“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx. Walker Stapleton, Colorado’s Treasurer and statutory trustee to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA), sued for unfettered access to members’ records. The trial court denied his request because it was not for the purpose of providing benefits to members. The Court of Appeals rejected Stapleton’s argument that the common law allows a trustee unfettered access to trust records, because CRS 24-51-207 (PERA’s standards of conduct statute) limits trustees to carrying out functions (1) only when solely in the interest of members, and (2) for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits. The court noted, however, that Stapleton may seek access in the future, as long as consistent with a fiduciary purpose.
Tag Archives: Record
Walker Stapleton, Colorado State Treasurer v. Public Employees Retirement Association, 2013 COA 116 (Aug. 1 2013)
You don’t know what you don’t know; that is why an appeals court must have a complete record before it to render a decision. Here, the court of appeals believed it had a sufficient record; the Court disagreed. CAR 10(b) requires the appellant to submit a record with all evidence relevant to the issue on appeal. Relevance is defined by CRE 401 and conversely by CRE 402 — which excludes irrelevant evidence. It follows, therefore, that all evidence admitted at trial on a claim was relevant; otherwise it would have been excluded. Thus, the record on appeal must include everything in the record related to the issue on appeal. Because CAR 10(b) puts the burden on the appellant, the consequences for failing to designate a complete record fall on the appellant. Here, the appellant won in the court of appeals. But for violating CAR 10(b), the Court dismissed the appeal entirely, with prejudice.