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Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009 - page 32 / 41





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Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009

  • Obtained favorable rulings from appellate courts in 67 of 68 rulings — a success rate of 98.5 percent.

  • Obtained favorable rulings in 12 of 13 hearings in state court.

  • Obtained defense verdicts in the four federal court jury trials litigated this year.

  • Settled six cases for $135,000, saving the State nearly $3 million in damages requested in those cases.

  • Obtained a published opinion from the Colorado Court of Appeals upholding the DOC’s authority to ban discovery and to limit cross-examination in prison disciplinary cases.

  • Provided monthly training to disciplinary hearing officers on due process requirements.

Employment Tort Litigation

  • Settled eight cases alleging 63 claims for relief for a total of $116,478, saving the State more than $7 million.

  • Advised several agencies on Fair Labor Standards Act issues, including classification, time keeping and calculation of overtime.

  • Assisted with the drafting and review of overtime policies.

  • Presented training to numerous State agencies and higher education institutions.

  • Advised and trained State agencies on retaliation provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

  • Provided day-to-day advice to State agencies and higher education institutions, including the handling of performance issues for non-classified employees, the management of statewide furlough days and review of lay-off policies and matrixes.

The Employment Tort Unit defends State agencies and employees in state and federal employment litigation. The cases involve claims arising under a myriad of federal and state statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the state Whistleblower Act, and other state and federal employment laws. The Unit attorneys also provide advice and training to State agencies regarding employment law issues.

Personnel, Employment, Civil Rights and Special Funds

The Personnel/Employment/Civil Rights and Special Funds Unit helps State government manage classified employees and defends the State and its employees in employment and personnel disputes. The Unit represents all agencies in personnel hearings and matters before the State Personnel Board and on appeal. The Unit provides advice and training to State agencies and employees regarding personnel matters.

In 2009, the Unit:

  • Defended 32 employment cases filed in state and federal district courts including 10 new cases. The cases involved 267 separate claims against State agencies and 753 claims for relief against State employees.

  • Aggressively sought and obtained early dismissal and summary judgment of 55 claims for relief.

  • Won every appellate issue decided during the year.

  • Advised State agencies on issues related to the use of medical marijuana.

The Unit also provides legal advice to the Colorado Civil Rights Division within the Department of Regulatory Agencies in conjunction with the Colorado Civil Rights Division’s investigation of charges of employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination and prosecutes those cases which have been noticed for hearing by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Unit also defends


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