Practice Areas and Results

Our lawyers, while at Yates Law Firm or at prior firms, have helped their clients to achieve successful results in various types of cases. While the results of a legal matter depend upon the specific factual and legal circumstances of the particular matter, here are some examples of results that our lawyers have produced in previous cases. For more information about our lawyers’ experience and successes, go here.

First Party Property Insurance Litigation

  • Successfully defended against several related lawsuits against a public university based an issue of first impression as to whether bailment claims were barred by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (“CGIA”).  After the trial court initially refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ bailment claims, which totaled more than $40 million, Yates Law Firm, LLC overturned the ruling on appeal and obtained dismissal of all claims.  The published Colorado Court of Appeals ruling established for the first time that the CGIA applies to bailment claims (Foster v. Bd. of Governors of the Colorado State Univ. Sys. by & on behalf of Colorado State Univ., 342 P.3d 497 2014 COA 18, cert. denied, No. 14SC252, 2015 WL 339152 (Colo. Jan. 20, 2015). The opinion can also be viewed here.
  • Obtained a trial verdict for a national commercial property insurer that dismissed all claims for breach of contract and bad faith that totaled over $8 million for damage to a hotel while it was under construction. The court determined that the client had no liability under the policy’s resulting loss coverage provisions. The ruling was upheld on appeal, which is cited as Continental Cas. Co. v. Landmark Hotels, LLC, 184 Fed.Appx. 649 (9th Cir. 2006). The opinion can also be viewed here.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of national property insurance client, where the plaintiffs sought approximately $30 million dollars for alleged property damage and bad faith damages associated with a series of water damage events at a hotel. The dismissal was upheld by Texas Fourth Court of Appeals. The opinion is cited as CWCapital Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Wausau Bus. Ins. Co., No. 04-08-00457-CV, 2009 WL 1900413 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 1, 2009, no pet.) (mem. op.) and can be viewed here.
  • Successfully defended a national property insurance client in a $5 million insurance bad faith case brought by a large metal manufacturer in Illinois state court. The bad faith claim was dismissed on the eve of trial and, following a two-week trial, the jury found in favor of the client on the plaintiff’s claim for additional business interruption losses, and the case was upheld on appeal. The case is cited as Lyon Metal Prod., L.L.C. v. Protect. Mut. Ins. Co., 321 Ill.App.3d 330, 747 N.E.2d 495 (Ill.App. 2001).
  • Obtained dismissal of a case on summary judgment in favor of a national insurance carrier against Plaintiff’s allegations of breach of contract and bad faith. The dismissal of plaintiff’s claims under a commercial crime insurance policy for employee embezzlement resolved the lawsuit with no liability for the client. The Court’s opinion is cited as Wausau Bus. Ins. Co. v. US Motels Mgmt., Inc ., 341 F.Supp.2d 1180 (D. Colo. 2004). The opinion can also be viewed here.
  • Successfully negotiated and resolved litigation against a national commercial property insurer. The plaintiff sought approximately $1 million for retaining walls that failed because of defects in soils engineering, design, and construction. A declaratory judgment action sheltered the client from potential additional exposure and attorneys’ fees, allowing the matter to be resolved for only a fraction of the damages sought by the plaintiff.
  • Resolved, without litigation, a dispute for a former Denver Bronco after he was initially denied insurance coverage for substantial water damage to his home. Coverage for the client was obtained by negotiated agreement and the client received full recovery for the damage.
  • As subrogation counsel for a commercial property insurer, recovered substantial amounts for a fire that destroyed the historic Provo Tabernacle.

Construction Litigation

  • Achieved a favorable resolution for a university in litigation over claims for construction and design defects following damage to a building after a large snowstorm.
  • Obtained arbitration award of treble damages and attorneys’ fees on behalf of a contractor in a dispute over delayed construction where owner refused payment due to weather related complications.
  • Obtained a favorable resolution for a Denver manufacturing company that sued for improper installation and maintenance of electrical equipment that resulted in substantial property damage and lost manufacturing production.

Products Liability Litigation

  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a national company in a lawsuit involving mechanical failure resulting from a defective system that shut down a large mining operation. The settlement was secured after defendant’s two unsuccessful appeals to the Supreme Court of Nevada.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for the Colorado Department of Transportation in a products liability case against a major chemical company arising out of the use of the defective product Sarabond, a masonry mortar additive, in the Eisenhower Tunnel, which carries Interstate 70 under the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on the Interstate Highway system.

Environmental Litigation:

  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for the City of Denver in City and County of Denver v. Adolph Coors, Inc., et al. for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), or “Superfund,” claims against 38 potential responsible parties relating to the cleanup of the Lowry Landfill site. On the day before trial, the defendants agreed to pay the City for over 80 per cent of the cost of cleanup.
  • Representation of the City and County of Denver in a CERCLA matter for costs of cleanup of a Superfund site against 23 defendants. 
  • Favorable settlement of a CERCLA case in western Michigan on behalf of a multi-party group of potential responsible parties.

Personal Injury and Liability Defense Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment for a landowner who was sued for several million dollars as a result of a livestock/automobile collision. The court agreed that the landowner owed no duty to the plaintiff.
  • Negotiated the successful resolution to claims against library board members who were sued by a terminated library employee. The locally publicized lawsuit alleged, among other things, infliction of emotional distress.

Appellate and Written Advocacy

  • Briefed and argued to the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals a take-nothing summary judgment in favor of a major property insurance client against a plaintiff who sought approximately $30 million for alleged property damage and bad faith. The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision in its opinion cited as CWCapital Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Wausau Bus. Ins. Co., No. 04-08-00457-CV, 2009 WL 1900413 (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 1, 2009, no pet.) (mem. op.). The Court’s opinion can be viewed here.
  • Briefed and argued the appeal to retain the successful trial result in Lyon Metal Prod., L.L.C. v. Protect. Mut. Ins. Co., 321 Ill.App.3d 330, 747 N.E.2d 495 (Ill.App. 2001).
  • Prepared the trial and appellate briefs to successfully challenge a court’s personal jurisdiction over a national trade association. The Texas Third Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision in the opinion cited as Botter v. Am. Dental Ass’n, 124 S.W.3d 856 (Tex. App.—Austin 2003, no pet.). The opinion can be seen here.
  • Prepared the successful brief in support of an injunction, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to allow a disabled golfer to try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open. An article about that case can be viewed here.

Administrative Litigation

  • Obtained an injunction for a national fundraising company against the Texas Comptroller over its sales tax policy involving brochure fundraising, which was affirmed on appeal. See Combs v. Entm’t Publ’ns, Inc., 292 S.W.3d 712 (Tex. App.—Austin 2009, no pet.).
  • Litigated and favorably resolved for a national funeral home company claims from a state agency that sought administrative penalties of several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Negotiated resolutions for clients against whom the Texas Comptroller had obtained default judgments for sales and franchise taxes.

Probate Litigation

  • Represented in probate court a client who sought to probate her father’s will and whose adversary filed a will contest alleging, among other things, that the will was a forgery, that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, and that the testator had undue influence exerted on him to prepare and execute the will. The probate court admitted the will to probate and ordered that the will contestant take nothing. The Texas Third Court of Appeals affirmed the probate court’s judgment. That opinion is cited as Pool v. Diana, No. 03-08-00363-CV, 2010 WL 1170234, (Tex. App.—Austin March 24, 2010, pet. denied) (mem. op.) (Patterson, J., concurring and dissenting on additional sanctions imposed by appellate court). The opinion can also be viewed here. In another will contest case, obtained through mediation a successful resolution for a client who challenged the validity of a will.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of client in a partnership dispute between real estate developers. The jury agreed that defendant had wrongfully foreclosed and awarded the client all damages sought.
  • Negotiated a substantial settlement on behalf of a real estate development company that sued to enforce its rights to purchase a large commercial lot.
  • Successfully resolved a dispute over the purchase of a condominium in Aspen, Colorado.


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Lakewood, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 722-2810
Fax: (303) 722-2890