Maupin, 53, of Aspen was arrested at 12:31 a.m. on Sunday in the parking lot of the Aspen Chapel by sheriff deputy Bruce Benjamin. According to deputy Jesse Steindler, the passengers sensed that he was allegedly intoxicated. After they witnessed him allegedly speeding, weaving, swerving and driving off the road, they asked him if he was intoxicated. Passengers told police that Maupin’s speech was slurred. They ordered him to stop the bus, which he did, Steindler said. One of the passengers drove the van, with Maupin in it, down Castle Creek Road and eventually called 911 once they were in cell service range. One of the passengers said she saw an empty bottle of alcohol on the driver’s seat, which Maupin allegedly grabbed and tried to leave the scene when they arrived at the church parking lot, but passengers detained him until police arrived, according to Steindler. A passenger reportedly recorded Maupin exiting the bus with her cell phone. No further details were available Sunday evening.

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RKV Law’s Press Release on Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Attorneys T.J. Voboril and Ryan Kalamaya of local full-service law firm Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril, LLC have been selected to the 2014 Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.  This is Mr. Voboril’s second consecutive Rising Stars selection and, for the second year in a row, Mr. Voboril is the only attorney named to the Colorado Super Lawyers or Rising Stars list who hails from the Summit and Eagle County region.  Mr. Kalamaya is the only attorney in the Central Rockies named to the Rising Stars list in the family law category.

Included as a Rising Star for business litigation, T.J. is a general civil litigator with considerable experience handling business, homeowners’ association, real estate, construction, and employment disputes on behalf of business entities, organizations, and individuals.  T.J. is also the owner of and mediator for Voice Of Reason Dispute Resolution.  After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2002, T.J. received his law degree from the University Of Virginia School Of Law in 2005.

Named as a Rising Star for family law, Ryan is a trial lawyer. He primarily handles cases involving personal issues – divorce, child custody, complex property valuation, and persons accused of committing crimes.  As a former Eagle County prosecutor, Ryan is well-versed in what it takes to build a successful case.  A varsity baseball player at the University of Virginia, Ryan earned his J.D. in 2007 from the University of Colorado Law School, where he was president of his class.

RKV Law is a firm comprised solely of Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars, as Dan Reynolds was named to the list in 2010 for real estate.

For more information, please contact Mr. Voboril at (970) 306-6456 and tj@rkvlaw.com, Mr. Kalamaya at (970) 812-3437 and ryan@rkvlaw.com, or visit rkvlaw.com.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

Pan & Fork Update

It has been quite some time since my last post. We’ve been rocking and rolling at RKV Law and there simply hasn’t been any spare time to post much here.

Our representation of the Workers for Justice and Diversity in Basalt has concluded. The matter was one of the most rewarding and frustrating cases I’ve dealt with. Much of the communication between our side and the Town of Basalt was done indirectly through the media. We learned of the Town’s positions and offers not directly from the key decision-makers, but from picking up the morning editions of the Aspen Times or Aspen Daily News. That was less than ideal. Moreover, I received a couple of baseless threats from a citizen that simply disagreed with us representing the WJDB.

For all the stress and frustration, the Pan & Fork matter reinforced why I pursued a career as a lawyer in Aspen and Basalt. It was a classic case of David vs. Goliath. I stood in the middle of trailers late at night holding hands with my clients and praying for a fair and just resolution. Every time I left a meeting with the group I was humbled by the grace and humility of my clients. Despite being forced from their homes, they went out of their way to say “thank you” or offer me something to eat or drink. Unlikely supporters like Escobar in Aspen chipped in for an event that raised over $1,600 for the group. It was and invigorating and rewarding experience.

Basalt is changing dramatically. The success of Whole Foods and the Willits area is a double-edged sword. The bump in tax revenues is good for Basalt. The real estate market around Willits is on fire. However, there’s a cost. Several key businesses have left downtown Basalt in favor of Willits. There’s increasing pressure to balance out  Willits with additional, modern amenities in the core area of Basalt. The Pan & Fork Trailer Park is at the heart of that sea change. Only time will tell how everything shakes out.

Increased Fines for Truckers on Indy Pass

Aspen truck drivers of extended tractor-trailers will likely be facing major fines for driving up Indy Pass after the Colorado State Senate votes on a proposed bill in a few days. If a vehicle is over 35 feet long, the fine would be $1,000. The amount increases to $1,500 if the vehicle blocks traffic.

As Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo is reported to have said before the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday, truck drivers often disregard restrictions over mountain passes because the fines are less than the savings in gas and time. When I worked in the Eagle County DA’s Office, we frequently saw truckers from companies like Fed-Ex unsuccessfully running the gauntlet up Vail Pass. There were so many closures of Vail Pass from jackknifed semis during the winter that they raised the fines and employed other restrictions to make sure truckers could safely make it over. While I-70 and Vail Pass are not without their problems, the issue of stalled semi-trucks has been reduced significantly.

More information about the proposed Indy Pass bill can be found here.

Aspen Crime Rates Drop

Both Aspen newspapers are running stories on the overall drop in the number of police arrests. It appears that the report is based on numbers from only the Aspen Police Department. One would assume that the Pitkin County Sheriff’s stats would be fairly similar.

Of note is the drop of Aspen DUI arrests to a 10-year low. It will be interesting to compare all these numbers in a couple years to truly see the impact (or lack thereof) of Amendment 64 in legalizing marijuana.

The Aspen Times article is here.

The Aspen Daily News story is here.

What You Can and Cannot Say in Court

I was in court the other day on several criminal cases. One involved a dispute between neighbors. Both people were charged by the police. My client received a favorable plea offer of a deferred judgment and was there to take responsibility for an unfortunate event. The case will be dismissed in a year if he jumps through a few hoops. He simply wants to move on with his life and was happy with the plea bargain.

In contrast, the other neighbor refused to accept the same plea offer and set his case for trial. He happened to be at court on the same day with his criminal defense lawyer and stood up during the sentencing hearing to rant about how my client had gotten off easy. He thought my client was completely at fault for the incident. His decision to address the Court offers a lesson in what statements can or cannot be used at trial.

Photo Credit to Ken Lopez at A2L Consulting
Speak No Evil

We have all heard the Miranda warning a hundred times on television: “Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.” As a former prosecutor for 2.5 years in Eagle County, I can safely say that “may” is better read as “will.” Generally, anything a suspect says or does that suggests guilt will be repeated over and over again by the prosecutor. Statements by suspects are often the biggest issue in criminal trials. Prosecutors love them; criminal defense attorneys try to spin them. Going back to an earlier post, admissions are almost always the “boogers” or “warts” in a case for a person accused of a crime. George Zimmerman’s recent trial is a case in point.

Aren’t statements made by a defendant hearsay? No. Pursuant to Colorado Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2), a statement made by a defendant is not hearsay when it is used against him by the prosecution. For example, when a guy is pulled over in Aspen for a DUI and says, “I was at the Belly Up for a concert and had a few drinks,” his admission that he drank will most definitely be used against him at trial. The caveat to the rule is that the admission will not be admitted as evidence if the statement was illegally obtained by the police officer. That is because of the doctrine known as the “fruit of the poisonous tree,” which is a whole subject unto itself.

However, statements made while negotiating a plea bargain are generally inadmissible under Rule of Evidence 408. If a Vail criminal defense attorney is discussing a case of domestic violence with the Eagle County prosecutor and admits that his client hit the victim, it is extremely unlikely that statement will come in at trial.

There are exceptions to that rule on settlement discussions. A 2007 amendment to Rule 408 allows statements in a criminal case made by a defendant negotiating with a public officer in a separate civil case. A prime example would be a defendant admitting he had been drinking in Aspen during his DMV  revocation hearing. That admission would likely be used against him if he later went to trial with his Aspen DUI lawyer. But the general policy of the Colorado law is to encourage people to discuss settlement — whether it be in a criminal case, civil lawsuit or a divorce — openly and candidly. The same principle applies to discussions in mediation.

How do Rules 810(d)(2) and 408 apply to the neighbor case above? Easy. The neighbor admitted a number of things happened. He admitted that he damaged my client’s property. That may open him up to a new charge of criminal mischief. Whoops. He also said that he grabbed my client. That supports the existing charge of third degree assault. Whoops again. He essentially boxed himself into a very specific and detailed story about what happened. If he takes the stand at his own trial, the prosecutor will hold him to that story.

Furthermore, court proceedings are recorded. The prosecutor will undoubtedly get a transcript of exactly what the neighbor said and have it ready in his back pocket for trial. If the neighbor strays at all from his earlier statements, the prosecutor will question his credibility through impeachment. Those inconsistencies can add up with a jury, especially in Aspen and Vail.

There was little to be gained from the neighbor’s rant in court. He could have simply told the judge that he disagreed with the favorable plea bargain and sat down. A lot was lost. If he follows through with his plan to go to trial, he may learn the hard way what you can and cannot say in a Colorado court.

The X Factor for X Games Aspen

The X Games started last night in Aspen. There will be plenty of news on ESPN and the local Aspen papers about the results. What will likely be glossed over, however, are the stories of attendees who get in trouble while they’re here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Aspen Ice Sign

On one hand, recreational marijuana has changed the legal landscape for those visiting Aspen this year. Undoubtedly, many will flock to the local pot shops as part of the burgeoning marijuana tourism industry. The Aspen Daily News is running a story today about the TSA seizing 36 ounces of marijuana edibles at the airport. It’s a sexy story because it’s new; we typically associate drug busts at airports with Pablo Escobar, cocaine, guns and violent drug lords. One could argue that the new X factor for X Games Aspen is weed.

On the other hand, Aspen law enforcement officers will likely be dealing with incidents related to a different X factor at this year’s X Games: alcohol. Last year there were 114,500 fans at the Winter X Games. Hotels in Aspen will be at max capacity.  Although RFTA is responsive to the demand for transportation down-valley to Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, a number of people will make a poor decision and get behind the wheel after drinking too much. Aspen DUI lawyers will be called to represent those arrested for drinking and driving. I’ve written about DUIs before. It is legal to drink and drive in Colorado – it is a matter of degree. The amount of alcohol consumed, as well as the time between drinks, will be X factors for Aspen DUIs.

In addition to DUIs, there will likely be an increase in assaults in Aspen. Arguments that otherwise would be brushed off by sober people will lead to physical fights and a night in the Pitkin County Jail. Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and friends out for a fun night will step over the edge into the criminal world because they’ve had a bit too much to drink. Their judgment will be clouded. They will make a costly mistake. If that mistake involves two people who are or used to be in a romantic relationship, they’ll have to navigate the tricky implications attached to domestic violence. Again, the X factor will likely be alcohol.

Aspen locals will tell you that a disproportionate number of attendees at the Winter X Games are teenagers. Getting away from mom and dad for a party weekend is a right of passage. However, picking up a MIP in Aspen can have significant consequences down the road for college and driving plans. Those charged with a MIP should consult with an Aspen lawyer on the collateral damage from picking up a ticket for underage drinking. Unlike Aspen DUIs or assaults, the amount of alcohol will not be a X factor for a MIP – it is a strict liability offense in Colorado. If a person is under the age of 21, they cannot legally drink alcohol unless a specific exception exists. Officers will request a minor to submit to a portable breath test (PBT) for alcohol.

The Winter X Games is a shot in the arm for the local economy. There is cause for celebrating the extension of the X Games remaining in Aspen through 2019. However, the X factor determining whether a fan visiting Aspen will have a great time watching amazing athletic feats versus spending time in jail and going to court will likely pivot on alcohol. Be safe out there. Be smart. Please drink in moderation. Otherwise you may be calling an Aspen lawyer like me to get you out of a criminal case.

Press Release for RKV Law

Dan Reynolds, Ryan Kalamaya, and T.J. Voboril have united to form a law firm that moves mountains for its clients: Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril, LLC. Equipped to serve the needs of the modern mountain community, RKV Law is run by three energetic, experienced, and efficient young lawyers.

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From business disputes to criminal matters to corporate and real estate transactions to divorce proceedings to mediation to HOA counsel and more, RKV Law has arrows in its quiver to handle all manner of pressing legal issues. Not only comprised of highly- awarded lawyers, RKV Law also leverages cutting-edge technology and low overhead to deliver tremendous value to its clients. RKV Law maintains offices in Aspen and Avon and is perfectly positioned to serve its main clientele in Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, and Summit Counties as well as throughout the high mountains and beyond.

The founding partners of RKV Law have different but complementary areas of expertise, allowing them to take a holistic, team approach to solving legal problems. Dan Reynolds is the firm’s real estate and corporate planning and transactions whiz. Recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star for his work in real estate, Dan is a pragmatic property and business advisor who guides individuals, homeowners’ associations, and all types of commercial entities along the trail to the summit. His calm, reassuring demeanor and wealth of experience makes him an incredible resource for questions ranging from the basic to the fortune-altering.

DSC_1743Dan played basketball at Washington University in St. Louis and earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon Law School. Dan is a pillar of the community, the founder of the Vail Valley Young Professionals Association, and a member of the Eagle River Watershed Council and the Mountain Education Committee, CAI-RMC. An alumni of the Vail Ski Patrol, he previously worked as a deputy district attorney in Eagle County and as an associate attorney at Garfield & Hecht, P.C. Dan lives in Edwards with his wife Amy and two sons, Henry and Luke.

Ryan Kalamaya is the consummate trial lawyer: diligent, smart as a whip, and a force in the courtroom. He specializes in handling cases involving personal issues – divorce, parenting disputes, complex property valuation, criminal charges, and personal injury. Ryan forges deep connections with his clients and has received a number of awards recognizing this talent, including from the legal rating services Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo. He is a leader in the mountain community and legal profession as a board member for the Aspen Young Professional’s Association, a member of the Aspen Public Radio Citizen’s Advisory Board, and as the Treasurer for the Ninth Judicial District Bar Association.

IMG_0016Raised in Longmont, Ryan was a scholarship baseball player at the University of Virginia who returned home to the University of Colorado Law School where he was the President of his class.

He cut his teeth at the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office and as an associate at Garfield & Hecht, P.C. Ryan lives in Carbondale with his new wife Holly and beloved dog, Ruby; the couple is expecting a baby girl in May.

Whether as an advocate in civil litigation and appeals or as a mediator, T.J. Voboril is in the business of resolving disputes. Celebrated as a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star for business litigation, T.J. fiercely but compassionately represents people, organizations, and businesses in a wide variety of civil conflicts. He also helps HOAs navigate the tricky waters of governance, management, and collections. Through his company Voice of Reason Dispute Resolution, T.J. provides mediation services to parties in an effort to forestall or end contentious conflicts.

DSC_1625Recognizing a lawyer’s duty to serve the community, he performs pro bono legal and mediation work and is the Sergeant-At-Arms of the Edwards Rotary Club. He also provides legal insights through his bimonthly Open Bar column in the Vail Daily. T.J. obtained his A.B. in Geography from Dartmouth College and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He firstpracticed large-scale commercial and securities litigation in Atlanta before moving to Colorado and serving as an associate at Mountain Law Group and then joining Thompson, Brownlee & Voboril, LLC as a partner. T.J. lives in Edwards with his wife Lauren and daughter Violet.The triumvirate at Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril, LLC share a deep abiding love for the mountains that they call home and for adventures of all type. When not working together to assist their clients and community or spending time with their families, they can often be found recreating on the slopes, trails, and rivers of the Vail and Roaring Fork Valleys.

Proud to call each other friends and partners, the trio at RKV Law move mountains for their clients. For more information on Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril, LLC, please call (970) 236- 1246, e-mail info@rkvlaw.com, or visit rkvlaw.com.