At Hamilton Faatz, we are revolutionizing the way people think about attorneys. As one of Colorado’s oldest law firms founded in 1955, HF has the expertise and wisdom to accommodate your legal needs. Our broad experience in our practice areas allows us the breadth to cover almost all legal matters, while our size and personal approach allows us to have a close touch with every client.
We are attorneys who believe our clients’ goals have the same priority as our own. We view each clients' problem as a challenge waiting to be solved and work with each client on a proactive level to ensure that small issues stay small. Our HF team knows the value of your most recent contract, product or acquisition and we want to do everything in our power to help you develop it, protect it and capitalize on your opportunity from it. When you work with HF, you can look to us as a resource to help you in all aspects of your business. Our clients' consider us their trusted advisor, whether it is in the courtroom, the boardroom or the living room. Welcome to Hamilton Faatz, PC.
For more information about the firm’s areas of practice, please visit the practice areas page.
September 6, 2014, Ms. Ashleigh Mason volunteered at the BMW Championship held at Cherry Hills Country Club which benefits the Evans Scholars Foundation. For more pictures of the event please view our Community Activities page on the left.
Glendale Chamber of Commerce event at Baird
Making our community stronger and children’s futures brighter.
Project C.U.R.E. Charity Proves Very Rewarding
Project C.U.R.E. has delivered millions of dollars of donated medical relief into developing nations around the world. Since 1987, they have delivered equipment and supplies to under privileged people in more than 120 countries.
Our next community project is the K-12 school supply drive. We will be collecting school supplies in July and August. Please drop your donations off at our front desk anytime from 9:00am -5:00pm, Monday thru Friday.
Gift and Estate Tax Planning
October 22, 2014
The federal gift and estate tax rules have changed significantly in recent years. The unified exemption has increased to $5 million indexed for inflation. Hence, you may now transfer the exemption amount of $5 million+ during your life or at death without incurring a gift or estate tax. As under prior law, to the extent you use some or all of your exemption for transfers during your life (gifts), your estate’s exemption will be reduced by that amount. Also, for married couples, the unused portion of a deceased spouse’s exemption may be available to the surviving spouse (portability). For example, if one spouse only uses $3 million of his or her exemption, the $2 million+ unused amount is potentially available to the surviving spouse, giving her or him the potential of a $7 million+ exemption.
While many think the new rules mean they no longer have to be concerned about these taxes, this may not necessarily be the case. First, portability is not available unless an estate tax return is actually filed for the deceased spouse’s estate and an election is made on that return. Further, there are certain situations where it may be better not to elect portability. Finally, portability may not be available to the surviving spouse if he or she remarries.
The new rules establish higher transfer tax exemption levels than in the past and create some planning opportunities. However, you need to carefully plan to take advantage of those opportunities and carefully draft your documents to provide flexibility wherever possible. We are available to help you navigate the estate tax rules and counsel you regarding your estate planning objectives.
By: James H. Marlow
Marijuana Use By Employees
Can I Terminate Employees Using Marijuana?
Do your employees smoke or use marijuana products? If so, you can terminate them, but you better have the proper policies and procedures in place? If you have employees using marijuana either on-duty or most likely during off-duty hours, those employees may believe their use is protected as lawful after-hours activity off your premises, pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute § 24-34-402.5 (“Lawful Activity Act”). Interestingly, this statute was enacted in 1990 to protect cigarette smokers and has been challenged by an employee of Dish Network, which case is now headed to the Colorado Supreme Court. With Colorado legalizing marijuana for general consumption, it is imperative that you carefully define your employment practice policies and procedures. This is necessary to avoid confusion and other legal issues that could get you sued. Confusion often arises because legalization was decriminalized only at the State level. Marijuana use is not like alcohol use.
Like many employers, you may have employment policies and procedures in place; however they may not be adequate to protect you. Currently, there is not an adequate means of testing the level (nanograms of THC) of an employee being under the influence that does not create significant exposure to liability. Testing that can measure the level of THC exposes you to significant liability of an employee to sue you for illnesses and invasion of privacy. Negotiating around these issues can be treacherous, but a path created, involving random testing and reasonable suspicion, to protect you and allow the termination of employees for marijuana use.
Will Medical Marijuana Be Protected Under the ADA – The Colorado Supreme Court May Tell Us?
Adding to the complication of the legalized use of marijuana for employers, Colorado has both medical use and legalized use of marijuana laws. Medical marijuana has not been repealed. Since the Dish Network case arose under the State Constitution decriminalizing medical marijuana use, it is anticipated that decision will address issues related to medical use and what, if any, protected classes an employee may be included in under the ADA. The State Constitution expressly provides for medical marijuana in situation of a “debilitating medical condition.” However, the determination of that condition and the restriction imposed on a qualified medical professional are very loose, making it easy to obtain a medical marijuana card. While the Court has yet ruled on the matter, issues involving a debilitating medical condition arising to the level of protection under the ADA are extremely likely to arise. IF a protected class is created, the conundrum of what would constitute a reasonable accommodation is sure to be the focus of litigation in the future. Other issues that may come into play could involve the federal Controlled Substance Act and its impact on State law, especially since the DEA does not permit a licensed physician to prescribe marijuana.
By: Andrew Iverson