“We firmly believe that under the law every person is considered innocent until proven unable to pay us back.” Skip Hunter, Bail Bondsman. Bail bondsman accepted money to post bond, but did not post the bond or return the money. CRS 10-2-704 imposes fiduciary duties on “insurance producers” such as bail bondsmen. At common law, suretyship law controlled bail bondsmen, which the Court relied on for this Opinion. There are three parties to a suretyship: principle (criminal defendant), surety (bail bondsman), and the creditor (the court). A creditor is akin to an insured under the insurance statutes, and the fiduciary duty is owed to the insured. Thus, the bail bondsman did not owe any fiduciary duties to the criminal defendant. The case was remanded because it was not clear that the Insurance Commission would have reached the same result using the correct interpretation of the law.
Tag Archives: Sanctions
Milton Michael Trujillo, Insurance Producer with Bail Bond Authority, License No. 60267 v. Colorado Division of Insurance, 2014CO17 (March 17, 2014)
“Integrity has no need of rules.” Albert Camus. There is no question that paying a testifying witness a contingent fee based on the outcome of the case is prohibited. But such evidence is not excluded per se. The court of appeals came to that conclusion because trial courts have discretion to admit testimony generally. Next, the court of appeals determined that the paid witness was properly permitted to summarize evidence already admitted into the record without violating CRE 602. Similarly, the witness’s summary exhibits were properly admitted, again because they were based on admitted evidence. Moving on, it held that a nonparty at fault could not be designated based on vicarious liability alone. The court then upheld the trial court’s decisions 1) to deny a directed verdict on a fraud claim and the economic loss rule and, 2) found a CRE 701 objection was not preserved for appeal.
James C. Smith and Dona Laurita, v. Alan W. Kinningham and Accelerated Network Solutions, Inc., 2013COA,103 (July 3, 2013)
After all these years, rear-end car accidents still produce new law. Here, the court of appeals held that evidence of Medicaid benefits were properly excluded by the collateral source rule. Under CRS 10-1-135, any collateral source payment is excluded from evidence. Medicaid payments are a collateral source, and the statute abrogated the common law “gratuitous government benefits exception.” Plaintiffs’ claims against ANS, the company insuring the car, were dismissed; thus, ANS as the prevailing party was entitled to costs but not fees because the claims were not frivolous. The remaining issues got short shrift: 1) the sudden emergency doctrine has been abolished; 2) a party who requests a hearing on costs is entitled to one; 3) Plaintiffs were awarded appellate fees because Defendants frivolously argued for a new trial under CRCP 59 based on a requirement that did not exist.
Divorces can get pretty contentious, with everyone looking for an advantage. In this case, Father gets Mother’s employment file from an old employer by issuing a subpoena duces tecum under CRCP 45. It takes one hour to get the file, but three days to give Mother notice of the subpoena. Subpoenaed documents are often produced in advance, and the appearance of the person subpoenaed is then waived. The Court did not rebuke that practice so long as all the parties and the subpoenaed witness consents. Otherwise, the Court held, documents may only be produced at the designated deposition, hearing, or trial. This requirement is not dependant upon the documents being confidential or privileged because the interest being protected is the right to notice and an opportunity to object prior to production. Here, Father’s attorney faces potential sanctions for her violation of CRCP 45.